Declaration of the Kwangchow-Hankow Railway Workers’ Strike

Proletarians of all countries, unite!
There is one goal, the conquest of power!

DECLARATION OF THE KWANGCHOW-HANKOW RAILROAD WORKERS‘ STRIKE

Chairman Mao Tse-tung
08.09.1922

Reproduced by
The Red Flag

DECLARATION OF THE KWANGCHOW-HANKOW RAILROAD WORKERS‘ STRIKE

Dear fellow-countrymen! Workers! Peasants! Students! Siblings!

Just look at how we proletarians are treated by society! Look at how the capitalists oppress us! In all of this vast society, where is there a place for us to have our say? But at this point, tightly encircled by dark forces that have brought us to this life-and-death crisis, we cannot but utter an urgent and solemn cry!

Compatriots! We have previously declared how despotic and sinister the two villains of the Kwangchow-Hankow Railway, Chang En-jung (supervisor) and Miao Feng-min (foreman), have been in mistreating the workers. Last year, seeking personal profit, they incited the workers to strike, making utter fools of us and plunging us into deep suffering. Afterwards, they conspired further to force us to join their organization and become weapons in their bid for power. When they failed, their humiliation turned to anger, and they made every effort to sabotage our club. How angry and hurt this made us feel! In addition, Miao even used the strike as an excuse to defraud us of our hard-earned wages. When a worker was injured on the job, Miao not only refused to let him leave for medical care, but actually docked his pay. Chang, for his part, made use of the railways to traffic in opium, and beat up, insulted and then fired a worker who refused to cover up for him. He also confiscated the rice that workers brought to work, and accused them of stealing coal. It would be hard indeed to describe the countless cases of his mistreating the workers.

Compatriots, time and again we have asked the bureau chief to dismiss such scabs as he, but for more than ten days now, no concrete measures have been taken. The result of an interview with him in person is that he denied our demands and told us to take the case to court. Clearly he is shielding his own people so as to shirk his own responsibility. Three days ago we sent three separate telegrams to the Ministry of Transportation, setting a three-day time limit within which to settle the matter satisfactorily, or else a general strike would be held until the case is publicly judged by our fellow-countrymen. The same intention was set out in a final warning submitted to the bureau chief. Now the three days are up and there is absolutely no hope for a satisfactory settlement. It is they who, by protecting their own people who have violated the law and sabotaged the public interest, have forced us to this last resort, which so greatly affects the country!

Compatriots! Chang and Miao are villains who devour us workers. It is only natural that we swear not to coexist with them. Aside from this, as the cost of living rises, our lives become more and more difficult each day. Therefore, it is also quite urgent and highly reasonable for us to demand that our wages be raised to improve our living standard.

Fellow-countrymen and fellow workers! For the sake of „ending oppression“, „maintaining our organization“, „improving our lives“ and „promoting human dignity“, we have no choice but to struggle against the scabs and to resort to this final measure (a strike)!

Compatriots from all walks of life! We strive only for our own immediate interests, and this has nothing to do with outside issues. Please, in the spirit of justice and truth, lend us concrete assistance!

Dear fellow workers! Proletarian siblings! We are fighting for survival, for human dignity, and we vow never to give up until our goals are won!

Fellow workers! Be brave! Be resolute! „Fighting for our very lives“ depends entirely upon our ability to „unite“ and „struggle“!

Fellow workers throughout the country! „All workers are one.“ Let us unite and fight against those who oppress us!

(Declaration of the Kwangchow-Hankow Railway Workers.)