deutsch |  english |  español  |  français  |  italiano  |  nederlands  |  polski  |  português  |  svenska  |  türkçe  |  中文  |  عربي  |  русский

latest news

 Yemen
International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers

20/02/2017: Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

  Solidarity, Yemen

Netherlands
Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections

18/02/2017: Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

  Netherlands

Britain
Council cuts can be fought - and they must be

16/02/2017: Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

  Aceh

Spain
Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress

15/02/2017: Time to build the class struggle on the streets

  Spain

US
A socialist strategy to defeat Trump

14/02/2017: Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

  US

Scotland
Greens back SNP government austerity budget

13/02/2017: TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

  Scotland

India
Upheaval in Tamil Nadu

09/02/2017: Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

  India

Britain
Universal basic income demand gains ground

08/02/2017: What approach should socialists take?

  Britain

Yemen
Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S

07/02/2017: Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

  Yemen

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification

06/02/2017: Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

  Spain

France
After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out

06/02/2017: Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

  France

Romania
Biggest street protests since 1989

04/02/2017: What position should the left take?

  Romania

Syria
Is an end to the war in sight?

03/02/2017: New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

  Syria

Quebec
Terrorist Attack in Québec City

01/02/2017: Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

  Quebec

 CWI
9th Latin American school a success

31/01/2017: Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

  CWI

Sri Lanka
The year 2017

31/01/2017: Between oppression and struggle

  Sri Lanka

Canada
Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?

31/01/2017: Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

  Canada

US
Airport protests help block Trump travel ban

30/01/2017: Defend immigrant communities

  US

Russian Revolution Centenary
January 1917 - On the eve of revolution

29/01/2017: War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

  Russian Revolution

China
CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee

28/01/2017: Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

  China

Afghanistan
The limits of US power

28/01/2017: Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

  Afghanistan

US
Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!

27/01/2017: Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

  US

Russia
Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence

26/01/2017: For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

  Russia

Tamil Nadu
Mass protests against state repression

26/01/2017: Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

  India

Millions on women's marches around the world

25/01/2017: Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

  US

Bangladesh
Hartal protest against power plant

25/01/2017: Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

  Bangladesh

Côte d’Ivoire
Social revolts shake Ouattara regime

24/01/2017: Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

  Ivory Coast

Taiwan
US foreign policy under Trump

24/01/2017: Island risks being pawn in his game

  Taiwan

US
CWI joins protests around the world against Trump

23/01/2017: Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

  US

US
Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech

23/01/2017: Socialist council member speaks

  US

China
New US President’s approach to China

21/01/2017: Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

  China

Russian Revolution Centenary
New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution

20/01/2017: 1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

  History

Kazakhstan
Regime increases repression

20/01/2017: Citizens forced to register with police at all times

  Kazakhstan

South Africa

Public sector workers in mass fightback

www.socialistworld.net, 07/06/2007
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Whilst the government arrogantly insisted that anything above 6% was unaffordable, a commission on remuneration recommended that the president’s salary be increased by 57% and those of ministers by between 30% and 50%!

Weizmann Hamilton of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM - the cwi in South Africa)

In what independent television channel, ETv, described as the biggest strike since 1994 (the year the ANC government came to power), the overwhelming majority of South Africa’s one million public sector workers started an indefinite mass action campaign in support of a 12% salary increase on Friday 1 June. The previous Friday, at least 300,000 had demonstrated in protest against the government’s miserly 6% salary offer in what government officials privately admit is the unions’ most successful mobilisation yet. Weizmann Hamilton of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM - the Socialist Party’s counterpart in South Africa) reports.

Even unions with no tradition of struggle saw crushing majorities in favour of strike action. The predominantly mixed race and white National Professional Teachers Association (Naptosa) president Dave Balt pointed out on SAFM radio that his union’s members rarely go on strike. This time, however, Naptosa produced a 90% majority for strike action. 70% of those balloted in fact want the strike to continue for at least three days!

In Kwa-Zulu Natal, three Durban hospitals and two in Pietermaritzburg fell under the complete control of strikers with action continuing over the weekend. Only between 10% and 20% of health workers reported for work in a number of Gauteng province hospitals and the army was called in to maintain some kind of service.

Defiance

This is the workers’ defiant response to the Labour Court interdict barring health workers from striking under essential service legislation which the government successfully applied for on the eve of the strike.

Police deployed to the Kwa-Zulu Natal hospitals to enforce the interdict stood by and watched as health workers blockaded entrances to hospitals. Themselves barred from striking by the same legislation, police ’worked to rule’ - interpreting their duties as merely to prevent violence.

Workers’ determination is directed simultaneously at government and their own leaders. Their anger has been inflamed by the government’s attitude - a mixture of condescension, arrogance and "kragdadigheid" (Afrikaans for power-mongering/bullying/intimidation).

In a desperate attempt to undermine the strike’s success, management intimidated workers with repeated warnings that the "No-Work-No-Pay" rule would be strictly applied; threats to charge human resources officers who failed to implement salary deductions with disciplinary offences; announcements that leave applications coinciding with the strike would be closely scrutinised and that workers classified as essential services who struck would be dismissed.

The government has been thumping its chest over its economic achievements. The longest economic boom ever; a stock exchange breaking all records; spectacular improvements in tax revenue collection... South Africa is now experiencing a budget surplus for the first time in history pre- and post-apartheid!

But despite the boom and the so-called wage increases, in reality inflation adjustments of the past six years have not prevented a steady erosion of workers’ purchasing power. Food inflation is running at over 20%; the fuel price is going up once again to be followed almost certainly by transport and basic commodities as its effect ripples through the economy.

Under pressure from their members after years of retreats, the union leaders this time submitted their demands as early as October last year. These negotiations follow the end of the second of two three-year multi-term agreements.

The first multi-term was in fact not an agreement at all. The Minister of Public Service and Administration, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, at the time the South African Communist Party deputy chairperson, walked out of the negotiations and unilaterally imposed a 6% wage increase in 1999.

2004 was a second humiliation for workers as a 5.3% increase was imposed after the unions rejected an improved offer of 6% and mobilised what was then the biggest public sector general strike to date, only to capitulate in a most cowardly fashion.

This time the unions demanded a one-year agreement with a 12% increase and implementation brought forward to 1 April (as opposed to 1 July) to coincide with the financial year; the abolition of the first two salary levels, to establish salary level three as the new entry level and the reduction of notches between salary levels from 16 to eight. As union leaders have admitted, members have warned that another capitulation would result in a membership revolt and their removal.

The government has clearly seriously misjudged the mood. The cowardice of the union leadership of the past six years led them falsely to believe that it would be business as usual - a denunciation of the salary offer, followed perhaps by what former Sunday Times editor Ken Owen describes contempt-uously as "street theatre" followed by the customary capitulation.

For the unions there is much more at stake than the 12% wage increase. The inflation-adjustments of the past six years have called into question the credibility of the collective bargaining process and the role of the union leadership. If the Minister of Finance decides in advance of the salary negotiations what the budget for salaries should be, what is the point of the negotiations?

For the African National Congress (ANC) this strike could not have come at a worse time. Relations in the Tripartite Alliance (between the ANC, Congress of South African Trade Unions and South African Communist Party) have reached an all-time low exemplified by another bitter exchange between Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and South Africa’s president Thabo Mbeki (of the ANC).

Vavi said that government claims about the economy’s success reminded him of Nazi propaganda. Mbeki replied on his weekly online letter that Vavi was an agent of the Democratic Alliance (the mainly white opposition party).

The battle for the succession to the presidency continues to rip the ANC apart. Over the past month there have been claims of hoax assassination plots against former deputy president Jacob Zuma and the leaking of a report of an investigation (not denied by the National Prosecuting Authority) alleging Zuma’s involvement in a plot with Gaddafi of Libya in a planned uprising to topple Mbeki!

Background

All of this is occurring against the background of a significant increase in the number of service delivery protests. In the forefront of these is the virtual insurrection in the township of Khutsong, near the mining town of Carletonville 70 kilometres south-west of Johannesburg.

Since the March 2006 elections the township has become a no-go area for the ANC with all its councillors forced out of the township and running local government from exile. The community is absolutely determined to resist their forced incorporation into the province of North West out of Gauteng province.

Conscious of the political implications on the credibility and cohesion of the Tripartite Alliance (COSATU’s public sector affiliates make up 60% of unionised workers), the ANC has intervened in a desperate attempt to find a settlement in the current wage dispute. But this is not 2004. The union leadership is on notice.

To complicate matters even more for the government, inflation has risen to 6.3%. This is 0.3% above the wage offer put on the table by a government claiming that their offer was designed to protect the real value of workers’ wages.

The unions have agreed to resume negotiations but the mass action continues with marches and rallies planned in the Western Cape. 80% of teachers are estimated to have gone on strike.

Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, who is probably now the most hated minister in Mbeki’s cabinet, has placed an additional R2 billion on the table and hopes to be in a position to make an announcement of a settlement and an end to strikes in her budget vote speech on 5 June.

But the success of the 1 June strike will have bolstered union confidence and only a substantial improvement in the across-the board salary offer will enable the union leadership to settle. Otherwise the insults against the minister will continue and the nature of the confrontation will change from the disciplined but relatively good-natured march in Johannesburg to the confrontational mood in Cape Town where tear gas was fired at picketers outside a hospital.

The DSM has called upon Cosatu workers to link up with communities in struggle against poor service delivery and to revive the traditions of unity of struggles in the workplace and the townships and to prepare for a general strike in support of the public sector workers.



Europe

 video

Video: US Socialist Students build for student walkouts against Trump, 15/12/2016

 further videos

CWI - get involved


solidarity

tamil solidarity campaign kazakhstan

featured links

Socialist Party Ireland

cwi links

Marxist.net, CWI marxist archive

cwi comment & analysis

world economic crisis

analysis and commentary


cwi publications

marxism in today's world che

Che Guevara: Símbolo de Lucha

Por Tony Saunois

A socialist world is possible, the history of the cwi with new introduction by Peter Planning green growth, a contribution to the debate on enviromental sustainability

NEWS

Yemen: International protests in support of TOTAL/G4S workers
20/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Solidarity spreads for victims of wage robbery and killing by multinational corporations

Netherlands: Anti-immigrant Freedom Party leading polls ahead of general elections
18/02/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Only a choice between the “regular” and far-right?

Solidarity: French presidential candidate Mélenchon backs #JobstownNotGuilty campaign
17/02/2017, socialistworld.net :
Support the international solidarity campaign

Britain: Council cuts can be fought - and they must be
16/02/2017, Editorial comments from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) :
Corbyn needs to stand up to Brexit rebels

Spain: Pablo Iglesias wins clear victory in Podemos congress
15/02/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spain:
Time to build the class struggle on the streets

US: A socialist strategy to defeat Trump
14/02/2017, Kshama Sawant, Seattle City Council Woman and member of Socialist Alternative :
Escalate the resistance toward shutdowns on March 8 and May 1!

Greece: Athens’ bus cleaners win bulk of wages owed
14/02/2017, Eleni Mitsou (Xekinima - CWI Greece) and Apostolis Cassimere’s (Board Member of OASA - Athens Bus Workers’ Union):
The struggle continues!

Scotland: Greens back SNP government austerity budget
13/02/2017, Matt Dobson, Socialist Paty Scotland (CWI), Glasgow:
TUSC council elections candidates put forward 100% anti-austerity programme

Yemen: Workers protest at parliament against TOTAL and G4S
07/02/2017, Socialistworld.net:
Security workers demand wages and arrest of colleagues’ killers

Romania: Biggest street protests since 1989
04/02/2017, Mâna de Lucru (CWI supporters in Romania):
What position should the left take?

Quebec: Terrorist Attack in Québec City
01/02/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Canada) :
Counter terrorism and hate with solidarity

CWI: 9th Latin American school a success
31/01/2017, socialistworld.net:
Over 200 participate in Sao Paolo CWI continental gathering

US: Airport protests help block Trump travel ban
30/01/2017, Socialist Alternative reporters, US :
Defend immigrant communities

China: CWI member Hu Xufang forced to flee
28/01/2017, chinaworker.info reporters :
Xu and his family are victims of China’s deepening police crackdown

Russia: Duma legislates to decriminalise domestic violence
26/01/2017, From Socialist Alternative (Russian CWI) website (socialist.news) :
For unified struggle for women’s rights and against capitalism

Tamil Nadu: Mass protests against state repression
26/01/2017, Isai Priya, from Tamil Solidarity website :
Support the right to assemble and protest - release those arrested immediately!

Bangladesh: Hartal protest against power plant
25/01/2017, Pete Mason, Socialist Party (CWI in England and Wales) :
Follows mass strike of garment workers in December

Côte d’Ivoire: Social revolts shake Ouattara regime
24/01/2017, Militant Côte d’Ivoire (CWI group in Côte d’Ivoire) :
Public sector strike and soldiers’ mutiny expose reality behind “economic growth”

Taiwan: US foreign policy under Trump
24/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info:
Island risks being pawn in his game

US: CWI joins protests around the world against Trump
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Photo gallery selection of CWI actions during weekend of mass protests

US: Kshama Sawant responds to Trump inauguration speech
23/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
Socialist council member speaks

Russian Revolution Centenary: New site celebrates and defends October socialist revolution
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
1917revolution.org brings rich lessons of 100 years ago to wide audience

Kazakhstan: Regime increases repression
20/01/2017, Andrei Prigor from Campaign Kazakhstan:
Citizens forced to register with police at all times

US: Global resistance against Trump’s inauguration
20/01/2017, socialistworld.net :
CWI organizes protests as millions prepare to fight Trump’s agenda

Portugal: Purge in the Left Bloc
20/01/2017, Ysmail, Socialismo Revolucionário (CWI in Portugal):
6 CWI members expelled in undemocratic attack

India: Struggle against land grab in Pune
16/01/2017, Venkatesh Harale, New Socialist Alternative (CWI in India):
Socialists and villagers wage tireless battle

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

India: Upheaval in Tamil Nadu
09/02/2017, Sajith Attepuram, New Socialist Alternative (NSA) (CWI India) :
Corruption, nepotism, and other crimes of ruling party exposed

Britain: Universal basic income demand gains ground
08/02/2017, Judy Beishon, from The Socialist (weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party – CWI England & Wales) :
What approach should socialists take?

CWI and Izquierda Revolucionaria – Towards unification
06/02/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Joint declaration of the CWI’s IEC and Izquierda Revolucionaria’s IEC

France: After Sarkozy, Juppé and Valls, now Fillon is on the way out
06/02/2017, Alex Rouillard, Gauche Révolutionnaire (CWI in France) :
Space opening up to left of Socialist Party

Syria: Is an end to the war in sight?
03/02/2017, Serge Jordan (CWI) :
New movements for change will need to arm themselves with the lessons of the Syrian tragedy

Sri Lanka: The year 2017
31/01/2017, Siritunga Jayasuriya, United Socialist Party (CWI in Sri Lanka) :
Between oppression and struggle

Canada: Where are Trudeau’s ‘Sunny Ways’?
31/01/2017, Tim Heffernan, Socialist Alternative (CWI Canada), Toronto

:
Battles of Indigenous peoples, youth, workers will test Liberal government

Russian Revolution Centenary: January 1917 - On the eve of revolution
29/01/2017, Niall Mulholland, from 1917revolution.org :
War, hunger, hated Tsarist regime: class tensions reach breaking point

Afghanistan: The limits of US power
28/01/2017, Judy Beishon, from Socialism Today (February 2017 issue), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales)<br />
<br />
:
Imperialism’s 15-year adventure a bloody catastrophe for millions

US: Build 100 days of resistance to Trump’s agenda!
27/01/2017, Bryan Koulouris, Socialist Alternative, US :
Establishment deeply divided as mass resistance explodes

Millions on women's marches around the world
25/01/2017, Editorial from the Socialist, paper of the Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) and reports from US marches :
Reports from mass women's marches against Trump

China: New US President’s approach to China
21/01/2017, Vincent Kolo, chinaworker.info :
Outbursts raise fears of confrontation

Ireland North: Snap elections called to Stormont Assembly
17/01/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Build a socialist alternative to the ‘Orange’ versus ‘Green’ headcount

Spain: What kind of Podemos do workers and youth need?
17/01/2017, Izquierda Revolucionaria, Spanish state, editorial :
Debate within leadership touches on fundamental issues for future of party

US: Trump prepares vicious attacks
05/01/2017, Philip Locker and Tom Crean, Socialist Alternative (US):
Mass resistance needed!

Russian Revolution centenary
02/01/2017, Editorial from Socialism Today, Dec/Jan 2017 edition:
Defending the legacy in a new era

2017:Upheaval and fightback will continue
01/01/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) general secretary :
Everything to play for in 2017

Britain's shifting political contours
22/12/2016, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) from Socialism Today Dec/Jan 2017 edition :
Capitalist establishment in disarray

CWI International Executive Committee: European capitalism “battered by events”
16/12/2016, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Report of discussion on Europe at CWI IEC meeting in November

CWI International Executive Committee: World shaken by seismic political events
14/12/2016, Kevin Parslow, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Report of first session of the CWI International Executive Committee, discussing World Relations

World capitalism in deep crisis
08/12/2016, CWI :
Perspectives documents agreed by November CWI international meeting

Sudan: Three day nationwide strike shuts down the country, in unique defiance of Al-Bashir’s rule
30/11/2016, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Escalation of the struggle needed to overthrow repressive regime

US: Trump prepares attacks on working people,immigrants and women
27/11/2016, Tom Crean and Philip Locker, Socialist Alternative (USA):
We must prepare massive resistance!

Cuba: Fidel Castro, leader of 1959 revolution, dies at 90
26/11/2016, Tony Saunois, CWI :
Castro's life and the Cuban Revolution

China: New stage in power struggle
24/11/2016, chinaworker.info reporters:
Xi Jinping becomes “core leader”