A three-day strike by workers of the Forward Gear in Sialkot, Punjab has ended in victory as they have won their demands. The workers have won around 15% increment in their salaries, all sacked workers reinstated, and management has accepted their union Forward Gear Workers’ Union CBA as the true representative of workers in the company. During the three days of the strike hundreds of workers took part and achieved a total work stoppage. This is an important victory for workers in the Pakistani trade union movement and important lessons can be drawn from it.
While the masses have been toiling and trying their utmost to come to terms with heat, dust, humidity, unrelenting power outages, price hikes, poverty etc., the elite has been busy hurling accusations and counter allegations against each other in a theatre of the absurd. This has become almost a summer ritual which takes place every year.
August 14th and 15th are celebrated as the days of independence of Pakistan and India from direct British imperialist rule. It is celebrated with great pomp and fervour, prompted by the state and the corporate media. The official historians of the ruling classes both in India and Pakistan have their own interpretations of the struggle for independence, suiting the interests of their bosses. However, this independence came about in the midst of a traumatic partition of the Subcontinent into two truncated states, Pakistan and India, accompanied by a communal holocaust. A frenzy of madness and a ferocious campaign of murder were unleashed on a religious and ethnic basis.
The world economy is tottering. This week it has been buffeted by two extremely turbulent financial storms - Greece and, suddenly, China, the world’s second largest economy. Globally, the system is extremely unbalanced, with massive wealth accumulating in tiny handfuls whilst the billioned masses must keep borrowing from these billionaires to make ends meet. This top heavy, blind and irrational system cannot stand on its own feet and the nation states are buckling under the weight. The sudden stock market collapse in China has been so vast that even the mighty Chinese government is incapable of controlling it.
The mass deaths of more than a thousand in Karachi and other regions by the sweltering heat wave have once again brought to the fore the catastrophic state of infrastructure which exists in Pakistan. The agonising dearth of electricity supplied to society in a country where the power production capacity is more than the consumption needs is a gruesome tragedy caused mainly by power cuts. It is the work of corporate power barons plundering the people's wealth and not producing electricity in order to enhance their rate of profit. Their callous and brutal character nakedly stands exposed. It is treason against more than 200 million people. The political leaders and the strongmen of this belligerent state are accomplices in this vicious act of devouring human lives for the sake of perks and profits.
In the past few months, the international media has been diligently covering the story of rickety boats full of Rohingya Muslims who are desperately trying to flee sectarian violence and systematic state persecution from Myanmar.
Page 1 of 78