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PUERTO RICO Support the Striking UTIER Utility Workers in Puerto Rico!

2021-07-04

Article by Carol Wheeler first published in issue 30 of The Organizer Weekly Newsletter As the Puerto Rican Electrical Industry and Irrigation Workers Union (UTIER) celebrates its 79th year, its union members are waging a fierce battle to save Puerto Rico’s power grid from the devastating effects of privatization.  On June 22, 2020, the public utility Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) entered into a contract with LUMA Energy Corp., a joint U.S.-Canadian private conglomerate, for the operation and maintenance of the electric power transmission and distribution system. PREPA has been a public service for over 80 years. Massive debt, deteriorating infrastructure, and finally the devastation of Hurricane Maria in 2017 gave the U.S. government and Big Business what they had been seeking for some time — the full privatization of the Puerto Rican power grid and PREPA.  Now, an expected $20 billion in emergency federal funds distributed through FEMA will allow [...]

FRANCE Communiqué of the Independent Democratic Workers Party (POID) Macron in the ultra-minority; he has to go, and his policies with him, now!

2021-07-04

The second round of the regional and departmental elections confirmed the first: Macron is in the ultra-minority. In the first round, his lists received 3 % of the votes of registered voters. Where they could have held their own in the second round, they finished last. If democracy is the law of the majority, then the majority has spoken: « Out with Macron and his policies, now! « .  Beyond Macron, the institutional parties have all lost millions of votes compared to the previous election. Even those presented as the « big winners » are in the minority: reappointed as head of the Occitanie region, the Socialist Party’s Carole Delga obtained the vote of one registered voter in five, while the LR (“The Republicans”) Xavier Bertrand and Valérie Pécresse have been « elected » by… 17 and 15 % of the electorate!  Between the two rounds, the leaders of the institutional parties hammered out the same message: « Voters, get a grip, wake up, vote! « . The [...]

UNITED STATES Amazon : When profits rise, so do occupational injuries

2021-06-28

According to a study by the trade union institute Strategic Organizing Center* based on data reported to the US Department of Labor, Amazon’s phenomenal growth in profits is closely linked to a high level of occupational injuries (OI).  From 2010 to 2020, Amazon has grown from 33,700 to 1.3 million employees. Its annual net income has grown from $1.1 billion to $21.3 billion and its founder, Jeff Bezos, has become the richest man in the world with a fortune of over $170 billion.  Since his beginnings in 1994, Bezos has been obsessed with the need for speed in all stages of the production process. At Amazon, these methods have resulted in an accident rate twice as high as that of their competitors, and accidents are more serious with longer sick leave. But at Amazon, employees are under pressure to return to work while they are still recovering.  As a result of management methods, the accident rate has continued to rise: from 7.5% in 2017 to 9% in 2019. In 2020, it [...]

TUNISIA « We are at a turning point”

2021-06-28

Interview with Jalel Ben Brik Zoghlami, communist activist, former political prisoner, one of the founding members of the organisation called Popular Front.  What is your assessment of the situation in Tunisia?  The political and social situation has suddenly worsened. It was already in crisis, but the government’s announcements have made things worse.  After the revolution and the fall of the Ben Ali regime in January 2011, Tunisia has had eleven successive governments. All of them were bound by the implementation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment programmes that started as early as 1985. Most of these governments have included the fundamentalist Ennahdha party and the « modernist » parties, or so-called independent « technocrats », but actually, senior officials linked to the World Bank and the IMF, as well as former members of the Ben Ali regime recycled after 2011.  Given the weakness of the bourgeois parties, a colonial type [...]

ALGERIA « No to the 12 June elections! »

2021-06-14

An interview with Abdelkader Bentaleb, of the Organising Committee of Internationalist Socialists of Algeria (COSI) What is the situation on the eve of the 12 June legislative elections? The regime knows perfectly well that these elections are and will be massively rejected. When he called them, the president, Abdelmadjid Tebboune, had clearly indicated that the rate of participation was of little importance to him. What counts above all is that the elections be held, in order to maintain and guarantee the continuity of the regime – with a new team, but also with some recycling of members of Bouteflika’s staff. But the legislative elections of 12 June are facing a major obstacle: the popular movement, which has not diminished, as we have seen in the weekly Tuesday and Friday marches. The wave of workers’ strikes and popular struggles have become its essential component. The movement of workers and the popular strata remains intent on its demands: the saving of jobs and [...]

FRANCE POID Banned from Demonstrating A Threat to all the Labour Movement!

2021-06-14

Paris, June 5. Convened six weeks ago, the Paris demonstration of the Independent & Democratic Workers’ Party was banned on the very day it was to be held, 5 June, by decision of Prefect Lallement acting on behalf of the government, a decision confirmed by the administrative court. This is the right to demonstrate that is at threat. In his document, the Prefect points out that he authorised other demonstrations on the same day in Paris, including « an anti-fascist demonstration » and « demonstrations […] linked to the ‘yellow vest’ movement ». Why this difference in treatment? Regarding the POID demonstration, the prefect mentions « a strong risk that individuals […] could infiltrate this demonstration in order to create a climate of insurrection ». Is the POID involved in this risk? No. Is there a single example of a previous demonstration by our party that gave rise to such incidents? No. So why this special treatment? By quoting (and [...]

PALESTINE “The Unity Intifada”

2021-06-06

On Tuesday 18 May, a powerful general strike, having started in Palestinian youth groups, achieved the unity of the Palestinian people and its components in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the 1948 territories (the current State of Israel), as well as in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. During this strike « from the Mediterranean to the Jordan« , a leaflet entitled The Manifesto of Dignity and Hope The Unity Intifada was widely distributed and sent out by correspondents, and from which we publish extracts.  Haïfa May 18. « We are one people, one society throughout Palestine. The Zionist movements have forcibly displaced most of our people, stolen our homes and destroyed our villages. (…) Israel has locked us up in prisons, each one isolated from the others. One part is isolated in the « Oslo prison » in the West Bank. Another part is imprisoned in the « citizenship prison » inside the 1948 territories. Some are isolated by a brutal blockade and [...]

COLOMBIA “For forty years, ministers, big bosses and narcos have been governing against the people”

2021-06-06

Faced with the popular uprising of workers and youth, the government has ordered a military intervention in Cali. We publish an interview with Anna, an activist in Cali, a member of the National Union and Community Coordination.  The revolution will educate its children What are the root causes of the uprising?  On April 28, mobilisation started against the reforms which we reject: the tax reform, the healthcare-, work-, and retirement pension system reforms. For the population, a majority of which are unemployed, it is not possible to go on tolerating this system.  To give one instance on healthcare, we would have had to pay 5 million pesos for health insurance to have access to healthcare (a part of which is still free of charge). But the average wages are one million pesos (about €225). Meanwhile, Luis Carlos Sarmiento Angulo, chairman of the Aval company, the country’s largest fortune and who is one of former President Uribe’s cronies, intends to take over the [...]

PALESTINE Demonstrations around the world in support of the Palestinian people

2021-05-23

Rarely has such mobilisation in solidarity with the Palestinian people been seen. We are publishing a brief report. We invite all our correspondents to send us reports, accounts and photos on the demonstrations in their countries. First informations from Pakistan, Canada, United States, Australia, South Africa, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Germany, France, Great-Britain... [...]

FRANCE Independent and Democratic Workers’ Party (POID): May Day Manifesto

2021-05-16

Comrades,  On this May 1st, 2021, we salute comrades around the world who commemorate the sacrifice of the Haymarket workers in Chicago on May 1st, 1886.  We salute you, comrades from India and South Africa, from Brazil and Germany, from Turkey, Algeria, China and all over the world. We salute you, our brothers and sisters who have been hit for fifteen months not only by the Covid-19 virus but also (and above all) by governments whose profit driven policies are turning the health crisis into a devastation that is sacrificing millions of lives.  We salute you, our comrades, who in recent months, in the face of the pandemic and in spite of it, have taken to the streets by the millions from Bombay to Algiers, from Beirut to Minneapolis.  We salute you who have been fighting tirelessly for social justice.  On this 1st of May, the international day of working class struggle, we strongly affirm that workers all over the world form one single class, women and men, [...]