International unions

Catalonia: rights and unity

Submitted by Matthew on 15 November, 2017 - 11:00
Catalonia protest

Editorial from Solidarity 454

On Saturday 11 November, 750,000 people (on the city police’s count) demonstrated in Barcelona to demand the release of Catalan government ministers and pro-independence association activists jailed by the Madrid regime to await trial on charges such as sedition. A general strike called by a pro-independence union confederation, Intersindical-CSC, under the slogan “Defend Our Rights”, on Wednesday 8 November, also had impact.

Three big disputes Matthew Thu, 07/13/2017 - 14:13

The most important industrial disputes that I’ve been involved in were the 1985 SEQEB (South East Queensland Electricity Board) dispute; the maritime dispute of 1998; and the 63-day Queensland Children’s Hospital construction workers’ dispute of 2012, after which I had a long battle against both criminal charges and litigation for civil damages.

The political journey to Trotskyism

Submitted by Matthew on 13 July, 2017 - 10:36 Author: Bob Carnegie

I always had a strong underlying humanist bias. I tended not to view things not just from an ideological viewpoint, as was the rule in the SPA [Socialist Party of Australia, a “hardline” pro-USSR split-off from the Communist Party of Australia]. My moral break from authoritarian state-capitalism, or Stalinism, which still infects the Australian left and the Australian trade union movement to a much larger degree than people realise, took a long time. I would say it took from 1979, when I joined the SPA, to the final break in about 1994.

Fighting the mine bosses in West Papua

Submitted by Matthew on 21 June, 2017 - 10:50 Author: Rosalind Robson

In May the US mining company Freeport McMoRan sacked 3,000 workers at the Grasberg copper and gold mine in West Papua, Indonesia. Workers had just begun a 30-day strike protesting against the company’s furlough policy — the temporary laying off of workers because of breaks in production.

Sodastream exploits precariousness of Palestinian workers

Submitted by Matthew on 21 June, 2017 - 10:37 Author: Gerry Bates

Last month the Israeli union federation, the Histadrut, filed a law suit against Sodastream claiming that the company was disrupting workers’ attempts to organise. One testimony is from a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem and Sodastream employee whose wife is a West Bank resident and whose children have severe medical problems.

Solidarity across borders: May Day in Jerusalem

Submitted by AWL on 17 May, 2017 - 8:41 Author: Janet Burstall

“Music without borders mingled with an encounter of solidarity among humans” in a special May Day celebration, with Palestinian garage and carpentry workers, art teachers, musicians, agricultural workers and cleaners, Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians.

French rail workers say: end the silence on worker suicides! The bosses are to blame! Off The Rails Mon, 03/27/2017 - 19:54

Off The Rails has translated statements from the SUD-Rail union in France, part of the Solidaires union federation.

As readers will see, it deals with a sensitive subject: the recent suicide of one of their comrades. SUD say it is time for rail workers to break the "omerta", the code of silence, around worker suicides. They point the finger of blame at the bosses, and their daily acts of repression, harassment, and victimisation against workers, particularly union activists.

Spanish dockers win

Submitted by Matthew on 22 March, 2017 - 9:29

Jordi Aragunde, coordinator of the International Dockworkers’Council, has reported a victory, at least a temporary victory, for the Spanish dockworkers. They have been fighting the Spanish government’s plan to abolish the “pools” through which they are employed.

“As of March 17, the Spanish Government was unable to pass the Royal Decree to reform the Spanish port system. The Spanish Parliament has rejected this Decree, therefore acting to protect Spanish dockworkers.