TWSC Statement of Purpose and Principles
The Transport Workers Solidarity Committee (TWSC) traces its genesis back to the start of the Iraq War in 2003 when anti-war demonstrators and longshore workers in the Port of Oakland were attacked by police, exhibiting their role as guardians of capitalist law and order. After a successful lawsuit against the Oakland Police Department by protesters and longshoremen, the TWSC was formed in 2005 with the purpose of continuing the struggle against imperialist war, against police brutality and for labor solidarity. The founding members of TWSC trace their roots further back, to the 1984 ILWU longshore anti-apartheid action in San Francisco, a sympathy strike that defied the Taft-Hartley Act.
In recent years, the purpose of the TWSC has been expressed by initiating and helping to build numerous principled actions, among them: defense of unions and workers against employer lockouts and government repression; defense of specially oppressed black and brown youth evidenced by racist police murders as well as the class oppression of white working class youth; opposition to imperialist wars and Zionist atrocities; and in defense of free speech and the right to strike and picket. We’ve built an exemplary record in organizing solidarity with the ILWU longshore and clerk locals and dockworkers internationally, Warehouse locals like ILWU’s Boron miners, the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), the Aircraft Mechanics’ Fraternal Association, the BART workers unions, the railroad workers unions here, in Britain and Japan and unorganized port truckers. Our guiding principles have been forged through these class struggles.
We firmly believe and fight for the following:
- 1. The workers must control their own struggles and our solidarity supports those struggles and never substitutes for workers themselves or their organizations.
- 2. We recognize that the working class and the employing class have nothing in common. Therefore:
- A. We oppose the “team concept” of labor collaboration with management and deference to the anti-labor laws which reinforce capitalist domination. Therefore we oppose the business unionist bureaucracy which carries out these policies.
- B. We stand for the political independence of the working class from the capitalist parties and the capitalist state, its agencies, its courts and its police. We oppose so-called “free trade agreements” based on neo-liberal economic policies which deregulate and privatize industries and services while busting unions.
- 3. We stand for action against racism, sexism and any other bias in all of their destructive and insidious forms which divide workers in the struggle against capital.
- 4. We seek to work with union members and unorganized workers, especially immigrant workers, to help build militant unions through working class solidarity here and internationally.