Socialist Worker

US school strikes are the best way to fight Trump

Issue No. 2637

Trump

Trump is facing growing struggle from teachers (Pic: The White House/Flickr)


The arrogant, racist bigot US president Donald Trump can seem immune to opposition.

But workers are showing how best to fight back against Trump’s rule for the rich.

In Los Angeles, California, some 30,000 teachers struck this week over workloads, class sizes, low numbers of support workers and relentless testing of students.

Over 600,000 students have been affected by the strike in the second-largest school district in the US.

It follows over a year of growing struggle by US teachers, who have given a glimpse of what striking workers can achieve.

And in the Mexican border town of Matamoros this week at least 70,000 people walked out to demand a 20 percent wage increase, a bonus and a 40-hour working week.

The Mexican side of the US-Mexico border is home to some 3,000 “maquiladora” factories that employ one million workers in sweatshop conditions and pay them poverty wages.

In Matamoros workers have defied threats from corrupt union leaders to fire them if they did not return to work. Their struggle follows an announcement from the recently-elected left wing, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of a new free economic zone along the US-Mexico border.

Rebelling

This would plunge more Mexican workers into the same conditions people are rebelling against in Matamoros.

A common feature of the teachers’ strikes in the US last year was the rejection of servile union leaders and their dodgy deals with bosses.

Those were largely in Republican states. The Los Angeles strike is in a Democratic state. Democrats haven’t saved the education system from privatisation though. Private charter schools are being set up by Democrats across the US.

Meanwhile, protests and resistance have continued in the US and Mexico in response to Trump’s attempts to force Democrat politicians to grant him £5 billion funding for the wall.

While protests and strikes have raged and the federal government shutdown has ground on, Trump was holed up in the White House entertaining the college football league champions from Clemson University.

Yet because of the shutdown there were not enough workers to produce the food. So Trump served the elite athletes a selection of “McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger Kings with some pizza” by candlelight in one of the more bizarre moments of his presidency yet.

The latest strikes are a vivid example of the power workers have. If they grow further they can form the basis of a movement to get rid of the tyrant Trump, his grotesque regime and its international backers.

They can also go further, and bring the whole system crashing down.


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