The corporate agenda is being advanced
in the halls of power. Ours isnt, remarked Tony Mazzocchi, a leader of the
Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers union who is the Labor Partys national organizer.
As an example, he cited legislation by Sen. John Kerrey (D., Neb.)
that would raise the retirement age to 70. "Anyone who thinks that 70 should be the
age of retirement has never really worked," Mazzocchi said to applause.
Union members, he said, "have been the tail of the political
"The Labor Party is an effort to weld together workers with the
notion that we constitute a working-class with interests that go beyond those of our
individual unions," Mazzocchi said.
The veteran organizer argued that the Labor Party is indispensable to a
revitalization of the labor movement. He noted that unions represent a smaller percentage
of the workforce today than they did 70 years ago.
The Labor Party has "passed through a period of incubation,"
Mazzocchi said. "We hope to be more visible, and to have a greater impact."
Urging a large UE delegation at the Labor Partys first
constitutional convention in Pittsburgh Nov. 13-15, Mazzocchi said, "We need you to
help shape our agenda and strategy." The convention, he proposed, will help
"shape destiny, leading the American working class back to power."