Donate to Links


Click on Links masthead to clear previous query from search box

GLW Radio on 3CR



Recent comments



Syndicate

Syndicate content

trade unions

United States: Occupy protesters shut down major West Coast ports; Shutdown tactic debated

Above: December 13, 2011 Democracy Now! report on the port shutdown. Click here for transcript.

For more on the #Occupy movement, click here.

December 13, 2011 -- Socialist Worker -- Ports up and down the US West Coast were shut down or disrupted December 12 in a day of demonstrations organised by the Occupy movement to protest police repression and union-busting.

The call for the December 12 West Coast port shutdown originated in Oakland, where the high point of a general strike call on November 2 -- one week after a savage police attack on the Occupy Oakland encampment -- was a 15,000-strong march to the Port of Oakland and a community picket that stopped work on the evening shift.

COSATU leader on South African and Israeli apartheid

Address by Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) to the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, District Six Museum, Cape Town. The Russell Tribunal on Palestine's Cape Town hearings concluded that Israel is guilty of apartheid crimes. Its panel of jurists ruled that Israel's actions against the Palestinians breach the prohibition of apartheid under international law. Click here for more details of the tribunal's findings.

* * *

Black South African workers -- especially a mineworker like myself -- who bore the brunt of South African racial capitalism, and understood the purposes and mechanisms of apartheid, know that when we talk about the conditions faced by our Palestinian comrades we are talking about apartheid . -- Zwelinzima Vavi

Amy Goodman: United States war veterans join Occupy movement


Democracy Now! November 2, 2011, report on the planned Oakland general strike. In New York City, members of Iraq Veterans Against the War are planning to march on November 2 in their military fatigues from Vietnam Veterans Plaza to Zuccotti Park, the heart of the Occupy Wall Street movement. "It’s clear that veterans are part of the 99 per cent. Veterans, when they leave the military, are much more likely to face unemployment and homelessness", says Jose Vasquez of Iraq Veterans Against the War. "Many people are forced to reenlist because they’re facing a tough economic situation." Vasquez says they are encouraging veterans across the country to join their local Occupy protests.

For more reports on the Occupy movement, click HERE.

By Amy Goodman

Palestine: Adam Hanieh on why trade unions should support BDS


Video by SWPTvUK.

Adam Hanieh from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) development studies department was one of the speakers at a forum, "Palestine's fight for freedom", held in London on October 24, 2011.The meeting was initiated by the National Union of Rail Maritime & Transport (RMT) London Transport Region and supported by the SOAS branch of Unison and the University and College Union.

Other speakers included: Hugh Lanning, chair of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PCS); Moshe Machover, Israeli socialist; Anne Alexander, MENA Solidarity Network; and Ilan Pappe, author The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine; SOAS Unison. For more videos of the speakers at the forum, go to SWPTvUk.

Eyewitness reports: The 99% occupy Wall Street; The Battle of Brooklyn Bridge; Unionists join in

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com/AdrianKinloch.

[For more on Occupy Wall Street, click HERE.]

By Pham Binh, New York City

October 5, 2011 – First appeared at the Indypendent, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal/Green Left Weekly with the author's permission -- The entrapment and arrest of 700 peaceful Occupy Wall Street (OWS) activists on the Brooklyn Bridge has created a huge wave of support for their movement. The number of daytime occupants in Liberty Plaza doubled or tripled from 100 the week prior to 200-300 this past Monday and Tuesday (October 3 and 4).

These people are the core who maintain the occupation of the plaza, making it possible for several hundreds and sometimes thousands to hold rallies in the late afternoon and participate in the open-mic speakouts and general assembly meetings in the evening.

Trade unions must join the fight against climate change

Ian Angus speaking at the Climate Change Social Change conference. Photo by Alex Bainbridge.

September 29, 2011 -- Climate and Capitalism, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Ian Angus, editor of Climate and Capitalism, is currently in Australia to speak at the Climate Change Social Change conference in Melbourne, September 30 – October 3.

During his pre-conference speaking tour, he was invited to address several meetings of trade union members. The following is a lightly edited transcript of the opening comments he made at union meetings in Melbourne and Geelong.

[For more articles by Ian Angus, click HERE.]

* * *

Thank you for inviting me to speak today.

Should China create a law on workers' strikes?

State-backed "trade union" officers (in yellow caps) harrass striking workers at the Nanhai Honda plant in 2010.

July 20, 2011 -- China Labor News Translations, posted at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal with permission -- Even though strikes frequently occur across China, the country actually has no law regulating labour strikes. There is no law permitting strikes, but at the same time there is no law banning them.

Swaziland: Urgent action needed: Trade unionists arrested; COSATU condemns arrests

Urgent action needed: Trade unionists arrested in Swaziland: Repression continues!

May 14, 2011 -- The Swaziland Democracy Campaign has just received urgent news that a group of leading trade unionists have been arrested by the security police in the Lubombo Region of Swaziland. The comrades were attending a meeting to discuss the establishment of a regional division of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) the new democratic trade union federation that was launched on May Day this year, and which brings together all the trade unions in Swaziland into a historic single organisation.

Those arrested include the following:

Israel: Histadrut unmoved by Arab winds of change

Members of the Workers Democratic Party march through Tahrir Square on May Day, 2011. Photo by Mohamed El Hebeishy/ahramonline.

By Assaf Adiv

May 11, 2011 -- Challenge -- Ofer Eini and the Histadrut  [Israel's Zionist, pro-capitalist peak trade union body] are deaf to the voices of change calling from Cairo and the Arab world. Trade unions around the world identify with the new forces, leaving the conservative Histadrut alone in its corner.

Hussein Mugawer was recently arrested in Cairo. Mugawer is the head of the official federation of Egyptian workers, which was affiliated with Mubarak’s regime for many long years. He is accused of being involved in the suppression of the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square and of corruption. This year the Egyptian workers, whose official union lined up against them and took the side of their employers for years, celebrated International Workers Day in Tahrir Square as they waved the flags of the new independent unions established during the uprising.

Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS formed at historic conference

In commemoration of the International Workers’ Day, the Palestinian trade union movement holds its first BDS conference and announces the formation of the Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS).

* * *

Statement of principles and call for international trade union support for BDS

Occupied Palestine, May 4, 2011 – BDS Movement – In commemoration of the first of May – a day of workers struggle and international solidarity – the first Palestinian trade union conference for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel (BDS) was held in Ramallah on 30 April 2011, organised by almost the entirety of the Palestinian trade union movement, including federations, professional unions, and trade union blocks representing the entire spectrum of Palestinian political parties.

Luxembourg: Class struggle in a ‘haven of peace and social progress’

Steelworkers protest outside in the Luxembourg headquarters of ArcelorMittal, May 2009.

By Murray Smith

May 1, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal  – Luxembourg is one of the smallest countries in the European Union, and also one of the richest. However, in spite of its small size, it has some features that provide an acute illustration of broader tendencies that exist within the European Union and the advanced capitalist countries in general. The two most striking aspects of Luxembourg are its importance as a financial centre and the multinational character of its workforce.

South Korea: Irregular and migrant workers continue their daily struggles

February 8 rally at Yonsei University by irregular cleaning staff.

By Roddy Quines

March 20, 2011 – Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal -- This is to update my article published in Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal on January 14, 2011. There are a number of victories to report. These victories show the power of diligent action and solidarity in overcoming injustice. They also serve as evidence that direct action is an effective way to get results. There are some new struggles to report, and hopefully these struggles can also generate positive results. The struggles in this article are just a few of the many across the country being fought by “irregular” workers.

The European workers' movement: dangers and challenges

In Portugal, November 2010 general strike called by the Communist Party-led CGTP and the Socialist Party-led UGT was massively supported, with 3 million strikers out of a workforce of 4.7 million.

By Murray Smith

March 6, 2011 -- New Socialist -- With the onset of the world economic crisis, the European workers' movement finds itself in a new phase, one that is replete with dangers and challenges. It is important to underline that we are in fact in a new situation and not just a continuation of the previous period.

United States: New workers' movement at the crossroads

By Dan La Botz

March 4, 2011 -- Solidarity Webzine -- The new US workers' movement, which has developed so rapidly in the last couple of months in the struggle against rightwing legislative proposals to abolish public employee unions, suddenly finds itself at a crossroads. Madison, Wisconsin, where rank-and-file workers, community members and social movement activists converged to create the new movement, remains the centre of the struggle. In Ohio, which faces similar legislation, unions have also gone into motion, while working people around the country have been drawn into the fight.

In both states, things are coming to a head. In Wisconsin the courts have ordered the capitol building closed and the governor is threatening layoffs to begin next week. In both Wisconsin and Ohio the legislators are threatening to push the bills through one way or another. And now, in the fight to win, the movement has come to a fork in the road.

Two different tendencies in the labour movement point in two quite different directions. The top leaders of the AFL-CIO and Change to Win unions like the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) have thrown their weight into the struggle in the only way that they know how. Following the model they use in political campaigns, they have reached out to established organisations to build coalitions. They have sent organisers into take charge and to reach out to communities. Their goal is to rebuild their institutional power and their relationship with the Democratic Party, hoping to turn the upsurge in support for public employees into a political victory.

United States: The new American workers' movement and the confrontation to come

Protesters fill the Rotunda at the state capitol building on February 16, 2010, in Madison, Wisconsin.

By Dan La Botz

February 28, 2011 -- Solidarity Webzine -- The new US workers' movement—born in the last few weeks in the giant protests in Wisconsin and Ohio—faces a fateful confrontation. In Madison and Columbus, Republican legislators are pushing to abolish public employee labour unions and tens of thousands of workers are protesting and resisting. We have seen nothing like this face-off between workers and bosses in the United States since the labour upheaval of the early 1970s, though the issues in the balance are more like those of the 1930s. The very existence of the US labour movement is at stake. The question is: What will it take to win?

Egypt: Much more than a `Facebook revolution'

February 18, 2011 -- There has been much written in the mainstream and even the alternative media -- much of it superficial -- about the uprising in Egypt, and previously in Tunisia, being a "Facebook revolution" and/or a "Twitter revolution". Rare have been analyses that try explain the deeper dynamics at play beneath the surface, which put the effectiveness of cyberspace organising tools into a political and class context. Exceptions to this are two very useful articles that appeared in the February 12, 2011, edition of the India-based left-wing journal, Economic & Political Weekly, which map the interaction between the build-up to the uprising in Egypt and developments in the labour and working-class movements, and how they influenced the technology-savvy young men and women of Egypt.

* * *

Why Egypt's progressives win

By Paul Amar

(Updated Feb. 13) Mubarak toppled! `We will ... celebrate, then start building our new Egypt!' + analysis by Tariq Ali

Tahrir Square. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy.

[Click HERE for Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal's full coverage of the Egyptian revolution.]

By Hossam el-Hamalawy

February 12, 2011 -- Jadaliyya -- Since February 11, and actually earlier, middle-class activists have been urging Egyptians to suspend the protests and return to work, in the name of patriotism, singing some of the most ridiculous lullabies about "let's build new Egypt". "Let's work harder than even before", ... In case you didn't know, actually Egyptians are among the hardest working people around the globe already.

Egypt: Independent workers' union leader: `This revolution will never stop until Mubarak goes'; Suez workers rattle regime

The US Navy counts on the Suez canal for rapid deployment of vessels from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf.

[For background to Egypt's working-class movement see also "Egypt: Historian Joel Beinin on the role of the labour movement" and "Egypt: Workers hold key to uprising".]

* * *

Kamal Abbas, director of the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services, interviewed by Jane Slaughter

February 9, 2011 -- Labor Notes -- Though all eyes are on Cairo and its Liberation Square, few could know that Egyptian workers have been protesting and striking in huge numbers for years.

Cuba: El sindicato Australian Workers Union se arrodilla ante Washington

[English at http://links.org.au/node/2122.]

Por Tim Anderson

En este mes de enero, el Sindicato de Trabajadores Australianos (AWU—Australian Workers Union) escribió una carta insultante al nuevo embajador cubano en Australia, Pedro Monzón. El documento del sindicato revela la dominación ideológica que Estados Unidos mantiene sobre las partes más débiles y dóciles del movimiento sindical australiano.

El embajador Monzón, llegado a Australia a finales de 2010, invitó a varios dirigentes sindicales para un intercambio. Paul Howes, como Secretario Nacional del AWU, le replicó de manera innecesariamente ofensiva: ‘Estaría encantado de aceptar su oferta de encuentro, pero, desafortunadamente, sólo podrá llevarse a cabo cuando el gobierno cubano cese la represión de los sindicatos independientes y libere los numerosos dirigentes sindicales actualmente encarcelados en su país.’ En la carta se menciona a cinco encarcelados.

(Updated Feb. 11) Strike wave across Egypt: `The working class has entered the arena with full force'

February 10, 2011 -- Democracy Now! -- Reporting from Cairo, Democracy Now! senior producer Sharif Abdel Kouddous says thousands of workers, including doctors and lawyers, have joined the protests in Tahrir Square. The demonstrators continue to flood the streets despite government threats and just one day before what is expected to the largest day of protests to date. Click here to read the transcript.
* * *

[For background to Egypt's working-class movement see also "Egypt: Historian Joel Beinin on the role of the labour movement" and "Egypt: Workers hold key to uprising".]

Syndicate content

Powered by Drupal - Design by Artinet