Miners Defy Slave Labor Lowl

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Miners Defy Slave Labor Lowl Powered By Docstoc
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No. 196                                                                              :-=:::   X-523
                                                                                                                                                                            10 March 1978

Miners: Defy. Slave-Labor Lowl


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MARCH 7~For over three months                 the membership ratified the contract
the striking coal miners have waged the       proposal. Secretary of Labor Ray
most magnificent strike battle in over 30     Marshall even proposed to starve out
years of labor history. With inspiring        the strikers, menacing a cut-off of
militancy and ironclad solidarity, the        federal and state food stamps were the
mines have got the coal operators, steel      miners to defy anti-strike injunctions.
barons and utility executives by the           UMWA district and International bu-
throat. They have overwhelmingly              reaucrats tried to sell the rotten deal by
rejected two giveaway settlements that        whining that a "no" vote could lead to
the mine bosses, the government and            government seizure of the union
their own union leadership tried to            treasury.
 impose on them. Now Jimmy Carter has            But well aware that they had cut scab
jumped in on the bosses' behalf, ripped       coal production to a trickle and forced
 away the mask of federal "impartiality"      the bosses against the wall, the strikers
 and is out to break the miners' strike.      refused to surrender. The margins by
  Coal Miners.' You have defied Taft-         which the latest proposal was defeated
Hartley O'e(ore, every time it has heen       were overwhelming, in sharp contradic-
used against you; and you can do it           tion to the projections in the big
again.' There is in fact every indication     business press that the final tally would
that the miners have no intention of          be close. Still incomplete results showed
returning to the pits under this slave-       35,000 in favor and more than 80,000
labor law.                                    opposed. Fully 70 percent of the
                                               UM WA members voted to reject. This
    With bonfires consuming the "pro-         lopsided total underscored the ranks'
 posed agreement" the miners are stick-       undaunted solidarity and the isolation
 ing by their tradition of "no contract, no    of the top union officials from their
 work" and are vowing to continue their        base.
 strike. One miner in Kentucky spoke for
                                                 !'oJ obody really expected that Carter's
 thousands when he said, "Let Taft and
 Hartley come dig the coal." As if with        Monday morning lecture on "respect fQr
 one voice, miners from Pennsylvania to        the law" would get the miners back to
 Alabama, from West Virginia to New            work. His sweetener of allowing the
 Mexico, are telling the peanut boss           companies to pay a dollar more an
 millionaire the same thing they told          hour-which the tight-fisted operators
 Arnold Miller when he tried to sell them      balked at anyway~was simply an
 a stinking bill of goods in early Febru-      insulting attempted bribe. Carter will
 ary: shove it!                                now have to come up with the means to
                                               enforce his court order.
    For weeks Jimmy Carter and the
 United Mine Workers of America                   The president's injunction named up
 (UMWA) bureaucracy have been at-              to 1,000 local union officials who can be
 tempting to wheedle, coax and intimi-         fined or jailed for non-compliance. The
 date miners into accepting one or             union's treasury may be hit. Federal
 another contract that would represent a       marshals and FBI agents are on an alert
 fundamental capitUlation to the Bitumi-       to back up state police and national
 nous Coal Operators Association               guardsmen who threaten the roving
 (BCOA) campaign to break the back of          pickets who have shut down so much
 the union. Before the balloting the           scab production. Reportedly the U.S.
  Democratic     Party     administration      Army's high command is even reviewing
                                                                                                  Miners burn Carter's contract in Appalachia, Virginia.
  threatened drastic federal action unless                        continued on page 10
Miners Ready for War
CHARLESTON, West Virginia, March                       after the White House announcement.
7-"We've been on strike for 91 days                    In Kentucky one of the few top U M W A
and we know that within the next week                  officials to openly assail the contract
we're going to be fired, we'll be harassed,            told WV, "Here the people say they are
we might be put in jail and some of us                 not going back to work regardless of
might even die. But we're not going to go              what President Ca'rter said or what
back to work with someone pointing a                   anyone else says." He added that the
gun at our head. And if we have to die                 anti-injunction fight would be initiated
we'd rathtr die on the surface than go                 by the ranks and "we are leaderless." A
back to work and die under that                        Pennsylvania miner said, "If Carter
contract that was just turned down by                  sends in the troops we'll have a Vietnam
the membership."                                       in this country. If he's asking for war,
    This bitter defiance of President                  he's going to get one."
Carter's back-to-work order came from                      Both Miller and Carter, whose agents
Jim Nuccetelli, a United Mine Workers                  engineered the rejected proposal, were
of America (UMW A) safety committee-                   counting on a so-called "silent majority"
man from Local 1197 in western                         of the UMWA membership to approve
Pennsylvania's District 5, at a press                  the contract. Instead, the majority
conference in New Stanton which was                    spoke loud and clear, and everywhere
called by officials representing 36 locals.            the message was the same. On Saturday
Following the miners' stunning 70-30                   as members of the 1,200 man Local 762
rejection of the latest sellout contract               (Jones and Laughlin Steel's Vestabury
proposal, N uccetelli's bitter promise is              Number 5 Mine) lined up to vote, typical
the answer of the striking miners to the               remarks were, "Miller's silent majorityis
coal operators, union misleaders and                   giving it to him," and "You tell the
the federal government, which is seeking               pricks down in D.C. that the silent
to force the miners back into the pits                  majority is speaking."
under the strikebreaking Taft-Hartley                      Early on it was clear that Carter's
Law.                                                   contract was in trouble. In 1974 UMWA
    In union halls, taverns and miners'                 locals in West Virginia voted two-to-one
homes across the coalfields, strikers                  to accept Miller's tentative agreement
listened as the president intoned that                  with the BCOA. This year, even in the
"the country [i.e., big business] can not               U MWA president's home district (17),
afford to wait any longer." As long as                 the pact was decisively turned down and
the companies had big coal stockpiles                   in District 19 (southeastern Kentucky)
 and the Bituminous Coal Operators                      the margin was better than nine-to-one
 Association (BCOA) was seeking to                      against the sellout.
 out-wait the strikers. Carter saw no                       Miller paid a Washington public
 emergency; now that the bosses are                     relations firm $40,000 to help sell the
 hurting, however, the miners are sud-                  sell-out. Pro-contract International and
 denly holding the country for ransom.                  District officials went on the radio to
 Hoping to break the mine workers'                      urge ratification. Last week in Barnes-
 solidarity with an offer of company-by-                boro. Pennsylvania a group of miners
 company discretionary ~'age increases.                 reportedly blocked the entrance to radio
 Carter stated that he would, "seek to                  station WNCC in an effort to keep two
 permit any company to offer this new                   officials from taping such a pro-contract
 wage settlement [from the rejected                     announcement. The media blitz back-
 BCOA pact] to those who return to                      fired. however, as the miners wondered
 work under the injunction." Miners,                    why a good contract could not speak for
 such as those gathered at the union hall               itself. "How can they lay their hands on
 in Dilles Bottom, Ohio laughed scorn-                  that money if we're broke?" a striker
                                                                                                                                                                                                WV Photo
 fully as Carter described these wages as               asked.
 "generous." And there is no indication                     Miller warned offinancial ruin for the    Miners in Vestabury, Pennsylvania protest Carter-imposed agreement last
 that any significant section of the                     UM WAif the contract were rejected,          Sunday.
 strikers will fall for the government's                 resulting in the possible destruction of
 attempt to split up the union.                          the union. But the U MWA ranks didn't        UM WA Bargaining Council approved a                    committees demand an emergency
     Strikers were not surprised by                      buy this excuse for capitulation either.     contract with the Pittsburg & Midway                   convention to elect a new bargaining
 Carter's actions. But unlike UMWA                       "If it [the proposed contract] is accept-    Coal Company as the basis for the                      council which is immediately answer-
 president Arnold Miller, who stated                     ed. the union is going to be destroyed," a   BCOA pact just turned down by the                      able to the ranks.
 that he had "no intention to pre-empt                   striker at Bethlehem Steel Local 750 in      ranks. Now they too have been repudi-                    Last night on their own initiative
  President Carter's own responsibility,"                Kayford, West Virginia countered. A          ated by the ranks.                                     miners in West Virginia's District 17
 the union ranks are preparing to oppose                 striker from Pennsylvania added, "The           In the face of the gaping absence of                took the first step to mounting an
  this government strikebreaking. In the                 U M WA ain't in danger of being              leadership at the top of the UMWA,                     organized challenge to the treachery of
  36 hours since Carter's televised an-                  destroyed. The only faction that is          throughout the present strike the Spar-                Miller & Co. Seven hundred strikers
  nouncement that the hated "slave-labor                 disintegrating is the top leadership. The    tacist League has counseled the miners                 meeting in a field house in Logan
  law" was being invoked, Workers                        miners are more united than ever."           to elect district strike committees to                 reaffirmed their determination to resist
   Vanguard teams in Pennsylvania, West                                                               extend and coordinate picketing efforts                a Taft-Hartley injunction and elected
                                                           Even after this contract and its                                                                  three representatives from their sub-
  Virginia and Illinois-Indiana have                    bureaucratic sponsors were overwhelm-         throughout the coalfields. In recent
  found a solid will to resist. Government                                                            weeks while the UMW A Bargaining                       district to meet with other such dele-
                                                        mingly repudiated, Miller claimed not                                                                gates from sub-districts throughout the
  speculation of a return to work by a                  to know why. "I don't think it was            Council proved nearly as anxious as
  minority of union members appears to                                                                 M iller to end the strike on terms                    UM W A. According to one mirier this
                                                        warranted and I have yet to figure out                                                               delegation would "replace or sit in on
   be based on nothing but wishful                      any reason for it" (Charleston Gazette, 6      acceptable to the coal operators and the
  thinking.                                                                                            White House, we have urged that such                  bargaining council meetings" to voice
                                                        March). The bewildered Miller is                                                                     directly the contractual demands of the
     "There's going to be pickets," a Cabin
                                                        scapegoating the media which he says is                                                              ranks. If in the coming days a union-
  Creek, West Virginia miner said simply                acting "irresponsibly" and "didn't tell all
                                                                                                         SL/SYL PUBLIC OFFICES                               wide delegate body were formed by the
                                                        the facts." In addition to going after the                                                           membership through such elections. it
                                                        bourgeois press-which in fact hailed             Marxist Literature                                  could provide a vehicle to sweep aside
  WORKERS                                               both of Miller's miserable proposed
                                                        settlements -Miller is attac1\ing "the           BAY AREA                                            the existing bargaining council, demon-
                                                                                                                                                             strate the solidity of rank-and-file
  VAHOIlAR'                                             divisive people in our union," and
                                                         announced that district officials who
                                                                                                         Friday and Saturday. . .
                                                                                                         1634 Telegraph, 3rd floor
                                                                                                         (near 17th Street)
                                                                                                                                        . ... 3:00-600 pm.
                                                                                                                                                             defiance of Taft-Hartley and chart a
                                                                                                                                                             course of militant action to achieve
     Marxist Working-Class Weekly                        failed to boost the contract will face          Oakland. California
     of the Spartacist League of the U.S.                                                                Phone 835-1535
                                                                                                                                                             victory. The U M WA ranks must take
                                                         disciplinary action from the UMWA                                                                   up the initiative of the Logan miners.•
     Published weekly, except bl-weekly In August        International Executive Board.                  CHICAGO
     and December, by the Spartaclst Publishing                                                          Tuesday                                 4:30-800
     Co. 260 West Broadway. New York, NY 10013             The union leadership is indeed in             Saturday.                  .      ' 200-5:30 p.m      SUBSCRIBE
     Telephone 966-6841 (EditOrial). 925-5665           complete disarray but it is not the result       523 South Plymouth Court. 3rd floor
     (BUSiness) Address all correspondence to
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                                                        of bureaucratic sabotage as the para-            Chicago. IllinOIS                                            YOUNG SPARTACUS
                                                        noid union chief believes. Instead the           Phone 427-0003
     Domestic subSCriptions $5.00 per year                                                                                                                          monthly paper of the
     Second-class postage paid at New York. NY          most militant union in the American              NEW YORK                                                  Spartacus Youth League
     OPlnlCfhS expressed ih Sighed articles or          working class is leaderless because no           Monday-Friday.                     630-900 pm
     letters do not necessanly express ti,e edltonal
                                                        one at the International or even district        Saturday.                          100-400 pm
                                                                                                                                                                         $2/10 Issues
                                                                                                                                                               Make payable/mail to: Spartacus Youth
                                                        level has advanced a strategy to effec-          260 West Broadway, Room 522
                                                                                                                                                               Publishing Co, Box 825, Canal Street PO,
                                                                                                         New York, New York
                                                        tively bring the BCOA to terms. In fact                                                                New York. New York 10013
     No. 196                10 March 1978J
                                                        on February 20 two-thirds of the
                                                                                                         Phone 925-5665

 2                                                                                                                                                                     WORKERS VANGUARD
For 0 Joint CooVSteel Strikel                                                                       This is the speech of steel worker militant Jay Frank which the
                                                                                                    bureaucrats tried to suppress at the March 5 coal mine strike
                                                                                                    support rally of USWA Local 1010. The end of the speech was

Chicago USWA                                                                                        carried over NBC television in Chicago that night:
                                                                                                       "Sometime tonight or tomorrow President Carter is going to
                                                                                                    declare war on the coalfields. Brother Sam [Farley I made it very
                                                                                                    clear that they are up against tremendous odds. I think it's

Mine Strike                                                                                         important tbat we go beyond simply collecting canned food and
                                                                                                    sending dollar donations. Sister Cornett from Harlan County was
                                                                                                    up at Local 65 not too long ago and she said, 'We're down to the
                                                                                                    wire, it's important for steel workers to come out.'
                                                                                                       "Now we passed around a resolution here and this resolution is

Support Rally                                                                                       straightforward: here at Inland, over at Gary, we are making steel
                                                                                                    with scab coal! A hundred and sixty thousand minersaretryingto
                                                                                                    stop the movement of that scab coal. Now our responsibility is
                                                                                                    straightforward, too, and that's what this resolution speaks to.
                                                                                                    The brothers and sisters here can read it. Hot-cargo scab coal!
CHICAGO-In recent weeks the three-                                                                  Denounce Taft-Hartley! Mobilize the Steelworkers. Have the
month-old coal miners strike has been                                                               district-District 31, the largest district in the USWA-mobilize
causing commotion in District 31 of the                                                             steel workers to go down with their brothers and sisters in the
United Steelworkers of America
(USWA), the center of greatest concen-                                                              mines to help shut down those scab mines, to help stop tht: trains of
tration in basic steel. With 60,000                                                                 scab coal into places like Inland, into places like Gary, Republic,
USWA members thrown out of their                                                                    Youngstown Sheet and Tube, Southworks. Mobilize mass
jobs in the last year and the industry                                                              meetings of Chicago and northwest Indiana labor to discuss other
threatened with even more massive                                                                   ways we can actively and militantly show solidarity with these
layoffs and plant closures, there is an
increasingly felt need here for solidarity
                                                                                                    people who are going to be in a hell of a mess come tomorrow.
action between steel workers and the                                                                   "And finally brothers and sisters understand that we are
closely allied miners. Thus in late                                                                 fighting, or should be fighting, very much that same kind of fight.
January workers in Local 65 at the U.S.                                                             We do not have the right to strike! We do not have anything but a
Steel Southworks plant debated propo-                                                               rotten compulsory arbitration scheme to our entire contract. If the
sals for hot-cargoing scab coal and                                                                 basis exists now both in solidarity with the miners and to fight for
striking jointly with the miners. Then in
late February a special meeting of the                                                              our own demands that this district sanction strikes of USW A in
                                                                                    WV Photo
same local gave rousing applause to               USWA Local 65 militant Jay Frank                  coordination with the UMW, so we can both win the demands of
 visiting Harlan County militants urging                                                            the UMW, support them in their struggle and win for steel workers
steel workers to join in the miners'              calling for hot-cargoing scab coal and a          the shorter workweek, a fight against the goddamn layoffs that are
struggle. And on March 5 approximate-             joint strike with the miners (see "Tow-           wiping us out. An end to the ENA [the no-strike Experimental
 ly 200 people attended a Local 1010
(Inland Steel) miners' support rally
                                                  ard a Joint Coal/Steel Strike!" WV 191,           Negotiating Agreement], that's what support means! [Loud
                                                  3 February), But after some fancy foot-           applause]
 where the need for joint strike action           work and a lot of help from their fake-
 with the miners was again raised.                left "oppositionist" friends the local
                                                                                                       "Our power is at the point ofproduction; our power is the power
    At. the January 25 meeting of Local           bureaucracy was able to defeat the                to withdraw our ability to work.
 65, members debated a resolution                 resolution. For months the miners have               "Let Carter stand up there and watch 120,000 steel workers in
                                                  been defying their misleaders and facing           District 31 say: No scab coal is coming into Gary! No scab coal is
                                                  loaded gun barrels and bayonets to stop            coming into Inland, into Republic, into Youngstown Sheet and
   Black ban coal to                              the mining and transport of scab coal.
                                                   But the so-called "militants" of Local 65
                                                                                                    Tube! That's the power we have!
   the U.S.!                                       refuse to help the miners in this effort if          "Not tuna fish, not canned goods, not dollar donations-
   -reprinted from Australasian                   such action would question their loyalty           although that is important. But let's use the power we have!"
     Spartaclst No. 51, March 1978                to Arnold Miller's cohorts in the USW A
      According to the Financial Re-                  A month later, on February 26, Local
   view (24 February) and the Austral-                                                           made it clear that their conception of             scab coal is coming into Inland, into
                                                  65 held a "South Africa Night" where, in                                                          Republic. into Youngstown Sheet and
   ian (25 February), at least two                                                               strike "support" was nothing more than
                                                  addition to the scheduled program,                                                                Tube' That's the power we have!"
   Australian firms-Coalex Pty. Ltd.                                                             vacuous verbiage and a quick passing of
                                                  miners from Harlan County, Kentucky                                                           Frank called for a vote on the resolution
   and R.W. Miller (Holdings) Pty.~­                                                             the can. In a "panel discussion" Local
                                                  came to address the crowd. Bessie Lou                                                         he had distributed but the cowardly
   are contracted to ship coal to the                                                            president Bill Andrews proclaimed his
                                                  Cornett was introduced as one of the                                                          local bureaucrats would have none of
   U.S. Such shipments can serve only                                                            full support for whatever the mine
                                                   leading activists in the documentary                                                         this. Other steel workers argued for
   one purpose at this time-                       movie, Harlan County, U.S.A, She told         workers do and passed the mike on to
                                                                                                 Sam Farley from District 29 of the             discussion and a vote on the resolution
   strikebreaking. International la-              the audience that "miners are disgusted                                                       to show the' sentiment of the body.
   bour solidarity demands that all               with this contract" and that it "gives         UMWA in West Virginia. Noting the
                                                                                                 dangerous conditions in the mines,             Andrews and Schneider solved their
   Australian unions involved in the              operators the right to purge any radi-                                                        dilemma by calling lights out and
   handling of coal~including the                                                                Farley went on to explain the attacks on
                                                  cal ... which means anyone who will                                                           starting the movie.
   Miners Federation, the Seamen's                                                               safety regulations, health benefits and
                                                  stand up for their rights." Summing up                                                           During intermission when film reels
   Union, the Watersiders, and the                                                               the right to strike by the coal operators.
                                                   the need for solidarity which went                                                           were being changed, a letter from Bessie
   Federated Engine Drivers-black                                                                He ended by stressing the critical
                                                   beyond sending money or speaking to                                                          Lou Cornett was read. She correctly
   ban all coal intended for the U. S. as                                                        conjuncture facing the mine workers as
                                                   the press, she said, "We'd like the steel                                                    said that what happened to the mine
   long as the miners strike continues.                                                          they reject Carter's sellout contract.
                                                   workers to come out and join us." At the                                                     workers today could happen to steel
                                                                                                     As Rudy Schneider, chairman of
                                                   clear call for closing down steel and                                                        workers and auto workers tomorrow. A
                                                                                                 Local 1010's Miners Support Commit-
                                                  joining the miners pickets the hall burst                                                     steel worker then rose to say that the
                                                                                                 tee was closing this part of the program,
                                                   into wild cheering and applause, not the                                                     Harlan militant was right and called for
                                                                                                 a steel worker from USW A Local 65,
   Workers                                         least by the phony reformist "opposi-
                                                   tionists" who had just weeks before
                                                   argued and voted against such action.
                                                                                                 Jay Frank, asked if there would be any
                                                                                                 chance for discussion. Schneider and
                                                                                                                                                a vote on the resolution.
                                                                                                                                                   This was just too much for the
                                                                                                                                                bureaucratic tops to stomach. Schneid-
    Vanguard                                          Over 290 people turned out March 5
                                                   for the Local 10 10 Inland Steel miners
                                                   support rally where Harlan County.
                                                                                                  Andrews tried to yell Frank down.
                                                                                                  Frank stood his ground, however, to
                                                                                                  present a resolution he and other steel
                                                                                                                                                er ordered lights out and movie rolling.
                                                                                                                                                Then he and other bureaucrats forced
    MARXIST WORKING-CLASS WEEKLY OF                                                               workers had distributed for a vote at the     the steel worker who had just spoken, as
         THE SPARTACIST LEAGUE                     U.S.A. was shown in addition to                                                              well as Frank, from the hall saying,
                                                                                                  meeting. He would have been cut off
                                                   speeches by a West Virginia coal miner                                                       "Their kind aren't needed here."
   One year subsenphon (48 Issues) $5-                                                            entirely but the bureaucrats became
   Introductory offer (16 Issues): $2. Interna-    and members of the Local 1010 leader-
                                                                                                  embarrassed when television camera-             It is exactly the kind of class-struggle
   hona] rates: 48 issues-$20 alfmail/$5 sea       ship. At the meeting these bureaucrats
   mail. 16 lOtroductory issues-$5 airmail.                                                       men, who had come to report on the            actions Frank and the other steel worker
   Make checks payable/mall to Spartaeist                                                         meeting, focused on Frank, and he was         were advocating which can decisively
   PubhshlOg Co, Box 1377 GPO, New York,
   NY 10001                                          Spartacist League Forum                      allowed to speak.                             help win the miners' strike as well as
                                                                                                     Noting that workers at Inland and at       wrest the right to strike and end lay offs
            -lOcludes SPARTACIST                     Victory to the Coal Miners                   the U.S. Steel Gary, Indiana plant were
                                                     Strike! Labor Must Smash                                                                   for steel workers. The actions of the
                                                                                                  making steel with scab coal while the         LJSWA Local 65 and Local 1010
                                                            Taft-Hartley!                         miners were battling to stop its distribu-    bureaucrats and phony"oppositionists"
   Address _
                                                     Speaker:                                     tion, Frank called on the members to          in District 31---all supporters to one
   C,ty _                                              PAUL COLLINS                               show their solidarity by refusing to          degree or another of "reformer" Ed
                               __ Zlp        _
                                                       SL Central Committee                       handle the coal and received loud             Sad lowski's bid for the International
                                           196       Friday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m_                applause when he said:                        presidency last year--have made it clear
                                                     5615 South Woodlawn                             "I.et Carter stand up there and watch
                                                                                                                                                by their actions that they are an obstacle
      SUBSCRIBE NOWI                                 CHICAGO                                         120.000 steelworkers in District 31 say:
                                                                                                     \'0 scal-> coal is coming into Gary! ~o    to that struggle.•

 10 MARCH 1978                                                                                                                                                                          3
The UMWA Did It in the 1940's-They' Can Do It Now!
           ow             Iners ea                       e
                   e overnmen
    In a desperate bid to force an end to        personally sour on Roosevelt and
the powerful three-month-long miners'            somewhat of an isolationist on matters
strike, Jimmy Carter is pulling out his          of foreign policy, U MW A president
heavy artillery: the strikebreaking Taft-        John L. Lewis went right along with the
Hartley law and the threat of govern-            war hysteria and agreed to these
ment seizure of the coal mines. After            measures.
weeks of intense federal jawboning and              It did not take long for Roosevelt's
arm-twisting proved futile in the face of        "equality of sacrifice" rhetoric to prove
the miners' determined resistance, the           itself a gigantic swindle of the working
move was a desperate gamble. Carter              class. Prices skyrocketed and war
knows that these measures have been              profiteers raked in millions while
wielded against the coal miners before           workers were subjected to a virtual wage
but failed to break their resolve.               freeze under the notorious "Little Steel"
   Taft-Hartley has been previously              formula. While the bosses pushed
invoked three times against the United           speed-up to unheard-of levels and
Mine Workers of America (UMWA)-                   harassed unionists who objected, griev-
and each time it has been defied. Both           ances backlogged for months at the
Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry                   Labor Board and were almost always
Truman also seized the mines during the          decided in management's favor.
1940's in furious attempts to stop
                                                    Discontent in the unions began to
miners' strikes. But running the red-
                                                 erupt as early as 1942. That year there
white-and-blue up over the nation's coal
                                                 were more strikes than there had been in
pits did not impress the miners. The
                                                 all but two years since 1919. But these
strikers stuck to their guns and both
                                                 were wildcat strikes, generally sup-
presidents were forced to back d0wn,
                                                 pressed in a short time by the official
authorizing contracts which conceded
                                                 union leadership. In 1943 a wildcat
vital issues the miners had struck for.
                                                 strike demanding higher wages to keep
   With their trad itional battle cry "Y ou      up with soaring inflation swept the
can't dig coal with bayonets," miners            anthracite (hard coal) fields. It ended
have squared off with presidents who             only after three weeks of pleading by
were in a far stronger position than             Lewis. his expulsion of the strike leaders
born-again peanut boss Carter-and                from the U M WA and six days after a
won. FDR attacked the miners as a                back-to-work order from Roosevelt.                                                                          US News & World Report
popular president in the middle of a             Le....is knew that pressure was building     John L. Lewis
popular war. Truman went after them as           up in the coalfields with the bituminous
an anti-labor Cold War witchhunt was             (soft coal) negotiations just around the
gearing up to hammerlock the unions                                                           were out again in force at the beginning    objected, saying the bill wasn't strong
                                                 corner, and he finally balked at trying to
and purge them of all militancy and                                                           of June.                                    enough!
                                                 ram the government's wage freeze down
"radicalism." Carter has neither war-                                                            The miners walked out four times in          Roosevelt's strikebreaking efforts
                                                 the militant miners' throats. The most
time patriotism nor very good relations                                                       1943, defying mounting government           were backed by the entire upper crust of
                                                 explosive labor struggle of the war, and
with the AFL-CIO hierarchy upon                                                               threats and increasingly even their own     the trade-union bureaucracy. CIa head
                                                 the biggest strike the country had ever
which to base his anti-miner campaign.                                                        union leaders. The miners became            and United Steelworkers president Phil
                                                 seen, was about to begin.
If UMWA strikers could whip his more                                                          restless with Lewis' cat-and-mouse          Murray, a former UMWA vice-
                                                    On March 10 the U M WA conven-            strategy of calling frequent truces and     president, treacherously condemned the
powerful predecessors, they can take on
                                                 tion demanded a $2-a-day wage increase       resuming production. Between 200,000        miners who had lifted him to power, as
Carter as well.                                  plus portal-to-portal pay (until then
    The history of the miners' confronta-                                                     and 300,000 stayed out for days after       did ex-UMWA leaders John Brophy
                                                 travel time from the mine entrance to        Lewis called a truce in June. The union's   and Van Bittner, both CIa representa-
tions with the federal government
                                                 the coal face, often miles away. had been    July 22 order to return to work was         tives on the War Labor Board. UA W
demonstrates once again that the
                                                 unpaid). The contract, which was             ignored by 100,000 miners. About the        president R. J. Thomas condemned the
government is not neutral in the class
                                                 extended one month, had an April I           same number quit work prior to a new        walkout as a "political strike against the
struggle. The government intervenes
                                                 expiration but both sides girded for war.    October 31 deadline, despite an appeal      President."
 when the coal operators and their
                                                 On April 8 Roosevelt issued an execu-        by Lewis and the officials. Throughout
 industrial allies are being pressed to the                                                                                                   Having crawled into Roosevelt's lap
                                                 tive order barring further wage increases    the 1943 crisis, Lewis' hand was forced
 wall. Its first priority is always to get the                                                                                            as a result of their virulent pro-war line
                                                 and the War Labor Board (with the            by the miners' mounting anger and
 miners back to work. But this history                                                                                                    ordered by Moscow, the thoroughly
                                                 treacherous affirmative vote of the CIa      militancy which threatened to get out of
 also shows that the Democratic Party's                                                                                                   degenerated Stalinist Communist Party
                                                 and AFL representatives~-theU M WA           control.
 partisan defense of the bosses' interests                                                                                                (CP) took up a position on the extreme
                                                  had already walked off) demanded
 can be defeated. If the miners refuse to                                                        Throughout the six-month fight            right wing of the labor movement. The
                                                 "uninterrupted production of coal."
 bow to the government threats and                                                            against Roosevelt, the miners faced a       CP sent organizers and speakers,
 particularly if they are backed up by              Though the new expiration date was         merciless hate campaign in the big         including the well-known William Z.
 concrete actions of labor solidarity, they      set for May I, miners started to leave on     business press. One editorial after         Foster, into the coalfields demanding
 can emerge victorious as they have               April 24. Thousands followed every          another screamed for the blood of Lewis     that "treasonable strikes" end and
 before and set an example of successful          day. On April 29 Roosevelt raged and        and the miners. The most famous              urging the miners to ignore the union's
 labor struggle that would inspire union-         denounced the "strikes against the          instance was the U.S. Army Stars and         contract deadlines. CP chairman Earl
 ists throughout the country.                     United States government itself" and        Stripes which ran a front-page headline,     Browder wrote in the July 1943 Com-
                                                  threatened that if work were not            "J ohn L. Lewis, Damn Your Coal-             munist "there is not the slightest doubt
                                                  resumed, "I shall use all the power          Black Soul." Roosevelt himself stood at     that Lewis is working and has worked
The World War II Strikes
                                                  vested in me as President and               the head of the chauvinist frenzy,           during the past two years at least as an
   When Roosevelt launched the U.S.               Commander-in-Chief of the Army and           blustering that the strike involved "a      integral part of the pro-Nazi fifth
into the inter-imperialist conflict of            Navy to protect the national interest and   gamble with the lives of American            column." Whatever authority the CP
World War II, he demanded the                     to prevent further interference with the    soldiers and sailors .... " The President    had in the mines was justly shattered by
complete submission of American labor             successful prosecution of the war."         threatened to send troops to the coal-       its vicious anti-strike propaganda and
to the dictates of the capitalist war                Ten thousand Ohio miners answered        fields and to draft the strikers into the    shameless recruiting of scabs.
machine. Fawning trade-union leaders              FDR the next day by walking off the job     army.
rushed to assure the White House of               and on the morning of May I, "no                                                           But while the longtime red-baiter
their 100 percent prostration. They               contract, no work" prevailed- 530,000          Democrats and Republicans joined         Lewis was using the CP's strikebreaking
promised a "no-strike" pledge for the             coal miners were on strike. That same       hands to rush through Congress the          treachery to whip up anti-communism
duration and agreed to submit all                 day Roosevelt seized the mines.             strikebreaking Smith-Connally Act,          among the miners, the real
disputes to the War Labor Board, a tri-              But the miners would not dig coal on     which made striking or even advocating      communists -followers of Leon Trot-
partite body of union officials, manage-           Roosevelt's orders. They returned to       a strike against government-managed         sky, who had been murdered on Stalin's
ment and so-called "neutral" represent-           work only when, a few days later, Lewis     industry a felony punishable by one year    orders stood by the embattled miners
atives of "the public." Though                    agreed to a two-week truce. And they        in jail and a $5,000 fine. Roosevelt        through thick and thin. The Militant,

 4                                                                                                                                                  WORKERS VANGUARD
Lewis defies Roosevelt (left), who called miners' strike a violation of pro-war rio-strike pledge. CIO tops denounced miners as "fascists," while the CP's
Daily Worker called on miners to go back to work.
newspaper of the then-Trotskyist So-                                    actually the fight of every working man                 electrified other workers. Roosevelt had      than beipg on the battlefields of Europe
cialist Workers Party (SWP), was                                        and woman in America."                                  to seize the railroads in 1943 to avert a     or the Pacific.
virtually the only voice in the labor                                      Finally, by early November, the                      nationwide shutdown. Two hundred                   Lewis demanded the establishment of
movement that consistently cham-                                        government was worn down and capitu-                    thousand steel workers wildcatted for         an employer-financed health and retire-
pioned the miners' cause. While the                                     lated to the miners, who once again left                several days in December of 1943              ment plan. To win such a comprehen-
bosses, pro-war labor fakers and Stalin-                                the pits half-a-million strong. Roose-                  against the continuing wage freeze. The       sive fund, fully financed by the employ-
ists vilified the miners, the Trotskyists                               velt, who at the beginning of the strike                auto workers wildcatted again and             er, would be a milestone for the labor
defended them, attacked the govern-                                     said, "The U.S. cannot make an agree-                   again throughout 1944 and nearly              movement, but it would take the miners
ment strikebreaking ploys and called for                                ment with its employees," dramatically                  overturned the no-strike pledge at their      over three years of battles against the
labor solidarity with the UMW A.                                        reversed course and ordered his Secre-                  convention that year.                         operators, court fines, mine seizures and
   The Trotskyist message found a                                       tary of the Interior to sign a contract                   Eventually the trade-union tops             Tafr-Hartley injunctions to win this
significant echo in the ranks, if not the                               with the insurgent miners. The miners                                                                 vital gain.
                                                                                                                                succeeded in clamping the lid down.
craven leadership, of organized labor.                                  breached the wage freeze, winning a                                                                       The operators refused to consider the
                                                                                                                                Wage demands were routed back
Thousands of messages of support,                                       $1.50-a-day increase.                                                                                 union's welfare fund demand and on I
                                                                                                                                through the Labor Board where they
AFL and CIa local union resolutions                                        The miners' strike had a powerful                                                                  April 1946 every bituminous mine in the
                                                                                                                                were quashed. Although the UM~A               country was shut down. Truman railed
supported the miners fight. Right after                                 impact on the rest of the working class.                was the only national union to strike in
Congress passed the Smith-Connally                                      Gone were the days when capitalist                                                                    against the strike, calling the welfare
                                                                                                                                the war years, their victory had become
bill, the Michigan CIa, representing                                    governments could simply taunt "you                                                                   demand illegal and the strike a "national
                                                                                                                                a part of the miners' living memory. No
700,000 unionists, voted to repudiate                                   can't strike against the government." In                                                              disaster," and in May ordered the mines
                                                                                                                                U.S. president would ever again be
the no-strike pledge. On May 2 a                                        the entire period since the formation of                                                              seized. But within a few days the
                                                                                                                                easily able to dictate terms to them or
thousand delegates at a Michigan UAW                                    the CIa, this strike was the most                                                                     government was once again forced to
                                                                                                                                order them, against their will, into the
conference voted to override their                                      militant confrontation between a sec-                                                                 capitulate to the miners' strength. On
 national officers and support both the                                 tion of the union movement and the                                                                    May 29 the government signed with the
 miners' demands and their strike. Four                                  Democratic Party in power. It was not                                                                union providing for a health and
 days later an east coast UAW confer-                                   merely a battle between the miners and                  Defying Truman                                pension fund financed by a five-cent-
 ence resolved that, "The miners fight,                                 the coal operators: it directly pitted the              and Taft-Hartley                              per-ton levy on coal.
 involving as it does the struggle against                               UMWA against the federal govern-                                                                          In November Lewis demanded that
                                                                                                                                    The end of World War II released the
 the lowering of their living standards, is                             ment. The stunning strike victory                                                                     the contract be reopened to provide
                                                                                                                                pent-u p discontent of millions of Ameri-
                                                                                                                                                                               higher royalties to the fund and a
                                                                                                                                can workers. The year 1946 saw the             sizable wage increase. The govern-
                                                                                                                                greatest strike wave ever to sweep the
                                                                                                                                                                               ment, still technically owner, rushed to
                                                                                                                                U.S. Nearly 5 million workers hit the
                                                                                                                                                                               court and obtained an injunction
                                                                                                                                bricks, demanding the higher pay and
                                                                                                                                                                               ordering the miners to stay at work. But
                                                                                                                                better conditions that had been denied
                                                                                                                                                                               on November 20 the coal miners struck
                                                                                                                                them during the war.                           in defiance of the courts. Truman then
                                                                                                                                    But the post-war strike wave encoun-       picked a new club against the union.
                                                                                                                                tered a massive capitalist backlash.           Lewis was hauled into court in early
                                                                                                                                Determined to strengthen the "free             December and the UMWA was fined
                                                                                                                                world" in the face of an alleged Soviet        $3.5 million with a $10,000 fine against
                                                                                                                                "Red Menace," the politicians de-              the union president personally. Lewis
                                                                                                                                manded a crackdown on the unions, a            capitulated and called the strike off for
                                                                                                                                purge of militants and "reds" and new          the time being, but the fight was not
                                                                                                                                government strikebreaking weapons.              over.
                                                                                                                                One product was the 1947 Taft-Hartley               Meanwhile the government was
                                                                                                                                Act which provided the government               forging new anti-strike weapons. The
        ~    -   ."
                         ~,.     ,--
            '?:?~:' ".':~~~';."~f',1= \,Iaste'; ~s;eo
             ~_"'" _~!b'I1il \0 I-\ea'~ Rul" Rads
                                                                                                  i. \
                                                                                                                                with power to seek injunctions and fines
                                                                                                                                against striking unions and to order 80-
                                                                                                                                day back-to-work "cooling off" periods
                                                                                                                                                                                Taft-Hartley Act was being cooked up
                                                                                                                                                                                in Congress with a host of draconian
                                                                                                                                                                                provisions. The bill outlawed "second-

             tf,~~,~·:~:ff.~;:, .
                                                                                                                                 to halt walkouts.
                                                              ~~\~'!I                             ~.:~                                                                          ary boycotts." the hot-cargoing solidar-
                 ~~> .~.                __"                   """"M'"                                            Editorial in
                                                                                                                 The Worker,
                                                                                                                                    When 72,000 anthracite miners struck
                                                                                                                                 in April 1945, Truman seized the mines.
                                                                                                                                                                                itv tactic that had been crucial in cia
                                                                                                                                                                                o;ganizing drives; banned Communists
                      -:-.;::.                                                                                   May 2,1943,     But, having seen this ploy before in the       from holding union office; prohibited
                                                                                                                 began: "The     hands of a far more adroit FOR, the            strikes by federal employees and gave
                                                                                                                 President's     hard coal miners stuck it out and soon         the Labor Department sweeping access
                                                                                                                 action in       won the benefits that their union              to the internal affairs of unions. Its most
                                                                        ,..: . <.-:;:   te~eot   ooCOOI.-?::;:   having the      brothers in soft coal had achieved             notorious provision empowered the
                                                                                                                                 during the war.                                 President to seek federal court injunc-
                                                                                                                                                                                tions to impose "cooling off" periods on
                                                                                                                                    As the 1946 bituminous negotiations
                                                                                                                                 approached. the UMWA turned its                    Truman knew he could safely veto the
                                                                                                                                 attention to the long-standing problem          bill as a gesture to labor and have the
                                                                                                                                  of health and safety. Mining was then,
                                                                                                                                                                                 Congress pass it anyway. Though the
                                                                                                                                  as it is today, the nation's most halard-
                                                                                                                                                                                 trade-union leaders denounced the bill
                                                                                                                                  ous and killing job. The union pro-
                                       ~.~.?-:::.,:'_.~ ~ "                                                      no dispute                                                      and hailed Truman's veto, when the bill
                                       ~:-.-                                                                                      dud:d figures proving that, throughout         was re-passed by a lopsided Congres-
                                                                                                                 about it."
                                                                                                                                  the war years, working in a mine was
                                                                                                                                  more likely to result in death or injury                          continued on page 8

 10 MARCH 1978
 lHESLP                                                            e
    LENINISM                                   o                                       e
During lhe pasl 111'0 years lhe long-
ossified. seclarian social-demoeralic
Socialist Lahor ParlY (SLP) has pUI on
a lrendl' neH' look in an allempl 10
compelI' with more aClive curren 15 on
lhe lefi. As pari or lhis face-litling il is
nOlI' allempling 10 preseni De l-eonism
as a serious revolulionary Afarxist
aliematil'e to Leninism and Trolskyism.
In lhe firsl pari or lhis senes (" Was De
Leon a De Leonisl?" WV No. 192, 10
Fehruan) H'e deali with lhe laller-day
S L P's anii- Leninisl exploilalion or the
great American Afarxisl Daniel De
I.eon. H'ho died in 1914. The second pari
("The SLP and the Russian Question"
WV No. 194. 24 Fehruary) considered
the SLP's sel'eral positions on the
 Russian Re\'OllIIion and class nature o(
lhe SO\'iet state. This concluding arliele
f(icuses on the question o( lhe diClalOr-
shil) of the proletariat.

         arxists hold that the dictator-

M        ship of the proletariat is the
         form of social organization of
the transition period from capitalism to
social ism (i. e.. a class less. sta te less
society). One ~f its central defining
features is a coercive governing appara-
tus of the workers state. capable of
suppressing capitalist-restorationist for-                                                                                                                                     Libralrie Hachette
ccs. Capitalist restoration is ohjectil'ely    Bolshevik officials on tour to consolidate support for Soviet power.
possible due to the continued existence
of economic scarcity and with it of class      advanced capitalist countries. In the            some kind of minority socialist regime                 the hiXher emnomic phase of Socialist
stratification.                                latter, particularly the U.S., there will        led it to counterpose this to workers                  society. And that, therefore, in this
                                                                                                                                                       countrv all this talk about transitional
   The working class as it emerges from        supposedly be an immediate transition            democracy, thus predisposing it to more
                                                                                                                                                       measures. political dictatorships. sur-
bourgeois society does not have the            from the "government of people to the            or less equate Leninism and Stalinism.                 vival of capitalist practices, etc .. etc.
cultural level to undertake such posi-         administration of things" through So-            Until 1939 Petersen's SLP supported                    becomes unintelligible gibberish.. ..
tions as. for example. director of an          cialist Ind ustrial Unionism. It was             first Lenin and then Stalin as progres-                [emphasis in original]
                                               primarily opposition to the dictatorship         sive in hacklmrd Russia. Conversely,                            SOI'iet Russia: Promise or
airport. chief statistician in a census                                                                                                                         Menace:' (1939)
bureau or head of a publishing house.          of the proletariat for the United States         the new Karp regime now argues that
Such administrative/technical positions        which caused the SLP to reject the               Lenin and Trotsky were progenitors of              Petersen's notion that the twentieth-
can initially be filled only by a dislinct,    famous 2~ conditions for membership in           Stalinist      "bureaucratic         state         century U.S. has attained the economic
essentially petty-bourgeois stratum,           the Communist International in 1920.             despotism."                                        level of full communism is chauvinist
imbued with many of the same reaction-            The SLP's rejection of the                       However, the De Leonists' rejection             utopianism in the service of a social-
ary prejudices which this class exhibits       dictatorship of the proletariat was based        of the dictatorship of the proletariat             democratic (i.e., legalist, electoralist)
under capitalism. This petty-bourgeois         in part on the non-Marxist conception            goes far beyond the false conception               program.
administrative stratum provides an                                                              that it means minority proletarian rule               As we have previously discussed, the
                                               that it necessarily referred to the rule of
objective social base for capitalist-                                                           over a peasant majority. Petersen's SLP            new Karp leadership of the Socialist
                                               a minority of the population. Therefore,
restorationist forces.                                                                          rejected Marx's conception that eco-               Labor Party is seeking to compete with
                                               such a program was meaningful only in
    Furthermore, sharp and even poten-                                                          nomic scarcity. the opposition of intel-           other American left organizations, most
                                               backward countries where petty pro-
tially violent conflicts over scarce                                                            lectual to manual labor and differential           of which claim the Leninist tradition.
                                               prietors (overwhelmingly peasants)
economic resources can cause sections                                                           wages will continue to exist for a lengthy         Therefore. in a recent pamphlet directed
                                               constituted the majority. like Russia in
 of the proletariat to rebel against the        1917 or Germany in the 1870's. This             period after the overthrow of capital-             against the Maoists, Afler the Revolu-
authority of the workers government            SI.P position is clearly stated in an            ism. In attacking Leninism, Petersen               tion: Who Rules." (January 1978), the
and to support reactionary movements           introduction, written in 1922. to Marx's         put forth the incredible position that the         SLP now pays formal obeisance to the
 to one degree or another. The transition      IX75 Critique of the GOlha Program:              U.S. was economically already at the               orthodox Marxist position on the
 to socialism. like the overthrow of               "Conditions may arise in Europe              level which Marx termed "the higher                dictatorship of the proletariat:
 capitalism. is in no sense an automatic           (cspccially in the industrially backward     phase of Communist society":                           "For Marx. as has been shown. the
 or sponta neous process. To successfully          countrics) \\hich might makc this                "\Vhcn thcy [l.cninists] ljuote Marx on            dictatorship of the proletariat was a
                                                   'dictatorship' incvitable. or at least the       thc difficultics to hc encountered in the          rnolutionary gm'Crnll1cnt that allowed
 effect the transition from capitalism to          propn thing. Here in the United States           carly phasc of Socialist society. they fail        thc dcmocratically organi/ed proletari-
 socialism requires the leadership of a            it is out of place. and \\ould. in fact.         to understand that the trcmendous                  at to asscrt its collective will. It would
 Marxist vanguard party governing on               bccome a hindrance. and encumbrance              dcgrcc of devclopmcnt that has taken               thcrdore bc ljuite correct to define the
 the basis of workers democracy.                   to thc orderly [!] progress of thc               placc sincc Man otJ\jously has causcd a            Sit [Socialist Industrial Union] as a
                                                   re\olution. and could bc readih turned           changc in the social conditions.l hcy              form olthc dictatorship of the proleta.ri-
    For 60 years a theoretical hallmark of         into an instrument of rcaction~"                 have compktely failed to grasp the                 at   in the ad\anccd capitalist
 the Socialist Labor Party (SLP) has                                                                simpk fact that economically. from the             countries.
 been the position that the dictatorship         The SLP's confused notion that the                 \ ic\\ point of production capacity. \\C III       "Thc coming forward o! thc organi/cd
 of the proletariat does not apply to          dictatorship of the proletariat means                thc t'llitcd Statcs arc nOli'. de facto. ill       \\orkns' gmcrnmcllt in the Ilamc oj

6                                                                                                                                                           WORKERS VANGUARD
                                                                                                                                                      elections the Nazis go: 13.7 million
                                                                                                                                                      votes, 37 percent of tk total, emerging
                                                                                                                                                      by far as the largest p": ty. What did the
                                                                                                                                                      fascist victory signJy to the SLP?
                                                                                                                                                      Petersen & Co. came close to labelling it
                                                                                                                                                      a rna';:; mOVTiT.ent of deluded workers:
                                                                                                                                                              'I,I, ··iJ (he 'dirty work' done, the !\iazi
                                                                                                                                                             ;/ du.' arc discarding their anticapital-
                                                                                                                                                             'st phnheo!ogy with which they won a
                                                                                                                                                             majority of the people to their ban-
                                                                                                                                                             ners .... " [our emphasis]
                                                                                                                                                                           Weeklr People, 20 August 1933
                                                                                                                                                        I ere we are presented with a ciass-
                                                                                                                                                      ur;dt:lerentiated German people who
                                                                                                                                                      suppo,edly supported the !\azis on
                                                                                                                                                      account of their anti-capitalist
                                                                                                                                                           In reality, Nazism was the mobiliza-
                                                                                                                                                      tion of an economically desperate petty
                                                                                                                                                      bourgeoisie against the organized prole-
                                                                                                                                                      tariat. The electoral base of Hitler's
                                                                                                                                                      party consisted of office workers,
                                                                                                                                                      professionals, government bureacurats,
                                                                                                                                                      petty proprietors, etc. In t he early 1930's
                                                                                                                                                      the university students, the most volatile
                                                                                                                                                      section of the urban petty bourgeoisie,
                                                                                                                                                      were overwhelmingly pro-Nazi.
                                                                                                                                                          The need for the dictatorship of the
                                                                                                                                                      proletariat is demonstrated as much by
                                                                                                                                                      the defeat of the working class in
                                                                                                                                                      economically advanced Germany in
                                                                                                                                                       1933 as by the victory of the proletarian
Title page of first edition of Soviet constitution, 1918                                                                                              revolution in backward Russia. For the
(above). Poster urges "All for the War!" (right).                                                                                                     working class to defeat Hitler in 1933
                                                                                                                                                      would have meant a civil war not only
                                                                                                                                                      against the traditional state apparatu's
                                                                                                                                                      but also against the Nazis' petty-
                                                                                                                                                      bourgeois and lumpenproletarian base.
     societ\ 'abolishes the state as state' and   Dunne, SLP spokesman Adolph Singer                   Thus in the U.S. today the                     In the course of such a struggle many of
     the h:1Sis of class distinctions What        sta ted:                                             ad ministrative and technical petty
     'dics out' arc those secondan functions                                                                                                          fascism's marginal supporters could be
                                                        "We have two classes in the United             bourgeoisie is almost as numerous as the       won to proletarian socialism. During
     (analogous in some sense to state                  Slates today, the working class and the
     po\\er) which arises from the continued                                                           industrial proletariat.                        the civil war and subsequent revolution-
                                                        owning class. As soon as the revolution            While the socialist revolution will
      remnants of classes or the legan of               is accomplished the owning is done                                                            ary terror the hard core of Nazi
     class-di\ided society."           ~ -                                                             materially benefit the majority of the
                                                        \Iith, so we hale no class contrasts....                                                      criminals would certainly be killed or
This pamphlet is, in one sense, supreme-                "In America the management of                  petty bourgeosie as indil'iduals, it will      imprisoned. But a victorious German
ly dishonest for there is no mention that               production is mainly in machinery and          eliminate much of their socially and
                                                        in the heads of wage workers. So after                                                        proletariat in 1933-34 would have found
the SLP has changed its decades-old line                                                               economically privileged status relative        hundreds of thousands, if not millions,
                                                        our re\olution in the United States, we
on this question. On the contrary, the                  can completely discard the capitalists."       to the proletariat. Thus, the petty            of government functionaries, teachers,
pamphlet gives the impression that the                            Weeki! People, 6 Februarv            bourgeoisie tends to l'Oeillate between        managers, students. etc .. who remained
SLP has always accepted the dictator-                             1926 .                   .           the two basic classes in modern                ideologically hostile to proletarian
ship of the proletariat, but only opposes         This is not an exaggerated statement of              society -the bourgeoisie and the prole-        socialism but were prepared to bow
the Stalinist concept of bureaucratic             the SLP's view of American society.                  tariat. In periods of revolutionary            before its military authority.
("one party") rule.                               Arnold Petersen's 1931 pamphlet, Pro-                upsurge intermediate social layers can             What should a workers government
   More significantly, there is no reason         letarian Democracy 1'.1'. Dictatorships              rally t() the socialist cause.                 do with a large population of individu-
to believe that theJanuary 19n pamph-             and Despotism, says pretty much the                      Thus in Portugal in 1974-75 the mass       als sympathetic to fascist ideology? Put
let represents an internal change in the          same thing:                                          of the urban petty bourgeoisie, rebelling      them all in labor camps? No, such a
SlY's position on this question. Proba-                 "The o\'enl'hellllillli' the immellSe ma-      against the stifling decades-old, right-       policy would be economically wasteful
bly the Karp leadership is simply                       jorin of the lie'ople in this countr! is of    wing Salazar/Caetano dictatorship,             and possibly politically counterproduc-
paraphrasing orthodox Marxist and                       the \\alie \\'orkinx class. The so-called      supported far-reaching nationalizations
                                                        [TIldd Ie class is so dependent on 'big                                                       tive. People who are not actively
I.eninist formulas without really accept-                                                              of the banks and industrial monopolies.        conspiring against the workers govern-
                                                        husiness' that its group status is largely a
ing or even understanding them. The                     fiction. In a revolutionary (or any other      Likewise, in France in May 1968 much           ment and are not guilty of crimes should
pamphlet contains no criticisms of the                  thoroughgoing crisis) it would, almost         of the middle class, especially the            be given socially productive work. But
theoretical premises underlying Peter-                  to a man. be hurled into the ranks of the      students, would have welcomed a                should individuals knowingly hostile to
                                                        proletariat. " [emphasis in original]          socialist revolution against De Gaulle's
sen's rejection of the dictatorship of the                                                                                                            proletarian socialism be given the full
proletariat for advanced capitalist                  And even though the new trendy SLP                semi-bonapartist regime. At the other          rights of workers democracy? For
countries. There is no discussion of the          leadership pays lip service to the                   extreme, an economically desperate             example, should an accountant in a
continued existence of economic scarci-           dictatorship of the proletariat, it, too,            petty bourgeoisie can be mobilized             factory, who supported the Nazis during
ty, of a distinct petty-bourgeois admin-          still perpetuates the false notion that the          behind fascism, particularly if the            the civil war, be allowed to run for soviet
istrative stratum and of bourgeois                expropriation of capitalist property is              workers movement pursues false, inde-          delegate? Absolutely not. Such a liberal
ideological attitudes. On the contrary,           tantamount to the elimination of class               cisive policies in the face of a deep social   policy would open the way for the re-
Alier the Revolution: Who Rules.?                 division in society:                                 cnsls.                                         formation of a fascist movement. A
contains passages along the old Peter-                  "A class's existence is determined by its          The petty bourgeoisie does not in          revolutionary workers government will
                                                        relationship to means of production,           general politically support the workers
senite lines that the collectivization of               but with the socialization of those                                                           not permit capitalist restorationist
the productive forces leads immediately                                                                movement.         In every advanced            forces to gain power. At the political
                                                        means. CI'ery member of society joins
to the abolition of class differentiation.              the ranks olaNive producers. Eliminat-          bourgeois-democratic country except           level, this is what the dictatorship of the
                                                        ing private ownership of the productive        the U.S. the mass of the industrial            proletariat means in practice.
The Petty Bourgeoisie and                               forces at once creates the basis for the        proletariat supports parties which call
                                                        elimination of class distinctions." [em-                                                          A mass fascist movement represents
Counterrevolution                                       phasis in original]
                                                                                                       themselves "socialist" or "communist"          in an extreme form the tendency of the
                                                                                                       (i.e., social-democratic or Stalinist)         petty-bourgeois strata to defend their
  The capitalists do not rule society                The notion that everyone who is                    while the majority of the petty bourgeoi-     privileged status by opposing the politi-
with their own bare hands. Rather the             employed by capital is a member of the                sie supports avowedly capitalist and          cal rule of the proletariat. The objective
capitalist class administers the state and        working class is totally un-Marxist. No              anti-labor parties (Christian Democrats        economic differentiation between the
the economy through an intermediate               Marxist. including De Leon, has ever
(petty-bourgeois) stratum. Ultimately                                                                   in West Germany, Gaullists in France,         administrative stratum and the industri-
                                                  regarded foremen, accountants, engi-                 Tories in Britain, Liberal Democrats in        al proletariat does not disappear imme-
the bourgeoisie retains state power               neers, trade journal editors, professors,            Japan). Although the SLP insists ad            diately after the socialist revolution.
through the military officer corps. And           etc. as part of the proletariat. And this             nauseam that its program is uniquely          Thus the continued existence of a
in economically advanced, bourgeois-              administrative/technical stratum is                   suited to the most advanced capitalist        distinct petty-bourgeois stratum pro-
democratic countries, the capitalist class        numerically very large, even in relation-             countries, its denial of possible opposi-     vides an important obj~ctive social basis
normally has the political support of a           ship to the industrial proletariat. For               tion by the petty-bourgeois stratum to        for capitalist-restorationist forces.
significant section of petty bourgeoisie          example, here are the most recent                     proletarian socialism reflects the excep-
who provide the electoral base of the             statistics (in millions) on the composi-
bourgeois parties as well as the lawyers,
                                                                                                        tional political backwardness of the          On the Economics of the
                                                  tion of the employed U ,S, labor force:               American working class, its self-             Transitional Epoch
economists, academics, etc., who staff                  Craft and kindred workers                 II    identification as "middle class."
the    corporate and        governmental                 Operatives (factory)                     10                                                    Marx's classic statement of the nature
apparatus.                                               Operatives (transport)                    3                                                  and goals of the dictatorship of the_
                                                         Laborers (non-farm)                       4   Fascism
   Historically the SLP has denied that                  T~al                                     D                                                   proletariat is contained in his Critique
there is a significant petty bourgeoisie in                                                              Political polarity between the petty         of the Gotha Program:
the advanced capitalist countries or else              Professional & technical                  13    bourgeoisie and proletariat in advanced            "What we are dealing with here is a
                                                       Managers & administrators                  9    capitalist countries can at times reach             communist societv, not as it has
defined this stratum out of existence.
                                                       Total                                     22    the point of civil war. Such a conjunc-             dneloped on its o~'n baSIS, but, on the
 Ihis notion is central to its rejection of                      U.S. Department of Com-                                                                   contrary, as it is just emerxinx out of
the dictatorship of the proletariat. In a                        merce. Statistical Ahstract or        ture occurred in Germany in the early
                                                                 the United States [1976]     .        1930's. In the July 1932 parliamentary                                  continued on page 9
debate with the Communist William F.

10 MARCH 1978

                                                                                                                                                Communist Party, the ex-Trotskyist
Miners Beat                                    tireless miners and dismayed by the
                                               strikers' success in thumbing their noses
                                               at Truman, finally collapsed and on 5
                                                                                               succesors. Tom Kennedy and then Tony
                                                                                               Boyle. blithely continued the disastrous
                                                                                               course of the 1950's.
                                                                                                                                                Socialist Workers Partv, the social-
                                                                                                                                                democratic International" Socialists and
Goverllment...                                 March 1950 settled with the union. The
                                               protracted and bitter struggle over the
                                                                                                  In the early to mid-1960's coal
                                                                                               production picked up and wildcat
                                                                                                                                                the Maoist Revolutionary Union-
                                                                                                                                                prattled about how the MFD would
(COI1f inuedf;'ol1l   page 5)                  health and pension fund was settled with        strikes began to break out in protest            restore democracy to the U M W A, we
sional vote the union officialdom ~d' on       Josephine Roche being appointed the             against the Boyle regime's pro-company           warned that government intervention in
its hands. Not so the miner~.                  "neutral" trustee. In reality, this guar-       policies. The upsurge in activity reflect-       the union was counterposed to genuine
   When the bill became law on 23 j,~ le       anteed union control of the funds. as           ed an influx of new, younger miners and          workers democracy and predicted that
1947 over 200,000 miners struck agai':>t       Roche was a long-time personal friend           renewed protests against the incredibly          in any decisive confrontation Miller &
it in Pennsylvania, Alabama, Oh 1,             of Lewis: for the next 20 years she never       unsafe conditions maintained by the              Co. would stand with their new-found
Virginia and West Virginia. A week             voted against the union's positions on          mi ne bosses. highlighted by such infa-          friends in the capitalist state against the
later both the government seilure of the       the trustee board.                              mous massacres as the explosions at              miners. The whole succeeding history of
mines and the federal eontract with the                                                        Mannington and Farmington, West                  five years of Miller strikebreaking and
                                                  From 1943 to 1950 the miners
union ended with the expiration of the                                                         Virginia.                                        sellout contracts has dramatically
                                               repeatedly fought the government toe-
Smith-Connally Act. More miners left                                                                                                            proved that the reformists were wrong
                                               t,)-toe. "The law," they had shown                 Jock Yablonski, a long-time Lewis/
the pits in droves. By the end of the first                                                                                                     and the Trotskyist SL was right.
                                               through their militant struggles, was the       Boyle lieutenant. sniffed the opportuni-
week in July every soft eoal mine in the                                                       ty to unseat the unpopular Boyle and,               In 1974 Miller traded away the
                                               result of the balance of class forces.                                                           miners' right to strike for a worthless
country was again shut down.                   Obeying the bosses' laws where there            prodded by liberal Democratic spokes-
                                                                                                                                                grievance procedure. Outside arbitra-
                                               was sufficient organiled strength to defy       men like Joe Rauh and Ralph Nader,
   Faced with the miners' solid strike                                                                                                          tors were supposed to satisfy the miners'
                                               them would simply embolden the profit-          challenged the U M W A president in
front and determination to fight the                                                                                                            grievances and federal inspectors insure
                                               gouging coal operators. The only way to         1969. Shortly after the notoriously
government's new anti-strike measures,                                                                                                          safety in the mines. Instead the compa-
                                               win the workers' just demands was by            rigged election Yablonski, his wife and
the coal operators quickly collapsed and                                                                                                        nies stepped up their harassment of the
                                               relying not on the phony "neutrality" of        daughter were found shot to death in
signed a contract with sweeping gains                                                                                                           miners, the "neutral" arbitrators ruled
                                               the capitalist government but on the            their western Pennsylvania home, a
for the miners. Wages went up $3 a day,                                                                                                         regularly against the miners (including
                                               union's strength. And that is just what         heinous crime that was eventually
the work day was reduced from 9 to 8                                                                                                            banning "roving pickets" last year),
                                               the miners did.       By defying mine           traced to high union officials. including
hours and the tonnage royalty into the                                                                                                          government safety inspections were still
                                               seilures, Taft-Hartley injunctions and          Boyle.
welfare fund was doubled. In addition,                                                                                                          sporadic and ill-enforced, and the courts
in an attempt to avoid the Taft-Hartley        presidential back-to-work appeals, they           The Yablonski murders and the                  handed down one injunction after
Act. the new contract was to apply only         had won the highest wages of any U.S.          increasing unrest in the miners union            another every time the miners dared to
when the miners were "willing and able         industrial workers and the best health          convinced a section of Democratic                strike. Whenever the ranks exploded, as
to work." Penalties on wildcatters were        and pension system in existence up to           Party liberals that Boyle had to go. The         in three particularly massive wildcats in
also scrapped.                                 that time.                                      Miners for Democracy (MFD) reform                as many years, the M FD team of Miller,
                                                                                               group that coalesced after Yablonski's           Harry Patrick and Mike Trbovich
   But the miners' fight for their benefits                                                    death was braintrusted and heavily
was far from over. The coal bosses             From Lewis to Miller                                                                             acted as the government's policemen in
                                                                                               backed by the liberals, who hoped to             the union, trying to order the miners
constantly sought to sabotage the                   But preserving the gains the miners        "clean up" the miners union and install a
welfare fund by manipulating its admin-                                                                                                         back to work.
                                               had made in the 1940's required more            leadership that could deal with the
istration. The fund had been set up with                                                                                                           M iller "fought" not for strengthening
                                               than militant trade-union tactics and           increasingly restless ranks better than
three trustees~-onefrom the union, one                                                                                                          the union's control of the health and
                                               guts. The laws of the capitalist market         the discredited Boyle.
from the operators and one so-called                                                                                                            retirement funds but for Congress to
                                               and the profit-drive of the coal opera-
"neutral." Just as with "neutral" arbitra-                                                       The MFD's central axis was                     pass the Pension Reform Act, where the
                                               tors required a class-struggle program
tors, the "neutral" always voted with                                                          appealing to the federal government to           federal government would supervise
                                               and strategy. In its absence the gains
management and kept the funds tied up.                                                         boost it into power. Through endless             and "guarantee" benefits. What the
                                               won by the U M W A were to deteriorate
For eight months after the settlement of                                                       lawsuits against the union officers,             miners got instead was a drastic cutback
                                               markedly over the next two decades.
the 1947 contract, the operators held up                                                       through constant appeals to Nixon's              of health benefits last summer.
                                                    After World War 1\ the demand for
the disbursal of $30 million.                  coal dropped rapidly. Domestic produc-
    Finally in March 1948200,000 miners        tion fell from a 1947 high of 688 million
struck to break the impasse. In early          tons to 392 million tons in 1954. Oil,
April a raging Truman demanded a               natural gas and other fuels replaced the
court injunction under Taft-Hartley to         need for coal, particularly in home
end the dispute. Although the courts           heating and on the railroads.
cooperated, the injunction was ignored              But the drop in the number of
by the striking miners. On April 20 a          working miners was far greater than the
federal judge again fined the U 'tt W A        40 percent drop in production. There
$1.5 million and Lewis $20,000, and             were over 500,000 miners during World
issued an order banning the strike for 80       War \I: when Lewis retired in 1960 only
days. But by this time the miners had           a little over 100,000 jobs were left, a
already forced the operators to promise         decline of 80 percent. To keep their
a $1 OO-a-mont h pension. This was far          profits up, bosses had drastically in-
superior to any other union pension at          creased productivity through wide-
that time. The auto workers pension,            spread mechanization and automation.
won later that year, for example, was               To defend the miners' jobs the
$100 a month minus government Social            LJ M W A would have had to wage a fierce
Security benefits.                              struggle for a shorter workweek at no
    Still the dispute over the funds did not    cut in pay, counterposing nationaliza-
end. The operators appealed the                 tion of the coalfields with no compensa-
pension plan in the courts and the              tion to the operators' drive to stabilize
miners struck four times,jn 1949 to force       profits by laying off hundreds of
them to pay up. In addition Lewis told          thousands of miners. But Lewis had no
the miners in June to begin working             fundamental quarrel with the coal
only three days a week, which kept coal         operators' "right" to make a profit, even
stockpiles down and infuriated the coal         if it meant devastating unemployment           Bureaucrats relied on "friends-of-Iabor" for protection from anti-union
operators who saw their "right" to              for the miners. In a widely publicized         legislation at 1947 rally.
 manage the mines being usurped. In             statement. Lewis declared. "From a
 December a series of wildcats began            policy standpoint. it is immaterial to us
spreading in the coalfields and by              whether the union has a million or a half      Labor pepartment to virtually take                  M iller urged the miners to vote for
January 1950 nearly 100,000 miners               million members." The actual figures          over the U M W A, the M FD and its               Democrats and campaigned for Jimmy
 were out, refusing Lewis' appeals to           were, of course. much lower. In any case       presidential candidate, Arnold Miller,           Carter. Now the Democrats howl for a
 return to work.                                 it makes a great deal of difference to half   finally succeeded in ousting Boyle in            crackdown on the miners and Carter is
    Truman was beside himself. At the           a million "miners whether they are             1972. But in the process they succeeded          trying to shove a Labor Department-
end of January he demanded that the              uncmployed or not.                            in giving the government a free reign in         written BC'OA-inspired contract down
strike end. But afraid that a Taft-                                                            the internal affairs of the union.               their throats. And with Miller now
 Hartley injunction would be ignored the            With this pro-capitalist logic. Lewis                                                       discredited. the Labor Department is
                                                                                                  lhe M FD's reliance on the                    once again shuffling through the union's
 president offered to set up a "fact-            could not even defend the interests of
                                                                                               government, for its very existence as            district leaders. trying to pick a new
 finding" panel if the miners would              the working and already-retired miners.
                                                                                               well as its electoral success, ran directly      "responsible" leader who can control
 return to work for a 70-day cooling off         Though the U M WA invested millions in
                                                                                               counter to the vital lessons of the history      the ranks better than Miller has been
 period. Truman was answered when              . real estate. railroads. utilities and even
                                                                                               of the LJ M W A. The mi ners had made            able to.
 270,000 additional miners walked off            non-union coal companies (!). the
                                                                                               their biggest gains in bitter struggle
 the job in early February.                      welfare and retirement funds were
                                                                                               against the gO\ernment. which at every
    An irate Truman then grabbed for             continually cut back. Pension require-                                                         For Working Class
                                                                                               point acted as the protector of the coal
Taft-Hartley. but was stymied when a             ments were tightened. miners unem-                                                             Independence! For a Workers
                                                                                               oper'ltors. The miners had made their
 nenous federal judge refused to find            ployed O\cr a year were denied medical                                                         Party!
                                                                                               union strong oy r<'sis/in/!, federal med-
 Lewis and the union leadership in               co\crage. dental benefits dropped and
                                                                                               dling in their affairs. while the MFD
 contempt though the membership was              disaoility payments for miners. widows                                                            The miners' \ictories of the 1940\
                                                                                               urged the laoor Department's agents to
 still on strike. Indeed Lewis was appeal-       and their children restricted.                                                                 prO\cd positi\ ely. as the \1 FD deoacle
                                                                                               \\alk right in. with Arnold Miller on
 ing for the men to return to work but the          When I e\\IS retired in 1960 the once-                                                      of the 1970's did negati\cly. that the
                                                                                               their shoulders.
 miners weren't going back without a             pl1\\ erful l \1 W;\ had been grou nd                                                          "'orking clas, can fight and \.. in only 0\
 clear-cut \ ictory. The desperate presi-        down to a shadO\\ of its former selt. The         In jlJ72 the Spartacist League (SI)          a policy of independence from the
 dent then turned to Congress and                massi\e. militant strikes of the 1940's       \\<lS \ lrtually alone on the left in refusing   capitalist gO\ernment. Ihe 1I1stitutions
 demanded legislation a'uthoriling him           \\ere a thing of the past. The I\ppalachi-    to join the gO\ernment in supporting             of go\eIr1ment and thc "laws of the
 to seile the mines once again. But the          an coalfields \\ere stricken with poverty.    Arnold        Miller.    While       reformist   land" e\ist to protect the property and
 coal operators. worn down by the                squalor and unemployment. Lewis'              group.s notaol) the Moscow Stalinist             profits of .stockholders and coupon-

 8                                                                                                                                                        WORKERS VANGUARD
                                                                                                    (continuedfrom page 7)
                                                                                                                                                    in a "Co-operative Commonwealth." If
                                                                                                                                                    anything he bends the stick too far
                                                                                                                                                    toward inegalitarianism. projecting
                                                                                                        capitalist society; hence. a society that   some kind of individual piece-rate
                                                                                                        still retains. in every respect. the        system:
                                                                                                        birthmarb of the old soeietv from               "It follows that so far as 'income' is
                                                                                                        whose womb it emerges. Accordingly.             concerned. that will depend. not upon
                                                                                                        the individual producer receives back           the category of the worker, or work
                                                                                                        from societv after the deductions have          done whether 'skilled' or 'unskilled'
                                                                                                        been made' exactlv what he gives to             but upon the rate of effort that the
                                                                                                        it.                                             worker will have contributed toward
                                                                                                        "In a higher phase of communist                 the totalitv of the collective work done.
                                                                                                        society. after the enslaving subordina-         "The income of the skilled worker. \loho
                                                                                                        tion of the individual to the division of       loiters. will be less than the income of
                                                                                                        labor. and therewith also the antithesis        his unskilled fellow-worker who bestirs
                                                                                                        between mental and physical labor, has          himself."

                                                                                                        vanished; after labor has become not                     Fifteen Questiuns AhoUl
                                                                                                        only a means of life but of life's prime                 Socialism ( 1914)
                                                                                                        want: after the productive forces have

                                                                                                        increased with the all-round develop-
                                                                                                                                                       The continuation of differential wage
                                                                                                        ment of the individual. and all the
                                                                                                        springs of co-operative wealth flow         labor is not a "technical" or simply
                                                                                                        more abundantly only then can the           economic 4uestion but is centrally
                                                                                                        narrow horizon of bourgeois right be        related to the need for a communist
                                                                                                        crossed in its entirety and society         vanguard party after the revolution. It
                                                                                                        inscribe on its banners: From each
                                                                                                        according to his ability, to each accord-   proves the fallacy of the SLP's Socialist
                                                                                                        ing to his needs'" [emphasis in original]   Ind ustrial Union government as a
                                                                             Charleston Daily
                                                                                                      Once one understands how Marx                 purely administrative organ. Differen-
                                                                                                    defined full communism, the SLP's               tial wage labor expresses not only
Wildcatting West Virginia coal miners march in Charleston demanding the
right to strike.                                                                                    notion that such a society can be               continuing economic scarcity. but the
                                                                                                    established immediately after the over-         ahsence of a un[!orm socialist con-
                                                                                                    throw of capitalism in the U.S. must be         sciousness. In this important sense, the
clippers who pull the strings in both the             to the assembly lines. the need for overt     viewed as sheer social-democratic utopi-        mass of the working class after the
Democratic and Republican parties.                    government strikebreaking is considera-       anism. It is an obvious absurdity to            overthrow of capitalism has a lower
Though it is useful for the government                bly lessened.                                 believe that the oppositon of intellectual      level of socialist consciousness than the
and politicians to maintain a facade of                   But every outburst of class struggle      (administrative) to manual labor can be         members of a revolutionary party under
"impartiality" in the class struggle, this            that breaks the bureaucratic straitjacket                                                     capitalism. A revolutionary party pays
veneer is wiped away at every point of                imposed by the labor lieutenants of                                                           its functionaries on the basis of need.
decisive conflict, such as the current                capital raises anew the clearly anti-labor                                                    not relative productivity or earning
miners' strike. Carter's policy of "non-              role of the Democrats and Republicans.                                                        capacity.
intervention" in labor disputes rapidly               When Arnold Miller proved incapable                                                              The SLP's concept of a Socialist
evaporates in the face of capitalist                  of cramming the BCOA contract down                                                            Industrial Union government is that of a
pressure for the same strikebreaking                  the miners' throats it was Carter and the                                                     purely administrative organ. kind of a
weapons used by Roosevelt and Tru-                    Democratic Party that stepped to the                                                          technical coordinating body for the
man against the miners.                               fore to defend the interests of coal                                                          various branches of the economy. This
   Previous Democratic administra-                    companies. While the miners can resist                                                        flows from its denial of continuing
tions. such as Kennedy's and Johnson·s.               the     government's        strikebreaking.                                                   economic scarcity. In reality. a revolu-
had less need to resort to direct                     through massive demonstrations of                                                             tionary workers government. regardless
strikebreaking attacks on the union, but               militancy and sohdarity. it is clear that                                                    of its form. must be primarily an arena
this was not because the Democratic                   they and the rest of the working masses                                                       for resolving conflicts of interest within
Party had changed its character. The                   need a political weapon of their own.                                                        the working class and between the
capitalist state has not had to regularly                 Ever since the founding of the cIa                                                        working class and other social strata.
and systematical/.\' intervene to crush               the major obstacle to the further                                                             Such questions as the structure of labor
labor struggles because the labor bu-                 advance of the working-class movement                                                         payment. the level of social services
reaucrats have done their job of keeping               in the U.S. has been the labor bureauc-                                                      (e.g.. education) or the amount of
the ranks in line.                                     racy's slavish alliance with the Demo-                                                       economic transfers to backward coun-
   That is the key difference between the             cratic Party. The task of breaking the                                                        tries will produce sharp differences
present period and the more militant                  trade unions from the capitalist parties                                                      among the constituents of a workers
years of the cIa. The AFL-CIO.                         remains unsolved today as it was 40          Daniel De Leon                                  government. Organized groups (parties)
Teamsters and United Auto Workers                      years ago. Not a single leader of a                                                          will fight for very different policies on
leaderships are hardened pro-capitalist                national trade union has led a fight         eliminated within a short period after          such questions. The more backward
cliques. living in gilded comfort off the              against this dead-end policy. Even John      the socialization of the means of               workers will tend to favor higher
workers' union dues. with power and                    L. Lewis. who unlike most of his fellow      production. It is simply egalitarian            immediate consumption at the expense
prestige assured them by the million-                  bureaucrats refused to support the           fantasizing to maintain that such posi-         of investment, education, aid to back-
aires and their kept politicians as long as            Democrats in the 1940's, simply              tions as manager of a steel mill or head        ward countries, etc. The international
they subdue the rank and file. So long as              switched horses and supported the other      of a construction project can be filled by      vanguard party must stand for the
the Abels and McBrides can impose no-                 capitalist party, the Republicans. This       the rotation of the general population or       egalitarian and internationalist goals of
strike pledges on steel workers and the                only disgusted workers who were              even a significant part of it.                  communism against short-sighted and
Woodcocks and Frasers can quash                        looking for a political alternative to the      Raising the great majority of the            parochial sections of the working
wildcats and keep the workers chained                  strikebreaking Democrats. Labor mili-        American population to the present              population.
                                                       tants had little difficulty in determining   cultural level of the technical intelligent-       Conflicts over scarcity during the
                                                       that the Wendell Wilkies and Thomas          sia would undoubtedly require several           transitional epoch are aggravated by the
  SPARTACIST LEAGUE                                    Deweys of the GOP were no answer to          generations. It would involve not only a        internationalist dimension of the com-
  LOCAL DIRECTORY                                      the bogus "friends of labor," Roosevelt      several-fold increase in the real re-           munist program. The SLP has an
  ANN ARBOR                  (313) 663-9012            and Truman.                                  sources devoted to education, but also          essentially chauvinist conception of
   c/o SYL. Room 4316
   Michigan Union. U of Michigan                          Even if, through their iron determi-      an enormous expansion of free time.             socialism. in which the productive
   Ann Arbor. MI 48109                                 nation and intransigence, the miners         This. in turn, would require a qualitative      forces of the U.S. are to be exclusively
                                                       beat back the government/coal opera-         increase in labor productivity. In addi-        devoted to meeting the economic needs
   OAKLAND                  .... (415) 835-1535
    Box 23372                                          tor offensive. the capitalists and their     tion such a radical raising ofthe cultural      of the American population. The
    Oakland. CA 94623
                                                       parties will only lie in wait for the        level would involve overcoming back-            Socialist Industrial Union is projected
   BOSTON.                        (617) 492-3928                                                    ward attitudes toward learning and
    Box 188                                            opportunity to throttle the workers as                                                       as a purely American institution. We
    MIT Station                                        they have done before.                       toward independent creative work,               reject and oppose such an inegalitarian,
    Cambridge. MA 02139                                                                             attitudes deeply impressed on the
                                                          The miners' inspiring militancy can                                                       nationalist conception. Closing the gap
   CHICAGO                        (312) 427-0003
    Box 6441 MaIO P 0                                  breathe life into the entire labor move-     masses by bourgeois society.                     between the most developed and the
    Chicago. IL 60680
                                                       ment if they successfully beat back the         It is equally utopian to think that the      poorest countries is the responsibility of
   CLEVELAND                   ... (216) 566-7806                                                   principle. "from each according to his
    Box 6765                                           government's threats. But this does not                                                      the international proletariat as a whole.
    Cleveland. OH 44101                                end the battle.The International Execu-      ability, to each according to his needs,"        International socialist planning will
   DETROIT.                     .. (313) 868-9095      tive Board, which let Carter's flunkies      can be an immediate goal of the socialist       strive to secure a higher rate of econom-
    Box 663A. General PO
    DetrOit. MI 48232                                  browbeat it into accepting the present       revolution. If free distribution were            ic growth for backward than for
   HOUSTON                                             contract proposal, is no real alternative    instituted the day after the American           advanced workers states. And this will
    Box 26474                                                                                       socialist revolution, the total demand           require a relative redistribution o.
    Houston. TX 77207                                  to M iller. Even the so-called "dissi-
   LOS ANGELES.          . .... (213) 662-1564         dents" were just as eager as the MFD         for consumable goods and services               wealth from the latter to the former.
     Box 26282. Edendale Station                       leaders to run to Uncle Sam to intervene     would exceed the potential output many              In the Communist Manifesto Marx
     Los Angeles. CA 90026
                                                       in their union.                              times over. And, of course, labor input         stated that the communists are distin-
   NEW YORK.                    . . (212) 925-2426
    Box 1377. GP 0                                        No class-struggle leadership can be       would plummet to a fraction of its              guished from the mass of the proletariat
    New York. NY 10001                                                                              present magnitude. The working class,            in that they represent the proletariat as
                                                       forged without an intransigent fight for
   SAN DIEGO                                                                                        as it is conditioned by capitalist society,     an international class and the general,
     POBox 2034                                        the independence of the workers move-
     Chula Vista. CA 92012                              ment from the capitalist state. And this    will not labor without some form of              historic interests of the workers move-
   SAN FRANCISCO.                 (415) 863-6963
                                                       struggle must go beyond purely trade-        economic compulsion.                             ment. In this important sense the
     Box 5712
     San FranCISco. CA 94101                            union bounds to take up the cause of a         The S LP's preposterous view that full        relationship of the communist vanguard
                                                       workers party. based on the unions, to       communism can be established on the              to the proletariat is not fundamentally
   TROTSKYIST LEAGUE                                                                                                                                altered with the overthrow of capital-
   OF CANADA                                           fight for a workers government. Only         economic level of the contemporary
   TORONTO                        (416) 366-4107       when such a government finally gives         U.S. should not be laid to Daniel De             ism. Communists must continue to
    Box 7198. Station A                                the coal operators and the rest of their      Leon. In this. as in most other questions,      combat short-sighted and parochial
     Toronto. Ontario
                                  1604) 291-8993       class the hoot will it be possible to free    De Leon was no De Leonist. De Leon              tendencies. particularly national nar-
    Box 26. Station A                                   the miners from brutal exploitation in       had the orthodox Marxist position that          rowness, which remain obstacles to the
    Vancouver. B C                                                                                  differential wage labor would continue           realization of socialism .•
                                                       deathtrap mines.•

10 MARCH 1978                                                                                                                                                                                  9
France...                                     are correct in pointing out that the OCI
                                              is tailing the social democracy, to the
                                              point of committing the ignominious act
                                                                                              the Trotskyist slogans for political
                                                                                               revolution in, and unconditional mili-
                                                                                              tary defense of, the deformed and
(continued from page 12)                      of voting for the official yearly report        degenerated workers states in order to           (continued from page 1)
mations Ouvrieres, 22 February 1978),         given by the leadership of the FEN              cash in on the anti-Communist human              contingency plans to dispatch federal
the OCI does not hide the fact that it        [National Education Federation-the              rights crusade launched by the                   troops if necessary.
avoids putting forward any position           only union in France which did not split        imperialists.
                                              into Stalinist and social-democratic
                                                                                                                                               Don't Let the Government Rip Up
which would either call the popular                                                              In its utterly insane campaign, Lutte
                                              wings in 1948], even though the PCF's
                                                                                                                                               the UMWAI
front into question or set the ranks of                                                       Ouvriere is running more than 470
                                                                                                                                                   Miners! Carter knows he cannot jail
the PS against their leadership: "I want      hue and cry over the OCI's concessions          candidates in the legislative elections; its
                                                                                                                                               all your local leaders or dispatch troops
to explain that we are not running any        to PS class collaboration is designed           "star," Arlette Laguiller, is running in a
                                                                                                                                               without risking an explosion he is not
candidates because the question before        merely to distract attention from the           tiny rural district in Puy de Dome. At
                                                                                                                                               eager to set off. Don't be intimidated by
the workers is that of undoing Giscard,       PCF's own vile class collaboration. (It         LO's latest election meeting at the
                                                                                                                                               these blustering threats: bayonets still
that of the PSjPCF majority .... We           should be pointed out that L'Humanite           Mutualite hall, our comrades of the
                                                                                                                                               can't mine coal! If you stick to your guns
Trotskyists of the OCI are not in             picked the OCI because the other main           LTF were able to gather a group of
                                                                                                                                               you can win the right to strike, full
agreement with the PS, but we say:            usurper of Trotskyism, the LCR, itself is       several dozen people around them to
                                                                                                                                               health benefits, equalized pensions and
enough of these attacks on the PS."           tailing after the Stalinist bureaucracy!)       explain what a revolutionary opposition
                                                                                                                                               safer mines. Previous presidents have
Small wonder that the OCI gets the            All the same, the fact that the OCI's           to the popular front is. Most of LO's
                                                                                              members must have been far from Paris,           threatened to arrest you, fine you, draft
applause it does! Mitterrand himself          opportunism enables the Stalinists once
                                              again to slander Trotskyism is a grave          gone off to canvass door-to-door in an           you and fire you-and you beat them
could hardly detest this kind of "critical"                                                                                                    back and won your demands. To hell
support.                                      insult to the memory ofthose who fell at        attempt to convince "factory workers,
                                              the hands of the Stalinists in Spain,           salaried employees, artisans, small               with Carter's threats!
   In contrast, the comrades of the LTF
                                              France, Vietnam and elsewhere in the            businessmen, small farmers and wom-                   Don't let the government rip your
who have intervened in OCI meetings
                                              world defending the Trotskyist program          en" to vote for LO's candidates, since           union to pieces! One ace up Carter's
have always intransigently defended a
                                              against precisely such sordid lies.             only a handful of LO militants were              sleeve is his declaration of a "bargaining
revolutionary policy of proletarian
                                                 To the Pabloists of the LCR, the only        present at the Mutualite.                        impasse" which allows each of the
opposition to the popular front, insist-
                                              drawback to the Common Program is                  LO's campaign rests upon one central          BCOA's 130-member companies to
ing that no votes should go to any of the
                                              that the PCF and PS bureaucrats will            theme, repeated ad nauseam on every              reach separate agreements with locals or
Union of the Left candidates. At one of
                                              not try to apply it. In speaking to the         poster and in every leaflet: LO's candi-         districts. The Labor Department agents
these meetings, at [the university at]
                                               PCF and PS Krivine said: "We are               dates, if elected, will conduct themselves       who engineered a "pattern setter" P & M
Tolbiac, Charles Berg, national secre-
                                              speaking to the workers of the PC and           as a loyal opposition to the popular             agreement will no doubt be scurrying
tary of the OCI, made no secret of the
                                              the PS, to these parties as a whole:            front:                                           behind closed doors trying to reach
scarcely revolutionary appetites of his
                                              'Today we have the same demands on                   "Lutte Ouvriere's deputies would be left    separate pacts to break down your
organization. According to him, if the
                                               many subjects. We do not seek to                    deputies who would support everything       strength.
OCI were a "leading party of the                                                                   a left government would do in favor of
                                              differentiate ourselves a priori from                                                                But separate agreements, particularly
working class," its candidates would call                                                          the workers, but left deputies who do
                                              your demands.... Thus we have the                                                                if some miners started up production,
for a PSjPCF JOCI government (!) and                                                               not toe the line, who will stand in the
                                              same demands today against the austeri-              way and will warn the workers as soon       would mean a shattering of your
would oppose "the Union of the Left
                                               ty imposed by the right. What separates             as Mitterrand or Marchais betray the        solidarity, your greatest weapon, and
candidates only if they were not candi-
                                               us however is that you believe that once            interests of the working class."            would be a historic step backwards.
dates of the working-class wing of the                                                                   -Lwte Ouvriere, Banque
                                               in the government the PC and PS will                                                            Destruction of the industrywide benefit
popular front" (our emphasis). This                                                                        Nationale de Paris, 6 February
                                              satisfy these demands'." Having taken                                                            and pension funds in favor of company-
speaks volumes about the OCl's de-                                                            There is likely to be more than one LO
                                              great care not to differentiate them-                                                            by-company health insurance and re-
signs: even if it were a "leading party of                                                    militant who feels he's been had in this
                                              selves from the PCF and the popular                                                              tirement plans is just what the operators
the working class," the OCI still would                                                       campaign: when LO launched its cam-
                                              front, the LCR's candidates have a good                                                          have been seeking. The UMWA fought
seek to bring the popular front to                                                            paign a few weeks ago, it refused to
                                               chance of falling flat on their faces.                                                          for nearly seven decades to achieve
power!                                                                                        participate in the LCRjOCTjCCA bloc
                                                  The electoral platform of the LCRj                                                           industrywide bargaining and a national
   The OCl's shameless campaigns for                                                          because what was at stake was support
                                              OCT jCCA [OCT: Organisation Com-                                                                 contract. Don't let the government split
unity and withdrawal of candidates                                                            to a possible "left government." LO              you up! Not one local back to work until
have provided ammunition to those             muniste des Travailleurs, a Mao-oid             accused the LCR members of capitulat-            you all go back together!
mortal enemies of Trotskyism and the          group. CCA: Comites Communistes                 ing to the Union of the Left. Today these
                                              pour I' Autogestion-a split led by                                                                   Carter has another card he has not yet
revolutionary working class who accuse                                                        accusations must be acutely embarrass-
                                               Michel Pablo from the PSU in the                                                                played: government seizure of the
the OCI-and, by false deduction, Trot-                                                        ing to certain LO militants!                     mines. He reportedly opted for use of
skyism--of being agents of social             spring of 1977) gives as its sole charac-         Neither the candidates of the LCR/             Taft-Hartley and against seizure be-
democracy ("Who's the OCI running             terization of the USSR and the eastern          OCT jCCA bloc nor those of LO                    cause he didn't want to "look soft" on
for? The PS is receiving strange rein-        European countries that they are coun-          deserve any votes in this election.              the miners, wait for Congressional
forcements in its efforts to pressure the     tries "which have nothing to do with               Polemicizing against Pierre Frank's           action or be in the position of "bargain-
Communist Party," L'Humanite, 21              socialism." The LCR is more than ready          capitulation to the popular front in             ing" with the union. But as the miners
 February). The editors of L'Humanite         to neglect any mention in its platform of       1935, Leon Trotsky said:                         successfully defy Taft-Hartley, he may
                                                                                                   "'No organizational ultimatism.' What       still order the mines seized.
                                                                                                   a revolting distortion of the Leninist          This tactic, like Taft-Hartley, has
                                                                                                   formulation! No ultimatism whatsoever
                                                                                                   in relation to the masses, the trade        been used before. To end coal strikes

                                                                                                   unions. the workers' movement: but the      Roosevelt seized the mines in 1943,
                                                                                                   most intransigent ultimatism in relation    Truman did so in 1946 and threatened it
Paris                       . ~~
                                                                                                   to any group that claims to lead the
                                                                                                   masses. The ultimatism that we are          again in 1950. Every time, the miners
                                                                                                                                               won their demands only because they
                                                                                                   talking about is called the MarxisT
                                                                                                   program. ... The program now concerns       struck against the government under
                                                                                                   the fight for the new party, against the    these seizures. Every time the govern-
                                                                                                   two Internationals, and against Mar-        ment hoped to get the miners back on
                                                                                                   ceau Pivert (SAP. lAG), the servant of
                                                                                                   unity between the reformists and the        the job, strike action made the politi-
                                                                                                   Stalinists. To fill one's mouth at this     cians and operators cough up what the
                                                                                                   time with 'organic unity,' and likewise     miners wanted: portal-to-portal pay in
                                                                                                   with 'revolutionary organic unity,' is to   '43, the health and retirement funds in
                                                                                                   mislead the masses along with Marceau       '46. $IOO-a-month pensions, the highest
                                                                                                    Pivert and other servants of social
                                                                                                    patriotism. Committees of action, the      of any union at that time in 1950.
                                                                                                   revoluTionary party. and The FourTh             The government is not neutral, and
                                                                                                   International: this is where an adequate     Carter is no "friend of labor." As
                                                                                                   program for the present moment must         defenders of the interests of the capital-
                                                                                                          -" An Abdication of Principles,"      ist class, they want the miners back in
                                                                                                           in The Crisis in the French          the pits in a hurry. They want the coal
                                                                                                            Section (1935-36)                   stockpiles rebuilt. They want to give as
                                                                                                 Today it is the Ligue Trotskyste de            little as possible. As one miner said this
                              For Revolutionary                                               France which has taken up Trotsky's               week, "Government seizure is just Taft-
                                                                                              revolutionary imperatives; its program            Hartley with the flag wrapped around
                  Proletarian Opposition to the                                               stands in contrast to all variants of             it" (New York Times, 6 March). If the
                                                                                              centrist accommodation to the popular             mines are seized, miners will get only as
         Popular Front! - Refusal to vote for                                                 front, and will provide the means by              much as the power of their strike can
                                                                                              which the working class can break with
 workers parties committed to a popular front                                             I
                                                                                              its traitorous leaderships. The LTF is
                                                                                                                                                force out of the government.
                                                                                                                                                   But the miners' enemies are not just in
           key to intemational regroupmentn.                                                  building the revolutionary party which
                                                                                              will be the French section of a reforged
                                                                                                                                               the White House and halls of Congress.
                                                                                                                                                They are also in UMWA headquarters.
                                                                                              Fourth International!                            The despicable Arnold Miller, having
                                                                                              28 February 1978                                  thoroughly capitulated to the coal
 Alastair Green                               Wednesday, 15 March,                                                                              operators' contract demands, has also
                                                                                              Ligue Trotskyste de France
 Central Committee, Spartacist                1:30 p.m.                                                                                         said he will knuckle under to Taft-
 League/Britain                               Universite de Villetaneuse                                                                        Hartley, "... it is the law and I will do
 ex-member, Trotskyist Faction of the                                                                                                           what the court tells me to do." And why
 Workers Socialist League                     Friday, 17 March,                                          LE BOLCHEVIK                           not'? For five years he has done
                                                                                                 organe de la Ligue Trotskystede France         everything else the courts, Labor
 Cranac'h                                     8:30 p.m.
                                                                                                          12 F les 6 numeros                    Department and government told
 Ligue Trotskyste de France                   Salle--Lancry, 10 rue de Lancry                                                                   him to do.
                                                                                                 pour toule commande:
 ex-member LCR                                Metro Republique                                   le Bolchevik, B.P. 421 09                          No matter how Carter and the bosses
                                                                                                 75424 Paris CEDE X 09, France                  slice it, they know they have little chance
                                                                                                                                                to beat the miners unless they crack the

 10                                                                                                                                                       WORKERS VANGUARD
tremendous solidarity of the union.             inducements to return to work under            against three local union leaders who           among the largest and most widely
That explains the manner in which               schemes like government seizure, then          opposed the contract. Western Pennsyl-          hated of the monopoly trusts and the
Carter invoked Taft-Hartley. On the             there will be very little that the coal        vania District 5 head Lou Antal, a long-        principal operators of the coal mines.
one hand, he announced that he was               bosses and Carter can effectively do to       time confederate of Arnold Miller and              What gall! For three months the coal
seeking a court order that would enable          keep the UMWA from achieving                  favorite of the reformist Communist             miners have been striking on behalf of
individual operators to offer the higher         victory!                                      Party who voted for the original                the entire U.S. working class. Now that
wage scale agreed to in the recent                                                             proposal, tried to picture the opponents        the stockpiles are depleted and it is
contract as an inducement for miners to         UMWA Bureaucracy on the                        to the contract as a small group of             beginning to have an effect as an
return to work. On the other hand, his           Rocks                                         malcontents. The agreement, said An-            economic strike, suddenly Jimmy Car-
announced intention to make hundreds                 The UMWA bureaucracy is now in            tal, was "the best contract we could get        ter is "concerned" about the thousands
of local union officers liable for prosecu-      shambles. Not only Miller and his             ... everybody's greedy and wants more           of laid-off workers. It is good that they
tion under Taft-Hartley was designed to          flunkies but also two-thirds of the           ... how can you get more if there isn't         should be laid off, for this means the
spark separatist back-to-work move-              union's 39-member Bargaining Council,         any more."                                      bosses are finally feeling the squeeze. So
ments by picking off weaker locals. To           composed of distriGt leaders, caved in to         But it didn't work. As the first load of    they will have to live on food stamps and
remove any ambiguity on this score,              government pressure and approved a            contracts was shipped into the coal-            unemployment checks for a while-
federal officials have argued that if only       Labor Department-written contract,            fields, it was fed to bonfires by militant      after all, the miners are fighting for
 15 percent of UMWA miners returned              which the ranks have thrown back by           miners. District officials who attempted        them, too. It would be much better if the
to work, the economy could continue              better than a two-to-one vote. Even           to "explain" the details of the contract        steel workers, auto workers and other
"indefinitely"         without      worsening    many of the "dissidents" went into the        were mercilessly heckled by the rank            key industrial sectors affected by the
qualitatively.                                   coalfields to urge ratification, afraid to    and file. It quickly became evident that        coal strike would walk out, because so
    But the great strength of the UMWA           risk their careers by bucking Carter. The     there was no active support for the             far the miners have borne the brunt
is precisely its solidarity and militancy.       test of any leadership is its ability to      contract, and union leaders from vice           alone.
Carter's two-bit bribes, threats against         respond to great social struggles such as     president Sam Church to Ohio District              The bourgeoisie's concern for the
local officials and tough talk about             the current coal strike. The United Mine      6 head John Guzek began to talk about           laid-off workers and shivering pension-
backing up the injunction with whatever          Workers bureaucracy has flunked this          a would-be "silent majority" that would         ers is touching. As soon as their profits
force is necessary to guarantee that             test spectacularly, leaving a gaping          provide the necessary margin for ratifi-        are affected, the country's rulers become
"lives and property are fully protected"         vacuum of leadership in the union.            cation. By the time the votes were              concerned for the plight of widows and
will only drive miners to close ranks                This must be an object lesson for all     tallied, it was not only Arnold Miller          orphans. But the widows they are
even tighter. No one familiar with the           workers, not only coal miners. The            who had covered himself with slime in           concerned with are the Park Avenue
 union's militant history of defying Taft-       particularly dramatic fashion in which        his haste to do the bidding of the Carter       millionairesses raking in fabulous sums
 Hartley and aware of the powerful               the UM WA tops have flamed out is              administration. The contract was voted         from their investment portfolios. To
 impetus given the morale of the miners          conditioned by the fragility of the           down by substantial margins in each of          prevent a dip in their incomes they will
 by the massive rejection vote could              Miners For Democracy leadership,              the districts of Perry, Gaston, Dawes,         impose Taft-Hartley, seize the mines,
 believe it likely that the miners will          imposed by the U.S. Labor Depart-              Antal and Guzek-and the ambitions of           send in troops. As for the hardships
 return to work under Carter's order.            ment, as well as by the thoroughgoing          these aspiring labor fakers have proba-        experienced by the coal strikers these
    In the likely event that miners refuse       incompetence of Arnold Miller himself.         bly been thwarted ... at least for a while.    are of no concern to Carter and his class,
 to comply with Taft-Hartley, there is a         But in essence the pro-capitalist politics        As an amusing aftermath to the              for the m\ners are their enemies. The
 strong possibility that Carter will resort      of Miller & Co.-their support to the           contract rejection, the Washington,            working class must take the opposite
 to getting Congressional authorization          Democratic Party, subservience to the          D.C. public relations firm of Maurer,          view. Our attitude toward industry
 to seize the mines. Under such a                capitalist government, etc.-are the            Fleisher, Zon & Anderson that had been         affected by the coal strike is unambigu-
 scheme, the miners will temporarily             same as that of the brittle AFL-CIOj           representing the union announced that          ous: shut it down!
 become employees of the government.              UAW jTeamsters         bureaucracy that       it was quitting. After Miller fired most
     Many miners share the illusion that if      lords it over the rest of the trade-           of his staff last fall on charges of              While the class lines are being sharply
 they return to work under the condi-             union movement.                               insubordination, the U.S. government           drawn, AFL-CIO head George Meany
 tions of the 1974 contract, with the                The first casualty in the UMwA strike      dug up this outfit to supply the technical     is on record declaring that "Taft-
 government running the mines, that              was Arnold Miller. When he tried to            personnel to keep Miller's UMWA                Hartley is the law of the land" and he
 Carter will agree to a contract that is         palm off the outrageous February 6             operation going. During the ratification       "will not criticize the President" for
 qualitatively better than previous offers.      contract proposal on the membership,           procedure. the 'UMWA leadership had            invoking it. Furthermore, both Meany
 But that is dead wrong. Miners must nbt         he lost whatever credibility he had in the     paid this firm thousands of dollars from       and United Auto Workers (UAW) head
 be misled into relying on the Democrat-          union. From that time onward, he has          union funds to finance a high-pressure         Doug Fraser have called for immediate
 ic Party and the capitalist state. The           simply been a figurehead; the Labor           advertising campaign designed to sell          resumption of coal production under
 Carter administration has endorsed               Dc:partment and federal officials have        the csmtract to the membership. Upon           federal seizure of the mines. This
 every sweetheart contract proposal, and         conducted all the key negotiating with         quitting, a spokesman for ~the firm            disgusting stab in the back is sufficient
 in fact, was effectively the author of the       other U MWA officials behind Miller's         announced. "There is nothing more we           grounds for ousting these vile mislead-
                                                  back. Miller did not dare go to the coal-     can do for them." And that is no over-          ers. Mass labor protest rallies denounc-
 last stinking deal that the miners voted
 down. And now the peanut millionaire             fields to campaign for the last contract;     statement. Selling the UMWA leader-             ing the imposition of Taft-Hartley
 has invoked the hated anti-union Taft-           in fact, he even skipped out of the                                                           must repudiate these labor traitors.
                                                                                                ship and its policies to the rank and file
  Hartley act.                                    official briefing session.                    has become a virtually impossible task.           Millions of American workers
     Miners must not confuse a temporary              M iller's demise activated a slew of         Thus, as the coal miners approach the       sympathize with the struggle of the
 government seizure with the demand for          district-level bureaucrats who sniffed an      most critical juncture in their titanic        miners. They realize that the miners'
 expropriation of the mines. Nationali-           opportunity to advance their own              battle against the coal bosses and the         fight is their fight, that if the miners lose,
 zation without compensation to the              careers, with the blessing of the Carter       government, the union is in disarray and       their own bosses will turn the screws of
 bosses is a class-struggle demand to kick       government. In short order Labor               effectively leaderless. The answer for         exploitation. In the face of government
 out the parasitic coal operators, who            Secretary Marshall was able to line up a      miners is not to unite behind some             strikebreaking, militants must redouble
 have historically been among the most            number of these officials who proved           phony reformer like Miller or Dawes,          their demands that transport, power
 vicious and brutal employers. The                willing to prostitute themselves by using     who will only betray again. Their              and steel workers hot-cargo coal ship-
 nationalization demand, an official              their "anti-Miller" credentials to sell a      response must be, instead, to demand          ments! Steel workers-groaning under
 slogan of the UMWA in the 1920's, is             modified version of the February 6            the immediate convening of a special           the weight of mass layoffs, speed-up and
 directed against the capitalist system           proposal to the members. Three of these       convention. Throw out Miller and the           the no-strike ENA-must fight for a
 and the right of the bosses to exploit the       "dissident" bureaucrats-Ken Dawes of           rest of the hacks like Dawes, Perry and       joint strike with the miners and prepare
 working masses.                               . District 12 (Illinois), Tom Gaston of          Antal from the Bargaining Council!             to mobilize their ranks to aid miners in
     On the other hand, although the              District 23. (western Kentucky); and           Elect a new bargaining council firmly         shutting down scab mines.
  operators often raise a hue and cry             Jack Perry of District 17 (central West        committed to such fighting demands as            Trade unionists! The militant miners
  against federal seizure because they are        Virginia)-were added to the union's            the unlimited right to strike, full medical   are waging a fight whose success will be
 deprived of the right to make unilateral         negotiating team at the urging of the          benefits, union control over safety, and      a victory for all workers. If the miners
 decisions, none of their fundamental             government.                                    equalization of pensions at the highest       win it will be a smashing blow against
  interests have ever been injured under              But the agreement that Dawes, Perry        levels! Commit the union to a policy of       the bosses and the government's attack
  such a scheme. To the contrary, it has          and Gaston had contracted to sell              no contract, no work-no buckling              on all unions and could unlock the hold
  simply meant government operation of            stank-and the entire membership                under to Taft-Hartley or other strike-        that the trade-union bureaucracy exer-
  the mines in the interests of the               knew it! Hardly any miners ended up            breaking measures! Against any break-         cises on the labor movement. If they lose
  operators. The bosses are not kicked out        voting for this contract because they          away return-to-work movements!                it will be a demoralizing setback for 20
  at all. They are simply "hired" on by the        liked it; of those who confessed to                                                         million union members throughout the
  government as managers, they continue           having supported it, most said they           Down with Government                           country and millions more who need to
  to receive all the profits of the operation,    backed it because they feared gov-            Strikebreaking and Bureaucratic                be organized. Don't let the miners stand
  etc.                                            ernment reprisals. The contract was a         Treachery!                                     alone! Stop Jimmy Carter's
     When Roosevelt seized the mines in            pure takeaway deal, aimed at crippling                                                      strikebreaking!
  1943 in an effort to stop a U M WA strike        the right to strike so as to strangle           In the aftermath of Carter's imposi-
  against the wartime wage freeze, he did          militancy. In addition it took major         tion of Taft-Hartley, the bourgeoisie is           Mass protest meetings bringing to-
  not offer the miners a penny. When               steps backward-or reaffirmed such            attempting to whip up frenzied hatred           gether thousands of unionists from
  Truman seized the mines three years              steps taken in 1974-in the areas of          against the miners. Yesterday Energy            every industry and trade must be called
  later, he initially rejected the key U MW A      health, safety and pensions. As one          Secretary James Schlesinger motivated'          to oppose Taft-Hartley and any moves
  demand, for establishment of a welfare           young miner put it dramatically, "If ever    strikebreaking measures by claiming             to enforce it. Central labor councils,
  and retirement fund, as illegal. It was          I voted for this contract, [my father]       that if the miners are still on strike in       Teamsters and Auto Workers head-
  only when the miners went out on strike          would come up out of his grave and beat      April, over three million workers will be       quarters should be beseiged by demands
  against the government that they "'{ere          hell out of me. I have to get back the       laid off in coal-dependent areas. The           for strike action to support the miners.
  able to win their demands.                       things my father fought for or his life      bourgeois media are shedding crocodile          Special union meetings should be held to
     Whether or not the Carter                     didn't mean anything" (J1,'ashington         tears over factory women laid off their         make the same demands. Two-day
  government orders a seizure of the                Post. 4 March).                             jobs in Indiana or pensioners shivering         protest strikes now in defense of the
  mines. the guiding principle for the                So Dawes & Co. were in trouble from       in their Ohio homes. Needless to say, the       miners would send tremors of fear
  miners must remain the same: "No                 the start. In Springfield, Illinois loyal    capitalist press is pinning the blame for       through every capitalist and bourgeois
  contract. no work!" If the miners stand          Dawes bureaucrats, including former          the current crisis on the coal miners and       politician in the country. Victory to the
  firm and refuse to submit to either              International head of organizing, John       not on the blood-sucking, profit-               miners' strike! Down with government
  Carter's strikebreaking injunctions or           Cox. launched a hysterical goon attack       gouging oiL steel and utility companies.        strikebreaking.' •

 10 MARCH 1978                                                                                                                                                                           11
Dltd         IB                                                                                                            _

WfJli/(EliS ""fiO'Ii'
For Proletarian Opposition                                                                  ·~.· .· .·I ·

to the Union of the Leftl

No to New
Popular Front
in Francel
by the Ligue Trotskyste de France
   Ten years after having relentlessly       is not in the streets as it was in 1934-36,
derailed the general strike of 1968,         nor is it occupying the factories; and
the Stalinist and social-democratic          refusal to vote for the PCF and the PS as
fakers are in a position to get into         long as they are committed to the
"power"--the power (0 break strikes          popular front [Union of the Left] is thus                                                                                     I'Humanite
and social struggles, to institute a left    the on!r way to express unambiguous
                                                                                            French workers march against inflation and Giscard's economic policies,
austerity plan and to administrate the       proletarian hostility and opposition to        December 1973.
armed forces of French imperialism "on       the popular front.
all fronts," i.e., against the USSR              Today that is the political position
degenerated workers state. The power         around which it is possible to mobilize
they seek is that of a bourgeois popular-
front government. Yet the masses of
workers and the generation of militants
radicalized by [the events of May] 1968
                                             the workers against their traitorous
                                             leaderships and split and destroy the
                                             reformist parties. The LCR, OCI and
                                             LO spit upon the French workers'
                                                                                                                       I                           I
are almost unanimously applauding the        aspirations to take power-working-
advent of this popular front as a "step      class power. By calling for a vote for the
forward" for the working class. Those        PCF / PS, the centrists call directly for
militants who in 1968 fought street          the popular front to take power. But
battles in the Latin Quarter and cursed      when the workers mobilize to insist that
the Communist Party [PCF] in between         their demands be fulfilled by "their"
fighting off attacks by the CRS [riot        government, they will find the popular
police], those workers who tore up their     front blocking their path. Suffice it to
CGT [the Stalinist-led General Confed-        recall the words of [PCF leader Mau-
eration of Labor] union cards in disgust,     rice] Thorez in 1936 when he was
incensed by the PCF's dedicated efforts       leading the Popular Front against the
to save Gaullist capitalism, all have been    ~orkers: "One must know how to end a
betrayed by the centrist usurpers-the         strike. "
 LCR [Ligue Communiste Revolution-               Caught up in their worship of the
 naire] of Krivine/Bensaid, the OCI           accomplished fact, the "far left" cen-
[Organisation Communiste Interna-             trists cannot even imagine that revolu-
tion,diste] of Lambert/Just and the           tionary program can possibly split the
 Lutte Ouvriere [LO] of Arlette [La-          reformist parties. The pseudo-
guiller]. Everyone of them promised a         Trotskyists of the LCR and the OCI,
 revolutionary opposition to the reform-      hard on the heels of the popular front
 ists. yet today can offer only "critical"    since 1972. have attempted to sanctify
                                                                                            Union of the Left leaders Georges Marchais (Communist), left, and             Fran~ois
 support to the popular front, calling for    their sweeping right turn by putting on a
                                                                                            Mitterand (Socialist).
 votes for the PCF and PS [Socialist          spectacular and hysterical campaign for
 Party]. In contrast, the revolutionaries     "unity" between the PCF and PS before         find that the OCI and the LCR, both of       possible the gathering of a revolutionary
 of the Ligue Trotskyste de France (LTF)      the elections, for fear that the reformists   which long ago abandoned the struggle        vanguard capable of leading the masses
 say: Comrades, don't vote for the            may endanger their own electoral              to build a Leninist party, have now          to power. one must have the hardness
 candidates of the popular front.'            victory. With cries of "defeat the right"     come to share two of the fundamental         and the Marxist perspicacity to defend
    The PCF and PS candidates are             and "Giscard out." the LCR and the            conclusions of opportunism: first. that      principles, even when that means
 candidates of the popular front; their       OCI have adopted the excuses tradition-       the present period is so "new," with such    swimmIng against the stream. As
 alliance with the Left Radicals and their    ally offered by the Stalinists to justify     "different" relationships of forces from     Trotsky explained to those who claimed
 endorsement of the Common Program.           popular fronts. In Spain. for instance.       those characterizing the period analyzed     that the revolutionary program was not
 neither of which has been questioned for     when the Popular Front was the last           by Lenin and Trotsky that the Trotsky-       accessible to the masses:
 a single moment throughout the whole         obstacle preventing the armed revolu-         ist program must be modified. The OCI            "When the opportunists raise the fact
 PCF-PS polemic, are the guarantee            tionary masses from overthrowing the          states it clearly in Fronts populaires           that the masses are not mature, it is
                                                                                                                                             usually only in order to mask their own
 given in advance by the reformist            bourgeoisie. the Stalinists under the         (I'hier et d'au/ourd'hui [Popular Fronts         immaturity. All the masses will never be
 workers parties that they will not           slogan "Finish off Franco first. and we'll    oj" Yesterday and Today]: all previous           mature under capitalism. The different
 overstep the bounds acceptable to their       make a revolution afterwards." organ-        popular fronts demobilized the working           strata of the masses mature at different
 bourgeois partners. Voting or not            ized the bloody defeat of the Spanish         class. but this popular fron't will neces-       times. The struggle for the 'maturing' of
                                               revolutionary proletariat.                   sarily open the road to revolutionary            the masses begins with a minority, with
 voting for the workers parties in a                                                                                                         a 'sect: with a vanguard. I n history
 popular front is not a tactical ques-            Notwithstanding their difference in       struggle. The other conclusion consists          there is not. nor can there be, any other
 tion -it is a granite-hard principle.         tone, the LCR and the OCI are forced to      in the so-called necessity to "go through        \\'ay...
 Trotsky's call for Committees of Action      admit that they are both today putting        this experience" with the workers.                        Letter to Daniel Guerin.
 in France during the 1930's was at that      forward the same slogans: "unity."               The whole lesson of Lenin's struggle                   10 March 1939
 time the programmatic means by which         "desistement" [the demand on the PCF          to build the Third International during
 the workers could have been mobilized         to withdraw its candidates on the second     the patriotic wave of the First World        Centrists Tail the Popular Front
 to break with the Popular Front and the       round in order to throw votes to the         War. and Trotsky's fight to assemble the        When reporting upon its interven-
 PCF and SFIO [social-democratic]              leading popular front candidate] and         cadres of the Fourth International, is       tions in Socialist Party meetings (Inj"or-
 leaderships. But today the working class     "vote PCF /PS." So it is no surprise to       that in order to have a strategy making                         cOlllillued Oil paRe J()

   12                                                                                                                                                         10 MARCH 1978