Workers' Struggles

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.

Members of the Sutrabfogade union (including the general secretary) are facing dismissal from the state company Fogade, following a slew of false allegations from the management. These attacks on unionists are evidence of the anti-labour drift of the Maduro government. The IMT sends its solidarity to the comrades affected by the case.

A worker in Lahore was murdered last week by thugs on the payroll of Ravi Autos, following protests against illegal layoffs and low pay. The Red Workers’ Front has issued this statement of solidarity with the workers, and condemnation of this brutal capitalist crime.

Members of the indigenous Wet’suwet’en Nation and their supporters are locked in struggle over a planned pipeline to be built through their territory. As explained here, the full force of the Canadian state has been brought to bear against the protesters. The following article explores Wet’suwet’en struggle, the mood of anger it has tapped into, the protest movement it has provoked, and the way forward. 

The full weight of the Canadian state is coming down on the Indigenous people of the Wet’suwet’en Nation in northern British Columbia, along with their supporters. On Jan. 13, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) began their attack by setting up a roadblock on Wet’suwet’en territory, blocking the entrance for the population of the territory, the media, and food supplies. The Canadian government sent them to defend an injunction prohibiting interference with the construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline on unceded Wet’suwet’en territory. The situation escalated on Feb. 6 when the RCMP raided one of the land defenders’ camps, arresting six Indigenous activists. At the time of

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A line has been drawn in the sand. Finally, a union is defying unjust laws. The 760 workers of Unifor Local 594 and Unifor national president Jerry Dias are holding their ground in the dispute with Co-op Refinery in Regina and are saying that they will not obey a court injunction against hard pickets. This is a decisive turning point in the class struggle in Canada. It is beholden on the entire labour movement to rally to the support of Unifor in this struggle, and spread the movement to defeat this brazen attack.

The mobilisation that began on 5 December is now at a crossroads. The indefinite strike called by French rail workers is at an ebb, after over 40 days of exemplary struggle. This ebb fits perfectly into the government’s scheme. Since the month of November we have emphasised that: “If the rail workers’ strike remains isolated, the government will have one of two options: either it can make concessions contained to the isolated sections of workers on strike, or it can count on their exhaustion. In either case, the masses in general would lose.”

140,000 Turkish metal workers, including those in the important automotive and white goods manufacturers, are set to strike in early February after negotiations with the bosses’ organisation broke down.