United States

[Note - 01/12/22]: Since the publication of this article, in a bipartisan vote, the House of Representatives has voted 290 to 137 for Biden’s scandalous legislation to ban rail workers from striking over the holiday period. Virtually all the Democrats in the House voted to steal the right to strike from rail workers, including “left-wingers” such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.

The midterms used to be a banal affair that received little attention and voter turnout, in which the opposition party would typically retake control of Congress without much uproar. But the traditional dynamics of US bourgeois politics have been entirely upended in the last period, as the systematic crisis of world capitalism wreaks havoc on political stability across the globe. This year’s midterms will provide a partial snapshot of the political mood in American society at the halfway point of Biden’s presidential term.

Editor’s note: At the eleventh hour, after 20 hours of talks lasting late into the night, President Biden and numerous officials in his administration convinced union leaders to accept a tentative agreement, averting an imminent national railroad strike. However, the terms of the “Presidential Emergency Board” constitute an effective wage cut over the next five years when factoring in inflation, as detailed in the article below. The ranks of the dozen railroad unions representing 115,000 workers must now vote to ratify the deal. At least one of these unions, the International Association of Machinists, has already voted to reject the terms of the Presidential Emergency Board agreement,

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Biden’s presidency has been a disaster, a reflection of the crisis-ridden system he represents. His approval rating currently stands at a mere 41%—up ever so slightly from a record low of 38%. Congress, which is controlled by Biden’s party, has a 17% approval rate. Another poll says 74% of the country believe it is on the wrong track. These are not good numbers for the November 2022 midterms elections if the Democrats want to retain control—even as they cynically attempt to harness anger over Roe v. Wade to gain votes. All of this is very concerning

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This June, Apple retail workers in Baltimore made history by winning the vote for union representation at the first of 270 Apple stores across the US. This represents the first shots in the battle to unionize the company with the highest market cap valuation in the world, reaching an eye-watering $3 trillion at the start of this year. The battle for Apple joins the rising wave of organizing drives at Starbucks, the recent unionization developments at Activision Blizzard, and the historic union vote at Amazon.

On 27 June, 53 immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras died of heat stroke in the back of a tractor trailer in Texas, 150 miles north of the US-Mexico border. Another nine people in the truck, including children, remain hospitalised. These 62 people, who left home looking for a better life, spent hours and were eventually abandoned in an unairconditioned metal box in over 100F heat with no water.

The Supreme Court’s position on Roe v. Wade would ban abortion access for millions of people in the US. In this podcast episode, Laura Brown (editor of Socialist Revolution) and Joel Bergman (editor of Fightback) discuss the reasons and impact of a repeal of Roe v. Wade, and provide a Marxist perspective to fight back against this egregious attack on abortion rights.

The Amazon Labor Union (ALU) has fired labor’s opening shots against the retail giant. Their organizing campaign at Staten Island warehouse JFK8 led to an electrifying victory in the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) vote. Workers at the smaller LDJ5 warehouse held a similar vote shortly after that, but the ALU lost with 380 votes in favor and 618 votes against, with over a third of the workers not voting. One obstacle the union faced was the higher percentage of part-time employees at the smaller facility. Nonetheless, the ALU has a .500 batting average so far, which is impressive since it is trying to unionize through the NLRB, whose rules overwhelmingly favor management.

Sunday morning in Buffalo, NY saw scenes of horror as a white supremacist terrorist opened fire at a supermarket, murdering ten people and injuring three more. Almost all of those killed were Black, as the shooter had intentionally targeted a grocery store with a majority-Black clientele. This is an utter tragedy and an attack on the entire working class.

Over the past few weeks, a shortage of baby formula has grown into a nationwide crisis, leaving millions of families scrambling for safe food for their infants. With an out-of-stock rate of over40%, many parents are driving for miles and waiting weeks for backlogged deliveries—if they can find the right formula for their babies in the first place. A function of the irrational nature of the capitalist market, formula first started disappearing from store

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“We’re not just at war to support the Ukrainians. We’re fundamentally at war, although somewhat through a proxy, with Russia, and it’s important that we win,” said US representative Seth Moulton during a Fox News appearance. He was perhaps being more frank than others, but the message has been coming loud and clear from official representatives of Biden’s administration. Asked what the US would consider success in the war, Biden’s Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin said “we want to see Russia weakened”.

Yet another unprecedented bombshell has rocked the already polarized world of American politics and class struggle. In a leaked internal memo drafted by Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, the majority of that reactionary body outlines its case for the judicial overturn of Roe v. Wade, the historic 1973 decision that ruled that the US Constitution protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restriction. Now, as part of the cynical maneuvering by a segment of the ruling class to divert the class war into the so-called “culture war,” what should be a fundamental democratic right is to be unceremoniously trashed.

A wave of unionization in the United States is enthusing and inspiring workers all around the world. The first Amazon warehouse in Staten Island, New York, is now represented by the independent Amazon Labor Union. Every week, dozens of Starbucks coffee shops are filling to join Starbucks Workers United. A first group of workers at an Apple Store signed their cards to join the Communication Workers of America. There have been ...

After the successful vote to unionize the first Amazon workplace at the JFK8 fulfillment center in Staten Island, the newly formed Amazon Labor Union (ALU) called for a rally on Sunday, April 24 to support the workers at the adjacent LDJ5 sorting facility, who are voting this week on whether to become the second unionized Amazon site. Together, the warehouses are a key logistical point for Amazon’s operations in NYC, employing nearly 10,000 workers.

Socialist Revolution,US section of the International Marxist Tendency, has actively followed the struggle of Starbucks workers in the US and Canada to form a union. At the time of publishing, hundreds of stores have either voted for establishing a union or are part of the ongoing organizing effort. We wholeheartedly support the campaign to force the Fortune 500 company to recognize the union and negotiate a union contract.