The following resolutions were unanimously passed at our recent national convention in Buffalo, New York:
LABOR DAY RESOLUTION
The Socialist Party of America, and its latest iteration, Social Democrats USA, have been actively involved in and supportive of the labor movement going back to its early days; first as the AFL then as the AFL-CIO, including the UAW and the Teamsters.
Many of the leaders of the AFL-CIO were also members in good standing of the socialist movement and its leadership; figures like Morris Hillquist and Sidney Hillman of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers, David Dubinsky of the ILGWU, IW Abel of the Steelworkers, Sam Fishman of the UAW, A Phillp Randolph of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, Paul Hall of Seafarers International Union, and many others. Furthermore, during World War II young socialists like Donnie Slayman and Sam Fishman organized their comrades at work in the factories such as the General Motors plant in Buffalo, New York.
Members of the Socialist Party were active in organizing campaigns in Detroit and other parts of the Midwest and western states in the 1930’s. And of course, they were also involved in labor actions in New York and on the east coast – in other words, during the 1930’s, socialists contributed to labor organizing and strikes all over the US. In the 1960’s, YPSL’s (Young People’s Socialist League) and the Young Social Democrats, with the support of the national AFL-CIO and UAW, organized and operated the groups know as Frontlash – the Youth Institute of for Peace in the Middle East, the US Youth Council, the A. Phillp Randolph Institute Youth Division, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and more.
We do not simply support the American labor movement as all good progressives do, and we don’t just love the American labor movement because it works for and protects the American working class, or because we are committed trade unionists, feminists, and organizers. Moreover, organized labor has and is the greatest American social institution for assimilating immigrants, integrating the races, promoting equality, and providing meaningful affirmative action. Furthermore, it is as democratic and non-corrupt as any huge body of human beings can be – especially when competing with and/or fighting against capitalist institutions, and captains of industry. If it weren’t for the American labor movement, we wouldn’t have the weekend, the eight-hour day or 40-hour week, the minimum wage, collective bargaining, and much, much more. The American labor movement has not now, nor ever been, perfect, but more often than not, has supported the right cause for the right reasons, be it civil rights, the ERA, or the fight for women’s reproductive freedom.
Members of SDUSA have worked to register union voters all around the country and worked on labor-endorsed candidates’ campaigns as well as union organizing campaigns. SDUSA stands in solidarity with the three million members of the New York state AFL-CIO and the millions of trade unionists all over this country who are our brothers and sisters on this Labor Day and always.
–> Submitted by Patti Friend, National Chair of SDUSA, and Jason Sibert, the Executive Director of the Peace Economy Project in St. Louis.
ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN RESOLUTION .
Whereas, no military-grade assault weapons should be sold or otherwise be made available for hunting,
Whereas, no one under the age of 21 should be purchasing an assault weapon without a proper background check or be allowed due to shopkeeper discretion,
Whereas, no military-grade assault weapons be made available in the United States of America unless purchased legally according to the new ATF standards by the Biden Administration,
SDUSA endorses a complete ban on military-grade assault weapons. In the interim, we insist there be no proliferation of military-grade assault weapons without proper background checks, a collector’s permit or legal purchase in the United States.
Submitted by Michael Mottern, first vice-chair of SDUSA.