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EUROPE Issue n°1 of the Information Bulletin published by the “European Liaison Committee Against Privatisation, Deregulation and Precarious Work” has just been released

2019-07-07

Internationalist meeting in Strasbourg, May 11, 2019 Düsseldorf 11 June 2019  Dear comrades,  A month ago, on 11 May, we met in Strasbourg for an internationalist rally.  Today, we present the first issue of the Information Bulletin of the European Liaison Committee Against Privatisations, Deregulation and Precarious Labour.  We are thus implementing the decision taken during the Strasbourg rally. Here is a reminder of commitments that were made in Strasbourg:  1. To draft, in each country, an indictment against privatisations;  2. To circulate a bulletin under the responsibility of the German comrades – featuring information on workers and youth resistance in each country;  3. On this basis, to create the conditions that will enable us to hold – a few months on – a new European Workers Conference of workingclass and youth activists.  We have attached the resolution that was adopted by the rally to this information bulletin, and herewith begin the sequence of these bulletins with an overview, post-26 May, of the elections to the EU “Parliament” (see below).  As a contribution to the indictment against privatisations, you will also find an important report on the discussion taking place in Manchester and Liverpool, on the re-nationalisation of regional railways.  [...]

ITALY How to Defeat the Proposed “Regionalisation” of the Country?

2019-07-07

The trade union centres CGIL-CISL and UIL called a nationwide protest in Reggio Calabria “to give a new impetus to the south”. The Italian “populist” government, an alliance between the far-right League and the Five Star Movement (M5S), has been using the 2001 reform of the Constitution to impose the division of the country into regions under the heading of a “differentiated autonomy”. The goal is to impose the regionalisation of education, healthcare, public services, national contracts [collective-bargaining agreements and statuses – Ed.N], fiscal system, infrastructures and so on … to enable regions to be the direct interlocutors of the European Union. In short, this would mean the shattering of the Republic in the name of “free and unbiased competitiveness”. Meanwhile, the government — which is outwardly vocal against the European Union — is getting ready to activate a new batch of budget cuts in healthcare and public services to comply with Brussels requirements.  In the education sector, mobilisations had started against the regionalisation project. All the trade unions had called to strike on May 17th … but they backed out after the signing on April 24th of an agreement that gives strictly no guarantees on anything. Besides, from the [...]

FRANCE Under the aegis of the struggle for the Workers International

2019-06-29

A rally was held by the POID (Independent and Democratic Workers Party) on the 15th of June in Paris. Dominique Ferré introduced the party’s internationalist struggle to the workers and young people present at the rally. Dear friends, dear comrades, I am convinced that all of us gathered here today – all of us who are fighting the Macron government’s capitalistic politics, all of us who fight for labour rights and democracy – all of us agree that our rally should send our salute to the general strike that yesterday assembled 45 million workers in Brazil, a general strike that unites all the trade union confederations of Brazil, for the withdrawal of the retirement pension reform and for an end to the budget cuts in public education. 45 million workers, united with their trade union confederations, said: Out with the retirement reform, Out with Bolsonaro, who was fraudulently elected, Out with the International Monetary Fund’s plans! I am equally convinced that we all agree for our rally to salute the astounding movement of hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers in Hong Kong who have been demonstrating for a week now against the antidemocratic law concocted by the bureaucrats of Beijing [...]

PAKISTAN All Pakistan Trade Union Federation « Release Ali Wazir, leader of PTM and member of Assembly, Immediately »

2019-06-23

Statement We, All Pakistan Trade Union Federation and its hundred thousands members, are against the act of ruling government of Tehreek-e-Insaaf, arresting the political leadership of different political parties and members of Parliament on the name of corruption and on the name of terrorism.  APTUF strongly condemned the arrest of leader of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement Ali Wazir belongs to North Waziristan, struggling to protect the rights of Pashtun. Ali Wazir was arrested and he is in Jail, he is a leader of the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM).  We support the struggle led by PTM, a civil rights movement demanding security and rights for Pakistan’s Pashtun minority.  We APTUF asked government to immediately stop killing of Pashtun youth by the security forces, and support the call of PTM leaders said “We will launch a robust sit-in protest so that we can take major decisions because we can no longer tolerate these conditions on our soil.”  We strongly condemned the majority of the more than 70,000 plus civilians killed in this violence were Pashtuns, while more than 6 million members of the ethnic group have endured displacement since the onset of conflict in 2003  1. APTUF demand ruling government to immediately stop [...]

ALGERIA “For the Release of All the Political Prisoners”    Interview with Salah Dabouz, lawyer

2019-06-23

Salah Dabouz, the lawyer who defended Kamel Eddine Fekhar (who died in jail on 28 Mayafter over fifty days of hunger strike), spoke on 14 June, in Audin Square, before several hundred people who had come to attend an open-air rally against repression and for the release of those jailed for their opinions and for democratic freedoms. He was interviewed by Minbar El Oummel.  The international campaign goes onIn the Spanish State, many activists and organisation have backed the appeal by 51 labour activists of the United States“for the release of all the political prisoners in Algeria ». We cite notably the trade unions ELA-ESK-LAB-UGT of the Bilbao underground (Basque Country), le Bizkaia M15M collective, the eighth national assembly of Goldatu (the association of Basque prisoners and repressed during the Francoist dictatorship) and twenty political and trade union activists of all affiliations. Why have you contributed to the creation of a “network against repression, for the release of those jailed for their opinions and for democratic freedoms*”?  As you have noted, activist forces have dispersed rather than unite when it was necessary to unite in order to fight more effectively. I did indeed say at the rally for the release of [...]

HONG-KONG Two million take to the streets in Hong Kong

2019-06-23

On Sunday June 9th, one million people protested in Hong Kong against a draft bill that would authorise extraditions from Hong Kong to mainland China. In 1997, Hong Kong, a former British colony after the 19th century opium war, became part of the People’s Republic of China, which it is historically part of, with the status of Special Administrative Region. On June 16 there were two million.Two Chinese working class activists share their thoughts. “We call on workers to stop work.” Ming Lam – HKCTU (Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions) – speaks out. If the bill is passed, it would make it possible for Hong Kong resident citizens to be judged in mainland China by tribunals directly submitted to the Beijing authorities. In mainland China, the judicial system is not independent. If extradition procedures were instituted, everyone would risk their human rights being violated.  People suspected of committing offenses in mainland China, but who are Hong Kong residents today, could be sent to mainland China. It is common knowledge that they would be denied due process of law. This is one of Hong Kong workers’ major worries. Not only are activists concerned, but all those who work there. One has [...]

BRAZIL 45 Million on General Strike

2019-06-23

No fewer than 45 million workers and young people went on strike on 14 June, throughout Brazil, while massive demonstrations were held in nearly 380 cities and towns,. All demanded the withdrawal of the « Prêvidencia » retirement pension reform, and the cancellation of the 30% reduction of the public education budget that the far-right Bolsonaro-Mourao government means to decree. The depth of the labour revolt had imposed the united call from all the trade union confederations to strike for the withdrawal of the retirement pension reform, which is nothing but the implementation of the International Monetary Fund’s plans and obedience to financial market demands. The day before, the government had attempted a manoeuvre by presenting Congress (Parliament) with a slightly sugar-coated version of the counter-reform by Minister Paulo Guedes. This did nothing to reduce the determination of the workers and the young people, which led Wagner Freitas, secretary of the CUT (Unified Workers Central) to declare that these amendments “change nothing”. The massive character of the strike was to be seen in the full stoppage of transports and many sectors of the economy. Certain “ABC” factories – the industrial belt of Sao Paulo – were 98% on strike. Students and teachers, [...]

GERMANY “Nahles is gone: the Grand Coalition must go!” An interview with Heinz-Werner Schuster, president of the Dusseldorf Workers Commission of the SPD (Social-Democrat Party)

2019-06-14

On the 26th of May, in the European and regional elections, the SPD labour voters refused to give their votes to the Social-Democrat Party, thus expressing their rejection of the SPD’s participation in the “Grand Coalition” government with Merkel. The head of the SPD, Andreas Nahles, has just resigned.  This resignation has resolved nothing, because what revolted the SPD labour voters was the participation in the Grand Coalition government along with the main party of the bourgeoisie, Merkel’s. As of the very evening of the elections, I addressed my comrades in a letter – with copy to the Dusseldorf press. Workers and young people have the right to their own party, one that caters only to their interests, and not the interests of big capital, as is the case of the “Grand Coalition”. That is why the letter said, “We must leave the Grand Coalition!” We address the national leadership of the SPD Workers Commission and we ask them to commit to the combat for labour politics, along with and united with trade unionists. We absolutely must have politics and a government for the workers and the young people! Most of the reactions to my letter have been very positive.  [...]