FYI - Third party/new labor party
Date: Sat, 2 Mar 96 18:18:38 -0800
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: FYI - Third party/new labor party
Forwarded-by: Jack Keith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[I received this information from a group called Labor Party Advocates after
reading an article about it by Adolph Reed in the Village Voice (Feb 6) and
hearing him interviewed on NPR or Pacifica. With all the interest in
alternatives to our one bifurcated party I thought maybe people would like
to hear about this embryonic option. There's a letter and then excerpts
from their brochure...left out the part about sending in $20 to become a
Labor Party Advocates
Washington, DC 20009-3177
202-319-1932 // fax 202-319-1930
Dear Sister or Brother,
Thank you for your interest in Labor Party Advocates.
Four International Unions -- the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers,
the United Electrical Workers, the Brotherhood of Maintenance of
Way Employees and the International Longshoremen's and
Warehousemen's Union -- together with hundreds of local unions,
councils and federations and thousands of individual trade unionists
have joined together to create a political party that will speak for
A founding convention for this new political party will take place
June 6-9, 1996 in Cleveland, Ohio and will be the place where we
debate and formulate a political program that will define what the
Labor Party is and what it stands for.
The Party will be a vehicle with which local union members, the
organized, the unorganized, the unemployed and others can challenge
the political agenda of corporations and debate how best to restore
a proper balance among the government, the corporations and the people.
Our vision is an America with full employment at good jobs with
decent wages, the right to organize and to strike, the right to a safe
workplace, retirement programs and health care that can't be taken
away from us: a society with justice and economic security for everyone.
Join us to help make our vision of a labor party that speaks for all
working people a reality.
Labor no longer has a voice on the issues important to
Instead, it is the corporate agenda that is being heard.
Big business manipulation of our two-party system has
resulted in a continuing attack on working (and
Our basic rights - to earn a living wage with benefits and
to strike without being replaced - have deteriorated
while multinational corporations continue massive
layoffs, move our jobs overseas and refuse to pay their
fair share of taxes.
Recent political defeats - NAFTA, GATT, striker
replacement, health care and labor law reform - make it
clear that the Democrats and the Republicans do not
speak for the interests of working women and men in the
In fact, no matter which political party controls the
White House and Congress, the voice of working Americans
is not being heard.
Now more than ever, it is time to tap the labor
movement's vast financial resources and experience and,
most of all, the energies of our millions of members to
create a political party - developed by and for working
people - that will speak for labor.
What does it mean to join Labor Party Advocates? The
purpose of Labor Party Advocates is to educate the
American public about the need for a Labor Party in the
United States. To belong is to affirm one's belief in an
idea: that the labor movement in the United States needs
its own political party.
Who can join? Any trade unionist or other person who
believes the United States needs a Labor Party can
become a dues-paying member.
Ensuring fair representation. The leadership of Labor
Party Advocates includes a growing number of elected
trade union officials from shop stewards on up people
who actually represent someone. They are the guarantee
that the movement for a labor party is a serious and
legitimate effort. This group includes all kinds of
working people - female and male, black and white, Latino
What about running candidates? Labor Party Advocates has
a single purpose: to organize a Labor Party in the
Labor Party Advocates is neither running nor endorsing
candidates for political office and therefore is not
interfering in on-going COPE work or other political
But Labor Party Advocates is agitating for a new
economic, social and political agenda for working
people. And it is serving as an organizing committee for
a new labor party.
Organize! Organize! Organize! The most important
objective is to convince as many people as possible to
become Labor Party Advocates.
Labor Party Advocates from all over the country are
forming organizing committees to help sign up new
members. The committees consist of local leaders,
activists and rank and filers from several different
unions or members of a single local union.
Organizing committees are polling local union
membership, drawing up and passing resolutions in
support of Labor Party Advocates and sponsoring forums
and public hearings where trade unionists and others can
both learn more about Labor Party Advocates and discuss
vital issues of importance to the future of the labor
Leading a crusade for a new agenda. Labor Party
Advocates organizing committees are encouraging local
union members to challenge the political agenda of
corporations and debate how best to restore a proper
balance of power among the government, the corporations
and the people.
What would a labor agenda look like? LPA is taking no
official stand on particular issues until our
constituent unions and members have their say at a
LPA will shape a pro-labor agenda that will include a
call for a full employment economy; laws that protect
the right of workers to organize and bargain; fair
health, pension and education benefits for all; health
and safety on the job; a trade policy that raises wages
rather than lowering them; and a fair tax structure that
ensures that the wealthy and corporations pay their fair
© 1996 Peter Langston