Class struggle

Correspondence on the Union Question

Dear Internationalism. I've read your series on how decadence affects capitalism in the International Review. Even though the union movement is portrayed as being progressive in the 1920's and 30's, it had moved away from being a worker's movement and became a hindrance on the working class.  In the US, the situation was different...

April 24th: Media and unions against the potential for workers’ solidarity

400,000 workers were involved in strikes, demonstrations and rallies on 24 April. 250,000 teachers took part in their first national strike in 21 years. 100,000 civil servants were on strike. Of the 25,000 on strike in Birmingham it was the second day for council workers.

One class, one struggle (2008)

Never have so many countries been hit by workers' struggles at the same time. This is testimony to the strength and militancy of the working class on an international scale. Faced with the black-out of the bourgeois media, here are just a few examples, only going back to the beginning of 2008.

Russia: workers’ bravery against state repression

The repression of the working class is a feature of all capitalist regimes, whether ‘democratic' or ‘dictatorial'. The bourgeois class uses terror to impose its social order on the exploited. In Russia, the overtly criminal nature of the social, economic and political system explains the permanence of state repression against the working class.

Against the world wide attacks of crisis-ridden capitalism: one working class, one class struggle!

For five years the class struggle has continued to develop world wide. Against the simultaneous and ever deeper attacks with which it is confronted the working class is reacting, demonstrating its militancy and asserting its class struggle in both the so-called developed and under-developed countries.

Struggles in Germany

In 2007, Germany saw the highest number of strike days since 1993 (just after reunification). 70% of them came in the strike last spring against ‘externalisation', ie the relocation of 50,000 telecom jobs. This in a country which has for so long been presented as a dynamic economy and a model of social harmony.

Resurgence of Class Struggle in the US

In the last few months, there has been a series of simultaneous strikes and struggles in the US, the likes of which we haven't seen in quite a while. This includes a number of official union strikes, such as the strike by the Access-A-Ride drivers in New York who provide transportation for people with disabilities...

Struggles in France: Government and unions hand-in-hand against the working class

The strike of transport workers (SNCF and RATP) which ended November 22 (and which unfolded simultaneously with the struggle of students against the law of "autonomy of the universities" aiming to accentuate the inequalities between working class students and those from the bourgeoisie) constituted the first significant response of the working class in France against the attacks of the government of Sarkozy/Fillon/Pecresse and associates.

Royal Mail Strike: CWU sells workers a pay cut

The revival of workers' struggles in 2003 has continued in many countries throughout 2007, and Britain has been no exception. The recent struggle of workers at Royal Mail showed both workers' militancy as well as the ability of the Communication Workers Union to sabotage the strike. When the union sold the pay deal they rather neglected to point out that it was effectively a pay cut.

Workers in France respond to the offensive of the ruling class

According to our rulers, the struggle between the working class and the bourgeoisie is an outmoded idea. So when workers, fed up with the continuing attack on their living standards, engage in strikes or demonstrations to defend themselves, they are invariably portrayed as narrow-minded, backward looking, and above all selfish interest groups who just don't understand the need for ‘reforms'...

Against government attacks, we all have to fight together!

In the name of ‘a fairer society' Sarkozy and his billionaire buddies have the nerve to ask us to accept the suppression or alteration of ‘special pension regimes' and to make everyone work 40 years for their pension. What the railway workers, the RATP employees, the gas and electrical workers are demanding was expressed clearly in their general assemblies: they don't want ‘privileges', they want 37 and half years for everyone!

How ‘worker’ and ‘student’ unions undermine the struggle

As we have already shown in our press, the attacks being imposed on the transport, electricity and other workers around the ‘special pension regimes' are just the first stage of an assault on the conditions of the working class as a whole. Tomorrow, the pensions of all workers will be put into question. At the same time, the new medical charges are part of a wider attack on social benefits.

Intervention of ICC militants in two rail workers’ assemblies

On Monday 19 November, in a large provincial town, a small group of students who had been to our last public meeting took a delegation of older politicised workers, members of the ICC, to two railway workers' general assemblies. Since the unions had taken care to divide up the assemblies into different sectors, our comrades split up to speak at the two assemblies: one of the station staff and one of the drivers.

Victory for Türk Telekom strikers

The massive strike by over 26,000 Türk Telekom workers is over. After 44 days the strikers went back to work. At 1,100,000 working days lost it makes it the biggest strike in Turkish history after the 1991 miners strike. It is time to draw up a balance sheet of the events.

Workers can only win if they spread the struggle

Throughout the summer the mainstream press was full of hot air about a new ‘winter of discontent'. So editors, both tabloid and broadsheet, must have breathed a collective sigh of relief when postal workers walked out en masse in October. With further action threatened by public services workers in response to paltry pay offers and the possibility of large scale action in response to job cuts at the BBC...

CWU: Selling out or just doing its job?

After nearly 3 months of dispute the worse fears of postal workers have been confirmed. The Communication Workers Union (CWU), through its executive, have recommended acceptance of a deal which is practically the same as the original offer made by Royal Mail. After 3 weeks of wrangling Billy Hayes and Dave Ward were desperately attempting to put together a package that they could sell to postal-workers.

Struggles in Egypt: The mirage of ‘independent unions’

During October workers' struggles continued in Egypt. This year, according to one source, there have been 580 ‘industrial actions' in the nine months to the end of September. This compares to 222 strikes recorded in the whole of 2006. The strikes continue to be as inspiring as during last December's strike wave...

Philippines: a microcosm of the class struggle world wide in MEPZA

 

We are publishing below extracts of an account sent to us by the comrades of the Internasyonalismo group of workers' movements that have taken place over the last few years in the MEPZA industrial zone. Although only a few hundred workers were involved in the events described here, they reveal in microcosm the problems confronting not only the 40,000 workers in MEPZA but by millions of workers world wide, from the maqiladora on the US-Mexican frontier to the factories in China's "special economic zones".

Class struggles in Peru

A comrade from Lima who is corresponding and discussing regularly with our organisation has already sent us an article on the miners’ strike in Peru last April and has now sent us an update with further news of the teachers’ strike there and of workers’ struggles in Chile. We warmly welcome his efforts. It’s vitally important to rapidly circulate information, experiences, lessons regarding the workers’ struggles developing across the world.

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