The Working Class

The Struggle to Build its Own Political Party

“The first great step of importance for every country newly entering into the movement is always the constitution of the workers as an independent political party, no matter how, so long as it is a distinct workers’ party.” — Frederick Engels, collaborator with Karl Marx writing about the US in 1866.

Throughout the history of the United States, a struggle has raged between the owners of the wealth, and the people who produce the wealth. This history of working class struggle has been hidden from the eyes of workers.

Every gain that has been won by any section of workers has been through their own struggle. The right to a public education, the ending of child labor, the right to organize, the 8-hour day, unemployment benefits, the right to healthcare at work or through federal programs, pensions, the right to abortion, the ending of slavery, the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s which defeated the Jim Crow racist laws in the South, and the ending of the Vietnam war were all achieved through struggle.

These victories were won by the working class organizing independently, and by demonstrations on the streets. Also, the gains won by workers outside unions were only conceded because of the victories won by organized labor. It was the fear of employers that “their” workers would also organize that led them to grant concessions. These gains were won only after the most determined and often vicious resistance by big business. They have been won only because the working class has displayed superior cohesion, stamina and strength to that of the corporations.

The US was a country born out of revolution and struggle, with the defeat of the British colonial power in the War for Independence and in the Civil War. In these struggles workers and small farmers played an important role in fighting to end foreign oppression and to join ranks with blacks in the South to end slavery. Since the Civil War the main struggle has been between big business who own the workplaces and the workers and small farmers who have struggled for a decent life.

The Robber Barons and the Republicans and Democrats

After the Civil War, US capitalism saw a period of massive growth and dynamism. Between 1860 and 1894, the US jumped from fourth place to first place in the world in the production of goods. During this period, a handful of fabulously wealthy individuals, known as the robber barons, concentrated into their hands the major sections of industry and banking, and created huge monopolies. By the turn of the century, 60 of the wealthiest families, including the Morgans and Rockefellers, came to constitute the ruling class of this country, controlling the commanding heights of the economy, and becoming more powerful than countries and governments.

To defend their interests, these robber barons, allied with the rest of the big business, have funded the two big business political parties, the Republicans and the Democrats to defend their interests. The Democratic Party had previously been the political party of the slave-owners, but was now being reconstituted as a second party of big business. These two parties passed laws, backed up by the courts and the police, to drive down the living standards of workers and their families.

Working-Class Organizations

History shows that workers, faced with these attacks, have moved to organize. Not only have they organized unions to win and defend economic gains, but they have also attempted time and again to organize their own political parties to secure a change in government to improve their conditions.

The first national union, the National Labor Union was formed in 1866. The National Labor Union opened its door to all workers, irrespective of color or sex, and demanded that the employers “do justice to women by paying them equal wages for equal work.” At the same time it came out in support of independent political action: “The time has arrived when the industrious classes should cut themselves aloof from party ties and predilections and organize themselves into a National Labor Party.” Labor Parties were organized and ran candidates during the 1860s and 1870s at a local and state level, and gained support from workers, despite intimidation from the employers.

From the 1860s onward, there was also an important socialist trend in the labor movement. The socialist message, that the fight for better conditions must be linked to creating a new workers’ society, was accepted by many as the only way that conditions of workers could be improved. William Sylvis, the founder and leader of the National Labor Union, was in communication with Karl Marx, the leader of the international trade union movement, who played a leading role in founding the International Workingmen’s Association to unite working class organizations in different countries. The American section of the International Workingmen’s Association was founded in 1867 and played an important role uniting workers in struggle, and linking the struggle of organized labor with those of the unemployed.

New York Labor Party Movement of 1886

The events of 1886 demonstrated the growing power of the working class in its struggle for better conditions. Out of the eight-hour day movement during the recession of 1884, and subsequent Haymarket Massacre, where the workers’ leaders in Chicago were framed up, the working class moved into action by building labor parties.

The Labor Party movement began in New York City with the arrest of union leaders. Motions were put to the Central Labor Union, and the New York Labor Party was formed. It nominated Henry George as Labor Party candidate for mayor of New York City.

The platform of the Labor Party announced that the Labor Party movement aimed “at the abolition of the system which makes such beneficial inventions as the railroad and telegraph as a means for the oppression of the people, and the aggrandizement of an aristocracy of wealth and power.” Its demands included: an end to property qualifications for jurors, the enforcement of sanitary inspection of buildings, the abolition of contract labor in public works, the granting of equal pay for equal work without distinction of sex in public employment, and the municipal ownership and operation of the means of transportation.

In a period of seven weeks before the election labor clubs were built across the city of New York. Ethnic labor clubs were created to build support in different neighborhoods. Union locals emptied their coffers to help finance the campaign. Such was the fear of big business in the city, that the bosses set up their own bogus Labor Party, which failed to fool anyone. In the end, in a result considered fraudulent by many workers, Labor candidate George came second, defeating the Democratic Party. Veteran labor journalist John Swinton described the New York campaign in the following terms: “The campaign was by all odds the most formidable demonstration yet by the forces of organized labor in the United States.”

Even more impressively, the movement spread across the entire country like wildfire. Congressional candidates were run in 14 states, and for numerous local elections. The Labor candidate for mayor won 27% of the vote in Chicago. State senators, congressmen and assemblymen were elected in a number of areas, including the mayor of Milwaukee. Although this movement was not able to sustain itself, it clearly showed the support labor candidates could win.

Economic Crisis Sparks Movement of Workers

The struggle to form unions and political parties was continually interrupted by changes in the economic conditions. While the economy has tended to go forward and conditions in the workplace have improved, then workers have seen less need to be active in organizations and the leadership of the unions has become ties into a close relationship with the employers. As soon as the economy has collapsed, then workers have found themselves unprotected from employers’ attacks. Workers have found that their leadership has become an obstacle to fighting the bosses. With conditions worsening, this has propelled workers into action and to transform their organizations.

The economic depressions of 1873, 1884, 1893, 1906 and 1929 all had a drastic effect on workers’ living standards. Unemployment exploded, wages were cut, and labor suffered defeats. However, in each case the labor movement rose to new heights of organization and struggle.

It has been out of such experiences that workers have then also moved towards independent political action and build labor parties. At the height of this movement the ideas of socialism, i.e. workers taking over the government and building a new society, has gained increased support. For example, in the aftermath of the 1886 events, Edward Bellamy’s book, Looking Backwards, which described how a socialist society might look, sold one million copies in a few short years. Many of the leaders of the union movement at this time were socialists. Samuel Gompers, leader of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) at that time saw the goal of the labor movement as the “emancipation of labor.”

But, with US capitalism in a period of overall growth in this period, the economic depressions have been followed by new economic upturns. This led to a dipping in the mood for political action. With the bosses making profits, and the threat of lay-offs receding, the movement has often spurted forward on the economic plain with strikes and increased organization. However, because of the conditions of the time, and the fact that the pioneers of the labor movement came out of the elemental struggles of the time, the leaders of these movements very often embraced the goals of independent political action and socialism.

Turn to Business Unionism

The events of 1893 and 1894 were a turning point for US labor. The 1893 depression threw one half of the AFL’s members out of their jobs. In 1894, the American Railway Union (ARU) under the leadership of Eugene Debs organized all railroad workers into one union and was forces to strike. Railroads were shut across the country. Big business responded with severe repression, mobilizing goons, special deputies and arresting the leaders. This posed before the leaders of the AFL the need to shut down all labor in Chicago to win the strike. However, Gompers, head of the AFL, refused, and the ARU strike was defeated.

These events had posed before the AFL leaders the option of rallying all of the working class to confront big business to challenge for political power, or to accept the right of big business to control politics and to keep the majority of workers out of the unions. The leadership retreated. It decided that the US working class should play a subsidiary role to US big business, and developed the philosophy of ‘pure and simple’ unionism.

This issue has been debated at the 1983 convention where delegates voted by 2,244 to 67 to insert a socialist clause into the program of the AFL in 1893, calling for the “collective ownership of all the means of production and consumption.” But, in 1894, by a bureaucratic trick, Gompers got this removed. In recognition of this event, the Wall Street Journal, in its recent centennial edition had an article entitled “Events that helped shape the country.” One of its entries stated that in the year 1894, “The AFL led by Samuel Gompers votes against adopting socialist reform programs… Gompers believes that US labor should work with capitalism, not against it.”

The consequences have been a disaster for workers. The AFL restricted itself to organizing only skilled workers into craft unions. All attempts to organize the overwhelming mass of laborers was rejected. Out of this, a racial wall was created which excluded black workers. This was the beginning of ‘business unionism,’ where the labor leaders accepts that what is good for business and capitalism is also good for labor, since an expanding capitalist economy will provide the basis for the existing union members to benefit.

From this time on the AFL leadership’s policy was to keep the AFL to a restricted group of skilled workers until the mass movement of workers in the 1930s broke the unions open to unskilled workers. Importantly, the AFL leadership determinedly opposed any moves to build a workers’ political party. These policies also led toe labor leadership to support the foreign interventions of US big business, including entry into two wars, invasions of countries in Central America, and the US wars in Korea and Vietnam, because it was in the interest of US big business and capitalism.

Workers Build New Political and Industrial Organizations

Workers looked for other avenues to take their struggles forward. In 1901 the Socialist Party was formed. Eugene Debs, who had gained national support from workers for his fighting stand during the Pullman strike, ran as a Socialist Candidate for president in 1900, 1904, 1908, 1912 and 1920. During this time, especially after the recession of 1906, socialism gained wide support with candidates running for many offices, including the election of one Senator. It reached the greatest support in 1912, when the readership of the socialist newspaper, Appeal to Reason, reached one million in 1912, and Eugene Debs won one million votes in his campaign for president.

The words of Eugene Debs still ring true today. In 1900 he boldly stated: “The differences between the Republican and Democratic Parties involves no issue, no principle in which the working class has any interest… Between these parties socialists have no choice, no preference. They are one in their opposition to socialism, that is to say, the emancipation of the working class from wage slavery, and every workingman who has intelligence enough to understand the interest of his class and the nature of the struggle in which it is involved will once and for all sever his relations with both.

In 1905, workers came together to found a new militant labor organization, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). This organization fought heroic struggles for workers. The words with which Big Bill Haywood, leader of the Western Federation of Miners, opened the founding convention of the IWW have inspired millions of workers across the generations:

This is the Continental Congress of the working class. We are here to confederate the workers of this country into a working class movement that shall have for its purpose the emancipation of the working class from the slave bondage of capitalism… The aims of this organization shall be to put the working class in possession of the economic power, the means of life, in control of the machinery of production and distribution, without regard to capitalist masters.

Labor Party in San Francisco

Workers also repeatedly challenged the policies of the AFL leaders. Labor parties were formed in a number of cities at different times. This movement was carried furthest in San Francisco, where due to the attacks of the employers, the AFL leadership was unable to prevent 300 delegates representing 68 unions forming the Union Labor Party in 1901.

In a thrilling campaign, Eugene Schmitz, president of the Musicians’ Union, was elected Labor mayor of San Francisco. With the Union Labor Party in power, the trade union movement in San Francisco experienced a dramatic upsurge. The Union Labor Party refused to allow the police to assist scabs to break strikes. Within one year the union membership doubled, not one major strike had been lost and major gains were won by both skilled and unskilled workers. When the Union Labor Party won again in 1903, the Democrats and Republicans ran a combined candidate in 1905. However, this just galvanized the labor campaign even more. The Coast Seaman’s Journal stated: “The issue is: which class shall control, the working class or the business classes represented in the Citizen’s Alliance?” The Union Labor Party had its greatest victory and won every position in the 1905 elections. The AFL leadership had to intervene swiftly to prevent a similar development occurring in Los Angeles.

Movement is Delayed

But, despite many promising starts, the movement to build a national labor party was unable to achieve a breakthrough at this time. Despite the harshness and brutality of the conditions and periodic economic depressions, they were always followed by spurts forward in the economy.

By the turn of the century, ascending US capitalism had emerged as the most powerful economy on the planet. The upsurge of the movement between 1894 and 1912 was cut across by US preparation for World War I and the accompanying boom.

This powerful movement of workers, and the growing support for the Socialist Party, forced big business to give important reforms in the areas of child labor, the length of the workweek, public education and democratic election of officials, etc. But they are a fraction of what would have been won if a labor party had been formed. Also, because of big business’s monopoly of politics, it could then erode these gains won through struggle by getting its political parties to pass new laws and by using inflation to erode wages.

Immediately after World War I the mass movement exploded forward again. Mass strikes and organizing drives were launched in steel and meatpacking and other industries, including the Seattle general strike. Out of these struggles Eugene Debs from his prison cell where he had been incarcerated for opposing the war, won 900,000 votes for president. Also, in Chicago, the Federation of Labor mobilized their forces and built a labor party which won a quarter of a million votes in 1920.

This movement of 1919-1920 was cut across by the repression of the 1919 steel strike, the Palmer Raids in 1920 and the economic boom of the 1920s. This boom ended with the economic depression of 1929. Union membership declined from 4 million in 1920 to 2.6 million in 1933. But after the shock of the depression and 25% unemployment began to wear off, a few signs of economic growth began to appear. US labor then launched what was to be its greatest offensive and victory.

Industrial Unionsim

Starting with the struggles of the unemployed, society began to polarize. The defeat of Hoover in the 1932 election, and the election of Democrat Roosevelt, increased expectations, as workers flooded into the AFL unions. This initial wave of workers into unions was frustrated by the craft business unionist outlook of the leadership. Pressure from the rank and file found an outlet in three successful strikes in 1934; the Auto Lite strike in Toledo, Ohio, the Teamster general strike in Minneapolis and the San Francisco general strike. These strikes, led by socialists, had built on the traditions of the IWW and mobilized wider layers of workers alongside the unemployed to build powerful force to achieve victories.

This movement inspired workers in other industries, and led to splits in the top AFL leadership. John L. Lewis, leader of the Miners Union, the only industrial union in the US, created the Committee of Industrial Organization to rally workers to industrial unions. However, it was the 44-day sit-down strike at GM in 1936-1937 that finally turned the tide.

A wave of sit-down strikes spread across the country. At its height, half a million workers occupied over 1,000 workplaces throughout the US. The floodgates had been burst open. Victories were won in steel, chemical, rubber and electrical industries. The union movement tripled in size between 1933 and 1938, from 2.6 million to 8.3 million members. By 1946, it had reached 14.6 million. Along with unions came better pay, conditions and rights.

The events of the 1930s had demonstrated the power of the working class. In the face of this movement which threatened to challenge capitalism itself, big business was forced to concede further reforms. The 40-hour workweek, the National Recovery Act (NRA) job programs, the minimum wage and unemployment benefits were only some of the reforms won at this time. The union leaders argued that these reforms showed that Roosevelt was a “friend of labor.” But it was the mass radical movement on the streets that threatened to move beyond the system that forced big business, in the guise of the Democratic Party, to retreat.

Independent Political Movements in the 1930s

Once Again, despite the opposition of the leadership who supported the Democrats, there also developed important moves toward independent political action. The combined vote of the Socialist and Communist Parties tripled in 1932 to nearly one million. 100,000 joined the Communist Party. In 1934, socialist writer Upton Sinclair got 38% of the vote running openly as a socialist for Governor of California, on a Democratic ticket. His election was run as a grassroots campaign, and his success was achieved in the face of sabotage by the local Democratic Party whose leaders called for a vote for the Republicans.

By the 1936 election, layers of workers were angry at the attitude of Roosevelt towards labor. In 1935 alone, the National Guard was used 73 times against strikes. At the founding conference of the United Auto Workers, members voted to support a labor party in the 1936 elections. It was only the personal intervention of John L. Lewis that swayed delegates to reverse their decision and give Roosevelt one more term. In New York City the American Labor Party was organized by the union leadership in order to then switch the votes behind Roosevelt.

In 1937, without any political party or union supporting it, an opinion poll showed 21% of the population in favor of a labor party. Due to the pressure, the CIO had to set up the Labor’s Non-Partisan League to organize labor’s vote. However, it then channeled this mood for independent political action behind the Democrats. In 1940, J. L. Lewis came out against Roosevelt for president. He was to give a radio broadcast a few days later after taking this position. The hope that he would lead the party was so great that 25 to 30 million listeners tuned into his broadcast. In a disastrous decision, he came out in support of the Republicans, and dashed the hopes of millions of workers.

Why a Labor Party Did Not Develop in the 1930s

One essential reason a labor party was not formed was the opposition of the union leadership. Alongside this was the role of the Communist Party, which also opposed the formation of a labor party. Having inherited the best fighters from the Socialist Party and the IWW, and because they had waged important struggles for workers in the 1920s, they were able to win 40% of the leadership of the CIO in 1936. But, in the meantime, the Communist Party had been transformed from a party that fought for workers to a party that followed the line of the Stalinist bureaucracy in the Soviet Union, including building an alliance with Roosevelt in an attempt to stop Hitler invading the Soviet Union. Therefore, in the 1930s, the Communist Party systematically worked with the leadership of the unions to oppose a labor party and to corral workers’ anger towards the democrats.

But the most important factor which prevented a labor party developing in the 1930s was the strength and position of world dominance of US capitalism, and the enormous reserves it still had. This allowed big business to ride out the storm, by giving temporary reforms to workers. The workers themselves had enormous belief and trust in the new CIO leaders. They did not have the necessary time to develop a new movement to build a labor party.

Before a growing mood for a labor party could then develop, the US began a huge rearmament program in preparation for entry into World War II. The pumping up of public opinion behind the war effort and the creation of millions of jobs cut across the further development of the movement.

Labor in the Postwar Period

With World War II coming to an end the biggest strike wave in US history erupted, with strikes in steel, meatpacking, autos, electrical workers. This was part of an international movement of workers after the war. Big business hoped to break these strikes, and drive labor back to the conditions of the 1920s. But, despite the intervention of the US troops, the traditions of the 1930s were still strong, and labor came out of these strikes with victories. Such was the movement at this time, that US troops stationed overseas demonstrated to be brought back home and sympathized with the strike movement.

During and after the war the issue of a labor party continued to be raised. For example, in Wayne County in 1943 and in Detroit in 1944 labor movement bodies voted to set up labor and labor-farmer parties. However, the labor leadership blocked this move for a labor party.

A great example of the way forward was shown when the Labor Party was elected to power in Britain in 1945. Under the pressure of the working class, the Labor Party implemented a free healthcare system and nationally guaranteed pensions to benefit the whole working class. This greatly increased the unity and strength of the working class in Britain. Important sections of the economy were also brought into public ownership to safeguard jobs and services.

The US labor leaders turned their back on this process and decided instead to push for gains in healthcare and pensions to be tied to the union contract, and to continue to rely on the goodwill of the Democrats and Republicans. This decision not only weakened the militancy of workers who would face loss of healthcare and pensions if they were fired or laid-off, it also cut organized labor off from the rest of the working class and the unemployed who were left without healthcare and pensions.

Through their control of the two major parties, big business used its monopoly of politics to pass laws to restrict the ability of labor to strike, and build support from other unions. The Taft-Hartley Act and other anti-union legislation was passed by a majority of both Democrats and Republicans. The rights that workers had won through struggle on the picket line and the streets were diluted on the political arena. At the same time a McCarthyist red-scare was launched at activists to erase the traditions of the 1930s and to discredit the ideas of socialism. The existence of the totalitarian dictatorship of Stalinism in the Soviet Union made it easier for McCarthy’s attacks to gain support.

Postwar Economic Upswing

The 1950s and 1960s saw major strikes in auto, steel and other industries. Workers made major gains in their contracts. This period also was the period of the postwar economic upswing, the most dramatic economic boom in the history of capitalism. This combination of the economic boom and the strength of the union movement coming out of the 1930s and 1940s allowed workers to make major gains. By 1972, US workers had the highest living standards in the world.

During the years of the postwar upswing it became possible for a large layer of working people to see their living standards improve, put their kids through college, have regular vacations and have some security in their lives. Workers favorably compared conditions of the 1950s and 1960s to those of the depression of the 1930s.

However, large sections of workers were left behind. The 1950s and 1960s saw the heroic struggle of the black population who faced the worst economic conditions and the Jim Crow racist laws in the South. The civil rights movement exploded in the South and was followed by major struggles and riots by black youth and workers in the North. Then, in the 1960s, the movement against US intervention in Vietnam exploded. Also, at this time women across America moved into struggle to demand equal rights. All of these struggles achieved major gains for workers and youth. The economic upswing made it possible for these gains to be extracted from big business.

This period of the postwar upswing strengthened the idea of the American dream. Each generation was expected to do better than the last. The idea was put across that the US society was in some way ‘exceptional’. It was held up as a shining example of democratic achievement under capitalism. This was also a period when both political parties were able to gain support from a large layer of workers. Despite the movements during this period, the continuing strength of the economy allowed these movements to be contained within the political system.

The gains made by workers greatly increased the confidence of US workers. Workers have come to expect certain rights, and to expect a decent life. These raised expectations will make it far more difficult for the employers to take them away in the coming years. This increased confidence and expectation of the working class is an important gain from the last 40 years.

Increased Illusions

The postwar economic upswing of 1950-75 also increased the illusions among labor leaders in the ability of US capitalism and the two major parties to deliver the goods. During this time all that seemed necessary was to meet with the boss, and a deal could be made. The threat of a strike, or at times a short strike, was all that was needed often to win reforms. In these years the union leadership pulled closer to management, and espoused outright support for capitalism. As Meany, leader of the newly merged AFL-CIO stated in 1955: “We believe in the American profit system.” At the same time the militant traditions of the 1930s were buries.

Despite the gains won at this time, the refusal of the labor leaders to build a labor party and fight for the wider concerns of workers and youth, including minorities and youth, and prevented the working class from making much greater gains. This can be seen in the fact that there is no decent healthcare system, nationally guaranteed pensions and the more generous form of unemployment insurance that have been won by workers who built their own political parties in Europe, Canada and Australia. As a result, the labor movement is not seen by many workers as fighting on their side. It is seen by many workers and youth as a single issue group interested only in the protection of its own members. This weakened the cohesion of workers as big business begun its attacks.

Labor in the 1980s and 1990s

With the postwar economic upswing coming to an end in 1975, big business launched a systematic assault on all the gains of the past 40 years. The union leadership has been caught totally off-guard. They consider it to be a misunderstanding, and are desperate to prove that labor is only asking for a fair-day’s-pay for a fair-day’s-work. However, with their profits on the line, big business is not interested in making friendly deals. They are looking to drive conditions back to those of the 1920s.

Today the press is filled with reports from experts from the universities and from big business saying that the labor movement is a relic from the past. But, despite a fall in the percentage of workers in unions to 16% of the population, this decline is not because workers have left unions. It is mainly due to mass lay-offs in auto, steel etc., and by the growth of the non-union workforce, particularly in the service sector.

In fact, the 1980s saw a great increase in the number of service and public workers joining the unions, especially women workers. The unions today, despite the huge number of unorganized workers, have a larger proportion of blacks, latinos and women than ever in its history.

Bitter Struggles in the 1980s

Workers have responded to these attacks by moving into struggle. School students, college students and teachers have walked out over school cutbacks and communities have demonstrated against increased violence and racism. Workers at Caterpillar, Greyhound, Eastern, Hormel and TWA, teachers, public sector, telecommunications and hospital workers, have been forced out on strike. Massive demonstrations for jobs, for the right to abortion, against discrimination based on race or sexual orientation have been organized across the country.

Not one major strike has been lost due to the failure of workers to support the struggle. More and more, workers who went on strike faced the terrorism of the bosses. Workers who had given the best years of their lives to their jobs, were replaced by scabs. Injunctions were enacted immediately, and picket lines were restricted. Workers who looked to organize were fired, and the NLRB backed up management in the majority of its decisions. Workers still went out on strike to defend their future and their dignity, despite the threat that they would loose their jobs, homes and everything they had won during their lives. This was particularly the case for workers at Greyhound who led two heroic struggles.

The real reason for the setbacks and defeats suffered in the last 10 to 15 years, and reduction in the number of strikes, has been the failure of the union leadership to lead a successful struggle. This leadership has turned to the right by accepting concessions, tied its fortunes to the Democrats and failed to link up the struggles of different sections of workers. If improvements could be won in conditions of depression in the 1930s, then the attacks of the 1980s, when the unions were far more powerful, could have been repulsed. The leadership of the labor union failed to comprehend the nature of these attacks and to organize a successful struggle by linking these struggles together around a fighting program.

Where a more fighting leadership has been present, gains have been made, even if they were temporary. Examples include: Justice for Janitors in Los Angeles, the dry-wallers in California, teachers in Chicago, Pittston miners, Teamsters in Pittsburgh, drivers in the 1994 one-day strike at UPS, students in 1989 in New “York City, protesters mobilizing in the streets to keep abortion clinics open.

To make gains today three actions are necessary. The leadership must mobilize the membership. A program must be developed to mobilize the rest of the working class, and the laws of the employers must be challenged. The gains made in these recent struggles have been because at least one of these three elements has been present. The Teamster strikes at the Pittsburgh Press and at UPS were successful because the injunctions were ignored. When a fighting lead has been given, workers have responded enthusiastically.