|Fundraising Appeal: AFL-CIO Young Workers Conference|
|Written by Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor|
|Thursday, 21 July 2011 18:23|
With cuts to higher education, rising levels of debt and vanishing job prospects rapidly becoming the norm rather than the exception, young people from Wisconsin to Great Britain have placed themselves at the forefront of the movements against austerity and the erosion of democratic rights. In light of this, the AFL-CIO is hosting its second annual Next Up Young Workers Conference in Minneapolis, MN from September 29th to October 2nd.
Last year, the “We Are One” rally sponsored by the AFL-CIO brought nearly 200,000 workers and students out to the streets of Washington, D.C. to demand quality jobs and funding for education, health care and other public services. Since then, the fight against WI Governor Scott Walker's attacks against unions' rights and the struggle of California youth for quality education – along with growing disillusionment in the Democrats and Republicans generally as both parties seek to unload the burden of economic and budget recovery onto the shoulders of workers and youth – have lead to a discussion in the ranks of the labor movement on what the way forward is for the workers and future workers of America. Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, has even spoken on the need for labor to chart an independent course from the Democratic Party. Small wonder why! New Jersey's Democratic majority in the State Assembly voted to take away workers' collective bargaining rights. California's “Friend of Labor” Governor Jerry Brown has recently cut $750 million from the state's public university system, with the possibility of more cuts to follow. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
The Campaign for a Mass Party of Labor maintains that, in order to win a solution to the systemic crisis that benefits the majority of the population, the unions must break from the corporate parties and build a Labor Party that fights for free universal education and health care as well as full employment to guarantee graduates and workers in general the right to a quality and socially useful job. More and more, working people are becoming disillusioned with the Democrats, but an alternative perspective is needed if that disillusionment is to turn into action rather than apathy. The Young Workers Conference will be an opportunity to introduce the discussion about the need for a Labor Party to fresh ranks of youth activists, but we need help to do it. That's why the CMPL is appealing to you, the supporters of the Campaign, to donate to our Fighting Fund in order to help us raise $1,000 to cover the registration and accommodation costs of ten young CMPL supporters to attend the Conference.
Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. In order to go forward, labor and youth must stand united against the attacks of the billionaires and their parties and have a political vehicle of their own to carry on their struggle. With no corporate funding, the CMPL is free to speak against Big Business and its agenda. With enough modest donations we can help open the dialog on how a Labor Party would change U.S. society. If we all contribute what we can, the net result will be a louder voice for the ideas of class independence and militant, democratic action in the labor movement – both this generation and the next.