Talk about a sea change. A President-elect who actually walks on picketlines rather than busts unions. Unprecedented independent labor political action that arguably made the difference in changing the direction of our country.

Stunning victories at Smithfield Foods in Tar Heel, North Carolina (read here), at Republic Windows in Chicago (read here) , and Boeing in Seattle (read here) .

New higher levels of labor unity – it’s been a long time since the whole labor movement has been so united on a presidential candidate. The most unifying and far-reaching discussion in labor of racism as a central block to working class and trade union unity since the 1930s. (read here) (and here)

And important new steps towards a truly international labor movement (read here < popuplink>.

Of course it comes in the midst of the worst economic crisis for working families in 70+ years. A fighting labor movement, in step with our new President, in step with the broad coalition who powered the Obama and Congressional victories, is critical for these times. 2009 shapes up to be a year of big change and big struggle. And the labor movement is powered with happy warriors who have the hope and determination for the change we need.

Scott Marshall is chair of the Communist Party’s Labor Commission.