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Vol. 80/No. 7      February 22, 2016


‘Workers need control on job to ensure safety’

Militant/Seth Galinsky
NEW YORK — Alyson Kennedy, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president, campaigned at construction sites on the West Side of Manhattan Feb. 9. Kennedy and her supporters spoke with workers on their lunch break about the fatal collapse of a 565-foot crane in Lower Manhattan four days earlier that crushed cars parked on the street and killed a pedestrian. A construction worker fell to his death at an East Harlem site the day before the crane incident.

Several construction union members told her that the “union backs us up” if they refuse to work under unsafe conditions. “I’ve walked off many times,” Thomas Portelli, 38, right, said. “When it’s too windy and the load is spinning around. I’m not going to allow that.”

While unionized workers get safety training, unorganized workers do not, he said, but the bosses and government officials are trying to get rid of the unions.

“That’s why we need to organize all workers into our unions,” Kennedy said. “Workers need to control conditions on the job to guarantee safety.”

One ironworker said he thought we needed a businessman as president, like Donald Trump, who could get things done. “Workers need our own party, a labor party based on the unions,” Kennedy said.

“There is no ‘we,’” she said. “There are two main social classes — the workers and the bosses. The Socialist Workers Party joins in actions against employer and government attacks against us and helps to advance class consciousness.”


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