Unions & politics

Two communiques from France

Published on: Mon, 06/04/2020 - 07:15
Author

Ed Maltby

Photo by Fran Boloni on Unsplash


We reproduce the Ile-de-France union regions (URIF) communiqué of March 23, 2020; and the declaration issued by the national coordination of strikers of 28 March.

Document 1 (23 March)
A common position along these lines should be taken at the national level. Cross-union unity shouldn't be dissolved in the state of emergency
Communiqué of URIFS CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, UNEF, UNL

The trade union regional bodies of Ile-de-France (URIF) of the unions CGT, FO, Solidaires, FSU, with [student unons] UNEF and UNL, reject the law declaring a "state of health emergency

Fight the epidemic - yes. Back the Tories - no

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 08:38
Author

Mohan Sen

The Labour Party has made some important demands for the Covid-19 crisis, including improving the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which underwrites part of wages and extending it to the self-employed; insisting employers guarantee to keep people in work; and increasing a range of benefits.

The problem is that the party shows no sign of campaigning around these demands. Its leadership acts as if that the epidemic obliges it to express positive support for the Tory government.

Big demonstrations and crowded public meetings are obviously out at the moment. But Labour wasn’t going in for those

No going back! Fight for socialism!

Published on: Wed, 25/03/2020 - 07:21
Author

Sacha Ismail

In the emergency, Britain’s right-wing Conservative government is going for a limited, crude and undemocratic form of “socialism”.

It is overriding market signals and criteria, and being forced to fall back on a bureaucratic and hierarchical approximation of the socialist ideal of “from each according to their ability, to each according to their need”.

In sector after sector, from the (patchy) steps to guarantee incomes for those unable to work, to banning evictions, to acquiring private hospital facilities, to taking over rail franchises to removing competition-law curbs on cooperation

Does America need a socialist party?

Published on: Tue, 24/03/2020 - 21:38
Author

Eric Lee

In the aftermath of the disappointing results for the Sanders campaign in the primaries following Nevada, supporters of the self-described “democratic socialist” Senator from Vermont have been discussing what happens next.

If Sanders chooses to leave the race, he has already announced – many months ago – that he will endorse and campaign for any candidate chosen by the Democratic Party. Most of his supporters will follow Sanders’ lead, as they did in 2016 when he endorsed Clinton. Sanders has made clear that the top priority must be to defeat Trump, and if that means campaigning for the tired

Covid-19: public health, and workers' rights too!

Published on: Tue, 24/03/2020 - 21:27
Author

Editorial

1. Requisition (in other words, take into emergency public ownership):

• private hospitals, so that all their resources are directly available to the NHS
• the pharmaceutical and medical-supplies industries, so that production can be ramped up in a coordinated way to meet the crisis
• manufacturing facilities which can be adapted to produce ventilators and other medical equipment
• hotels and empty houses, to use them for the NHS, for the homeless, and for domestic violence victims
• transport and logistics, so that essential deliveries and travel can be coordinated and planned
• the big

Workers' rights in the pandemic

Published on: Thu, 19/03/2020 - 21:38
Author

Daniel Randall

A “joint statement”, published in the name of the Department for Transport (DfT), eight individual unions organising in the transport sector, and the TUC, appeared online on Wednesday 19 March.

It reports the “first in a series of Ministerial calls” between the DfT and transport unions, and ends with an affirmation that “Transport Ministers have pledged to work tirelessly with the unions to support staff in the transport industry through not only the immediate challenges but also the issues that will affect the sector once the country has overcome this pandemic.”

Good news, you might think.

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