146 comrades attended our "Pfingstseminar", a socialist youth camp organised by the Marxist tendency of "Der Funke" in co-operation with several branches of the Young Socialists (Sozialistische Jugend, SJ) and other left wing youth organisations.

Earlier this year we witnessed the reawakening of the Austrian working class in a series of huge mass mobilisations. The bureaucratic leadership of the unions called off the movement without having gained any major concessions. If they think that was the end of it then they have surprises coming their way.

Today the railworkers' union, GdE organised a 12-hour strike against the plans of the right-wing government to split the Austrian Railways into different units which has to be seen as a major step towards the privatisation of the railways.

After the pension reform in spring 2003, the conservative black-blue government (Peoples Party and Freedom Party) wasted no time in launching a new attack on the Austrian labour movement. The Austrian Railways (OeBB) were to be split up similar to the fragmentation of British Rail 10 years ago into 10 different companies. This would make downsizing the workforce much easier and would also have tremendous effects on one of the most highly organised sectors of the labour movement.

[This article was first published in March 2004] Twenty years ago on March 5, 1984 the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) embarked upon the most important class struggle in Britain since the general strike of 1926. A ferocious battle ensued. Billions of pounds were spent by the ruling class to crush the miners’ militancy. More than ten thousand miners were arrested; two were killed on the picket lines and countless others injured. Decades of so-called consensus were obliterated and the real and ugly face of British capitalism was exposed for all to see.

The Annual Conference of the SSP (Scottish Socialist Party) meets this weekend to discuss a draft manifesto for the European elections and debate other issues against the background of the recent events in Spain. Despite the successes over the past period there is a growing unrest in the party over the reformist and nationalist drift of the leadershp. The road of nationalism and reformism offers no way forward for the working class in Scotland or elsewhere. The struggle for socialism is international or it is nothing. We must learn the lessons of the past so that we may prepare for the future

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