Labor Fightback Conference E-Mail

The Labor Fightback Network

The national Labor Fightback Conference, held May 10–12, 2013, at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ, brought together more than 100 labor, community, and student activists from all over the United States to discuss a plan of action to respond to big business’s assault on working people’s living standards, seniors’ earned benefits, the social safety net for the poor and disabled, and the right to organize and strike. In the last session of the conference, participants agreed to launch the Labor Fightback Network to promote ongoing communication, collaboration, and solidarity. Its Mission Statement follows. If you agree with the Mission Statement, please fill out the endorsement form at the bottom of this page.

Mission Statement

In this period of austerity, economic crisis, debt and deficit, crackdown on labor’s rights, and horrendous income inequality — all thanks to the 1% and the politicians who do its bidding — the corporate class is doing everything possible to put the burden of achieving “economic stability” — as they define the term — squarely on the backs of the working class majority. The Labor Fightback Network (LFN), as an integral part of the labor movement, seeks to promote the fightback against the attacks and assaults and to fight for substantial gains in relation to our wages, benefits, working conditions, living conditions, and retirement security by urging a united labor response based on mobilizing the rank-and-file and our community allies in the streets of the country.

Toward this end, we call for ensuring that the labor movement functions independently of any political party or the corporate class. Building an independent labor movement that breaks with the strategy of “shared sacrifice” that is deployed by labor’s adversaries to prevent labor’s fightback is absolutely essential.

We propose mounting a fightback campaign around the following demands:

We also urge that the labor movement establish as a top priority organizing the South by allocating the necessary resources for a meaningful and effective campaign. We believe that such an effort must be made now, not put off for another day.

Regarding independent labor political action, we believe that the working class needs its own political voice. Subordination to the Democrats or the Republicans is destructive to the class interests of workers and the labor movement, and robs our movement of progressive ideas and the ability to speak them. The organizational form of independent labor political action will need to be established through a process of education and struggle over time.

The labor movement is in peril today because it has not fully utilized the power it has to fight uncompromisingly, in concert with its community allies, for the kind of program urged in this Mission Statement. Accordingly, we are faced with a stark choice — mobilize or risk extinction as a viable social movement. A united labor movement is critically needed to mount the largest possible mobilizations and to deepen solidarity in the process.

A crucial component of a successful labor fightback campaign is ensuring that our movement practices democratic decision making at all levels. Whether it comes to workers agreeing to or rejecting a company offer or determining a strategy to combat the employers’ offensive, it is the rank and file that must have the decisive say, based on an opportunity for free and full discussion.

We pledge our efforts to help bring about needed changes that will enable the labor movement — together with our community partners — to lead the way to establish a just society that reflects the interests of the overwhelming majority instead of the wealthy 1%. We can make a positive difference if we mobilize working people along with our allies and together fight for our collective interests.

Endorsement of Labor Fightback Network Mission Statement

(I) (We) endorse the Labor Fightback Network Mission Statement and agree that there is an urgent need to consider what the labor movement can more effectively do to counter the severe assaults coming down against us that undermine our right to function and impede the building of a strong independent labor movement. Please enter something into each blank space. If there is no information to add, please write “none.” This form requires a valid e-mail address.






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