Friday, September 05, 2008

Right Time for National Conference on Labor, by Stewart Alexander

Stewart A. Alexander Vice Presidential Nominee Socialist Party USA September 5, 2008 During May of 1978, Stewart Alexander was making plans to end his employment with Safeway Stores in Southern California to open his construction business as a license general contractor. After working for Safeway Stores for six years, Alexander was earning close to $1,600 a month plus overtime working as a journeyman clerk. It was about the same time that his mother, Ann E. Alexander was working as a full time registered nurse for Harbor General Hospital in Los Angeles, California. Ann Alexander was earning a good income working for the County of Los Angeles; her monthly earnings with overtime were about $2,800. Ann Alexander remained in nursing until 1997 when she retired. Now 30 years later, Stewart Alexander says he is earning far less than what he earned in 1978, and adjusting for inflation. His mother is now 84 receiving her monthly social security check for $700; with no other income other than the help she receives from her children, she has been forced to secure additional income working as a license bail agent. In the mid 90s, Stewart Alexander worked as an automobile sales consultant; during that time, it was not uncommon for Alexander to earn $2,000 weekly on commission and bonuses. Today, Alexander may work more than 200 hours in a month and earn less than $2,500 on commissions. Presently, Alexander is selling Fords; however, he says “the recession and downturn in the U.S. economy has affected the entire automobile market.” In June 2008, Steve Zeltzer, a labor organizer and a political consultant, approached Alexander with a proposal to organize a national conference on labor; bringing together working class activist, working class political tendencies and those who want a socialist national alternative. Alexander quickly embraced Zeltzer’s idea and has been working with Zeltzer to implement his proposal. Alexander believes that working people are ready for a socialist alternative. Alexander says, many working people are in the same situation as he and his mother; “working people are taking hits from all directions; shrinking wages, unemployment, unaffordable housing, unaffordable health care cost, high food prices, high fuel prices, loss of benefits, and a two party system that only caters to the corporate ruling class.” The concept for a national conference on labor would involve left groups and activist across America. Alexander is hoping that plans for such a conference would begin with the Socialist Party USA and the Peace and Freedom Party; he has membership with the two socialist parties. Alexander would also want other left groups involved; such as the Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL), Freedom Socialist Party (FSP), the Green Party, the Liberty Union Party, Workers World Party, Communist Party USA, and many other left groups and activist. Alexander and Zeltzer also believe it is crucial to have organized labor involved in this conference for working people. Zeltzer says a national conference on labor would provide a clear political agenda on the struggle against the imperial war and for the defense of the working people of the United States; “It is important that planning for this conference begin before the November election, and we must actively build for this conference the day after the election.” Today, there is a groundswell of opposition to the two corporate parties; recent polls show that 84 percent of all Americans are not satisfied with the leadership in Washington DC. Alexander and Zeltzer believe working people are ready for change; they are hoping a national conference could convene by May 2009 and use the struggle for May Day as a kickoff. For more information search the web for: Stewart A. Alexander; Alexander Dismisses Economic Plans of Obama and McCain.

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