On April 23 the National Executive of the ÖGB, the umbrella organisation of
13 trade unions (the equivalent of the British TUC), took a historic step in its
unanimous decision to call for strike action. This comes after five decades of
class-collaboration and so-called "consensus" democracy.
Tuesday afternoon Vienna saw the biggest thunderstorms people can remember.
Despite these catastrophic weather conditions 200,000 workers turned up from all
over the country in response to the call of the ÖGB (Austrian Trade Union
Federation) to protest against the proposed pensions "reform".
Today Austria is going on strike. It is the biggest strike movement the country
has seen for decades. All sections of the Austrian working class will
participate in this mobilisation against the pensions reform planned by the
right wing government.
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.