Workers' Struggles

A series of wildcat strikes in the USA and elsewhere, including from non-unionised workers, shows the working class is not going to passively allow the bosses to sacrifice their health for profit. The COVID-19 pandemic is helping millions of workers understand their power in society as the sole producers of wealth, and despite the limitations of their leadership, they're ready to fight!

The comrades of the IMT in Italy, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione launched a campaign, “Workers are not cannon fodder” for the closure of all non-essential production, with the workers to be sent home on full pay, and where work is deemed essential for full protective equipment to be provided and safety procedures strictly adhered to. Their campaign appeal saw over 200 trade union shop stewards and activists sign up immediately, and more workers are signing every day. Add your name to show your support!

This evening, at 7pm Italian time (6pm BST), an online meeting is taking place, with some key trade union activists taking part, to discuss the way forward in the important struggle of the Italian workers. A simultaneous translation into English will be provided for an international audience. We invite you to tune in and listen to the proceedings of this important meeting right here on marxist.com, or on our YouTube channel.

Following the government’s lockdown decree, all non-essential production is supposed to be stopped. But Tory ministers have been purposefully evasive and ambiguous about whether this applies to construction sites, which are a breeding ground for disease and contagion.

The following open letter was issued by workers of the Hotel Transamérica chain in Brazil, who are putting out a series of demands to ensure their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faced with strike action by the working class and pressure from the bosses, the Italian government has flip-flopped on shutting down non-essential production to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Now the workers in Lombardy are preparing a general strike, with other parts of the country set to follow. A stormy new period is being prepared.

Strikes have broken out in several Amazon warehouses in France, to demand the closure of the sites and full payment of wages. Gregory Lavainne, activist and delegate from the UNSA trade union on the ORY1 site in Saran (close to Orléans), explains the situation.

The Portuguese Marxists of Colectivo Marxista de Lisboa have put out this call for a general strike until such time that workers’ health can be protected, key levers of the economy are democratically managed to ensure efficiency, and guarantees are put in place to ensure workers’ wages and democratic rights are not undermined. This call has resulted in a big response on social media, showing the developing class consciousness and fighting spirit of the Portuguese working class in the teeth of this pandemic.

Every day, 10 women are murdered on average in Mexico. Yet open violence is only the tip of the iceberg. Mexican women face constant harassment, discrimination and humiliation at home, in the workplace, and in the streets. Women in general, and working-class women in particular, bear the brunt of the crisis of Mexican capitalism and the process of social decomposition that accompanies it. Pent-up anger at this state of affairs has now come to surface as International Women’s Day saw unprecedented mobilisations, followed by a women’s strike that paralysed the

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On 9 March, comrades of the IMT participated in marches and strikes in commemoration of the International Working Women’s Day in Argentina, participating in the mobilisations in Buenos Aires and Rosario. In both places, the marches were massive, in Rosario alone, more than 50,000 people gathered, including women, men and youth; a mix of political parties; feminist groups and unions, who marched to the Monument to the Flag.

On Friday 28 February, comrades Alfredo Chirinos, PDVSA’s Special Operations Manager, and his wife, Aryenis Torrealba, PDVSA’s Crude Operations Manager, were arrested in the company’s administrative headquarters in Caracas by the intelligence corps of the state. Up until now, their whereabouts remain unknown. At the time of writing this article, they haven’t been allowed to communicate with a family member, nor to see a lawyer.

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