International struggles

Published on: Mon, 30/03/2020 - 21:13

In Italy, workers’ stoppages of production in major factories, Arcelor Mittal, Fiat-Chrysler, Fincantieri, Maserati, Yamaha, Ducati, among others, about inadequate safeguards against infection within factories, pushed three trade union confederations — CGIL, CISL, and UIL — to get a joint protocol with government and employers on 14 March about minimum standards. The agreement has been criticised by grassroots activists as too soft. — Francesco Pontarelli on Global Labour Column

Amazon in France

After French Amazon workers threaten to use the equivalent in French law of Section 44 of the

Italy: where did the 37 billion euros go?

Published on: Mon, 30/03/2020 - 18:09

Hugh Edwards

As the coronavirus tightens its deadly grip across the country, Italy's media has documented on a daily basis the wretched state of the country's public health system - the shortage of beds, of medical and paramedical personnel, of ventilators, of laboratories, of tampons - of everything!

The high rate of death before arriving in intensive care is a reflection of this state of affairs - like the chance discovery in Bergamo of 1800 seriously ill people at home utterly beyond the radius of any personal or institutional detection.

All this is the product of what has been inflicted upon the

Marxists and “left governments”

Published on: Wed, 19/02/2020 - 10:21

Sacha Ismail

“We are not a government party; we are the party of irreconcilable opposition… Our tasks... we realise not through the medium of bourgeois governments... but exclusively through the education of the masses through agitation, through explaining to the workers what they should defend and what they should overthrow. Such a “defence” cannot give immediate miraculous results. But we do not even pretend to be miracle workers. As things stand, we are a revolutionary minority. Our work must be directed so that the workers on whom we have influence should correctly appraise events, not permit

Salvini down, but Meloni up

Published on: Wed, 29/01/2020 - 09:08

Hugh Edwards

The outcome of Italy’s regional elections on Sunday 26 January in Calabria and Emilia Romagna was markedly contradictory.

In Calabria the combined forces of the reactionary bloc of the country’s CentreRight, capitalising on the freefall of the Five Star Movement since it became Italy’s leading party in the March 2018 election, romped almost casually to victory.

It defeated a candidate of the centre-left bloc, led by the Partito Democratico, an outfit, like its opponents, long mired in the deadeyed exercise of cynically serving the needs of the rich, powerful, and criminally corrupt of the

International greetings to Workers' Liberty conference, January 2020

Published on: Tue, 21/01/2020 - 15:15


Various communist groups, internationally, with which we have connections, sent messages for us, for our annual conference. We invite them to also send delegations where possible. We include the messages below.

Workers' Liberty in Australia

Your work on climate action and a socialist Green New Deal is particularly vital to us, as all round the world, the link is being made between capitalism and climate change.

The specific measures needed in Australia are different, reliant as we are on coal and other mineral exports, extensive livestock and cropping in arid lands, combustion engines and

New "sardine" movement in Italy

Published on: Wed, 04/12/2019 - 18:29

Hugh Edwards

In the past few weeks, as if from nowhere, a new movement, calling itself “the sardines”, has filled the squares of Italy, originating from Emilia Romagna’s capital city, Bologna.

25,000 came out in Milan on Sunday 1 December, and there will be a mass national demo of all groups and organisational conference in Rome on 15 December.

Drawing in thousands of the young, and often very young, the dynamic of the mobilisation is focused against the reactionary racist extremism of Matteo Salvini and his party, La Lega nationale.

According to some of the comments of the liberal bourgeois media, this is

Regrouping the far left in Italy

Published on: Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:58

Roberto Luzzi, Justine Canady

What is SI Cobas? How was it created?

SI Cobas is an Italian militant workers’ union. It was established in 2010, by about a hundred workers who left SLAI Cobas, another union.

Now it has about 20,000 members in most of Italy’s regions, and it is still growing. It organises mainly immigrant workers, in the logistics sector, where it has become the strongest union, but also increasingly in other sectors: transport, food and meatpacking, engineering, hotels, cleaners, carers and others.

It is organising most of the strikes occurring in Italy, winning better wages and conditions for workers,

Against Salvini, against Conte

Published on: Wed, 11/09/2019 - 11:34

Hugh Edwards

Italy’s new government won its vote of confidence in parliament on 9 September.

The Democratic Party (PD) of Nicola Zingaretti monopolises all of the principal offices articulating relations with Italian and European “big” capital and with the apparatus of the state — defence, economy, infrastructure, agriculture.

The Five Star Movement (M5S) occupies those it already had in the preceeding governmental alliance with Salvini’s Lega, justice, labour, environment, and gains education and the Foreign Office.

The “left” Free and Equal Party (LeU) got the Ministry of Health, so this abject orphan

A premier for all seasons

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 10:49

Hugh Edwards

The former provincial lawyer, Giuseppe Conte is once again premier-designate of another Italian government. He has already set out his rhetorical stall for his second term of office.

Without a blush he describes himself as “The Premier of the New”, while a little over a year ago, as he assumed the same role in the Lega Nationale — 5 Star government, he presented himself as the “Minister of Change”.

Up to a week ago he would have happily continued to serve La Lega of Interior Minister Matteo Salvini. Witness his ready signature to the Minister’s draconian security laws licensing the mass

Free Carola Rakete!

Published on: Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:58

Hugh Edwards

At 7 p.m. on 28 June, Italian custom officers informed Carola Rakete, the 31 year old captain of the volunteer rescue ship Sea-Watch 3, that she faced charges of aiding and abetting illegal trafficking of refugees and illegal entry intoFree Italian waters.

They demanded that she immediately leave her vessel — blocked by the Italian coastguards outside the port of Lampedusa — and report there to be interrogated and charged.

She replied: “I will not leave my ship. I am exhausted , not having slept for days. But my priority is the fate of the 42 refugees on board, many of whom now ill and some

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