Workers' Struggles

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.

The Lebanese Revolution has resurged after a period of relative inactivity, with protesters declaring a “week of rage" amid a continuing economic and political crisis. The struggling Lebanese pound and capital controls on foreign cash have provoked a new wave of indignation that has sharpened the stances of both the demonstrators and the state. The last two days have seen hundreds injured and arrested.

The battle in France over Macron’s reactionary pension reform passed its 40th day on 13 January. A fourth interprofessional strike last Thursday and follow-up protests on the weekend brought hundreds of thousands onto the streets yet again, and further days of action have been declared up until 16 January.

The movement that has shaken Hong Kong to its foundations shows few signs of losing steam. It has entered 2020 with a mass protest of up to 1 million people on New Year’s day, proving that it has retained the support of the majority of the population despite all the storm and stress of the past six months.

The November protest movement in Iran was drowned in blood, but the fight isn’t over. Anger is ripe on the streets, and for the first time ever, a serious, organised attempt at protest is being led by nine organisations representing workers and the poor. We publish their joint statement and call to protest on 23 December (tomorrow). We do not know what will transpire, but this is an important development and a sign of where things are headed.

The "sardines" took to the squares of Emilia in big numbers, and in the wake of their success, became a national movement in a matter of days. The first mobilisation was triggered in the capital of Bologna on 14 November, due to the presence of Salvini, who is doing a rally tour of the region with an eye on the 26 January elections.