Workers Struggle is sharing a leaflet put out by PLASIT-BO for May Day 2019. Haitian workers have been under attack on many fronts and this leaflet lists their demands and temporary objectives of struggle. PLASIT-BO is a federation of 3 unions in the textile sector that includes the Apparel and Textile Workers Union-Batay Ouvriye (SOTA-BO), CODEVI Wanament Workers Union (SOKOWA), and the S&H Global Valiant Workers Union in Karakol (SOVASHG). These organizations are part of the mass level of working class organization as opposed to the intermediate level such as Batay Ouvriye and Workers Struggle. These mass (trade union level) organizations are affiliated to Batay Ouvriye and together, along with the presence of a revolutionary level, comprise the autonomous Haitian worker’s movement.
LIMITATIONS OF DEMOCRATIC STRUGGLE
We recently shared a leaflet put out by Batay Ouvriye which spoke on the limitations of the trade union struggle on its own. We also call this level of struggle the democratic level – since much of the struggle involves fighting for basic bourgeois-democratic rights. BO’s leaflet calls for the need to further develop political consciousness as well as other forms of resistance at every level of organization to address the limitations of the mass level. These limitations are something we in the US have also seen historically, similar to Haiti. In the US, most mass level struggles (even if they call themselves revolutionary like “occupy”), have been done under the leadership of the radical petite-bourgeoisie (the so called “middle class”), and the reactionary capitalist unions/NGOs) - representing a fraction of the capitalist class at odds with another. We still see this today presenting itself as an alternative.
ORGANIZE AT ALL LEVELS - TO BUILD A COMBATIVE MOVEMENT
It is important to understand that without the consciousness and commitment ready to construct and develop other levels and forms of combative and autonomous political organizations, the democratic struggle can easily be suppressed and co-opted to act as a base for one or more fractions of the capitalist class. The various levels of organization (mass, intermediate, revolutionary, as well as any others that may develop through struggle) function in a democratic and dialectical relationship - with the revolutionary level being determinant. They struggle for political unity to reach a level of synergy where they can really construct the proletarian alternative we need to see. This exists in other classes as well, such as the dominated peasants and the petite-bourgeoisie. If we truly want to see a change in our lives and in this world based on the interests of the working class and society as a whole, we must organize ourselves independently and autonomously of the capitalist class and their many appendages like the unions, their “progressive” politicians, and “non-profits”.
The following leaflet put out by PLASIT-BO shows some level of political unity achieved with this line in the mass level as they are calling for other sectors of Haitian society to join them. We should note the other sectors are in the people’s camp – theyr’e NOT aligning themselves with any capitalist politician or structure that is their fundamental enemy (like a Bernie Sanders or AOC for example). We also see in the leaflet a potential for recuperation by the capitalist class without the presence of higher levels of organization (based on consciousness, political unity, and commitment – not “higher as an elitist bourgeois concept). Thankfully, these levels do have a presence there and are struggling for political unity with each other. Workers Struggle is an intermediate level organization like BO and we are attempting to construct the autonomous workers movement in the United States based on this autonomous model organization.
If you agree we need to build our own alternative to the horror show of capitalist society, get in touch today!
LET’S BUILD OUR WORKING CLASS RESISTANCE!
PLASIT-BO’s Leaflet is available here