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‘We want citizenship so we can vote for you!’
Workers at Houston meat plant welcome Róger Calero, Socialist Workers presidential candidate
National Assembly elects Cuban leadership
Minnesota meat packers demand access in plant to union reps
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A socialist newsweekly published in the interests of working people
Vol. 72/No. 10      March 10, 2008

(lead article)
‘We want citizenship so we can vote for you!’
Workers at Houston meat plant welcome Róger
Calero, Socialist Workers presidential candidate
Militant/Jacquie Henderson
Róger Calero, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. president (right), talks to a worker at a shift change outside the Tyson Foods plant in Houston February 15.

HOUSTON—“We want citizenship so that we can vote for you guys and what you represent,” a meat packer at the Tyson Foods plant here told Socialist Workers Party presidential candidate Róger Calero.

Calero was campaigning at the plant gate as part of a February 14-17 tour stop. While in Houston, he campaigned with Texas Socialist Workers candidates at the University of Houston, at house meetings and speaking engagements, and elsewhere. Calero was interviewed by the Spanish-language weekly La Voz.

More than a dozen Tyson workers stopped their cars to talk with Calero and take copies of the Socialist Workers campaign platform.

One worker told him, “I saw you in 2004 at the last plant I worked at. I support you this time too!”

“My mother’s workplace was raided by the immigration cops,” Jennifer Gutierrez, 25, who was passing by the plant, told Calero. “They came in without warning and treated everyone like dirt. You had to prove you had permission to be here before they would leave you alone.”

Calero explained how the bosses use raids to break the confidence of all workers, including native-born and immigrants with papers.

Gutierrez agreed, “This has got to stop.”

“When elected chief executive,” the SWP candidate said, “my first act will be to legalize all undocumented immigrants.”

Gutierrez invited the candidates to speak with her mother and her coworkers about the raid.

Calero and his supporters also talked to dozens of students during a class break at the University of Houston. “What would you do about the economy?” one student asked. “How can we get more jobs?”

“As president, I would implement a massive program of useful public works to provide jobs at union-scale wages for millions,” said Calero. “With socialists leading the Department of Labor we would shorten the workweek with no cut in pay to spread the available work around.”

“When Congress was discussing the Economic Stimulus Act they were talking amongst themselves about how to stimulate the economy,” he said. “But workers bear the brunt of the deepening economic crisis, and there was not a single representative of working people in the room as this act was being discussed.”
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