Iran oil workers’ strike: a spectre haunting neoliberalism

People and Nature | July 16, 2021

More than 60,000 Iranian oil workers have joined a strike for better pay and contracts – the biggest such action since the general strike of 1978-79 that helped toppled the Shah’s regime.

The stoppage is supported by teachers, pensioners, and families seeking justice for their relatives killed during the big wave of protests in November 2019.

The protest began on 19 June, the day after the elections won by the conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi, who takes over as president next month.

The Iranian oil industry is dominated by the state-owned National Iranian Oil Company. But in recent years it has employed a host of contractors – many owned and controlled by state officials and their relatives – who have slashed pay levels and undermined working conditions.

Striking workers at a refinery, late June
Read More »

“Dying for an iPhone”

Chris Hedges

MintPress News | June 01, 2021

Predatory Capitalism Feature photo

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY (Scheerpost Revolution.  The working class is increasingly bereft of rights, blocked from forming unions, paid starvation wages, subject to wage theft, under constant surveillance, fired for minor infractions, exposed to dangerous carcinogens, forced to work overtime, given punishing quotas and abandoned when they are sick and old. Workers have become, here and abroad, disposable cogs to corporate oligarchs, who wallow in obscene personal wealth that dwarfs the worst excesses of the Robber Barons.

In fashionable liberal circles there are, as Noam Chomsky notes, worthy and unworthy victims. Nancy Pelosi has called on global leaders not to attend the Winter Olympics, scheduled to be held in Beijing in February, because of what she called a “genocide” being carried out by the Chinese government against the Uyghur minority. New York Times columnist Nick Kristof in a column rattled off a list of human rights violations overseen by China’s leader Xi Jinping, writing “[Xi] eviscerates Hong Kong freedoms, jails lawyers and journalists, seizes Canadian hostages, threatens Taiwan and, most horrifying, presides over crimes against humanity in the far western region of Xinjiang that is home to several Muslim minorities.”

Read More »

2 months of coal workers’ strike in the US

Peoples Dispatch | June 02, 2021

Over 1,100 workers have been on strike since April 1 at Warrior Met Coal plant in Brookwood, Alabama. They are demanding that the company respect workers and reverse some of the anti-worker measures imposed by the company’s new owners in the name of bankruptcy, such as wage cuts, loss of paid sick leave, loss of holidays, increased health care costs and more. Despite intimidation, the workers continue their their brave struggle for dignity.

Read More »
OPPRESSION OF WORKERS OF COLOMBIA

Colombia’s leaders want to stain their country with the blood of the working class

Laura Capote, Zoe Alexandra

People’s Dispatch | May 10, 2021

Protests began in Colombia on April 28 as part of a national strike and continue till today. Pictured is a protester in Popayán. Photo: Colombia Informa

As police and military forces in Colombia use violence to try to repress the massive mobilizations that grew out of a national strike, demonstrators have seen flagrant violations of their human rights.

Mainstream media in Colombia and the South American continent have been selectively silent about the atrocities, and so those seeking to either learn or share information on the situation have had to turn to social media to break the media blockade. During the day, photos are shared of the colorful marches and joyful mobilizations. At night, videos of terror start appearing with a distressing frequency: the mobile anti-riot squad (ESMAD) and police shooting firearms at defenseless protesters, agents of security forces chasing after young people in the poor neighborhoods to either shoot at them or arrest them and instilling terror in the population, and mothers crying and screaming because their children were killed.Read More »

NEW BOOK 

Dario Azzellini (Ed.)

More than a labor dispute!

Workers worldwide against authoritarianism, fascism and dictatorship
A publication by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

248 pages | 2021 | EUR 16.80
ISBN 978-3-96488-081-9

Short text:  Encouragement in the face of global disorder: Examples from numerous countries on different continents show the central role of the organized working population in the struggle against authoritarianism, fascism and dictatorship.

An English-language edition will be published in May 2021 with the title If Not Us, Who?Read More »

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

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 »

WORKERS FIGHT AGAINST BIG TECH

‘They track our every move’: why the cards were stacked against a union at Amazon

Michael Walker

The Conversation | April 23, 2021

“Working at an Amazon warehouse is no easy thing. The shifts are long. The pace is super-fast. You are constantly being watched and monitored. They seem to think you are just another machine.”

So testified Jennifer Bates before a US Senate Budget Committee hearing into income and wealth inequality on March 17. Less than a month later her co-workers at Amazon’s fulfilment centre in Bessemer, Alabama, voted 1,798 to 738 against allowing the Retail, Wholesale and Department Stores Union into their workplace to represent them.Read More »