13th National Congress Resolution on the Working Class Movement and struggles
The working class is the most resolute, disciplined and organised class in the struggles of the people. When mobilised and infused with the far-sighted, revolutionary class consciousness and struggle it is the only class that has the capacity and power to liberate itself and the people from the exploitation and brutality of international monopoly capital (imperialism).
The global capitalist crisis of overproduction and the falling rate of profit is driving capital to intensify the exploitation of people and the natural environment, to extract greater surplus value from the labour power of the working class. It is the only class that creates value in the process of production, but this added value (surplus-value) is expropriated by the capitalist class.
Around the world the working class is under unprecedented and relentless attacks by the international monopoly capital sinking into severe economic and political crisis.
The international monopoly finance capital (banks) and the world’s biggest mining monopolies (BHP-Billiton, Rio Tinto, Xstrata, Chevron, etc) are the most powerful and influential section of the monopoly capitalist ruling class in Australia. This is the imperialist class of foreign corporations driving the neo-liberal policies that wipe out jobs and job security, attack workers’ rights and conditions and dictate government austerity on the working class and the people and plunder the natural environment.
It is against this class of a tiny handful of foreign monopoly corporations that the working class is compelled to unite all the forces in the anti-imperialist struggle for an independent, democratic and socialist Australia.
The neo-liberal policies of monopoly capital (imperialism) in Australia over the past 25-30 years have intensified the exploitation of the working class through the more extensive use of the capitalist state’s legislative apparatus to sharpen and extend the anti-worker and anti-union laws, crush the unions and suppress working class struggle. The ruling class is preparing for greater intensified attacks on the working class, jobs, welfare, social services, the natural environment and people’s democratic rights.
Both the National/Liberal and ALP governments equally embrace the neo-liberal policies of monopoly capitalism in Australia. The difference being mainly in the tactics they use to implement almost identical policies in attacking the working class. The Liberals use the more open methods to suppress the people (WorkChoices, ABCC), whilst the ALP employs the softer tactics of social-democracy through deception of the people (FairWork, moving the ABCC into FairWork) and the co-option of a small group of aristocracy of labour lieutenants to control and suppress the working class struggle through parliament and the courts.
However, the deepening capitalist economic crisis and the workers’ growing desire to struggle are leaving less room for softer tactics and deception of social-democracy. The bourgeois state of monopoly capital class is making preparations for greater suppression of struggle, in particular against the working class. Police and the bourgeois state intelligence agencies and powers are strengthened and expanded.
Workers battling the boss constantly come up against the oppressive anti-worker and anti-democratic laws of the bourgeois class dictatorship. The more workers’ rights to struggle and organise are taken from the working class, the more power and freedom to attack the working class is handed to the state forces and big business. Growing numbers of workers long for courageous and far sighted leadership in struggles that will break through and defy the anti-worker and anti-union restrictions on their ability to struggle. In spite of difficult industrial and economic conditions, the working class is resisting the monopoly capital attacks and developing new and creative ways of organising and mobilising.
The magnificent struggles and courageous defiance by the Victorian nurses, the Baiada chicken workers, the shopping centre cleaners and campaigns against the ABCC have inspired and given confidence to other sections of the union movement and the working class. The maritime and construction unions’ long and protracted battle with the US multinational Chevron Gorgon project in West Australia to protect local jobs and against importing cheap labour to push down local wages and conditions has won wide support. Unions’ pickets and a broad based public campaign have exposed the multinational. BHP-Billiton mining workers’ struggle in Queensland shows that workers will not step back from struggle where there is genuine leadership dedicated to the interests of the working class and the people.
The working class and the union movement are facing big tasks ahead in the long period of capitalist economic crisis. There is an urgent need for the working class to organise for the fight against relentless and stepped up offensive of monopoly capital in crisis.
There is an urgent task in building a fighting and independent union movement that mobilises the working people, is closely linked to community mass organisations and people’s mass movements and confronts the oppressive laws of the capitalist state. A union movement that joins community struggles against the rising cost of living and cuts to social services, education, health; supports Australia’s Aboriginal people and opposes the destruction of natural environment. Spontaneous actions by individual unions and groups of workers do not have the endurance and strength to sustain the struggle and make advances.
The working people in Australia are facing severe, all round attacks arising from the deep economic crisis of monopoly capitalism. The working class is the only class that has the capacity and the conscious will to organise, unite, mobilise and lead the great majority of the people against the assaults by capital. In the present conditions, US economic and political imperialism holds the dominant power over Australia and is the main target of struggles by the working class and people.
If the working class is to liberate itself and the people in an anti-imperialist struggle it must become conscious of itself as a revolutionary, leading class and an agent for fundamental change in society. It is the class that will hold state power in a socialist Australia.
Based on our analyses of classes and class contradictions in Australia, the CPA (M-L) is of the view that the principal contradiction in Australia’s class struggle is between US economic and political domination and the overwhelming majority of the people, with the working class as the leading class in the anti-imperialist struggle for an independent, democratic and socialist Australia.
The CPA (M-L) affirms that the Marxist revolutionary ideas and methods, integrated into the immediate struggles and concerns of the working class and the people empower, sustain and point the direction for working class struggles for fundamental change.
Immediate Tasks and Demands in the Working Class and people’s mass movement
•Fight for jobs and job security, workers’ rights and conditions. Support the rights of migrant workers.
•Organise and strengthen the working class in independent, united and fighting union movement for its own class.
•Build unity of unions and communities in public campaigns for jobs, public health and education, housing, democratic rights, welfare and pensions and against the austerity measures on the people and privatisation. Unite and mobilise the union movement in a broad campaign to expose and confront the oppressive anti-worker and anti-union laws. This will strengthen the fighting capacity of workers and unions.
•Build unions-community campaigns to tax the profits of monopoly corporations – especially mining monopolies and banks. Demand the tax on big business profits be used to benefit the people in the creation of jobs, for building manufacturing, processing and agricultural industries, funds for public health, education, welfare, public transport and the protection of the environment.
•Build practical alliances of workers, unions, farmers, small businesses and manufacturers against the foreign corporations, e.g. Coles-Woolworths duopoly, broad based united struggle against the Coal Seam Gas, mining and gas monopolies and for local clean food production. Support campaigns to develop Australian agricultural, manufacturing and value-added industries that provide clean and secure jobs and promote Australia’s sovereignty and independence.
•Support practical alliances of unions, local Aboriginal and mining communities.
•Promote union support for the Aboriginal people’s struggles for sovereignty, just treaty and land rights.
•Put forward a working class vision for a people’s democratic and sovereign Australia.
•Study – Marxist political economy on surplus value, Capital, Mao’s On Contradictions, Lenin’s What is to Be Done? and Ted Hill. Study should be linked to comrades’ areas of work.