International unions

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 Matthew Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:50

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 Matthew Wed, 06/21/2017 - 10:37

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.

US socialism and organising against Trump AWL Wed, 05/17/2017 - 10:46

Jason Schulman is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, co-editor of New Politics, and author of Neoliberal Labour Governments and the Union Response. He spoke to Solidarity about the challenges facing the US left under Donald Trump.

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 Matthew Wed, 03/22/2017 - 09:29

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.

Trump’s “America First” means workers last Matthew Wed, 02/08/2017 - 13:57

Perhaps it’s foolish to take anything Donald Trump says as an articulation of core principles or beliefs. But this passage from his inaugural address hit many like a bolt of lightning: From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs.