February 8, 2015
Jack and Mary-Alice give themselves a raise (from 2013 tax returns):
Jack and Mary-Alice discover that Keystone XL pipeline might not be a bad idea:
With pipeline transport as with rail, technology exists to operate more safely. Robots called “smart pigs” can detect corrosion. Control valves can be installed that automatically shut off the flow if a drop in pressure indicates a leak. The extent to which safety measures are used, however, is decided by the strength of the union movement and pressure from the working class more broadly.
The question for working people around energy extraction and production is not whether one or another method — from nuclear fission of uranium to fracking shale oil to mining tar sands to building solar panels or wind generators — has downsides and hazards. They all do. The question is how much control over the process can the working-class movement wrest from the imperialist ruling families and other capitalist exploiters on the road to taking power away from them and building a society based on human solidarity and the defense of land and labor in every corner of the globe.
The struggle to provide the energy toilers need worldwide to advance culture and fighting capacity is key to strengthening working-class internationalism and solidarity. And it goes hand-in-hand with rebuilding our unions to fight for control over working conditions on the job.
November 13, 2014
February 8, 2014
From the 2012 tax returns of the Anchor Foundation:
Vol. 77/No. 33 September 23, 2013
Workers send ‘on-time’ blood money
bonuses to SWP fund
“Blood money” contributions to the Socialist Workers Party Capital Fund have totaled $620 over the summer. The ongoing fund helps finance the long-range work of the revolutionary party.
“Blood money” is a term communist workers use to describe one-time payments from bosses — safety, attendance and production bonuses, contract-signing incentives, holiday gifts and other such bribes — intended to pressure workers to accept speedup, wage cuts, concession contracts and dangerous working conditions. Class-conscious workers turn them into contributions to the Capital Fund.
“Enclosed are two ‘blood money’ checks,” wrote John Benson and Janice Lynn, who work at a food preparation facility near Atlanta. Their quarterly bonus checks for $465 are based on the bosses’ tally of “productivity, appearance, on-time delivery, etc.” Their goal with the bonuses “is to try to get workers to work faster,” wrote Benson and Lynn. “The result? More workers with aching backs, wrists, knees, etc.”
United Airlines worker Eric Simpson from San Francisco sent in $90, from three bonuses the company gave him, “‘rewards’ to the workforce for ‘on-time’ takeoffs,” he wrote. “But ‘customer satisfaction’ with the airline is reported to be at 30 percent! Members of our union, the Machinists, weren’t too ‘satisfied’ with the latest contract the company proposed and we turned it down overwhelmingly. Send the companies’ ‘blood money’ bonuses to the working-class movement and get 100 percent ‘worker satisfaction!’”
To make a contribution to the Capital Fund, write to or call the Militant distributor nearest you. The directory is on page 10.
— SUSAN LAMONT