The New Worker

The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain

Week commencing 5th May 2006

Anniversary of the Paris Commune

Welcome To Our Weekly Digest Edition

Please feel free to use this material provided the New Worker is informed and credited.



by Berta Joubert-Ceci

has awakened in the heart of imperialism. The “invisible” workers who for decades have been vilified and exploited in quasi-slavery conditions, who get up at dawn to pick the vegetables and fruits we all eat, who work in the crowded and many times unsafe areas of restaurants, shops and food processing plants, who clean and tidy hotels and homes, who take care of children and toil in so many areas for a meagre wage with no benefits—they have awakened to take their rightful place in the history of the working class struggle in the United States.

They are spearheading a revival of working class struggle with a call for a boycott and strike on May Day. Not even a massive roundup by Immigration of more than 1,100 undocumented workers in many areas of the country on 20th  April, clearly aimed at turning back this movement, has dampened its ardour.

At no time in the recent history of America, since the courageous African-American movement for civil rights, has a struggle so shaken the very foundations of the imperialist order. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented workers and their allies have been in an almost constant mobilisation across the country, sparked by anti-immigrant legislation approved last December by the House of Representatives.

The Sensenbrenner-King Bill, which declares itself to be for “Protection of Borders, Anti-terrorism and Illegal Immigration Control”, represents the most vicious racism of the ultra- right in this country. It also attempts to stimulate the vicious xenophobia that was purposely whipped up after 9/11.

Even though other immigration Bills are pending in the Senate, not one calls for full rights or amnesty for undocumented workers. Basically, what has been going on there is a debate between the ultra right and the right.

This struggle happens at a crucial time in the United States. The Bush administration is embroiled in the so-called global “war on terror”, which includes the quagmire of war and occupation in Iraq. Nevertheless the US still intervenes in Afghanistan and threatens Iran, north Korea, Venezuela and Cuba, funnelling hundreds of billions of dollars into military aggression.

At the same time, social services at home are totally under-funded. The budgets for schools, healthcare, public housing, repairing levees, inspecting meat, even veterans’ benefits—virtually all programmes that provide the support and services people most need—have been drastically cut or eliminated.

In the private sector, there are massive layoffs and a corporate offensive to cut pensions and healthcare, even in unionised jobs. A close look at health care alone highlights the critical situation for the masses in the United States. A recent study by the Commonwealth Fund, a private healthcare policy foundation, found that in just four years the proportion of people lacking healthcare coverage soared—from 28 per cent in 2001 to 41 per cent in 2005.


According to Karen Davis, president of the Fund, “The jump in uninsured among those with modest incomes is alarming, particularly at a time when our economy has been improving. If we don’t act soon to expand coverage to the uninsured, the health of the US population, the productivity of our workforce, and our economy are at risk.”

Immigrants aren’t responsible for any of this. Capitalism is.

At a slower pace and not as extreme, the cutbacks and layoffs here are creating conditions similar to those that have driven the immigrants to leave their own countries in search of work. Their homelands have suffered under financial demands imposed by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which work in the interests of US corporations.

The immigrant workers’ struggle is also an anti-war struggle. Immigrants are well aware of the economic war that Washington has launched against their countries, aided at times by the Pentagon—as in Plan Colombia, which gives US military and economic aid to a regime that allows death squads to crush unions. While the economic penetration is mostly carried out through so-called “free trade agreements”, they are accompanied by the build-up of US military bases throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. And economic strangulation can also be an act of war, like the sanctions were in Iraq.

Millions of undocumented Mexicans have had to cross the border because the devastating and genocidal NAFTA trade agreement, which Mexico was pressured to sign by the US, bankrupted its farmers.

Their fight is not only for recognition and respect for their own rights, but for each and every working person here who is under attack by greedy corporations that wage war at home and abroad to meet their insatiable thirst for profits. What workers won in past struggles is being taken away.

The undocumented workers who participate in the May Day Boycott are especially courageous, and their action will strengthen the entire working class in the United States. As Roger Toussaint, president of the transit workers’ union in New York City and himself an immigrant worker from Trinidad and Tobago, said to a rally before he was jailed for leading the transit strike, “You have to take risks in order to win.”

Our undocumented brothers and sisters are taking that risk. The workers’ movement, the anti-war movement and progressives in general should strive to support their efforts in every way possible—for it will benefit all. Their struggle is our struggle. They are part of the working class here, not outside of it, and they are the most exploited part.

By raising the banner of mass struggle and taking a path independent of both Republicans and Democrats, they are setting a tone of resistance, challenge and defiance that is so needed to show the true power of the workers and end this long period of retreat.

Workers World (US)


Organisation is the key

The May Day March that made its way from outside Marx House on Clerkenwell Green to Trafalgar Square last Monday was the largest for decades and showed that Britain’s trade union movement can still turn out thousands when it has a mind to.

 Here was the real British working class united and in upbeat mood to fight to defend pensions, education and the NHS; to oppose privatisation and to demand backing for a new Bill of Workers’ Rights. It was a far cry from the image of ignorant, apathetic racists that much of the media – and some Blairite Labour MPs – regard the working class to be. There were also plenty of colourful international contingents on the march as usual; reminding us that in celebrating May Day we are part of a global movement supported by billions.

 As one speaker in Trafalgar Square put it, “How can we hope to win against people like Bush and Blair? We’ve only got six billion on our side!”

 Organisation is the key. The power and strength of millions of workers can only be effective through unity and organisation. In 1848 the Chartist leader Ernest Jones told a rally in Manchester: “Some tell you that teetotalism will get you the Charter: The Charter don’t lie at the bottom of a glass of water. Some tell you social cooperation will do it; cooperation is at the mercy of those who hold political power. Then what will do it? Two year ago and more, I went to prison for speaking three words. Those words were: ‘Organise – organise – organise’… And this day again I say: ‘Organise! Organise! Organise!’”

 Organisation is power and the ruling class know that once the working class is properly organised, they are doomed.  That is why ever since the Chartist days they have sought to destroy and undermine working class organisation. They have sent splitters into our movement to foster faint-heartedness, reformism, revisionism, confusion and ultra-leftism.

 The front line of the class struggle is inside the labour and trade union movement because the ruling class know that spreading disorganisation here is the key to them holding on to power.

 The Labour Party was founded to be the political expression of the trade unions, the organised working class. And the ruling class set out to subvert it from the beginning. The correct strategy of the working class must be to combat that subversion and throw out the treacherous Blairites. But that cannot be done by quitting the arena of struggle. That is to surrender the labour movement to the enemy.

 One small group calling themselves communists were calling on the unions to “Break the link with Labour! Defy the anti-trade union laws!” Nothing would suit ruling class better than to have the potential power of organised working class further fractured and splintered. Break the link with Labour and the movement will be fragmented and working class unity virtually impossible to achieve.

 We owe it to our predecessors from the Chartists onwards, who struggled to build the labour movement we have today – and to the rank and file trade unionists and Labour Party members who are still working hard to save the party from a catastrophe in the local elections and keep the BNP at bay – to defend the unity and strength of the movement.

 The current spate of scandals surrounding John Prescott and Charles Clarke – not to forget Tessa Jowell and the cash for coronets scam – have brought disgrace on the Labour leadership. The privatisation policies of Patricia Hewitt and Ruth Kelly are an attack on the working class. But all of them put together pale into insignificance compared to Blair taking the country into an illegal war on false pretences.

 The trade union and labour movement leaders throughout the country must be aware that the leadership of their party is in the hands of the class enemy – and that they have the power and the organisational tools to throw out Blair and his clique. The rank and file have made their feelings clear on May Day. By the time you read this, it is likely that voters throughout the country will have made their views clear. The labour movement must use that power and deliver the movement from Blairism.

Emergency New Worker press appeal

OUR SPECIAL appeal for £3,000 for essential maintenance and repairs on our ageing printing machine is already bearing good fruit, with £395.00 this week, making a total of £445.00 in the pot and £2,555.00 still to raise to make the target.

 A veteran comrade from Nottingham, who sent £50, wrote of a coming Free Festival there. She said: “We’ll do our very best to raise some lovely lolly for you on the day – will our poor printing press hold out that long?”

 The answer is that the money you have already sent has allowed us to book a date for the engineer to come and look at it.

 We suspect it may need new rollers, so keep the money coming. Our folding machine is coming to the end of its life and needs total replacement.

 A Liverpool supporter – a disabled senior citizen – sent £10, saying: “I just couldn’t do without the paper, having read it for so many years.”

 We thank both of you and we thank a South Wales supporter for £50, a Manchester comrade for £10, a Suffolk supporter for £25 and three comrades, all brothers, from Buckinghamshire for £50, £100 and another £100.

 Please keep sending all you can to the New Worker Press Appeal, PO Box 73, London SW11 2PQ

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