Working class sections have demanded an increase in wages and pensions at par with inflation, including raising the minimum wages to 10 euros (10.87 US$) per hour, and additional investment in public health, education, transport, and infrastructure
Mainstream trade unions in Italy, including the Italian General Confederation of Labor (CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions (CISL), and the Italian Labor Union (UIL), organized a major demonstration in Milan on Saturday, May 13. The unions denounced the economic policies of the right-wing government led by Giorgia Meloni, including proposed cuts to public services and social welfare programs, along with lack of investment in job creation. Cadres from various political groups including the Communist Refoundation Party (PRC) also participated and expressed solidarity with workers. According to the unions, around 40,000 people participated in the demonstration. Earlier, on May 6, a major mobilization was held in Bologna. Another round of mobilization is scheduled in Naples on May 20.
At Starbucks regional headquarters in Manhattan on May 1, staff were setting up an office pizza party when they heard a chant coming from the hallway of their fifteenth floor glass-enclosed office.
“Who are we? We are partners! Who are we? We are workers!” chanted a dozen Starbucks workers as they filled the reception area, many wearing shirts saying “Partners? Prove It. WE are Starbucks.”
Headquarters staff fled into back offices as the café workers traded off reading sections of a written statement with their demands—the chief one being that the company negotiate with the union and stop retaliating against workers for organizing.
The World Federation of Trade Unions, the militant, class-oriented voice, representing 105 million workers who live, work, and struggle in 133 countries of the 5 continents, honors the 137th anniversary of the struggle of workers in Chicago in 1886 that constituted a lasting milestone of the working class and a bright beacon for the struggles of today and tomorrow for stable work with rights, social security, free public, and universal health and education, dignified life.
Nowadays the crisis of capitalism is deepening in the length and breadth of the globe, resulting in the open violation of democratic and trade union rights, the deterioration of working and living conditions, and the dramatic widening of social inequalities, poverty, and exploitation. The big capital and its political representatives were using the pretext of the capitalist crisis of all kinds to attack even the most fundamental democratic and trade union rights, like the right to strike, to demonstrate, and to organize. They do whatever they can to transfer the consequences of the crisis to the shoulders of the working class, the pensioners, the farmers, and to the poorer part of the self-employed people.
Violence against labor is as old as capital dominating labor. The tool – violence – is older than the rise of capitalism. Capitalism has sharpened the tool; made it more threatening, made it more mischievous, and, at times, has made it appear non-violent.
A recent ILO report, Experience of Violence and Harassment at Work: A Global First Survey (Geneva: ILO, 2022, ISBN 9789220384923 (web PDF), https://doi.org/10.54394/IOAX8567) said: “Violence and harassment in the world of work is a pervasive and harmful phenomenon, with profound and costly effects ranging from severe physical and mental health consequences to lost earnings and destroyed career paths to economic losses for workplaces and societies.”
The report is based on a survey – ILO-Lloyd’s Register Foundation-Gallup survey.
The Twin Cities saw one of its biggest-ever snowstorms the week of Presidents Day. But for labor activists the snow was overshadowed by the launch of the University of Minnesota Graduate Labor Union.
In its first 24 hours, the new union—affiliated with the United Electrical Workers (UE)—gathered more than 1,700 authorization cards representing nearly half the entire bargaining unit. Eight days in, they had a strong majority. And this week they filed for election with 65 percent support.
Such a first day bodes well for the success of the campaign, despite five—count ’em, five—previous election losses in graduate union drives at the University of Minnesota.
Kevin Borowske is still mulling it over after being fired last week—and evicted as of February 28. Was he a scientist with the proprietary recipe for a cleaning solution? Was he the holder of a confidential blueprint concealing the secret rooms in the condo?
Otherwise, he’s at a loss as to why the property management company FirstService Residential had him sign a non-compete agreement when he was hired as a caretaker—a job that blends janitorial and light housekeeping services—at a high-rise building in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
A non-compete agreement bars the worker from taking a similar job with another company for a period of time. You might assume that such agreements would mainly be used to keep workers with proprietary information from being poached by a firm’s competitors. But now all kinds of employers require workers to sign them—so many that the Federal Trade Commission is considering outlawing the practice.
A massive strike has hit France on Thursday. Workers and other earners joined hands in protesting pension reform. Trade union sources said the number of people joining more than 200 protest marches was 2 million. Police had to use tear gas to contain the protesters in Paris.
Teachers, railway workers and public sector employees abandoned joined the protest marches to oppose a planned increase in the retirement age
Citing France’s interior ministry, media reports said:
About 1.12 million people took part in protests across France.
Of the about 1.12 million people who joined the protests, 80,000 were in Paris alone, BFMTV said.
Chris Smalls, a leader of the Amazon Labor Union, leads a march of Starbucks and Amazon workers and their allies to the homes of their CEOs to protest union busting on Labor Day, September 5, 2022, in New York City, New York.
The year 2022 saw a significant increase in working-class unrest in the United States. Millions of workers quit their jobs in 2021, and this trend has continued in 2022. Most moved on to different employment, while others continued their education or retired. Recently, many Twitter employees quit in response to the severe force reduction and intensification of work effort engineered by new owner Elon Musk. For those working, there has been a wave of what the media has dubbed “quiet quitting,” but which is really an old-fashioned labor strategy known as “working to rule,” or doing no more than what you have been ordered or contractually required to do. Those working from home have shown a reluctance to return to the office, an indication that, despite the problems of laboring where you live, offices are seen as worse.
Union organizing is on the rise, reflecting both the widespread disgust with workplace conditions and the now evidently positive public view of labor unions. The purchasing power of wages has stagnated for decades in the United States, while labor’s productivity has risen considerably. Unfortunately, the latter is partly the result of employer-initiated speed-ups, meaning that fewer workers must take up the slack created by a smaller workforce — again, management-created. According to Gallup, 71 percent of Americans now approve of unions, the highest favorable rating since 1965. This may help explain the surge in union recognition efforts. Between October 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022 (fiscal year 2022), union certification petitions at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) were up 58 percent over the previous year. No doubt there were other such efforts, those that simply petitioned employers to bargain with a union or where workers struck to win bargaining rights. Because employers regularly violate the law by committing unfair labor practices (ULPs) such as firing union supporters, the NLRB has faced a heavy caseload of ULPs, which rose 16 percent over the same period.
Workers of Bhagwati Products based in Sidkul Pant Nagar and Zydus Wellness located in Sitarganj, Uttarakhand launched a rally and demonstrated at the district collectorate under the leadership of Shramik United Morcha Udham Singh Nagar with regard to resumption of work and other problems. On the conclusion of the rally, the workers of both the companies submitted a 6-point collective memorandum to SDM Rudrapur in the absence of the District Magistrate.
Apart from this, on December 27, the workers of Micromax celebrated black day by tying black ribbon outside the labour office Rudrapur Udham Singh Nagar on completion of four years of struggle due to illegal retrenchment by the management.
Communist and workers’ parties, and their related social organizations, agreed in Havana to achieve a better articulation and strengthening of international anti-imperialist organizations. Photo: Juvenal Balán
The international meeting, which ran for three days in Havana and gathered 145 delegates from 78 parties of communist and workers’ affiliation from 60 countries, took place in crucial moments for the world, when humanity is debating between the war promoted by the centers of world capitalism and the aspiration for peace and development to which our peoples have the right.
The meeting generated a space for reflection, exchange, unity and collaboration; for agreement on common positions and actions; and for international solidarity with the cause of the workers’ struggle, with the Cuban Revolution and the peoples facing imperialist and fascist aggression.
Plan of Action of the 22nd International Meeting of Communist
and Workers’ Parties, Havana, Cuba
The 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties
held on October 27-29, 2022 in Havana, Cuba defined the following main guidelines and actions to be developed ahead of the next Meeting: