Tag Archives: class

The Ghetto Dwellers Speak: Portavoz con Staylok- El Otro Chile (The Other Chile) with English subs

 

We’re sharing this video from an incredibly powerful Chilean MC: Portavoz (which means “spokesman” in Spanish). This is our first sharing of music. We feel that a working class and progressive culture is needed in South Florida. It will be constructed through the efforts of the working class and laborers here. However, as an organization based on working class principles, we will continue to spread any music we feel is relatable to us. This helps show the efforts of artists and workers in the US and around the world that may be useful to constructing an autonomous working class movement. Some content will be more historical others contemporary. In this particular video, Portavoz demarcates from official Chilean “history” and the reality facing regular working people versus the capitalist presentation in their media (true to the elements of Hip-Hop and it’s tendency of being the voice of  everyday ordinary people). It draws a clear line between the Chilean masses and the classes dictating Chilean society. Chile historically has had strong, well organized worker’s organizations and this is reflected in their creative works. As an international class, we feel the workers should know their history here and abroad, and much of the specifics to Chile can easily be replaced by local details in South Florida and US in general. English subtitles are available on the “settings” button of this link….

Looking Back In Time: Workers in the US and Chile have a link not too well known among our workers. Chile was the scene of a brutal military coup backed by the US (with our tax money!). The direct CIA and economic intervention of US Imperialism which backed certain factions of Chilean capitalism, was responsible for the kidnappings, tortures and murders of tens of thousands of working people in Chile. Chile was where the current economic attacks on workers around the world with budget cuts, cutting wages and mass privatizations was first developed. Forced by Pinochet, the General who ran Chile for Chilean and International capitalists, the Chilean economy undertook massive attacks on the working class

Workers Struggle shares a glimpse of our sister and brother workers reality in Chile and recognizes the brutality of the bosses the world over for profit no matter what it does to our lives or our world. This should act as a calling to ourselves here to organize against those who exist off the labor of workers, and at our expense!

(Posted by Ricardito Ramos, 11/06/2016)

Work All Day, Barely Survive: We’re Being Squeezed and There’s a Reason

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We work most days,
sometimes all
profits up and wages fall
feeling weak with painful feet
times like this, we’re getting’ squeezed
the bosses though, live comfortably

 

By Ricardito

Rent’s outta control! To be honest everything is crazy expensive. Living in South Florida (or anywhere), is getting so hard you can work full-time and still barely get by. Not to mention all the other costs to live. How many people do you know can even live on their wages alone? To avoid the burdens of rent, many in South Florida are staying longer with their families or with roommates.

We’re told by capitalist “news” and other media that this or that policy/treaty/decision “creates jobs”, but what kind of jobs are these? How much are these jobs actually paying? Who’s making all the money? Who/s doing all the work?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Funny how those who work longer and harder always make less

US workers work longer than most workers in industrialized countries with less vacation time and smaller “benefits” packages – if any! There has been a constant attack on the US workers. This is true around the world, in the international economy. Here, in what politicians and corporate reporters tout as “the free world”, workers and laborers are attacked on every front in every aspect of our lives. Of course, when we’re divided by skin color, ethnicity, gender, etc, it’s easier to get away with the assaults. If we blame workers fleeing terrible violence and low wages in Mexico for example for “stealing our jobs”, then it’s easier to hide the fact that capitalist trade deals like NAFTA devastate farmers and workers on both sides of the border.

These trade deals are made by capitalist politicians for their economic interests directly against the  workers on both sides of the border. And yet, it is the workers who are screwed in both countries. It should be noted these deals have been made and continued under every president, Democrat and Republican. With all their differences, they have no problem with uniting against us. Their circus of blaming each other is all we get on the news they own and control as they hide the economic reality we face daily and manipulate it to serve their agenda; the agenda of the immense minority of capitalists against the masses of people.

Look around at the food prices and high rise luxury living and office spaces that keep growing. Workers Struggle doesn’t see these fancy quarters of the rich as “development” that benefits us: the working masses of South Florida. We see the buildings that those who build can’t afford to live in as a sickening reminder of the immense disparity. All this construction is bringing more instability and gloom to our lives, as they block our sun and convert our community “public” spaces to private grounds with billions of dollars worth of metal and glass in which only they can afford.                                    

For us, the price or rent and cost of living is agonizing. Our decisions are not whether to take the yacht or private jet out today. Our decisions are do we buy food today and take out money for rent, or eat less and face possible eviction. We pay car insurance to billion dollar companies who pay their employees the same shitty pay we get, buy gas from trillion dollar companies doing the same. We pay taxes yet aren’t guaranteed a roof over our heads. They get bail outs when they take our money and engage in risky market gambling. They may lose millions of our dollars but it’s ok for them. You know why? It’s NOT their money anyway, not until they pocket it all!


So What?

Just because we are on the receiving end of such robbery and treachery doesn’t mean we gotta like it. Just because this is the way things are today, doesn’t mean they must be this way tomorrow. Everything that we have that’s in our interests came from us coming together and fighting for it! Think of all the shrinking rights we have:

days off, vacation time, health care (if we can even afford it), child labor laws, 8 hour days
None of them were graciously given to us! We fought for them all!

We don’t have to agree on everything, but we can agree on certain things we should have. We can change the reality we face today, but only if we organize! There’s no other way! Our lives get harder each year. Not because it’s just life, or because there is scarcities in food, homes, cars, etc. Things get worse because as we work more,  capitalists are making record profits! Each capitalist makes MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year! Those millions grow as we lose our jobs, our hours or wages are cut, and retirements slashed. We’re forced into an “Affordable health” market and can’t afford the doctor visits.

They’ve erased our collective class history & identity to deny its power, but the future’s ours!     

Why? Because WE CAN come together and make the changes we need, we always have. History won’t forgive us if we don’t organize! The world is run by a minority class of people, so why can’t it be run by the majority? Workers can have the power to make a better world, so let’s unite to fight for what’s rightfully ours anyway!

The question is:
How much longer will see let them get away with their crimes against us and nature?

 

Miami Developing: Investors Paid, Workers Screwed

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By Ricardito

Like all major cities, Miami (a strategically located port city) is undergoing a major development transformation. Everywhere you go in Miami, you see construction cranes operated by a score of low wage brutally over worked workers. Many of these workers are recent migrants from Latin America and the Caribbean. Many are Miami locals trying to feed themselves and their families in a rapidly changing world. Drowning under rent, food costs, and other piles of bills, these workers work long hours, sweating day in and out, some working 6 or 7 days a week. This is not something unusual but rather more and more common all across the world. Miami after all is an international city, meaning what we see here is a glimpse of the world, with different ethnicities, different languages, rich cultures, and extremely polarized (vastly different) living conditions depending on which class you belong to.

Who’s Getting Paid?

Investment capital is flooding Miami. Investors from all over the world are leading the transformation of the City, especially the Downtown and Brickell areas. These “investors” (Capitalists) have been buying up tons of real estate for tens of millions of dollars a pop (can you imagine having so much money by doing no work?!). Brickell, called “Manhattan of the South”, is home to the highest concentration of international banks in the country after Manhattan

                                                                                                                    …..Where’s the worker’s share?……

Who’s Not Getting Paid?

Look around Miami and what do you see? With an unemployment rate of 5.6% as of August 2016 (more than the 5.2% US unemployment rate for the same period), this development “boom” is not evident for us all is it? NO! The working people of Miami AS ALWAYS are under a direct assault of capitalism’s “prosperity”. Construction workers in Miami (the very people building ALL of the new developments, the offices, the condos, etc) are paid wages that are 5% lower than the rest of the country! Meanwhile, Miami is seeing investment of over $10 billion dollars! Ye you read that right!

This isn’t a shock to us who work day to day just to afford a living (barely). We see the luxurious cars on the streets, the skyline being taken over by high rise offices and condos, new playgrounds and events for the rich popping up all the time. BUT WHAT ABOUT US?! We get the low wages as everything around us is rising in costs. We are told by the Capitalist press that we should be thankful to these “job creators” (THE NERVE!). Mind you, the CEOs, the “investors”, the people behind Clinton and Trump, are making tens of millions of dollars a year, EACH!

How can this be? How can the costs to live be sky rocketing, the profits of capitalist CEOs+investor returns be in the millions each as we are paid less, forced to work overtime, work multiple jobs, etc. just to survive?

The answer is simple, tragically so. It is the working class who not only builds and produces and gives value to EVERYTHING in the capitalist economy, but it is the working class who is exploited so that their exploiters can earn those profits, off their backs! Workers are paid less, produce all, transform steel beams and plywood and pipes into giant buildings which are sold for billions by people who do none of the work and “own” all the property. Meanwhile, the workers are forced to struggle day to day.

Workers who build the private hospitals can’t afford the medical care to go to those very same hospitals.

             The workers who build all the condos can’t afford to live in those very same condos

How Does This Make Sense?

Unless we fight back, this situation will only get worse! Workers Struggle isn’t buying the lies of the capitalist politicians and their media and other screaming parts of the machine telling us why we should suffer every day, why our children should have no hope for a future and our planet should head to a grave. Workers have the power, but WE MUST ORGANIZE! Together, we can fight back! Together, we can form organizations to stand up to the bosses and build a mass movement led by and for the workers and laborers! Together, we can do what we have always done in history to make our lives better and put the future of our world, into our hands!

 
Together we can control our own lives!

 

 

 

 

 

Class Autonomy

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What does class autonomy mean?  Autonomy means, in essence ‘without them.’

Just as the company owners and management (capitalists and their representatives, respectively) meet without us, the workers, to make key decisions in the interest of growing bottom-line profits without our presence or input, (read: making decisions about the workflow, processes, expectations imposed upon us), we must heed this strategy to and also meet and organize our interest autonomously, without them. Companies with their owners and management do not just meet without us present,  they always prepare themselves beforehand to best assess,  measure and methodically educate themselves to analyze the present situation to judge what is a course of action, or strategic decision that is most in their interest as a class.

Facing Our Adversary: Why We Freeze

We all know what it is: when we are together with our fellow workers and laborers, even the ones we don’t particularly like, we feel more assured and free to speak the truth, because there aren’t tiers of power-over our livelihood present.  This changes as soon as management calls a meeting with us; we tense up, we shut down, we know the power over us is present and anything said or not said could potentially lead to a cascade of crisis for our families if the paycheck doesn’t come next week and we can’t pay the bills.

Principles are Instructive

The core principle of Class Autonomy in Working Class Struggle calls us to recognize that uneasiness we feel in the presence of management is instinctually correct and instructive.  We must heed its call.  Our condition is shared with our fellow workers and laborers and to firstly identify our interest and criteria we need to meet together and organize independently from these antagonistic interests.

On occasion we may have a supervisor or member of management who seems kind and genuine with us, and while it may feel temporarily comforting to receive a little empathy from him we cannot let our guard down and lose sight that management, regardless of the individual’s personality, is there for one reason alone: to protect the interest of capital no matter it’s expense to your life.

Organize Autonomously!

It is only as a class of workers and laborers gathering in organized fashion without these outside antagonistic interests present that we can begin to identify together our common situation and carve a collective unified response and strengthen our footing as a whole.  Together we must draw these boundaries around us so we may carve the path to command respect and power amongst each other in our workplaces, our communities and when we are isolated facing management so we are not pressured to sell-out our fellows and self.

For far too long, we as workers and laborers have repeatedly been guided by outside interests and represented at the table by non-workers. This has included politicians, figureheads who lobby for negotiating with management on their terms, company seminars and workshops, company installed hotlines, and increasingly so today non-profit organizations with philanthropic missions.  These others have been stepping in to “help” us to do our heavy lifting for us preventing us from building our capacity and strengths of leadership. Without class autonomy a conflict of interest exists: the fox has been guarding the henhouse.  We must reclaim our autonomy, embrace education and organization based on collectivity and unity and kick the fox out.

Who decides on how we live?
Work, taxes, pay cuts and all we give,
Bosses treating us like kids
When we come together we can fight all this!