Proposed Resolution: Organizing Low Wage Workers

BY: Illinois Communist Party| June 6, 2014

Submitted by the Illinois Communist Party

Starting with the Reagan presidency in 1980, years of right-wing Republican attacks on organized labor has reduced union density, weakened the non-sectarian left and increased income inequality. In other words, the rich have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer. The minimum wage, without automatic cost of living increases, is worth far less than it was 70 years ago.

But a turnaround has begun with campaigns to organize low wage workers. Union membership is increasing again. The AFL-CIO has reported an increase of 200,000 members in 2013. New forms of organizing are unfolding and bringing results for low wage workers at Walmart, fast food companies and other low-wage workplaces.  In fact, most low wage workers are not teenagers, supposedly living at their parents’ home and working only for “extra” money. Still many young people are low wage workers and 60% of minimum wage workers are women. Many are also people of color.

The novel and courageous forms of organizing used by the $15 an hour movement and Our Walmart campaign are creating new openings for labor and the left. An important change, shifting the balance of forces more toward working people, is possible.

There are many ways that members of the Communist Party can help this promising development. These include bringing friends with us to Our Walmart actions, marching with the $15/hour campaign and supporting workers’ centers that help low wage workers. Of strategic importance are the 2014 elections where many elections feature candidates campaigning for legislation to raise the minimum wage.

Therefore be it resolved

that the CPUSA encourage all progressive people to make the campaign for $15/hour a high priority and give full support to existing workers’ centers and to organizing additional workers’ centers, and

Be it further resolved

that the CPUSA encourage full support for national, state and local legislation that raises the minimum wage and includes automatic cost of living increases.

The views and opinions expressed in the Convention Discussion are those of the author alone. The Communist Party is publishing these views as a service to encourage discussion and debate. Those views do not necessarily reflect the views of the Communist Party, its leading bodies or staff members. The CPUSA Constitution, Program, and all its existing policies remain in effect during the Convention discussion period and during the Convention.

For more details and information on the handling of proposed resolutions, visit the Resolutions Guidelines

For details about the convention, visit the Convention homepage
To contribute to the discussion, visit the Convention Discussion webpage

30th National Convention, Communist Party USA
Chicago | June 13-15, 2014


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