In September this year, alongside Socialist Alternative in the US, Workers Strike Back (WSB), launched their new YouTube channel, ‘On Strike!’ WSB is an independent, rank-and-file campaign group which is organised in workplaces and on the streets in the US. We encourage all our supporters to subscribe to the channel @OnStrikeShow on YouTube!
Similar to the strike wave we’ve seen in Britain over the last 18 months, there have been more protests and strikes over the past few years in the US than at any time in a generation. Yet what is portrayed about these struggles is overwhelmingly from the perspective of a hostile corporate elite – for example, just six companies control 90% of U.S. media! Meanwhile, much of the press that identifies as left or independent has failed to consistently provide coverage from the perspective of working-class people and our needs.
Too often, they are looking the other way or giving cover to the same politicians who are selling us out. For example, the left wing journal Jacobin giving left cover to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and ‘the Squad’ who have failed to stand up to the corporate agenda of the Biden administration.
On Strike will offer something fundamentally different. Presented by Seattle councilmember Kshama Sawant alongside Bia Lacombe, On Strike fearlessly calls out the betrayals and brings a fighting strategy for working people and youth to win what they need.
After only a few episodes, it has covered key strikes and disputes, including the attempts to unionise at Amazon, the UAW strikes involving car manufacturers Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. It has also featured the massive strikes by actors and film writers that brought Hollywood to a halt over the summer and early autumn, as well as an interview with Cornel West who recently launched his own, independent presidential candidacy.
On Strike has also covered international trade union struggles, including the strike at Ash Field Academy in Leicester, where Tom Barker, a member of Socialist Alternative here in Britain, has already helped to win some important concessions from their employer, but has escalated their action this term to secure an inflation-busting pay rise.
They have recently exposed those Democratic Party so-called ‘progressives’ who have completely dropped the fight for Medicare for All. When challenged on this, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stated that fighting for free medical cover in the US would cause her ‘relational harm’. How can working people and youth in the US rely on someone to fight their corner for them, when all she is concerned about is her standing in the Democratic Party and her career?
This is one of the many reasons why Workers Strike Back has been launched in the US – the Democrats as well as the Republicans both answer to the billionaires, Workers and young people need a new, multiracial, working-class party that organises movements and fights unambiguously for their needs. Workers Strike Back is calling for a party that consistently opposes war, imperialism and supports workers rights and struggle. We need a fundamentally different kind of society, run by and for working people, not the billionaires!