The following is a speech that Juan Rey gave at a campaign fundraiser and pizza party on April 22 in Los Angeles. Rey works as a train mechanic for L.A. Metro and also serves as a union steward. He is running as an independent candidate in the June 5th primary for U.S. Congress in the northeast San Fernando Valley.
Last week the U.S. and other big powers bombed Syria. This just added to the massive destruction and killing that the people in Syria have gone through for the last seven years. But the Democrats and Republicans applauded it. Because all they want is to make the Middle East safe for the oil companies, military contractors and the banks.
These same politicians are attacking the working class here. They blame public sector workers for the government budget deficits in order to pit public sector workers against private sector workers. These same law makers criminalize productive workers and call them illegal immigrants in order to pay them less and make them work harder. The bosses and politicians complain that in order to compete against the Chinese, they have no choice but to hire temporary and part-time workers, in reality driving a wedge between full-time and part-time workers. Black workers continue to suffer the worst unemployment, worst poverty and the worst police violence while the criminal justice system is used to deprive them of their basic rights.
For over 40 years workers have been falling behind in wages. Public sector pensions are under attack after private sector pensions disappeared. Full time jobs with some protection are giving way to part-time and temp work with little or no protection.
Why? Is society getting poorer? Absolutely not. Our productivity continues to increase. That means it only takes three workers to do what it took ten workers to do 40 years ago. Much of this is being done by automation and technology. These advances are made possible by the work of past generations of workers. But who benefits from them? Are we working shorter hours? Are we getting more time off to live our lives? Not the workers! The bosses keep the gains for themselves. This is what is behind the increase in inequality. We have all read or heard in the news of all the loot the big bosses and their cronies hide in off-shore accounts all over the world. Is this what we work for? So politicians can spend trillions of our tax dollars and send the worker's children off to war? To protect big business interests?
We need to fight against the wrongs heaped on workers by the politicians and bosses. To make those fights more powerful and effective, workers need to build our own political party, a Working-Class Party.
I'm running for U.S. Congress in District 29 to propose to the workers to get together and build our own Working-Class Party. We get the bosses' point of view from the Democrats and Republicans. We get it from the news media. It is time for workers to have our own political voice, our own way to put forward our own policies, our own way to cut through all the lies. And we need our own way to organize our fights.
We solve problems for a living. We repair, we maintain, we build, we clean. We are transportation workers, we teach and we are home care workers. We prepare the next generation of workers. We do the most important work in the real economy. The workers power lies in the work we do. We have to build our own political party in order to break with the divisiveness created by the politicians and bosses. We have to do away with the racism and sexism that pervade the very core of our society. Workers have to come together regardless of color, sexual preference, nationality, legal status. We have to stand up to the politicians, the bosses and their failed policies that can only lead us to our ruin.
SÍ SE PUEDE!
YES WE CAN!
OUI, NOUS POUVONS!