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Workers Vanguard No. 1052

19 September 2014
The closing date for news in this issue is 16 September.

 

Workers Vanguard

Democrats Buy Votes with Minimum-Wage Ploy

Fight Poverty Wages Through Class Struggle!

On September 5, the day after thousands of fast-food workers staged rallies for higher pay and a union in some 150 cities, family and friends of Maria Fernandes gathered at her funeral service in New Jersey. The 32-year-old woman had died while catching some sleep in her car in between part-time shifts at three area Dunkin’ Donuts, which all paid her the minimum wage. As was the case with Fernandes, most new employment has been in low-paying service industries like fast food, where jobs are no longer held by kids looking for a little gas money. The median age of that workforce is 28, with more than a quarter caring for dependents, 70 percent working part-time and many holding second jobs in a scramble to make ends meet. At the available starvation-level wages, employees cannot possibly pay out-of-pocket medical expenses, put aside money for their children’s education or save anything for retirement.

With the net median paycheck now roughly $27,000 a year, many American workers, who tend to vote for Democrats, are in dire straits. Well aware of this widespread suffering and faced with the prospect of losing ground to the Republicans in November, the Democrats have attempted over the past year or so to refurbish their image as the party of the working man by promoting campaigns to raise the minimum wage. In reality, the Democratic Party is simply the other main party of the U.S. capitalist exploiters.

“Refurbish” is the operative word here, as President Obama is, with justice, known for having lavished billions on the fat-cat bankers at the onset of the Great Recession while doing nothing to remedy the plague of joblessness and declining living standards that have followed in its wake. Soon after his election, Obama—with the able assistance of then-United Auto Workers president Ron Gettelfinger—bailed out the giant auto companies while forcing the union to accept tens of thousands of layoffs and sign on to a six-year no-strike pledge. The wage for most new hires was more than halved to $14 (now $16) an hour.

On Labor Day, President Obama cynically pontificated, “Give America a raise” while claiming that his hands are tied in this regard for the foreseeable future by the House Republicans. Taking a page from his former employer in the White House, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, noteworthy for his layoffs of thousands of union teachers in the aftermath of their 2012 strike and his continuing campaign to slash their pensions, has recently raised the minimum wage for city employees working for private contractors to $13 an hour. The Lord taketh away and then he pretends to giveth. (read on)

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· Antymarksistowski „ekosocjalizm” Johna Bellamy Fostera i spółki

· Jak egipscy klifowcy kamuflowali przewrót wojskowy

· Strajk w Neupack

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· Spartacist (edición en español) Número 38

· Spartakist Nr. 203

· Türkiye: Kitlesel Protestolar İslamcı Rejimi Sarsıyor

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· Ukraine nach dem rechten Putsch
  EU/US-Imperialisten hysterisch über russische Intervention

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· 남한의 철도 노동조합을 방어하라!

· Spartacist South Africa No. 9

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  Break With the Bourgeois Tripartite Alliance!
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· 트로츠키주의가 아닌 것과 트로츠키주의인 것

· 『スパルタシスト』36号

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· Για ένα Ενιαίο Μέτωπο των Εργατών Ενάντια στον Φασισμό!

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· ICL 원칙선언 대한 서문

· 원칙들에 대한 선언과 강령의 몇 가지 요소들

· Spartacist English edition No. 63

· !دافعوا عن ليبيا ضد الهجوم الأمبريالى

· مصر: انتفاضة جماهيرية تتحدى الدكتاتورية

· Militant Strike Wave in China (Chinese)

· Why We Fought to Defend the Soviet Union
  (Russian-language Byulleten' Spartakovtsev)

· Deklarasyon ng mga Prinsipyo
  at Ilang Elemento ng Programa

Latest Archival Postings

· 『スパルタシスト』33号—35号

· Η ίδρυση της Τροτσκιστικής Ομάδας της Ελλάδας
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  Για μία Σοσιαλιστική Ομοσπονδία των Βαλκανίων! (2004)

· Cuadernos Marxistas No. 3
  Chile: Lecciones del Frente Popular (1975)

· L’agonie meurtrière de Bourguiba (janvier 1984)

· Répression antisyndicale en Tunisie
  Bas les pattes devant l'UGTT! (mars 1986)

· Le coup d'Etat de Ben Ali et la menace intégriste
  (janvier 1988)

· Near East, 1950s:
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  (August 2000)




About the ICL




V.I. LeninLeon TrotskyThe International Communist League (Fourth Internationalist) is a proletarian, revolutionary and internationalist tendency committed to the task of building Leninist parties as national sections of a democratic-centralist international. Our aim is the achievement of new October Revolutions—nothing else, nothing other, nothing less. The ICL bases itself on Marxist historical, dialectical materialism and seeks in particular to carry forward the international working-class perspectives of Marxism developed in the theory and practice of the Bolshevik leaders V. I. Lenin and L. D. Trotsky and embodied in the decisions of the first four Congresses of the Communist International as well as key documents of the Fourth International such as the Transitional Program (1938) and "War and the Fourth International" (1934). We also look to James P. Cannon, a leader of the early American Communist Party who was won to Trotskyism and went on to become a principal founder of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), working in close collaboration with Leon Trotsky. The origins of the ICL are in the Spartacist League/U.S., which began as the Revolutionary Tendency in the SWP and was bureaucratically expelled in 1963. Our ICL "Declaration of Principles and Some Elements of Program" was modeled on the Declaration of Principles adopted at the 1966 founding conference of the SL/U.S.

Adopted at the Third International Conference of the ICL in early 1998, the declaration presently exists in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Chinese, German, Russian, Polish, Italian, Turkish, Indonesian, Greek and Tagalog. In this post-Soviet period, marked by a deep regression of proletarian consciousness, we continue to be guided by Trotsky's statement that "the task of the vanguard is above all not to let itself be carried along by the backward flow; it must swim against the current." Reforge the Fourth International, world party of socialist revolution!