Immediate Demands of Labor

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Adopted at the 9th Congress of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization in spring 2022.

The capitalists are at war with the entire working class. A determined resistance is necessary to defend our rights, dignity, and standard of living. It is the multinational working class that creates everything of value in this country. We understand we will never get more from the ruling class, the monopoly capitalists, than we are ready to fight for and organized to take.

We need a better future for ourselves and our families.  We also need militant struggle to address the conditions we are facing as a class. Freedom Road Socialist Organization promotes and struggles to realize the following demands to advance the cause of working people.

Demands of organized workers:

We are working to make our trade unions into organizations that fight and are effective—unions that stand up to the employers and win. This means having class struggle unions, where the rank and file is in charge, and we are prepared to do whatever is necessary to be effective in our battles. In the trade union movement, we work to mobilize every member. When possible, we unite with the existing labor leadership to advance workplace struggles. If necessary, we expose the labor bureaucrats who are tied to management and get in the way.

  • All workers must be able to live a full and enjoyable life with only one job. No worker should be forced to work overtime. We must fight for shorter work weeks with full pay. 
  • Unions must organize the unorganized, including the lower sections of the working class. We must build unity and struggle in this section of the class, and we must fight for our unions to organize workers in these sectors.
  • Repeal Taft-Hartley and all anti-labor legislation. All workers must have the freedom to withhold labor on their own terms, anytime, including secondary strikes, boycotts, and strikes with no notice. Workers must also have the freedom to join unions and insist that employers hire union members only. “We support closed shops.”
  • Independent contractors and subcontractors must be recognized as full employees of the company they are working for. No company or corporation can be allowed to skirt labor laws or lower standards and working conditions through contracting or subcontracting.
  • Workplace health and safety measures that protect the short and long term health of workers. No worker’s life should be sacrificed for profits. All unions must fight for the safety of the working class and against bosses who put workers at risk. Workers in each industry should establish their health and safety standards. Workers shall have the right to stop production when safety standards aren’t met. Workers shall have the right to refuse all unsafe job assignments.
  • Automation must not reduce the number of jobs or lower wages for any worker. Any technology that has the potential to cause job loss or dislocation must be the subject of negotiations and must not take place without union approval. Our approach is to fight for every job.  
  • No to privatization. End all attacks on public employees. In times of economic crisis, we reject balancing the federal or state budgets on the backs of the people. 
  • International solidarity. The working class exists in every country, and we stand with all workers resisting capitalism. We must build unity with workers worldwide and oppose collaboration with bosses. This includes opposing national chauvinist and collaborationist slogans like “buy American.” We also favor cooperation between trade unions from different countries. 

Demands of the working class:

  • Affordable housing for all. Everyone needs housing and should be able to afford a decent place to live.
  • Workers must be able to live and support a family. This must be possible through having one job.  
  • We demand universal free healthcare for all. Healthcare is a basic human need and right and must not be denied to anyone. Employers must not be able to hold workers hostage based on their need to have healthcare. Healthcare must be available to all, including people with disabilities and anyone who cannot work.
  • All workers must be able to retire with dignity at a reasonable age. 
  • We demand paid parental leave for all parents. Parents, primarily women, spend countless hours doing the labor to raise a family. Raising a family or taking care of relatives must not come at the cost of a worker’s pay.
  • Free childcare for all. 
  • All workers must have enough vacation time to be able to relax and live an enjoyable and healthy life. 
  • Free education for all, at all levels. Education is a human right. We oppose the privatization of public schools. We are against private and charter schools.
  • Defend social security. Tax the rich to pay for any shortfalls. 

Demands against national oppression:

  • End discrimination in hiring practices, and discrimination on the job. We must fight against all racist hiring practices that further or continue inequality, and we must struggle on our shop floors and in our unions to take up the fight against discrimination and white chauvinism at work. 
  • We demand affirmative action in hiring practices.
  • Unions must unite with movements against national oppression in the streets and in our unions. To unite the multinational working class, labor must unite with the movements against national oppression. This includes uniting with movements against police crimes, supporting immigrant’s rights, and other struggles against national oppression and racism.
  • We demand an end to document checks. We support and unite with the entire working class regardless of immigration status.
  • All workers must have the ability to take enough paid time off to travel home to see their family wherever in the world their family lives. No worker should have to go many years without being able to see their loved ones simply because it takes a long time to travel home.

Demands against women’s oppression and for gender equity: 

  • We demand an end to discrimination in hiring, promotions, job assignments and wages. We recognize that who gets hired for particular types of work can be very gendered in capitalist society. We demand comparable pay for comparable worth.
  • We demand wages for all that allow a single parent to raise a family with one job. All parents and all people must be able to have the resources they need to live a full life. Economic independence is often an issue in leaving abusive relationships and domestic violence.
  • We demand an end to sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment continues to be rampant and is largely unchecked in workplaces. We must fight against it in all forms whether it comes directly from bosses or from coworkers who are allowed by bosses to get away with it in the workplace.
  • No attacks on reproductive freedom! Full employer paid coverage of reproductive health care, including birth control, abortion, and fertility treatments. 
  • Pay for stay at home parents. Nobody should lose their income to raise their family. 
  • Paid leave for child, parental and family care, and bereavement. All workers must be able to care for their family members without risking loss of income and all workers deserve bereavement leave to mourn loss including after miscarriages.
  • Complete coverage for all best practice gender affirming medical care for trans and non-binary workers. This includes not just medication and surgery but other services such as voice training and laser hair removal. We must fight against discrimination in all forms against trans and non-binary workers.
  • Equal access to safe bathrooms for all workers.

Demands of the unemployed:

  • Jobs or income now! Government should create union jobs at union wages! 
  • Public assistance for all in need!
  • Unemployment benefits for all! This includes undocumented workers and first time job seekers and should not be dependent on length of time at previous jobs or amount of time unemployed. We oppose “work-fare” programs. No one should have to work for unemployment or public assistance. 
  • Extend and expand unemployment benefits. Extended benefits in times of economic crisis and parts of the country where unemployment rates are high.