Reply to: Re: US Rail Contracts

Adam Rose adam at
Thu May 16 09:13:41 MDT 1996

As a quick response, I'd say I agree with David Walters.

However, I think the point is really HOW "you ... raise
the labor party issue in your rail union". It is fairly
clear from David's post that he would not raise it
in quite the same way as the LPA leadership would raise it.

Could I probe for a bit more information ? In what context was
this message originally composed ? I ask this because for me,
the question is never only "what kind of proposals do you make to
workers in order to stengthen your position against the boss during
the rail negoitations ?" , unless of course you in some forum where
that is precisely the one and only point being discussed.

Dave also writes
> For once LARGE groups of
> workers organized in their unions are debating this question. NO left
> group in the last 40 years has been able to initiate such real
> political discussions among workers and gotten such a hearing.

Could I have some sort of feel for this ?

By way of comparison, the SLP held a meeting in Manchester ( a city
of about 1,000,000 people ) at which there were about 80 people. Its
total membership at present is about 1,200 - but I'd guess it represents
the views of say 50,000 people - ie about 1 in 50 workers, in other words,
a big and potentially influential minority, but a minority.

Who is "the LPA leadership" ? What are their aims ?
( Two comparisons : the British Labour Party's original aim was
not even to form a government but to act as a pressure group in
parliament to influence trade union law; I would describe
the Socialist Labour Party's aim as to advance the cause of
socialism by means of parliamentary elections, ultimately to
form a government ).


Adam Rose


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