Leaflet distributed by the IWG during the Kellogg’s strike in Lancaster, PA.
Striking Kellogg’s Workers: Don’t settle for crumbs! Demand the abolition of the 2-tier system & more!
The ongoing strike of 1,400 Kellogg’s workers throughout the US is a continuing source of inspiration to other workers in this country and abroad who are joining in what is a fragile but significant reawakening of our class. But we can’t let the historic moment be taken away from us! Workers can’t rely on defensive tactics against capital alone. Our class needs to go on the offensive and be as bold as possible, buoyed by a wave of worker militancy!
For decades, capitalism has divided workers with 2-tier wage systems. They do this because they hope to divide our class and prevent struggles like this from breaking out, and also because it is a way to drive down wages across the board, making life even more precarious for large numbers of our class. This is the exact reason why Kellogg’s uses a 2-tier system in the first place, and why they are now trying to remove the 30% cap on the number of transitional workers. The union is currently limiting the demands of the strike to seeking a contract which simply leaves a “path to legacy status”. But workers shouldn’t let themselves be limited by these piecemeal demands which leave in place the 2-tier wage system that divides them and leaves the door open to future assaults on wages by the company. Workers should carry the struggle even further, calling for the 2-tier system to be scrapped altogether, which would benefit transitional workers as well as legacies.
Workers’ struggles which only aim at reforming aspects of how our class is exploited are at best defensive. Two of the most powerful tools that workers can wield in these struggles are the self-organization of our class, and a political critique of the system which exploits us. To create demands that have the potential for generalizing the struggle and bringing in workers from other plants, industries, and countries, the control of the struggle must be put directly into the hands of the striking workers here. Committees of workers accomplish this, whereas the unions focus on mediating between the workers and management. Ultimately the only way to close the door to future attacks by the ruling class on our wages and conditions is through a political critique of capitalism, which is responsible for the worsening of workers’ livelihoods. Workers must oppose the exploitative system of wage-labor with the vision of building a new society without classes, money, or the state. Only this society will put an end to the possibility of future efforts at squeezing our class dry of profits, which are bound to increase in the future as the economic, health, imperialist, and climate crises worsen.
Internationalist Workers’ Group, US affiliate of the ICT
We are a group of militant, class-conscious workers working to intensify and broaden the struggle of our class against capitalism, and to build the future worldwide organization of our class, which will serve us as a tool in putting an end to our exploitation.