Statement by the Gus Hall Action Club supporting Support ATU 1005 (the public "bus and train drivers union" in the Twin Cities, Minnesota) in their fight for a good contract:
"The history of all hitherto existing society," Marx and Engels wrote in the Communist Manifesto, "is the history of class struggles." And class struggle runs like a red thread through ATU (the Amalgamated Transit Union) local 1005's fight for a good contract.
State-monopoly capitalism unites the power of capitalist monopolies with that of the state. "The essence of state-monopoly capitalism," Otto Kuusinen said in Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, "is the direct union of the power of capitalist monopolies with the enormous power of the state." And this, in part, explains why Metro Transit is trying to attack union member's wages and healthcare. Metro Transit's "final offer" for a contract was an insult and an attack on the working class. ATU 1005 is now working without a contract as the struggle continues. As ATU 1005's fighting spirit proves, the working class, as Otto Kuusinen pointed out in Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, is "a class of fighters, a class of builders."
ATU 1005's struggle is on behalf of our entire working class. It is in the class interests of all working class people to stand in solidarity with ATU 1005, the "bus and train driver's union," and insist that the union's demands and contract proposals be met in full.
Gus Hall, writing in Working Class USA, had exactly that attitude which all working class folks should have towards ATU 1005's fight for a good contract: "We are for any demand that cuts down on profits, ups wages, cuts down on speedup, shortens hours, protects workers' health."
At the same time as Metro Transit refuses to agree to ATU 1005's efforts for a good contract, they are forcing through bus fare increases. This is another attack on working class people. Don't believe the hype that the union is to blame. Gus Hall said in Basics that "the ideological machinery of capitalism grinds out propaganda against labor in an endless stream, like a sausage machine turns out frankfurters." Bosses and their mouthpieces have always tried to split the ranks of the working class, but, as Otto Kuusinen pointed out in Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism, "unity of workers has a firm, objective basis--the community of class interests." Bus riders and drivers have a common interest in ATU 1005's fight for a good contract. An injury to one is an injury to all.
Metro Transit says high fuel costs are to blame for the upcoming bus fare increase. What is a real solution to the high price of fuel? Nationalize the oil, gas and energy industries! Gus Hall wrote in The Energy Rip-Off that "nationalization under democratic people's control can result in real gains for the American people." "Nationalization," Hall says in Working Class USA, is "when an industry is taken over by the government and run for the benefit of the people." Otto Kuusinen points out in Fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism that: "Communists insist on nationalization being carried out in a way that really curtails the power of the monopoly capitalists and improves the lot of working people."
It is in the class interests of all working class people to stand in solidarity with ATU 1005, the "bus and train driver's union," and insist that their contract demands and proposals be met in full.
What can you do? Call Metro Transit Council at 651-602-1000 and tell them that you support ATU 1005 and their demands for a good contract. Post a blog or write a letter to the editor of a newspaper supporting ATU 1005 in the contract fight. And make sure that you show the drivers that you support them the next time you get on a bus.