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Resolution on the United Front, 1923

The "Resolution on the United Front," probably written by Maurice Spector, was adopted by the February 1923 Workers Party of Canada Convention. It was originally published in The Worker, and reprinted in Labor Organization in Canada 1923.

Resolution on the United Front

1. Labour throughout the world finds itself confronted with a vicious offensive of capital to crush its spirit, destroy its organizations, and reduce its living standards. This capitalist offensive takes different forms at different times; now it is an attack on the eight-hour day, now a reduction in wages, or an attempt to establish the open shop, and finally the utter throwing overboard of the mask of democracy and the ruthless terrorism and destruction of the labour movement by the Fascisti dictatorship, those elements of the bourgeoisie which tear up their own constitution and keep labour down by open force of arms, burning of trade union halls, etc. This latest Fascist form of capitalist offensive is not unlikely even in America in the developing conditions. Labour in Canada has the experience of the Citizens' Committee of the Winnipeg strike.

2. Owing to various historical reasons, the labour movement is, unfortunately, in a split up and demoralized condition today, under the active political and industrial oppression of capital. If labour is to put up an effective resistance to save itself (this attack is sometimes allegedly directed only against the so-called "extremist" organizations, but it is really an attack against labour as a whole), the workers, no matter how much they differ as to final aims and principles, must establish a common front of struggle and resistance on both political and industrial fields.

3. In Europe, where the working class has a longer development behind it, where there are already great political mass parties of labour to form a coalition and where there is a developing shop council movement to provide such a coalition with its driving force, the united front can already find expression in the desire for the labour government as the means of resistance. Here, where the labour movement has been so backward that craft unionism still prevails on the industrial field and the majority of our workers have not as yet developed even the notion of independent political action, our united front task consists

(a) on the industrial field, of working for the amalgamation of the existing craft unions into a series of massive industrial unions (in this connection we endorse the work of the Trade Union Educational League);

(b) to be in the forefront of the development of the Labour Party. As the Labour Party is organized on a federated basis, inclusive of industrial as well as political organizations, it becomes the instrument for establishing a common front on all the vital issues of the labour movement.

The Workers' Party not only re-affirms its resolution to work inside the Labour Party, but clearly recognizes the necessity for making it a really effective instrument of aggressive political action. The Workers' Party will join and strengthen the sections of the Labour Party, wherever there are such, take the initiative in their creation where these are absent, will attempt to bring about their greater co-ordination throughout the country; in short will strive for a strong, united, Dominion-wide party, filled with a truly proletarian spirit, and broadened conception of political action, in place of the present narrowly parliamentarian conception. The basis and guarantee for a real proletarian development of the Labour Party must be the redoubled effort to renovate the trade union movement.

All this does not, of course, mean that the Workers' Party will sink its distinctive aims, principles and organization as a Communist Party. On the contrary, it regards the maintenance of its aims and principles, its freedom of criticism and agitation and its identity as an organization, to be the guarantee of further progress in the labour movement. But a common programme of action on which to unite the workers can be worked out on the basis of the immediate struggles of the working class, such as:

(a) the fight against unemployment;

(b) against the open shop;

(c) for the eight-hour day;

(d) against espionage, whether by government or employers;

(e) for free speech;

(f) for the freedom to picket;

(g) against injunctions as a means of intervening in labour struggles;

(h) against the intervention of the police and military forces of the State in labour struggles;

(i) for the establishment of complete political and economic relations with Soviet Russia.

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