Workers' Struggles

Forty-five years ago, the largest and most important strike movement in the history of Quebec took place. During this historic episode, the workers of the province stormed onto the political arena to fight against the bourgeoisie. At its peak, workers occupied the factories and mines, and the general strike movement brought the economy of the province to a halt.

Kragujevac workers walk out

The Kragujevac FIAT-Chrysler's strike in Serbia continues, having entered its seventh day. Of the more than 2,400 workers, at least two thousand have downed tools since June 26th. Only 250 "white collar" workers have decided for now not to take part in the strike.

After Bus Éireann, a subsidiary of Ireland’s state-owned public transport operator (CIÉ) responsible for bus travel outside of Dublin, announced a swathe of attacks against workers and bus services, the National Bus and Rail Union (NBRU) declared an all-out strike effective from midnight on 23rd March. The bus drivers have reacted to these attacks with fierce militancy. This struggle is a clear indication of the growing discontent and class anger building up across Ireland.  As cracks open up in the Fine Gael-led coalition government over everything from water charges to police corruption, it is clear that this weak and divided government can be brought down.

46 years ago during Salvador Allende’s government, the Chilean Congress voted unanimously for the nationalization of Chilean copper. During the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, the road was open for foreign investment, which in actuality takes more than two thirds of the benefits produced by the exploitation of this resource and those who work it. Nevertheless, what is left over, still constitutes 13% of Chile’s GDP, and has been called ‘the salary of Chile’. While the state company CODELCO is the largest producer of mine copper in the world, the surface mine with the largest copper production in the world is Minera Escondida, controlled by BHP Billiton.

On March 6, Spanish dockers will go on strike against a decree of the PP government which destroys the very foundations of social rights conquered with organisation and struggle, and contained in agreements and laws, such as Convention 137 of the International Labour Organisation Labour, ratified by Spain in 1973, to guarantee the regularity of employment and minimum salaries of this group of workers.

Yesterday, two workers - Usman and Arshad - were killed and 23 others severely injured after a fire broke out at the Al Badar factory located on Sheikhupura Road near Lahore. The fire was caused by a boiler which exploded in the factory. Twelve of the injured workers are in a critical state, with more than ninety percent burns. They have, according to hospital reports, little chance of surviving.

On 2 February, 2016, two workers of PIA were killed while dozens of other protestors were injured when paramilitary forces of the Pakistan Rangers and Sindh Police indiscriminately opened fire on a rally of hundreds of PIA workers.  These workers were protesting against the privatization of PIA being carried out under the dictates of IMF.

One thousand people marched yesterday through the main streets of Caracas, in what was the largest demonstration in favour of the expropriation of an occupied factory that has ever taken place in Venezuela. This was truly an historic march. It was the real and genuine spirit of the working class taking over the streets of Caracas and pointing the way the revolution must advance.

After occupying Sanitarios Maracay, the workers have created new organisational forms for the running of the factory. The Assembly of workers is the highest decision making body, and has elected a 21-member Factory Committee, who are subject to the right of recall at any time by the Assembly, to organise production at the plant. The workers have also held meetings with workers from occupied factories in Brazil and Venezuela in order to learn from the experiences of other workers in the occupied factory movement.

On April 4, workers from occupied factories and factories under cogestión (workers' control) marched in Caracas from the National Assembly to the Miraflores presidential palace. The march had been organised by the recently created Revolutionary Front of Workers of Factories Occupied and under Workers' Control and included delegations from several occupied factories.

Join us!

Help build the forces of Marxism worldwide!

Join the IMT!