Another year is coming to an end. Another year is added to the history of the WFTU and the world class-oriented movement. Another year made us cry and laugh, without losing not even for a moment our optimism for the best days to come for our class, thanks to our struggle and our firm political perception.
Making a brief assessment, as is usual at the end of each year, we will see that some things are repeated monotonously, but also new things are born, filling us with optimism for the future of the working class and popular strata.
In 2021, the inadequacy of this system to provide a solution to vital issues of humanity was revealed even more strongly. It was revealed that no matter how tearful the speeches of the political servants of the great multinationals are, they are not at all interested in the life and prosperity of the poor, the workers and the peasants, the women and the youth.
Amazon workers at the Staten Island, New York Fulfillment Center are preparing to file for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board. As previously reported, workers at this location have already brought a lawsuit against Amazon with respect to working conditions and hazards, which was subsequently dismissed. Now, workers are preparing to unionize at this location.
Amazon has taken actions to dissuade unionization by reportedly confiscating pro-union literature and distributing anti-union flyers. The company has also slandered an organizer who was fired from the location due to his unionization effort. A leaked memo described organizer and former warehouse employee Christian Smalls as “not smart or articulate”.
Over 10,000 John Deere union employees are going on strike after failing to conclude a collective bargaining agreement. UAW is stating the the company would not come to an agreement over pay, retirement benefits, and improvements in working conditions for the workers.
“Our members at John Deere strike for the ability to earn a decent living, retire with dignity and establish fair work rules,” said Chuck Browning, Vice President of UAW Agricultural Implement Department.
As Striketober continues to grow, unions are taking up the fight against the two-tier wage system. To put an end to the divisions between generations of workers and ensure equal pay for equal work, it is essential that unions continue this fight until they win.
At the picket lines of striking Kellogg’s workers, sign after sign read the same slogan: “equal pay for equal work.” It is a sentiment a number of workers described to us when we asked them what they’re fighting for. They stressed that they’re fighting against a two-tier system that has divided workers since their last contract was implemented six years ago. They spoke of how unfair it is that more recently hired workers doing the same work alongside older workers on the production line make significantly less in wages and benefits. While senior Tier 1 workers get to choose whether or not they do overtime, overtime hours are forced upon Tier 2 workers in chronically understaffed facilities, many of whom are forced to work 16-hour days, seven days a week. At a rally at the Lancaster ticket in Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 9, a worker, Andrew Johnson, described how Kellogg’s hired new workers with the promise of higher pay and the same benefits that Tier 1 workers get. Yet, after joining, they soon saw how empty those promises were, as there were little to no opportunities for Tier 2 workers to advance. Now, faced with new contract negotiations, Kellogg’s workers are emphatically declaring their solidarity with their more junior coworkers and their right to earn equal pay for equal work. It is a fight they all see as their own.
First published: in German in 1867; Source: First english edition of 1887 (4th German edition changes included as indicated) with some modernisation of spelling; Publisher: Progress Publishers, Moscow, USSR; First Published: 1887; Translated: Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, edited by Frederick Engels; Online Version:Marx/Engels Internet Archive (marxists.org) 1995, 1999; Transcribed: Zodiac, Hinrich Kuhls, Allan Thurrott, Bill McDorman, Bert Schultz and Martha Gimenez (1995-1996); HTML Markup: Stephen Baird and Brian Baggins (1999); Proofed: and corrected by Andy Blunden and Chris Clayton (2008), Mark Harris (2010), Dave Allinson (2015).
The starting-point of modern industry is, as we have shown, the revolution in the instruments of labour, and this revolution attains its most highly developed form in the organised system of machinery in a factory. Before we inquire how human material is incorporated with this objective organism, let us consider some general effects of this revolution on the labourer himself.
A. Appropriation of Supplementary Labour-power by Capital. The Employment of Women and Children
In so far as machinery dispenses with muscular power, it becomes a means of employing labourers of slight muscular strength, and those whose bodily development is incomplete, but whose limbs are all the more supple. The labour of women and children was, therefore, the first thing sought for by capitalists who used machinery. That mighty substitute for labour and labourers was forthwith changed into a means for increasing the number of wage-labourers by enrolling, under the direct sway of capital, every member of the workman’s family, without distinction of age or sex. Compulsory work for the capitalist usurped the place, not only of the children’s play, but also of free labour at home within moderate limits for the support of the family. Read More »
AMAZON boss Jeff Bezos is paid more for one second than his warehouse workers earn in two months, analysis by the TUC revealed today.
The research shows that it would take an Amazon warehouse worker, typically on £9.50 an hour, more than eight weeks – or 284 hours based on a 35-hour week – to make what their chief executive pockets in a single second – estimated at roughly £2,700.
Mr Bezos is now paid over one million times more than the workers who create Amazon’s profits, according to the figures.Read More »
Strikers in 1970. From the Secret Library Leeds blog / the Yorkshire Evening Post
This article by LIZ LEICESTER describes an unofficial strike by almost 30,000 clothing workers in Leeds, in 1970. They demanded an increase in the hourly pay rate of one shilling [5 pence, worth about 75 pence today, taking inflation into account]. The action snowballed as the strikers, mostly women, marched around the city calling on others to join them. They were angry that their trade union had signed an agreement with the employers’ federation which gave men six shillings and seven pence an hour and women four shillings and nine pence an hour. This unprecedented action by women workers changed the way the union was organised – but there is a gap in traditional labour histories concerning the strike, which Liz’s research has sought to fill. This article is based on a talk Liz gave in December 2018 in London.
Sarah Jaffe, with co-journalist Michelle Chan, interviews US workers of all stripes for their podcast “Belabored” for Dissent Magazine. The following interviews are excerpts from their series on COVID-19 stories, republished with permission. For the full interviews, more workers’ stories, and the podcast, visit here.
Farmworkers in the fields are some of the most important workers in the U.S. food supply chain, yet they do their work completely isolated from most of the country. Organizations like the Coalition of Immokalee Workers have done much in recent years to get the stories of farmworkers in front of the people who buy the produce they pick, and they are now organizing to make demands for safer conditions.Read More »
“Hello Namaskar friends, my name is Roshan Lal. I am very upset today. My only fault is that I stepped out (of the school where he was put in quarantine) to get flour because we did not have anything at my home to eat. A policeman named Anoop Singh has thrashed me so badly that my right hand has stopped working. Perhaps, it is broken now. Don’t ask how helpless I am feeling right now.”
“Despite this, nobody came forward to help me that is why I am taking this extreme step.”
The testimony above has been transcribed from the three recorded audio clips which Roshan Lal, a migrant worker, forwarded to his friend and family members on WhatsApp, minutes before he took the “extreme step” of killing himself by hanging. Roshal Lal body was found hanging from a tree in the school campus, where he was quarantined.Read More »
A migrant worker hailing from Shillong in Meghalaya, has committed suicide in Agra on March 30. On his Facebook page, he blamed the sudden countrywide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following reports of outbreak of coronavirus for his decision. A GroundXero report.
From 23rd March, when the Prime Minister announced the country wide lockdown till Sunday, 27 people have died of the Covid 19 virus, while 20 reportedly died of hunger, exhaustion, police brutality and other accidents. All 20 have been identified as people working in informal sectors. Numerous pictures and videos of helpless, panicked, starving workers desperately trying to reach their homes flooded our smartphones, TV screens, social media feeds and newspapers. While special flights were send to bring in people stranded in foreign countries, thousands of migrant workers, thrown out by the factory owners, were left stranded on state borders, without any arrangement of how they will return to their native villages, towns and cities.Read More »