2019 Resolution: National SDS Stands in Solidarity With the Labor Movement

2019 Resolution: National SDS Stands in Solidarity With the Labor Movement

National Students for a Democratic (SDS) renews our resolution to struggle alongside the movement for labor rights, better working conditions, and unionization. National SDS recognizes the plight of workers as one of the most important issues to be addressed in the United States today. 2018 and 2019 saw some of the most blatant and vicious attacks by the U.S. government, company bosses, and union bureaucrats in recent years. Though the prospects seem overwhelming and our struggles may seem unconnected, the student movement is in a position to reinforce organized labor by standing in solidarity with workers and uniting with them whenever we can - this is especially pertinent in the case of farm workers, incarcerated workers, non-white, nonbinary, and women workers.

Some of the many attacks that have happened in recent years include the Supreme Court Janus v. AFSCME case which was resolved with unions no longer being allowed to collect non-union worker fees for representation in public sector work. “Right-to-work Laws” have been attacking private sector unions in the same way for years. These are connected to the larger problem of union busting which is becoming more prevalent every year.

However, these attacks did not go unanswered and we cannot ignore the significant victories of the labor movement. 2018 was a historic year for the gradual resurgence of the strike as a strategy for workers fighting back. Starting with the Feb. 22, West Virginia teachers strike, educators in other states, including Oklahoma, Arizona, Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado, also decided to strike; to stand against harsh budget cuts, lower education quality and low pay. This “strike fever” also led to a busdriver strike in Georgia. Teachers and other workers in the education system were not the only workers to reignite the strike: as of September 2019, 46,000 United Auto Worker union members went on strike against General Motors for higher pay, greater job security, a bigger share of profit and protection of healthcare benefits.

Since its inception, New SDS has stood beside the labor movement. SDS affiliate, the Harvard National Lawyers Guild, held student walkouts in September of 2016 to stand in solidarity with striking dining hall workers. SDS also led a student contingent when AFSCME and Teamster members at the University of Minnesota rallied for “Raises and Respect.” Many students today will become the laborers of tomorrow, and it is our duty to help improve the livelihood of workers now. National SDS recommits to standing with workers now and into the future!

With this resolution, SDS Commits to:

Stay diligent and aware of the local and national struggles of workers. Campus unions should be a particular focus for local chapters.

Actively organizing events and campaigns, if applicable, alongside workers fighting back.

Calling for national days of action in solidarity with workers when necessary.

Defending unions and the unionization of unorganized workplaces. This includes fighting against union busting and standing with unions workers are trying to form.

Of particular interest is the UAW strike, which began in September of 2019.