On October 2nd, 2022, the membership passed a Labor Strategy Resolution developed by the Labor Working Group at our General Body Meeting. Below is the body of the resolution in full:
Miami DSA Labor Strategy Resolution
Why Miami DSA Needs a Labor Strategy
Miami DSA must adopt a labor strategy. It is not enough to do labor work simply on an ad hoc basis with no greater plan. There must be a way for us to collectively work toward a clearly defined goal that is sure to bring us closer to socialism. This will provide motivation and purpose not only to our labor work, but to our chapter as a whole. A chapter-wide strategy would guarantee buy-in from all members, ensuring that there is cohesion to our work and coordination between the various working groups on the basis of this labor strategy. This would resolve the issue of working groups not collaborating in a way that takes full advantage of their status and capacity within the same organization. The chapter-wide labor strategy would also help our chapter’s work reflect the necessity of labor work to the revolution. If labor is not prioritized, we will not be able to imbue the labor movement with a socialist character, and both the socialist and labor movements will stagnate and remain separate, prolonging the suffering of our class under the capitalist system. By adopting a comprehensive labor strategy, we are charting a course to the quickest and most resolute end to the bourgeois dictatorship.
An effective labor strategy for Miami DSA would outline the pivotal role socialists have historically played within the labor movement and help our chapter fulfill that role. This would entail developing close ties between the labor movement and our organization to provide political leadership, effectively uniting the socialist and labor movement, and by doing so giving the labor movement a socialist character. The way to do this is through agitation among the working masses from the basis of their immediate economic and political issues. This agitation will explain the root causes of these issues and show that they are inherent features of capitalism and reveal that capitalism is a rotten system that must be replaced with socialism.
Why is this kind of leadership necessary? Put simply, the issue is that if we do not politically guide our fellow workers, the capitalist class will. This may seem strange at first, since the capitalist class is the labor movement’s greatest enemy. However, within the capitalist class, there are competing theories about capitalist management or, put more honestly, managing the capitalist crisis. Of these theories, a few converge on a cynical toleration of trade unions as a means to ease the suffering of the workers to continuously put off unrest and revolution. In their minds, labor unions can serve as insurance against strikes and provide a “more secure investment environment.” However, for this arrangement to work, the socialist trade union leaders, who have existed since the beginning of the trade union movement, and played the leading role in its formation, had to be eradicated. This turned revolutionary unions working for the overthrow of the bourgeoisie (i.e. red unions) into organizations merely seeking concessions from the capitalists for the amelioration of the workers’ suffering, leaving them defenseless to the assault on labor unions that occurred post-WWII and intensified in the 70s and 80s. Unless we are able to politically lead our fellow workers, the labor movement will not look further than immediate demands nor set its sights resolutely on revolution.
How do we gain this leadership in the labor movement? By earning it. By becoming recognized as the most energetic and fearless fighters of the working class. By embedding ourselves closely with the working masses and genuinely caring about their well being and emancipation. Socialists must make themselves known in their workplaces and their unions as people who are the first to stick their neck out for the well being of their co-workers, the first to take the task of organizing their workplace, the first to take on difficult and thankless assignments for their union, and the first to earnestly share a vision for a better world with their co-workers and invite them to help build it. The selfless devotion to the cause of socialism and the working class presents an insurmountable challenge for the trade union aristocracy paid to exert a stifling effect on the workers’ struggles. Our struggle for leadership in the trade unions will depend on developing ourselves on one hand, gaining the trust of the working masses on the other, all while fighting the trade union bureaucracy that stands to lose if unions were to take on a policy of class struggle.
Given the great difficulty of this task, it is important that we organize our activity around workplaces. They are where our class is most powerful and most highly concentrated. Workers’ greatest power in the workplace is the ability to stop working, and hence directly disrupting capitalists’ accumulation of capital. The concentration of workers also makes it perfect grounds for recruiting the most solidly proletarian strata of the working class into the chapter. As the number of members in a single worksite grows, they should form a strategy together on how to more effectively fight in the workplace while agitating among the rest of the workers. Their connections in the workplaces can enrich the work of the rest of the chapter since our strategies, tactics, and political lines can all be informed by the thoughts, concerns, and feedback of the workers. It also means that strategies from the chapter can be implemented directly in the workplaces with relative ease since a body of the chapter is already present in the workplace and can implement the strategy in a way that is grounded in, and connected to, the daily issues workers face in that workplace.
One of the first steps we must take to realize this is creating a curriculum for political education and skills training of militant labor cadres. These educational initiatives will not only help our worker members organize their workplaces, but can educate labor militants not in the chapter while bringing them closer to the chapter. This provides a wide base for recruitment and builds the chapter’s mass following. For political education, it is important we educate everyone on theory, history, strategy, and tactics of militant labor organizing. When it comes to organizing skills, we must teach our labor cadres basic skills such as strategy planning, one-on-one organizing conversations, workplace mapping, following up, holding effective meetings, leader identification, and so on. This will provide us with the people we need to take the fight directly into the workplaces and exponentially grow the influence of the chapter in the labor movement for the benefit of the whole working class.
Resolved, That the Miami chapter of DSA will use every committee, branch, and working group at the chapter’s disposal to further the ideological, organizational, and political advancement of the labor movement as a year-round priority. This development of the labor movement will be on the basis of a direct confrontation with the capitalist class and those that do their bidding, such as strikebreakers, spies, agent provocateurs, and the class collaborationists and conciliators in the labor movement that advocate for “labor-management partnerships” and business unionism in general.
And, That an annual report on the progress on our labor strategy will be given at every General Body Meeting by the Labor Working Group. Every Working Group should include its progress on furthering the labor strategy in its monthly reports to the Coordinating Committee.
And, That Miami DSA will develop a standardized training for DSA members in the Labor Work Group that involves both political education and organizing training, to build a cadre of worker organizers that can help educate fellow workers on class struggle unionism and organize the unorganized masses of workers, all while effectively dealing with all the forms of repression used against socialists in the labor movement.
And, That these cadres will actively lead or advance organizing efforts to develop labor unions, whether by organizing unions in their own workplaces, providing support to fellow workers looking for assistance in their own organizing campaigns, or advancing campaigns for the adoption of a class struggle policy within existing unions.
And, That Miami DSA will strive to form workplace committees of chapter members wherever there are three or more members in the same workplace. The purpose of these committees would be to: more effectively coordinate workplace organizing, organize their union to adopt a class struggle position, conduct agitprop among the members’ coworkers, and educate their co-workers politically and bring them closer to the position of socialism.
And, That Miami DSA will work to coordinate the various unions and other organizations of the labor movement to achieve the economic and political aims of the working class, with the ultimate aim of the working class seizure of power and the abolition of private property. This objective should be achieved through independent coordination of organizations of labor militants , as well as engaging meaningfully in the local Central Labor Council (CLC) to coordinate among the broader working class.