MAY DAY 2021

“Hope lies in our struggles”

May Day 2021 — Statement by the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)

The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), representing 105 million workers in 133 countries of the planet, sends a warm militant and internationalist greeting to the workers of the world, on the occasion of May Day 2021, this important day for the world working class. Each reflection, action and plan of the WFTU – especially in this difficult period for the workers and peoples of the world – has as its sole guide the interests of the working class. This 2021 will be a year of preparation for the world’s largest trade union event – the 18th World Trade Union Congress.

The COVID-19 pandemic profoundly marks the lives and actions of workers throughout the world. Our class mourned millions of deaths around the globe. Our movement found itself in unprecedented situations, demonstrating at the same time that the struggle of the class-oriented unions must encompass the whole of workers’ lives: hygiene and safety in the workplace, access to high-quality food and water, access to a safe education for our children, free, universal and public healthcare services for all.Read More »

MAY DAY 2021

Long live International Workers’ Day! Long live socialism: Statement by the European Communist Initiative

Statement by the Initiative of the Communist and Workers’ Parties for the 2021 May Day, the International Worker’s Day:

The Parties of the European Communist Initiative send a warm militant salute to the workers of our Continent, to the working class of the world.

We are inspired by the flame of the workers of Chicago, we honor the men and women of our class who fell on the battlefields of the class struggle.

The struggles of the workers in every period and around the world are the only ones that have made it difficult for the exploiters, who have brought conquests, have questioned their dominance and power. Because the power of the workers can abolish capitalist slavery. This is exactly what the exploiters are afraid of.Read More »

MAY DAY 2021

“Digital” workers don’t delete Marx on May Day

 Farooque Chowdhury

Countercurrents | May 01, 2021

mayday

“Digital” economy and work, like the imagined and claimed “4th industrial revolution”, are mesmerizing many scholars that lead them to chorus: “Blue-collars are gone, gone are smoke spewing chimneys, so is Marx”. But, do facts support those scholars’ choir “Cancel Marx” even if data related to blue-collar employees are ignored?

The ILO report The World Employment and Social Outlook, The role of digital labor platforms in transforming the world of work, 2021 (Geneva, Switzerland, February 23, 2021) focuses on digital labor platforms (DLP), which mediate work, and have rapidly penetrated economic sectors. The praise-worthy report helps understand condition of the “digital” workers, exposes bitter facts related to workers’ life.Read More »

MAY DAY 2021

Tough times are ahead – and every worker will need their union

Frances O’grady

Morning Star | May 01, 2021

Every time key workers put on a uniform they’re putting their health on the line for the rest of us.

That’s why allegations of government sleaze are all the more shocking. While underpaid health care heroes risked their lives, ministers’ mates lined their pockets.Read More »

WORKERS’ SOLIDARITY 

Make solidarity permanent to create a fairer Europe

Luca Visentini

Morning Star | May 01, 2021

It has been clear simply in the way we have worn masks to protect others, it has been clear in the way workers put themselves at risk to keep essential services running and it’s been clear in the way trade unions won unprecedented support to save jobs and livelihoods during the pandemic.Read More »

PEOPLE’S PROTEST IN COLOMBIA

Colombians set to defy May Day protest ban

Morning Star | April 30, 2021

Protesters hold signs that read in Spanish “No to tax reform” during a national strike against a government-proposed tax reform, in Bogota, Colombia

TRADE unions, student organisations and civil society groups in Colombia are set to defy a government ban on May Day demonstrations by taking to the streets in protest at unpopular tax changes.

This follows days of strike action “for life, peace, democracy” and against an economic reform package being pushed by President Ivan Duque, which unions warn will have a devastating impact on the country’s poor.Read More »

MARXISM 

Head and Hand

Michael Eby

TRIBUNE | March 28, 2021

Marxism delights in navigating capitalism’s manifold contradictions—use value and exchange value, forces and relations of production, essence and appearance, wage-labour and capital—but one particular contradiction often gets neglected from this panoply: that between intellectual and manual labour.

A notable exception is Harry Braverman, whose Labor and Monopoly Capital argues for the centrality of this growing schism in the face of the post-war period’s world-economic shifts. Writing in the midst of the West’s ‘scientific-technical revolution’, Braverman insisted that the job-specific knowledge available to assembly line workers in legacy industries was not so much increasing as evaporating. He attributed this to the subordination of science to industry as well as an advanced technical division of labour, which breaks down once-skilled mechanical work into a series of rote and repetitive actions. The labouring process thus becomes streamlined: not only are wages and job training investments lowered, so too is worker autonomy.

Read More »

MARXISM IN JAPAN 

The History of Marxism in Japan

w/ Gavin Walker – Part 1

Against Japanism | April 20, 2021

https://againstjapanism.buzzsprout.com/1738110/8372999

In this two part series, Kota sits down with Gavin Walker to discuss the history of Marxism in Japan.  Instead of simply narrating the facts of this history chronologically, we focus on particular theoretical and political questions that animated the Japanese communist movement before and after the Second World War.

We begin our conversation by discussing what the history of Marxism in Japan tells us about “Japan” as represented by the Eurocentric and Orientalist conception of the world, and the importance of the national question, the ways in which Marxists address issues related to nationhood, nationalism, and internationalism.Read More »

VENEZUELAN ECONOMY 

How Venezuela is rebuilding its industrial base, one volunteer at a time

Leonardo Flores

People’s Dispatch | April 23, 2021

Member of the Productive Workers Army (EPO) in the midst of a work day. Photo: EPO

“We don’t just repair machines; we repair consciences,” says Sergio Requena of the Productive Workers Army (EPO by its Spanish-language initials) in Venezuela. The EPO is a group of 2,270 volunteers with a broad range of technical expertise. They go from factory to factory repairing broken machinery. Their mission is to recover Venezuela’s industrial production by empowering workers to take matters into their own hands.

Venezuela’s productive capacity has declined precipitously due to US sanctions. The country is impeded from accessing the international financial system, leading to a fall in investment. Even importing spare parts or industrial equipment is next to impossible. As a result of this, factories have trouble completing regular maintenance and repairs.Read More »

VENEZUELAN ECONOMY 

The private sector in Venezuela 

Pasqualina Curcio

Ultimas Noticias | April 26, 2021

There are many myths about the private sector in Venezuela, the best known is the one that refers to its unquestionable efficiency. The following phrases are part of this mythology: “unlike the public sector, which is inefficient and corrupt, the private sector is the only guarantee of development” or “the only one that could get us out of this crisis is the private sector, and if it is foreign, big and transnational better still ”or“ the only way to overcome poverty is with foreign private investment ”. In Venezuela, the most popular myth of these times is the one that is summarized in the following phrase, which is repeated tirelessly by neoliberals: “The blame for the current economic crisis lies with the Bolivarian revolution that dismantled the private sector with expropriations and controls ”.Read More »