The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Free Gas for a Few

Mar 28, 2022

Businessman and former political candidate Willie Wilson recently offered a million-dollar gas giveaway in working-class Chicagoland areas, where customers got to fill their tanks without pay. Clearly Wilson’s donation was a ploy to secure votes for another potential political campaign ... but with gas prices this high? A free tank of gas is basically a life preserver for workers to make it through the rest of the week.

Lines of cars stretched miles from the gas stations, choking high-traffic streets during the morning rush. Some people, desperate for this free fuel-up, risked running completely empty while idling in line. One worker expressed, “I was literally driving the last of my gas to get there. It’s already hard with everything going on here in Chicago, the economy, the gas prices, rent still have to be paid.”

As gas prices and corporate profits continue to soar, wages continue to fall behind. Our wages should rise in proportion to increases in cost-of-living. How can workers possibly maintain otherwise? We can’t simply wait on the “generosity” of rich folks like Willie Wilson, who got their wealth in the first place off the backs of our labor! As workers have demonstrated in the past, increased pay is something that will only be realized when we organize and fight for it.