Workers Resist Cutbacks
Peter Moody, International Commission Chair and Jim Sanders Co Vice
Chair Socialist Party USA
November 8, 2010
The global economic crisis is bringing with it drastic
cutbacks in social services, pensions and wages and working conditions.
Workers are bearing the brunt of the crisis, particularly those in the
public sector. In Europe the working class is fighting back, insisting
that the bankers, not the workers, pay for the mess. On September 29,
Spanish unions called a successful general strike, and were joined by
workers in other countries, especially Portugal and Italy, who took to
the streets. More recently, French workers organized huge protests to
block the passage of a law making it far more difficult for workers to
qualify for pensions. Although the law was enacted in spite of
overwhelming popular opposition, the protests continue. On November 6,
hundreds of thousands of workers and students were on the streets
vowing to continue the struggle.
are taking place in virtually every country in Europe. Some governments
are controlled by conservative parties that relish the opportunity to
dismantle the welfare state. In other countries, Greece, Portugal and
Italy, governments are controlled by social democratic parties that
pushed for social services in the past, but still push through drastic
cuts now. The rhetoric is different, but the policy of austerity and
cutbacks is the same. In every case, the International Monetary Fund
and like bodies make the real decisions, insisting that governments
reduce deficits by cutting social services and slashing the pay and
benefits of workers.
Socialist Party USA stands with the militant workers in France and
Spain and Greece and throughout Europe. We applaud the actions of the
French working class, and urge workers throughout Europe to coordinate
militant actions across borders. We join in the demand for no cutbacks
and a steeply graduated income and estate tax that can begin to
generate the revenues needed to sustain the social services we all need.
economic crisis is the inevitable outcome of the capitalist system.
This system will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis until it is
abolished. Only a revolutionary transformation of the existing system
and the creation of a democratic socialist society can resolve the
crisis. The Socialist Party is ready to join with other parties and
organizations in Europe and around the world that share our belief that
a socialist revolution is the only answer, and that it is needed now.