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Anti-Labor Policies Being Pursued by U.S. Industry

November 30, 1985

The article by Eric Mann and the letter by Paul Schrade (Oct. 12) were very good, but they never got to the cause of the crisis in capitalism.

What every worker faces today is the reality of automated production, speedups and the domination of men by machines. In every industry you look at, whether auto, coal, steel, rubber, parts plants or offices, the presence of automation is everywhere. It has displaced millions of workers from their jobs and created millions of low-paying part-time jobs and made the work of those left on good paying jobs harder and more dehumanizing than ever before. The objective situation of automated production is at the heart of today's crisis of capitalism and the fights against automation are the essence of labor struggles in our time.

I have just read how this historic battle against automation has been recorded in the 1949-50 miners general strike, the first strike in history against automation. The introduction of what was called the continuous miner, but what the workers called "man-killer." The miners fought the mine owners, government and went against John L. Lewis for the first time. Lewis called this progress , the miners were finally forced back to work and lost the strike.

Today we are living that so-called progress. Today we are seeing the results of that new stage of automation. There has been a constant closing of plants; over the last five years workers have been forced to make wage and benefit concessions to the companies by their international union leadership, still going along with progress. The corporations have taken this money that they take from these workers and invest in even more automation, resulting in a permanent army of the unemployed, to be used by the capitalists as scabs against workers who go out on strike against this horror.

Today everywhere you look workers are going on strike; this crisis-ridden, rotten, thieving system must be transformed. The question today is how can production cease to be controlled by capitalists for the sake of some machine, and instead be controlled by workers for the sake of human beings.

ISAAC WOODS

Whittier

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