Militant Printer’s 1990 Election Program

  1. Break with the Strikebreaking Democratic and Republican Parties!

    The labor movement must have its own political party, a workers party based on the unions, committed to the fight for our interests, up to and including a workers government! Not a dime, not a vote for the strikebreaking, racist Democrats and Republicans! The Democrats and Republicans have taken us to war four times in this century and now threaten to do it again. It is our sons and daughters who will die in Saudi Arabia—No to Bush’s war for Big Oil!

  2. For a Four-Day, 30-Hour Workweek, With No Loss in Pay!

    The answer to unemployment, homelessness and poverty is not some phony ‘‘guaranteed job’’ that disappears when the individual named on a list retires (or the company goes bankrupt). The answer is a shorter work-week with no loss in pay. The right to a job should be the birthright of every worker!

  3. For a 100% Cost-of-Living Clause in Every Contract!

    The ‘‘Voodoo Economics’’ of the Carter/Reagan/ Bush administrations have resulted in a loss in real wages for the American worker. The real wages (after inflation) in the newspapers in Local 21 have declined more than $100 a week since 1975.

  4. For a Merger with the Guild and GCIU!

    The day of the print crafts is over. The employers we face today are multi-national conglomerates, and the crying need in this industry is for one big union of all communication and print workers, with company-wide and industry-wide contracts.

  5. For a Fight to Protect and Regain our Jurisdiction!

    In their haste to appease the employers, previous administrations signed contracts that gave away much of our jurisdiction on the spurious basis that it was ‘‘lost’’ to automation. In reality, much of the work was only moved to other departments and is still being done there. Page makeup, proofreading and typesetting is our work!

  6. Picket Lines Mean Don’t Cross!

    No crossing of picket lines for any reason. The last 15 years have seen a virtual orgy of union-busting with the employers using us and other unions to break strikes (Chicago, Washington D.C., etc.).

  7. For Union Action Against the Racist Skinhead Nazis and Klan!

    For a return to the days when the union movement in this country stood with the oppressed against the night riders and Hitler-loving thugs like the Nazis. For Labor/Black defense against Klan/Nazi terror!

  8. Organize the Unorganized!

    For a serious and aggressive organizing drive to get the hundreds of non-union printers in the Bay Area into this union! Anaggressive, fighting union that wins a few struggles will have the appeal to pull in the unorganized—who in turn will increase the union’s clout in future confrontations. Only by reversing the attrition of the union membership can we ensure that the industrial pension remains sound. Let’s not have tomorrow’s pensioners end up on welfare, as happened when the ITU Fraternal Pension went broke!

  9. No Lawsuits Against the Union!

    Every time a member sues the union, the courts and government use it as an excuse to gain just a little more control over our affairs! (Six years ago we had the ludicrous example of then-First Vice-President Robert McMichen and his fellow playmates in Colorado Springs dragging the union and each other into court over ‘‘election irregularities’’).

  10. Take Back and Use the Strike Weapon!

    Local 21, the CWA and much of the rest of the labor movement have virtually abandoned the strike as a weapon. Most of the problems facing the union can be traced in the long run to this policy. Organizing unorganized workers, for example, can hardly succeed when the employers know that even in the unlikely event that there is a strike, the worst that will happen is an impotent consumer boycott (Chicago, Vallejo, etc.). The same is true in the fight for a shorter workweek, cost-of-living contracts, etc. The employers must know that we are able and that we have the will to strike. The strike, the only real weapon workers have, is essentially a political question. A strike, any strike, almost immediately becomes a confrontation with the city, state or national government when the employer asks for and gets police to bring scabs into the plant and a court injunction against pickets (PATCO, meatcutters, Greyhound, Eastern Airlines, etc., etc.). A militant leadership must be prepared to show active solidarity with other unions engaged in struggles with the corporate pirates. The problems we face as a union have been a long time in the making and there certainly are no overnight answers, but taking back the right to strike is the place to begin. Carefully prepared, militantly prosecuted strikes, with mass picket lines and a leadership committed to winning, are the key to putting this union back on its feet.

Let’s get this union off its back!

Published: 1917 No.10 (3rd Quarter 1991)