“You stand in the front rank of the struggle for the future”: Autoworker calls for joint action with railroaders fighting for national strike

On Wednesday evening, the Railroad Workers Rank-and-File Committee held an important public meeting, “The way forward after conductors reject White House contract,” to review the situation following Monday’s contract rejection by SMART-TD members and discuss strategy to prepare for strike action and respond to threats of a congressional injunction. The meeting was well attended and played host to a vigorous discussion involving both railroaders and workers from other industries, who spoke in support of their struggle and stressed their desire for unity and collaboration.

The WSWS will have a more complete account of the meeting soon. However, we reproduce below an important statement delivered to the meeting by an autoworker. We urge our readers: share this statement widely! Show the railroaders that, in spite of scaremongering in the corporate press, they have powerful support in the working class.

For more information or to join the Railroad Workers Rank-and-File Committee, send an email to railwrfc@gmail.com,text (314) 529-1064 or fill out the form below.

An autoworker prepares a chassis to receive an engine on a new aluminum-alloy body Ford F-150 truck at the company’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Members of the Railroad Workers Rank-and-File Committee,

The carriers, the Biden administration and the union bureaucracy are attempting to dictate, not just the terms of your employment, but even the conditions of your lives. You produce all the profits that these companies consume. You have every right to stand up and strike for a living wage, a 40-hour workweek, triple overtime, cost of living increases, safe working conditions and paid sick time off. These and many others are basic necessities in a decent contract.

I am an autoworker and a member of the UAW [United Auto Workers]. I am a supporter of Will Lehman’s campaign for UAW president, and a supporter of the rank-and-file movement. We all have friends and family members in retail, transportation, education and health care. Workers everywhere and in every industry confront the same problems. We all support your struggle and we will stand with you.

As we speak, educators on both coasts, 50,000 strong, members of the UAW, are striking to achieve a living wage. They are battling against the Democratic Party and the union bureaucracy, as you are.

Our strength is in unity. The rank-and-file movement is the key to uniting across every industry across the country and internationally. You stand in the front rank of the struggle for the future.

You have the ability to mobilize the enormous power of the entire working class. Break through the stranglehold of the union bureaucracy, and you will bring the carriers and the Biden administration to their knees. And you will raise new battalions of workers to their feet.

The union bureaucratic apparatus has failed us all. All working class people are entitled to a rank-and-file committee within every workplace. We all have lost too much, for too long. Many have lost their own lives.

We are long overdue for a united stand worldwide. We are the fuel and the wheels that power the modern economy. It is now imperative that we make a stand in this pivotal time in history. United, we must stand.