Democratic Socialist Labor Commission

1. Statement from the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC) Steering Committee on West Virginia Teachers

“By going on strike and holding fast when state leaders failed to take real action on these demands, they defended a minimum standard of life not just for themselves but all West Virginians. They have also been an inspiration to state employees, and the public they serve, facing similar austerity budgets across the country…”

2. What is the DSLC?

We are a community for DSAers active in the labor movement, whether as union members and stewards, union staff, workers center activists, union officers, labor journalists, union retirees, students in labor solidarity groups, labor-oriented intellectuals, or in any other kind of role in the movement!

Priorities resolution from 2017 DSA national convention (excerpt on labor below)

3. What is a labor branch?

Read an interview with labor activist Bianca Cunningham about how the NYC Labor Branch got started.

4. For more information, contact dslc@dsausa.org

 

Expanding and Deepening DSA National and Local Labor Work

There is no strong socialist movement without a militant and powerful labor movement. DSA recognizes that if it is to become a socialist organization truly rooted in a multi-racial working class, it must expand its work both among unionized workers and among those currently without union representation. This convention urges the national staff and NPC to support the creation of a Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC) as a necessary structure to foster the birth and growth of chapter-based labor working groups which can support a rank and file movement, provide a central node of labor-related organizing resources, advise the NPC on matters relating to labor, and build channels within DSA for labor activist networking and discussions of  the challenges faced by socialists in their workplaces.

Ongoing internal education regarding the importance of collective organizing for worker power (e.g., unions, workers' centers, community labor groups) in the maintenance of a democratic society will be critical to linking DSA (and YDSA) members effectively to the struggles of the working class. Individual chapters should be free to determine their campaigns according to local relevance, including outward-facing labor education and strike solidarity efforts.

DSA chapter-based labor working groups should strive to strengthen DSA's ties to rank and file union members and community workers' centers while also aiding movements to democratize and salt unorganized workplaces, recognizing the limitations imposed by right-to-work legislation. Emphasis must remain on supporting laborers and their campaigns over building ties to unions themselves, as socialism represents workers rather than top-down power. However, DSA may recognize democratic labor unions which empower and effectively activate their rank and file members.

As in all our work, the DLSC and labor branches should emphasize the role of immigrants, people of color, women and LGBTQIA+ and disabled comrades in the workplace and the labor movement. The DLSC will work to dispel the notion that workers ought to be pitted against each other along lines of nationality, race, gender, ability and sexuality, and will prioritize the facilitation of a diverse but unified workers' movement.

a.      Part of DSA’s labor work should consist of internal and public political education about the importance of unions and other forms of working class power to a democratic society.

b.     DSA chapter-based labor working groups should endeavor to increase DSA’s ties to existing unions and workers’ centers while also aiding movements to organize unorganized workplaces.

c.      DSA is committed to building democratic labor unions that empower and activate their rank and file members. A DSLC supported by national staff and NPC resources (particularly by NPC members active in the labor movement) should help educate DSAers on how to be effective rank and file activists. The Commission should also work to develop resources on how members in unorganized workplaces can increase the collective power of individuals in their workplace, including how best to initiate union drives.

d.     The DSLC will work to dispel the notion that workers ought to be pitted against each other along lines of nationality, race, gender, ability and sexuality and will prioritize the facilitation of a diverse but united workers’ movement. As in all our work, the DLSC andlabor branches should emphasize the contributions of immigrants, people of color, women, LGBTQIA+, and disabled comrades in the workplace and the labor movement, and the deep consonance between labor struggles and other axes of the fight against oppression.

e.      The DSLC will work to help some of the most marginalized by the labor market: the unemployed. A commitment to full employment through a job guarantee, where anyone willing and able to work can find suitable paid employment, helps to build the labormovement from the bottom up. Without a 'reserve army of the unemployed', capitalists are forced to compete for workers, materially improving the lives of all.

f.     As we fight for socialism and organize our workplaces for democracy on the job, we demand an increase in the minimum wage to $15 in states and municipalities where it is lower than $15 and continue organizing for a living wage in cities where it is at $15. "Alternative" labor campaigns like the Fight for Fifteen are key in building the labor movement outside of traditional shop floor organizing.

 

Talking About Socialism: Create Your Own Rap

April 26, 2018

8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PST

Click HERE to RSVP

Join Steve Max, a founder of the legendary community organizing school, the Midwest Academy, to practice talking about socialism in plain language. Create your own short rap. Use your personal experience and story to explain democratic socialism. Prepare for those conversations about socialism that happen when you table or canvass. This workshop is for those who have already had an introduction to democratic socialism, whether from DSA's webinar or from other sources. Questions? Contact Theresa Alt <talt@igc.org> 607-280-7649.

Click HERE to RSVP

New Member Call, May 27

May 27, 2018

May 27, 2018

9pm ET/8 CT/7 MT/6 PT

Click to RSVP

You've joined DSA - Great! Now register for this New Member Orientation call and find out more about our politics and our vision. And, most importantly, how you can become involved.

Questions or Comments? Contact: 

Sam M