Progressive Labor Party on Race & Racism



Progressive Labor Party (PLP) fights to destroy capitalism and the dictatorship of the capitalist class. We organize workers, soldiers and youth into a revolutionary movement for communism.

Only the dictatorship of the working class — communism — can provide a lasting solution to the disaster that is today’s world for billions of people. This cannot be done through electoral politics, but requires a revolutionary movement and a mass Red Army led by PLP.

Worldwide capitalism, in its relentless drive for profit, inevitably leads to war, fascism, poverty, disease, starvation and environmental destruction. The capitalist class, through its state power — governments, armies, police, schools and culture —  maintains a dictatorship over the world’s workers. The capitalist dictatorship supports, and is supported by, the anti-working-class ideologies of racism, sexism, nationalism, individualism and religion.

While the bosses and their mouthpieces claim “communism is dead,” capitalism is the real failure for billions worldwide. Capitalism returned to Russia and China because socialism retained many aspects of the profit system, like wages and privileges. Russia and China did not establish communism.

Communism means working collectively to build a worker-run society. We will abolish work for wages, money and profits. Everyone will share in society’s benefits and burdens. 

Communism means abolishing racism and the concept of “race.” Capitalism uses racism to super-exploit black, Latino, Asian and indigenous workers, and to divide the entire working class.

Communism means abolishing the special oppression of women — sexism — and divisive gender roles created by the class society.

Communism means abolishing nations and nationalism. One international working class, one world, one Party.

Communism means that the minds of millions of workers must become free from religion’s false promises, unscientific thinking and poisonous ideology. Communism will triumph when the masses of workers can use the science of dialectical materialism to understand, analyze and change the world to meet their needs and aspirations.

  Communism means the Party leads every aspect of society. For this to work, millions of workers — eventually everyone — must become communist organizers. Join Us!


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KCC: Class struggle is back in session

BROOKLYN, NY March 1— As the 274,000 students and 29,000 faculty and staff across the City University of New York (CUNY) were on winter break, thousands of custodians, custodial assistants, laborers and mechanics who make the students’ learning conditions possible continued working in intolerable working conditions.
New York State and the CUNY bosses claim there’s no money to improve either learning or working conditions. That’s capitalism for you: no money for education but plenty for corporate welfare. And it’s not just Amazon,  many corporations get tax breaks and there’s lots of money for prisons.   
At Kingsborough Community College (KCC) the fightback is growing. Strong relationships, CHALLENGE networks, and increasingly politicized friendships among multiracial, immigrant and native-born students, workers and faculty offer a glimpse of a united working class with a communist understanding that capitalism is not working for workers and students. We need a revolution!
Contingent vs. full-time: divide and conquer
Among faculty, the bosses have reduced full timers to 40 percent; the rest are adjunct faculty. Adjuncts are hired on a temporary, on-demand basis without the pay, benefits, or job security of tenured faculty (see CHALLENGE, 12/19/18).
At the same time, the bosses made a similar attack on campus workers, with even more devastating and racist results. Years ago, KCC began hiring custodial staff under the job title of “custodial assistants,” not full custodians, so they could pay them less. Then they limited their hours to just under the minimum threshold of 37.5 per week to prevent them from reaching full-time status with full benefits.
Custodial assistants make $16 per hour; full custodians make around $20 per hour. According to a recent study, on a single income, wages in New York City must be at least $29.96 an hour to afford a one-bedroom apartment, and  $34.40/ hour to rent the more common two-bedroom, with similar numbers for New Jersey (NBC New York, 6/18/18). At $16 per hour, custodial assistants must work about 93 hours a week, all 52-weeks to cover rent and basic expenses. At $20/hour, they still must work 74 hours a week, nearly two full-time jobs. But again, KCC workers are prevented from ever reaching full-time status. And so workers suffer, facilities like bathrooms flood daily and buildings literally crumble around the students.
Union misleaders keep the bosses’ peace
Every day, KCC bosses order the custodial assistants to work outside of their title to perform the necessary duties of higher paid, full custodians. Workers who complain to their union District Council 37 (DC37) representatives are told to not be insubordinate, to follow bosses’ orders, and grieve it later. Grievances take time to file and don’t go anywhere. Workers don’t even bother–they know the union is on the side of the bosses. The union only notices them during elections to “get out the vote” for Democrats.
As budget shortfalls hit KCC last year, more than one-third of the custodial staff either retired or quit. Workers had to speed up and work extra details, and DC 37 did nothing. This year, the new custodial assistants being hired are exploited even more, working even fewer hours, and facing summary termination.
When communists led unions they were militant, fighting organizations, much more than today. But whether then or now, the bosses constantly grind us down, taking away our hard fought victories. As we fight for better pay for adjuncts ($7K per class) or better conditions for custodians, join the Progressive Labor Party (PLP) in fighting for a communist world.
Organize, strike, revolt
At KCC the new third wave of even more highly exploited custodians follows increasing numbers of “Continuing Ed Teachers” (CETs) among faculty who teach vital (and profitable) programs such as ESL. While they are members of the Professional Staff Congress (PSC) union, they are barred from using facilities like the KCC library and gym, and are paid even worse than the adjuncts. Under capitalism the drive to lower wages everywhere is relentless.  At KCC, our growing relationships among groups of students, faculty and workers and the antiracist struggles are gradually changing the atmosphere, and some workers feel freer to express solidarity and voice their own grievances. KCC custodial and cafeteria workers, students and adjuncts,CET faculty, and PLer’s are all part of the working class, and are struggling against the same enemy to strengthen working class unity.
 PLP supports the adjunct organizing around the demand for $7,000 per class or strike. The strike is a powerful weapon, as workers from Chicago to India keep proving. Whether students succeed in organizing to terminate racist administrators, or adjuncts succeed in organizing a CUNY-wide strike around 7K for adjuncts, we win by fighting now to make our lives better and fighting over the long haul for a better worl–communism.
Armed with communist ideas and CHALLENGE, let’s recruit many more workers and students worldwide into an army to smash racism, sexism, and imperialism once and for all with communist revolution. This spring semester, class struggle is back in session.

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