The Democratic Socialists of America-Los Angeles (DSA-LA) Labor Committee (henceforth “the Committee”) was founded in January 2017 by rank and file union members, union staff, and unrepresented workers. The Committee is dedicated to developing worker consciousness and solidarity, both within our chapter and among the greater Los Angeles community. At the national level, the Committee also works in conjunction with the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission (DSLC), a network of DSA committees, working groups, and other bodies that formally interacts with other organizations that belong to or support the labor movement.
As socialists, the Committee’s core philosophy is rooted in the conviction that the workplace is one of the most vital spaces in the struggle for democracy and human dignity. Our work should empower DSA members to fight that struggle and win.
The Committee currently recognizes seven (7) planks that will inform all of its work. Each of the planks plays an equal role in informing the work of the Labor Committee, with no one plank having primacy over the others:
- Promote and strengthen the roles of women, people of color, and LGBTQ workers within DSA-LA and the labor movement. The often intersectional nature of workplace struggles should be emphasized.
- Ensure that DSA-LA promotes and abides by good labor practices.
- Show solidarity with workers in their fight for a better quality of life. This includes the international labor movement and working people across the world.
- Strengthen relationships between unionized DSA-LA members and their unions.
- Support union formation and the creation of labor centers, particularly in Los Angeles.
- Reintroduce socialist politics into the labor movement through a rank and file strategy.
- Promote worker class consciousness through both education and direct action.
Committee Goals (2017-2019)
While DSA-LA members are free to organize around whatever labor-related issues or projects they deem important, the Committee as a group will pursue seven (7) goals over the two-year period between national conventions. At least one of the criteria for choosing a goal must be that it can feasibly be accomplished within two years. The Committee’s goals for 2017-2019 include:
- Develop a Hollywood Labor Center. This process will include raising funds in order to rent a space and hire staff.
- Identify unionized DSA-LA members and their unions.
- Using the data gathered through #2, establish a left caucus within three (3) of those unions.
- Identify the roles that DSA-LA members play within the economy of Los Angeles (ex. Which industries are most commonly represented?). The Research and Membership Committees could be valuable partners in this project.
- Develop a project that addresses the needs and interests of Precariat workers.
- Designate a task force that will engage in public programming and conversations about the role of law enforcement unions in the Labor Movement, with an eventual aim being that this programming informs a future plank of the committee.
- Develop labor education programming and courses that inform the membership of the history of the Labor Movement, the necessity of collective bargaining and unions, and helps workers realize their own power within the local economy.