How To Win Strikes
Strikes are demonized by the right and mystified by many on the left. As Marx and Engels made clear in the Communist Manifesto, the struggle between the workers and the bosses over the surplus value created by the labor of the working class is the essence of the class struggle. One of the most important weapons in the working class’ arsenal is their ability to withhold their labor.
Unfortunately, many strikes are headed by leaders who don’t view the struggle for higher wages, better benefits, or even union recognition as something organically linked to the broader class struggle against the capitalist system itself, preferring instead to make deals and compromises with the bosses.
But in order for a strike to be successful, a far-sighted, militant leadership that understands the irreconcilably opposed interests of the workers and bosses is required. During the 1934 Teamsters’ strike there was such a leadership, which led the workers to transform Minneapolis from a city dominated by the union-busting Citizens’ Alliance into a union town.
This booklet includes the labor classic How To Win Strikes by Harry DeBoer (one of the leaders of the historic Teamsters’ strike); an article by David May on the importance of that strike; Lenin’s short piece On Strikes, written in 1899; and an article by Mark Rahman on the anti-union Taft-Hartley Act and what it means for workers today.
Marco La Grotta
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