At Thursday’s meeting of the Pennsylvania Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, educators from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio voted to support the struggle to end the isolation of the striking Volvo workers in Dublin, Virginia, now in its third week. In particular, we resolved to publicize information on the strike among teachers and other educators throughout our region. Below is a letter sent from our committee to the Volvo Workers Rank-and-File Committee outlining our plans.
To the Volvo Workers Rank-and-File Committee:
We, the members of the Pennsylvania Educators Rank-and-File Safety Committee, are writing to pledge our support to break the isolation of your strike at the New River Valley (NRV) plant in Virginia.
The stand you have taken against Volvo and against the leadership of the United Auto Workers (UAW), which is conspiring with Volvo to isolate and defeat your strike, is a powerful example to workers everywhere.
The mainstream media has blocked out news of your struggle, as has the union officialdom. A review of the UAW Twitter feed, website and Facebook page have no mention of your strike.
Over the past year, our committee of educators from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio has fought against the reckless and unsafe reopening of the schools, which has led to the deaths and suffering of masses of educators, students and working class communities throughout the country.
The push to reopen schools before the containment of the pandemic was seen as necessary to get people back to work making profits for the corporations and the banks at the expense, quite literally, of workers’ lives.
Like you, our struggle was ignored in the media. Instead, teachers and other educators who took a stand to put human health and safety ahead of profits were labeled as lazy and uncaring for the children.
Like you, we confronted our own unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA), which supported the reopening of schools before the pandemic was controlled. There are many documented cases in which union officials attacked members who requested safety prosecutions.
Two weeks ago, at our meeting of June 10, 2021, we passed a resolution supporting your struggle. At our meeting this Thursday, June 24, 2021, we discussed your struggle and made the decision to work to publicize and break the isolation of your strike being imposed in the media and by the UAW.
Based on this discussion, our committee unanimously decided to do the following to broaden support for your strike, to guarantee its success, and to start a working class counter-offensive against the capitalist system and all its defenders:
- Immediately we will begin to publicize your struggle within all the Facebook and social media accounts to inform teachers and educators in our region of your struggle.
- We will also send news articles to independent media outlets and request that they publish reports on your struggle.
It was further suggested that if you or the WSWS are able to produce video coverage of your struggle we will forward them to public access TV in our areas.
Please let us know what other steps we can take to break the isolation of your struggle.
Educators from Ohio, Pennsylvania and Maryland