This pamphlet contains a selection of articles first published by the World Socialist Web Site on the strike by US oil workers that began on February 1, 2015. They are vital reading for all wishing to gain a deeper understanding of this significant movement of the working class in the heart of world capitalism. The development of this strike, after decades in which the unions have attempted to suppress the class struggle, is a symptom of immense social tensions in the United States. It reflects the deep resentment felt by working people over declining living standards under conditions where the stock market and corporate profits are at record levels.
These essays trace the development of the strike and place it in its broader political, historical and international context. In particular, they examine the role of the United Steelworkers, which has sabotaged the struggle, limiting the walkout to a fraction of the oil workers it organizes and politically subordinating it to the Democratic Party and the Obama administration. At the same time, this pamphlet advances the political strategy fought for by the Socialist Equality Party to break the isolation of the oil refinery workers. From the beginning of the strike, the SEP insisted on the need for a new political strategy based on the widest mobilization of the working class in the US and globally as part of a conscious fight directed against the capitalist profit system.