Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism



Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens. 

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

  Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!


« Chicago: Working-Class Unity Revs Up Auto Mechanic Strike | Main | Venezuela Crisis Rooted in U.S.-China Rivalry »

Nissan Workers’ Anti-Racist Campaign to Unionize

MISSISSIPPI,  August 4—“It’s the beginning of a war!” That’s how one Nissan worker responded to his co-workers voting 2,244 to 1,307 to reject union representation. The United Auto Workers union (UAW) has led a 14-year campaign at the Nissan plants here to unionize the workers. Nissan has 48 auto plants around the world and all are unionized except for those in the U.S. This most recent vote is another disappointing defeat for union organizing across the southern U.S., following similar setbacks at Volkswagen in Tennessee and Boeing in South Carolina.
Unlike the other campaigns, this one was particularly antiracist. Of the 6,000 workers in the Canton plant, over 75 percent are Black. The pay rate averages about $3/hour below that of the Nissan plant in Smyrna, Tennessee that is majority white workers. Almost half of the Canton workers are temp workers employed through Kelly Services, working across the line from the permanent workers for about half the pay. This represents the racist exploitation that is standard under capitalism. All workers are exploited, creating profit for the bosses. Racism is a dangerous tool used by the bosses to keep workers divided and to try to convince white workers to not fight back, to protect their “better” wages.
The UAW organized the Mississippi Alliance for Fairness at Nissan (MAFN), a coalition of student groups, clergy, community, and civil rights groups. They used civil disobedience to win back the job of a worker who was fired for pro-union activity, and organized the more than 5,000-strong March on Mississippi last spring.
Despite all of this, the union still had only a slim majority of workers signed up when they filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Nissan bosses worked hard to make sure of that. Once the vote was scheduled, the bosses forced thousands of workers to sit through one-on-one hour-long meetings that were used to bribe and threaten them while Nissan ran anti-union videos in the plant as well as TV ads. Some were told they would lose their special employee rates on new cars while others received long overdue raises and new car deals.
Nissan had plenty of ammunition by pointing to the UAW’s inability to defend its members and asking, “Do you want Canton to become another Detroit or Flint?” They also used the unfolding scandal of a former UAW-VP in charge of Chrysler and the Chrysler VP for Labor Relations allegedly stealing millions from a training fund for Chrysler hourly workers while they negotiated UAW-Chrysler contracts.
Most workers realized they might lose this round, but saw it as the beginning of the next phase of what has become a long-term struggle. The NLRB has charged Nissan with Unfair Labor Practices, including threatening to close the plant, cut wages and benefits, and interrogating workers. If these charges are upheld, the NLRB could order a new unionization vote within six months.
Unions are really not the long-term answer for the working class, though. Unionization on the job is a means to unite workers and secure some reforms under the system, but won’t smash racism or end capitalist exploitation. The Nissan campaign underlines how the UAW’s strategy of relying on politicians and the bosses’ laws and courts has brought the union to the brink of irrelevance. It is crucial to win workers to see beyond those reform struggles to fight for an end to this deadly system.
The main challenge for PLP is to be more involved in struggles like this. As one worker said, “I don’t take this as a loss because I have learned so much…during this process.” By being in these battles we can learn from the workers and help them to see past the misleaders who seem to offer so much, but won’t deliver.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>