Shawn Fain Proposes General Strike ­… But Why Wait until 2028?

United Auto Workers President Shawn Fain has called for a mass strike on International Workers’ Day, May 1, 2028.

Fain aligned the UAW’s contracts with the Big Three automakers to expire on April 30, 2028, and has encouraged other unions to do the same. If no agreement is reached, a massive number of workers could potentially strike on May Day 2028 without violating US labor law.

“We have to pay for our sins of the past,” Fain said. “Back in 1980, when Reagan fired PATCO workers, everybody in this country should have stood up and walked the hell out … We missed the opportunity then, but we’re not going to miss it in 2028 … We want a general strike. We want everybody walking out just like they do in other countries.”

A general strike would be a profoundly significant and radicalizing development,demonstrating our class’s ability to shut down the economy in practice.

Despite his bold talk, however, Fain has not yet made an organized attempt to spread the idea. It’s not enough to advocate for all UAW locals to negotiate contracts with a common expiration date, or to simply issue public statements appealing for other unions to join the effort. A successful nationwide strike demands serious preparations and there is no time to lose.

The UAW should begin organizing general-strike committees and public meetings across the country to win other unions to the plan. These discussions would highlight the tremendous power that the labor movement can wield if it’s organized, mobilized, and determined to win. Workers could collectively create a program of demands for the strike.

It would also pose the question: Why wait until 2028? Should the working class have to endure four more years of living check to check while the list of billionaires with 12-figure fortunes keeps growing?

If Fain follows through and turns words into actions, he will immediately face resistance from his friend Joe Biden and top leaders of the labor movement. Whatever Fain does or doesn’t do, the Revolutionary Communists of America will use his suggestion to begin these vital discussions at union meetings across the country.

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