Workers' Struggles

The mobilization of the dockers at the Port of Montreal is reaching a critical point. With the strike only beginning, the Trudeau Liberals, with the full support of the CAQ at the provincial level, are moving to take away the democratic right to strike. We cannot let another strike be crushed through the use of back-to-work legislation.

A failed attempt to unionise Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama is a lesson in the need for a bold and effective strategy by the US labour leaders. Even a goliath like Amazon is no match for the power of the working class when effectively organised. The battle goes on!

Jose del Paso and Tom Trottier from Socialist Revolution (the IMT in the USA) interviewed former Amazon employee, Chris Smalls, who was fired following his attempt to organize a strike at one of the company’s Staten Island facilities over health concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. After terminating his job, Amazon attempted to use him as a scapegoat to tarnish organizing efforts by Amazon workers nationwide. Chris went on to found the Congress of Essential Workers, an alliance of workers who fight for higher wages and better working conditions for essential workers.

Over the weekend, demonstrations took place across Britain in defence of the right to protest. The labour movement must channel this energy into a mass campaign – to smash the Tories' latest repressive laws, and to bring down this whole rotten government.

The first national strike of Amazon workers in Italy took place on Monday 22 March, after Amazon's management walked away from the negotiating table. Although it is difficult to measure the exact level of participation, the strike was a resounding success.

A new law being proposed by the Tories – that would give police unprecedented repressive powers – has led to a wave of anger and demonstrations. In Bristol last weekend, police provoked a peaceful protest of 5,000 into a furious riot. This anger towards the police came on the back of their brutal suppression of a peaceful vigil in London, in memory of Sarah Everard, allegedly killed by a police officer two weeks ago.

In the wake of the murder of Sarah Everard, and the subsequent police suppression of a vigil in her memory, protestors have taken to the streets across Britain. We must mobilise to overthrow this entire oppressive, violent, and repressive system. Speakers from Socialist Appeal (British section of the IMT) will address these events at a free public rally today at 7PM GMT, register here.

Mass protests involving thousands have broken out in Greece against the state persecution of a left-wing prisoner, who has gone on hunger strike to achieve basic rights. The mainly youth demonstrators have been met with vicious repression by the state. A united front of all left organisations is necessary to fight against the reactionary, authoritarian New Democracy government!

The Myanmar masses continue to resist the military junta despite mass arrests and dozens of people already killed on the streets. Over one month since the military took over, the junta is still failing to restore any semblance of stability. On the contrary, class tensions are being heightened as an alliance of unions organised a second general strike in response to the military’s continued clampdown.

On 28 February, China Digital Times reported that a food delivery workers’ mutual aid network organiser (Xiong Yan, also known as Chen Sheng) might have been taken into police custody in Beijing. On 1 March, an informant from within the Ele.me, the online platform from which Xiong Yan gets his delivery orders, confirmed that he and some other members of his network were indeed arrested. At the time of writing, Xiong Yan’s whereabouts and status remain unknown, and speculation abounds. This news has garnered widespread attention.

A powerful show of anger and opposition to the military coup launched at the beginning of February was evident on the streets of cities across Myanmar last Monday (February 22nd), as a general strike paralysed the country, from Myitkyina in the north, to Bhamo near the Chinese border, to Pyinmana in the centre.

On Wednesday, 24 February, 21 unions of the South African Federation of Trade Unions went on a general strike against deep and sustained cuts in the living standards of workers, and to fight for a radical change in the country’s economic policies. Frustration runs high amongst the working class over mass retrenchments, wage freezes and brutal austerity measures in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.