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

Culture Corner:
Labor’s Turning Point & Strike

May 6, 2024

Film: Labor’s Turning Point, a documentary on

This May 16th is the 90th anniversary of one of the landmark strikes in U.S. history—the 1934 Minneapolis Teamster strike. To win this series of three strikes, the workers had to battle the boss-led Citizens Alliance, the police, the top union bureaucrats, as well as their double-talking governor. This film shows archival footage of the “flying squadron” pickets, some battles, interviews with some participants, and a retelling of the events. The documentary, with its incredible film footage of the events, shows how the strike spread to the entire city and drew the eyes of the world. The book Teamster Rebellion by Farrell Dobbs is also excellent.

Book: Strike, by Jeremy Brecher, 1972

This book tells the history we did not learn in school, from 1877 to modern times. It tells of the tremendous battles where workers fought and died to win decent working conditions and pay, to have a say, and to control their own unions. They fought against child labor and for the 8-hour day. They fought hired goons, company spies, politicians, union bureaucrats, and even the military. Huge sections of workers identified as socialists or anarchists understood that the attacks of the rich against the poor could only be pushed back by workers’ efforts and solidarity. This book provides lessons workers can draw upon to avoid past mistakes and carry fights as far as they can go.