In the light of the struggle for a decent contract, Revolutionary Transit Worker (RTW) has been getting a solid response from transit workers. But we’ve also received messages of solidarity from other workers in the states and abroad. It’s just a hint of the amount of potential support that is out there for the kind of class struggle that NYC transit workers initiated.
During the three-day strike, we received several messages from striking AMFA members, who have been out for months against Northwest Airlines. One striking mechanic from Newport, Minnesota wrote, “I am so with you guys. I wish I was there to picket! An injury to one is an injury to all!” Another striking cleaner from the same union said, “Way to go, TWU 100 – once again New Yorkers show us who the real heroes are...! Fight on!”
A teacher in the NYC Public School system wrote in to tell transit workers, “Most of us are in full support of your goal.” Others wrote in with that same spirit of basic class solidarity.
The strike was an inspiration (even though terminated by Toussaint so quickly and wrongly!). A bus operator for the Capitol District Transit Authority in Albany wrote about how she wanted her local to carry out a unified strike upstate, as the TWU did in NYC. And a message from a leader of the Union of Casual Workers in Pavia, Italy declared, “Solidarity from Italy to the courageous strikers of NYC. They will never stop us.”
The strike also had a fine effect on individual working people who live in small towns, where one can really feel a lot of isolation in the current environment. One wrote, “You guys make me want to break out of this small Ohio town and kick a buncha billionaires.... God bless the TWU and God damn Bloomberg! Don’t let the International’s chickenshits wear you down!” Another struggling unemployed mom in a small Oregon town told us how she was getting into arguments with other folks there – in order to defend the transit strike – and also how she had developed a general interest in socialist politics out of her own situation.
Beyond solidarity, we note that there has been a particular appreciation for the strategy that RTW has been advancing. One former transit worker (who was unjustly fired) wrote, “I don’t purport to subscribe to a socialist school of thought, but concerning this strike you are the man or woman with the plan that should be proclaimed and made manifesto by TWU Local 100.” And after the strike ended, a working graduate student at NYU (who has been on strike since November with Local 2110 UAW) wrote in, “I’ve enjoyed reading your newsletter over the past few weeks, and especially during this crucial time.... Indeed, the TWU strike appears to have ended without a contract, a very sorry state of affairs. Your analyses have been incisive and adept, and I hope you’ll continue organizing....”
We thank readers of RTW, and also readers of Proletarian Revolution magazine, the central organ of the League for the Revolutionary Party. We look forward to more emails and letters. And we welcome serious political criticism from our fellow workers as well as the letters of encouragement. As revolutionary socialists, we intend to continue fighting alongside our fellow workers in transit and elsewhere. Through all the different work that we can do today, with our modest resources, we hope to convince more people not only to unite against the current attacks but also to join us in building the revolutionary party that our class really needs.