Center for Labor Renewal
Center for Labor Renewal was conceived in early 2005 when the national U.S. labor union leadership was engaging in a "debate" which largely ignored the fundamental crisis of our nation's working class. It was launched in the Spring of 2006 following a meeting of activists from unions, worker centers, and working class organizations who issued a Call for the Center.
There would be a broad political unity around:
- The centrality of class and class struggle: this is a class society; class struggle does not need to be invented, it is built into capitalist society; the working class must become self-aware.
- There is an enemy:Capitalism is hazardous to the health of the working class and other oppressed groups. Capitalists seek to demobilize, isolate and disempower workers. Therefore workers must recognize that these are the opponents of their interests. Any peace is temporary.
- A genuine labor movement does not exist if it is not rooted in an understanding of the intersectionality of oppressions and a perspective of inclusionism:
- The on-going struggle to unite workers means understanding how race, gender, sexuality, and class operate as interdependent systems of oppression. As Black lesbian theorist Audre Lorde states, "There is no such thing as a single issue struggle because we do not live single issue lives." To build principled unity, the simultaneous fight against all oppressions must be fundamental to building the labor movement we envision.
- Struggle pays:If there is no struggle, there is no progress... When there is an injustice, labor must come out fighting and be seen as a force in society that is prepared to fight. The decline of power in U.S. Labor today is the result of strategies of accommodation, and leaders who have little to say that's different from Democratic politicians and offer little or no support to struggles for justice. Worker organizing and political education are increased through struggle. "No struggle, no progress" is a concept our labor movement needs to once again embrace by encouraging internal debate on a whole range of issues. Without it the transformation we seek will remain out of reach
- Internationalism:labor has no borders. It is not only about joining with workers in the same industry or sector of the economy, but also supporting workers that are fighting global capitalism, the intrusions of the U.S. and other bullying powers, and their own domestic oppressors. Labor should not let arguments about international competitiveness and patriotism be used in order to whipsaw us against our allies in other countries.
Center for Labor Renewal endorsers in 2009 included;
- Rev. Graylan Hagler