Dear fellow union members: I have been nominated to represent Painters and Drywall Finishers Local 10 at this year’s international convention of the painters union. I want to represent Local 10 at our convention by standing for the same militant class-struggle principles that I have become known for in our Local, and I need your vote.
I am a journeyman commercial painter, graduate of our apprenticeship, and have been a lifelong socialist and union activist. In Local 10, members know that I have consistently pushed to transform our local into a fighting instrument of all painters and tapers. I think I speak for many in saying that our union must be ready to wage a powerful and effective strike to break painters out of our poverty-level wages. I was active on the painters’ 2017 “contract advisory” committee, demanding “5-5-5” and a serious strike plan. I led the resistance at Siegner to the privacy-invading “T-sheets” spyware app. A number of us have been working to get finishers and painters organized to defend our pension against the bosses’ insatiable greed, promoting the “member action team” squad program and challenging the union leaders who argued against real strike preparations.
Our union leaders say “partnership works” and spend our dues money playing charity golf with our boss-“partners.” I say the capitalists are not our partners, they are our exploiters. We can only defend what little we have by mobilizing our working-class power. We created all the bosses’ wealth with our labor. We can grow our union by showing non-union workers that we mean business and won’t be pushed around. I stand for workers solidarity, not the illusion of common interests with the bosses. That means opposing racism and anti-immigrant prejudice at every turn, because whatever divides us weakens us against the bosses. Whoever seeks to poison the labor movement with racism and national chauvinism is our enemy. Labor must demand full citizenship rights for all immigrants.
Local 10 has gained national recognition for our stand on these issues. I helped to write our historic resolution committing Local 10 to mobilize against fascist and racist groups, and I have stood with painters, tapers and other union militants on the front lines against “Patriot Prayer” thugs. Labor has the numbers and power to sweep the wannabe Nazis off our streets, but we have to use it before it’s too late. Now the Chicago IUPAT District Council 14 and Illinois AFL-CIO have joined Local 10 in committing to mobilize against the fascists. Their words should fill every Local 10 member with pride. But they must be turned into disciplined action. As a delegate, I will seek to spread the example that we in Local 10 and DC 14 painters have set. Our experience in Portland, and the tragic history of the rise of Hitler in the 1930s, shows that liberal Democratic politicians and their police won’t stop the fascist terrorists. We must be prepared to defend our unions and our working class communities against this deadly product of the decaying capitalist system.
In Local 10, I along with several others put forward our August 2016 resolution rejecting the bosses’ Democratic Party and all capitalist parties and politicians, calling instead for a class-struggle workers party. Everyone knows Trump is a union-hating racist bigot. But we can’t fight Trump with Democrats. The Democrats from Bernie Sanders to Joe Biden are representatives of the capitalist class that lives off our labor and rules through its brutal, racist system of world-wide oppression and war. I will represent Local 10 at the convention by opposing any support or endorsement for the Democrats, or any bosses’ party. The bosses have two parties. We need our own party to lead the workers class struggle, for a workers government.
To vote, you must be a Local 10 member in good standing, and you must attend the May 15 monthly union meeting. Call the union office at 503-257-0589 to verify that you are in good standing. Come to the union meeting at 6 p.m., Wednesday May 15. Choose from three locations: Local 10 hall, 11105 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, 97220; Best Western, 3125 Ryan Dr. SE, Salem, 97301; Plumbers & Pipefitters 290 Training Center 2861 Pierce Parkway, Springfield, 97477.
Questions? Contact me at email@example.com or 503-303-8278.