The fight for jobs, and for the unemployed, is central to any economic recovery and to any forward motion for a people's agenda. With this in mind, last week the national board of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) took steps to beef up its work on the economic crisis.
"Labor, civil rights, women, youth and all the progressive core forces in our country are now moving to place the fight for jobs and the unemployed front and center on their agenda," said Sam Webb, chair of the CPUSA, "We have to pay particular attention to the working-class communities hardest hit, especially African American, Latino, and immigrant communities. And unemployment for youth is staggering."
He proposed that the national board establish a jobs committee of party activists to help coordinate and develop the work at all levels with special attention to party clubs and districts. Scott Marshall, chair of the CPUSA's labor commission was asked to chair the new committee.
"This is exactly the broad national coalition framework needed for this fight," said Marshall. The board pointed out that there are literally thousands of efforts and projects at the grassroots level led by local unions and union unemployed committees, community groups, retiree organizations, churches and central labor councils around the country. These efforts include not only advocacy and legislative efforts, but also food pantries, homeless shelters and job counseling and training efforts.
In accepting the assignment for the national board, Marshall said that while working in coalitions to strengthen and expand the national fight for jobs, the new committee will work with members and clubs to help build similar broad local coalitions and actions at the grassroots. "Millions are angry and suffering. If we look around in our communities and work places we will find many opportunities to get involved and help build grassroots action and muscle behind the demands of the national coalitions," Marshall said. "We need emergency action now."