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UNITED STATES “There is a strong need for independent politics” An interview with Clarence Thomas, former Secretary Treasurer of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 10, on the West Coast of the United States

2020-06-28

All 29 ports on the West Coast, including the Port of Vancouver in Canada, were shut down for eight hours to commemorate the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. The outpouring of workers and youth was huge, far exceeding any of our expectations; some estimates place the turnout as high as 25,000 people. A number of unions, such as SEIU Local 1021, joined our effort. READ MORE... [...]

CHINA/HONG KONG New threats against the democratic rights of workers An interview with Cho Ming Lam, labour activist

2020-06-28

The COVID – 19 crisis has seen the growth of a significant offensive against workers’ rights and democratic freedoms. As is the case elsewhere in the world, the conditions for lay-offs and firings have become more “flexible”. At the same time, in addition to the banning of gatherings, surveillance of the population has been exacerbated, thanks to new technologies. Inhabitants are more and more “tracked” for the sake of fighting the virus. READ MORE... [...]

Black Lives Matter! An editorial of La Tribune des travailleurs (Workers’ Tribune) by Daniel Gluckstein

2020-06-14

“I’m here because my life matters” – that is how one Black woman explained her presence in the thick of the demonstration in New York on 1 June. She added: “I have the right to live. They don’t think so. So I will come here every day until they understand (...). This has been going on too long: you can’t oppress us and then dictate to us how we should react.” Yes, Black people in the United States have the legitimate right to react as they see fit, to protest the way they want to and to organise as they judge it necessary. [...]

MEXICO Susana Prieto Terrazas arrested!

2020-06-14

Dear comrades of the International Workers Committee:  Leader of Movement 20/32 and lawyer of the National Independent Union of Industrial and Service Workers “Movement 20/32” (SNITIS), Susana Prieto Terrazas was arrested on the afternoon of 8 June. SNITIS is the independent trade union that was founded following the early 2019 strike movements in the border city of Matamoros, in the assembly plants called maquiladoras, demanding a wage increase.  The news of her arrest spread nationally “live”, as Susana Prieto Terrazas filmed it herself, posting it on social media, not yet even knowing what the accusations against her were, or the charges. Later she was told that the charges included promoting a riot, threatening and coercing individuals, and organizing aggressions against public servants. SNTIS workers and sympathisers took to the streets to demand her immediate release. To sever her contact with the movement in Matamoros and to make her defence effort more [...]

INDIA May 22 : Nation wide protest, by Nambiath Vasudevan

2020-05-31

On May 22, in a symbolic protest, a few trade union leaders assembled near the resting place of Mahatma Gandhi in Delhi. Government denied permission for assembly and demonstration. Within minutes they were arrested, taken to police station and later released.  Delhi, May 22, major union leaders before their arrest. Workers in different parts of the country, observing physical distancing norms, opposed labour law changes, displayed placards, some wearing black ribbons; demonstrations too were held in isolated areas including a 2-hour strike. Social media was effectively used to make workers aware of the high degree of damage caused to them. Unions have vowed to fight back, defend labour rights, protect the past gains and counter capitalist offensive once workers are free from lockdowns conditions.  Trade Union Joint Action Committee, Mumbai, comprising all unions, including NTUI, joined May 22 protest in Mumbai and also in different parts of the country.  Lockdown [...]

FRANCE An appeal by the National Bureau of the POID (Democratic Independent Workers Party) Prevent the threatening disaster

2020-05-31

Certain disaster threatens our country.  The health crisis that is hitting the country is combining with the destruction of half a million jobs in two months. By the bosses’ and government’s own admission, millions of jobs could be destroyed in the coming weeks. On top of this, there is the food crisis that seeing more and more families unable to feed their children correctly. Also, there are the attacks on democratic rights.  Certain disaster threatens our country. Everyone knows this. But nothing is being done to prevent it. Even worse: the government and [employers’ organisation] MEDEF are taking advantage of it to go on the offensive against all of the labour and democratic gains won through struggle. In particular, they want to use the crisis to deregulate and extend legal working time (notably by widely extending deregulated teleworking), and to bring about the artificial bankruptcy of the Social Security system in order to be able to get rid of it, doing all of [...]

MAY DAY More than 13,000 participants at the International Rally on May 1st, at the initiative of the IWC: « Three hours for the Workers’ International »

2020-05-20

Nambiath Vasudevan « This May Day meeting is unique, » stated Nambiath Vasudevan, one of the two coordinators, along with Daniel Gluckstein, of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, for the Workers International (IWC), in introducing the rally. He added: « Despite enormous obstacles, workers and activists from 45 countries have decided to come together in this online rally in the true tradition of international working class solidarity to raise their voices and speak out against the continued abandonment of the working classes, who are denied the most basic care. » In fact, forced by the pandemic and the measures of containment and restriction of movement, the international rally convened by the IWC had to be held « online« . For three hours, 48 speakers (see list below) from 45 countries followed one another. Beyond their origins and their diverse political and trade union affiliations, they all placed themselves in the common framework of this [...]

CHINA / Hong Kong Lee Cheuk-yan, Chinese trade union leader, summoned to court! Declaration of the China Inquiry Commission

2020-05-20

Lee Cheuk-Yan, General Secretary of the HKCTU trade union federation In this month of May 2020, when the general lock-down has made the celebration of May Day virtually impossible, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, a region of the People’s Republic of China, has summoned Lee Cheuk-Yan, General Secretary of the HKCTU trade union federation, to court under the charge of “participating in a public demonstration on August 31, 2019, which violated the Decree on public order of Hong Kong”. The decree that the Carrie Lam government is using is the upshot of the emergency rules which the British colonial government had issued against the seamen’s strikes back in 1922 and the 1967 workers’ strikes. It is in the name of this public order that over 7,000 demonstrators have been arrested since June 2019 and 1,000 have already been sentenced! Lee Cheuk-yan appeared in court on May 5 and is summoned again to appear on May 18. When tens of thousand workers have [...]

PAKISTAN Message of condolence from All Pakistan Trade Union Federation

2020-05-20

Arif Wazir Ali To the family and friends of Arif Wazir Ali member, of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement, brutally killed by some forces to stop their voice & struggle for their economic and basic rights but some forces don’t want peace in this province. We whole heartedly support your struggle which is ours too to bring peace to protect the lives of innocent people lost their lives every day. We stand with Arif Wazir and his family and friends. Red Salute To Arif [...]