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latest news

 Solidarity
#JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success

28/03/2017: Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

  Solidarity

Russia/Belarus
A week-end of mass protests

27/03/2017: New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

  Russia

Hong Kong
Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship

27/03/2017: Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

  Hong Kong

Britain
Terror attack at Westminster

24/03/2017: Unite against terror, racism and war

  Britain

Italy
Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis

22/03/2017: Class struggle can build real left force

  Italy

Spain
Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March

21/03/2017: Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

  Spain

Scotland
Second referendum on independence?

18/03/2017: SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

  Scotland

Brazil
National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten

17/03/2017: For a one-day general strike as the next step

  Brazil

South Africa
Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

17/03/2017: Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

  South Africa

Netherlands
Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government

16/03/2017: Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

  Netherlands

Yemen
Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies

16/03/2017: International campaign needed to force companies to pay

  Yemen

Hong Kong
Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman

14/03/2017: Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

  Hong Kong

Ireland North
Snap election raises sectarian temperature    

14/03/2017: Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

  Ireland North

Quebec
Counter protest against far-right

13/03/2017: Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

  Quebec

 International Women's Day
Speech by Kshama Sawant

12/03/2017: Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

  Women

 International Women’s Day
Millions join marches and take action

10/03/2017: Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

  Women

 Hong Kong
Women’s march against sexism and racism

09/03/2017: International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

  Women

 Spain
Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike

08/03/2017: ‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

  Women

Pakistan
Political spectacle of the ruling class

08/03/2017: Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

  Pakistan

 International Women’s Day 2017
A century on from the Russian Revolution

06/03/2017: Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

  Women

Britain
Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won

06/03/2017: Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

  Britain

Egypt
Price hikes hit workers and middle classes

04/03/2017: Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

  Egypt

Hong Kong’s sham election

03/03/2017: Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

  Hong Kong

US
Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress

02/03/2017: Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

  US

Sweden
“Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017: What is behind Trump's attack?

  Sweden

Britain/Ireland
Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty

23/02/2017: Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

  Ireland Republic

Ireland
A web of intrigue sparks government crisis

22/02/2017: Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

  Ireland Republic

February revolution 1917
What lessons for today?

21/02/2017: 23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

  Russian Revolution

 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

South Africa

Stop union bashing at Supreme Spring!

www.socialistworld.net, 29/10/2010
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Appeal for solidarity

Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI in South Africa)

The Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI in South Africa), is engaged in a battle to defend 102 workers at automotive suspension springs factory, Supreme Spring, on the East Rand outside Johannesburg and is appealing to organised labour activists and socialists across the world to express their solidarity with these workers and their union, the Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa (MEWUSA), in which the DSM plays a leading role, as a matter of urgency.

Supreme Springs produces parts not only for the South African automotive manufacturing industry but also exports across the world, supplying car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Toyota, Ford, Nissan and Isuzu.

Nine workers were dismissed on spurious charges following a nationwide motor industry strike in September, including three MEWUSA shop stewards. When workers embarked on a spontaneous and peaceful mass action to defend their unfairly dismissed comrades and reinforce their demands for improved wages and conditions, which had for a long time been ignored by management, another 93 MEWUSA members were suspended. Their disciplinary hearing will be held on Thursday 4 November. MEWUSA will be organising a solidarity march outside the hearings.

While the workers are threatened with losing their jobs, MEWUSA leaders are also being threatened with jail sentences for “contempt of court” after refusing to show contempt for their members whose spontaneous strike has been labeled “illegal” by management. These are very serious attacks on workers’ hard-won workplace democratic rights which need to be met with furious resistance, not only from MEWUSA workers, but from the organised labour movement across SA as well as internationally. In particular, activists organising in companies importing Supreme Spring parts could play a crucial role in assisting this struggle.

“The real cause for the dismissals is that the management does not want anyone who is fighting for workers rights. Our management thinks they can operate the company as Robert Mugabe runs Zimbabwe”, says dismissed MEWUSA shop steward, Joseph Nhlapo.

The victimisation of these union activists is part of a campaign on part of management to sabotage and undermine the work of MEWUSA, which has been fighting tirelessly to expose and combat Supreme Spring’s unfair labour practices and has refused to be bribed by the bosses.

The strike action for which the 93 workers have been suspended was itself directly provoked by management, which refused to accept the petition delivered by the workers, as well as to meet with MEWUSA’s representatives.

Since the beginning of 2009, 1.1 million South African workers lost their jobs. In a one-sided war waged by the capitalists against the working class, they are trying to force workers to pay for the crisis of their system. If the organised working class allows the Supreme Spring bosses and the court to set what would be very dangerous precedent of jailing worker leaders simply for defending their members, it will be inviting the capitalist class to unleash another offensive in this war, threatening even workers’ democratic rights

Messages of solidarity can be sent to: mametlwesebei@gmail.com

Letters of protest (see model letter below) should be faxed to: Mr. A J Becker, Managing Director of Supreme Spring, nr: +27 11 814 7262


Supreme Spring workers testify to the conditions that led to their strike action:

“We have no lunch break, but the law says we are supposed to have one hour. We only get a 15 minute morning break during an 8-hour shift”

“Racism is a big problem: Management turns a blind eye to racist name-calling, such as “kaffir”, by some white employees. White managers do not even speak to our faces, says dismissed MEWUSA shop steward Joseph Nhlapo.”

“Our most important demand is that, while the company has a turnover of R350 million it pays all workers only R16 per hour regardless of years of service. So we have skilled metal workers having worked in the company for 20 years or more still receiving the same R16”, explains Joseph Nhlapo. “We are graded as ‘petrol attendants’ within the Motor Industry, which claims the industry has no grading corresponding to the work that we do. We are being sent from pillar to post between the Motor- and Metal Industry bargaining councils.”


Model protest letter

To: Mr. A J Becker, Managing Director, Supreme Spring, Fax: +27 11 814 7262

Sir,

I/ We ………………………………………………………………………………. Have been informed of the scandalous victimisation of union activists that your company is undertaking and hereby express our deepest concern over Supreme Spring’s lack of respect for workers’ basic democratic rights which by now should be guaranteed in the new South Africa.

The conditions and wages at your company are, firstly, a disgrace in themselves: skilled workers are paid a flat rate of around R16/hour regardless of how many years they may have spent in your service; workers are not allowed any lunch break in contradiction of the law which guarantees a one-hour lunch break; your management is furthermore not paying sufficient attention to the health and safety of the staff; and racism remains a major problem with your management in effect silently condoning blatant racism against black workers by their white colleagues. It has become clear to us a that your company has attempted to avoid the setting of decent wages and conditions by affiliating to the Motor Industry Bargaining council rather than the Metal Industry Bargaining Council, taking advantage of the facts that the SA motor industry increasingly has become established as a low wage export platform and that the Motor Industry has no salary grading specific to the work performed by your employees who are therefore graded at the lowest possible level. These facts on their own would qualify Supreme Spring as an unsuitable supplier to any multinational company interested in protecting its reputation.

Secondly, when workers naturally have sought to redress these unbearable conditions, they have been met with the most blatant victimisation. Nine workers, including three elected MEWUSA shop stewards, have already been dismissed for participating in solidarity with NUMSA-affiliated workers in September’s nationwide motor industry strike. When workers spontaneously and peacefully protested against these unfair dismissals you labeled their pickets an “illegal strike” and sought the assistance of the police and court to repress the workers, while you had refused to take impression from the petition workers handed to you prior to the protest action, as well as to meet with the union officials.

Thirdly, you have taken unprecedented steps in using the court to threaten the union office bearers with jail by holding them responsible for the spontaneous protest action which was provoked by your own hard-line attitude towards the workers and your deliberate undermining of their union MEWUSA.

We (if you are a union) undertake to embark on solidarity action at our workplaces to put pressure on ……………… (company with ties to Supreme Spring, eg Volkswagen) to cut any ties with Supreme Spring as a known union-busting company, unless you comply with our MEWUSA comrades’ demands:

- That you re-instate the nine dismissed MEWUSA members with immediate effect and no loss of pay

- That you drop the disciplinary action against the other 93 MEWUSA members

- That you immediately drop the court action against MEWUSA members and office bearers

- That you immediately agree to review the main agreement to enable MEWUSA to negotiate issues such as lunch breaks, grading etc on behalf of its members

Yours sincerely,

………………………………………………..



Europe

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NEWS

Solidarity: #JobstownNotGuilty international day of action a huge success
28/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Over 30 protests around the world and 88 MPs/MEPs pledge support

Russia/Belarus: A week-end of mass protests
27/03/2017, Socialist Alternative (CWI Russia) Reporters:
New spring of protest opens up, as 1,000s arrested

Hong Kong: Creeping “coup” by Chinese dictatorship
27/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Defend the four Hong Kong legislators

Britain: Terror attack at Westminster
24/03/2017, Judy Beishon, from the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) website :
Unite against terror, racism and war

Belarus: Protesters flood onto streets demanding scrapping of “law against parasites”
21/03/2017, Daniil Raskolnikov (translation of article from the Russian CWI site www.socialist.news):
President Lukashenko must go!

Spain: Student strike empties classes and fills streets on 9 March
21/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes (SE), Spanish Students' Union :
Over 100,000 take to the streets in SE demonstrations

Scotland: Second referendum on independence?
18/03/2017, Philip Stott, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) :
SNP fire the starting gun but offer no solutions to austerity

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia
17/03/2017, Shaun Arendse, Workers and Socialist Party (CWI South Africa):
Capitalist politicians use xenophobia to divert attention from failures of profit system

International Women’s Day: March in Malaysia and week of activity in Belgium
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net :
Reports from Kuala Lumpur and Brussels

Netherlands: Election result a colossal defeat for austerity government
16/03/2017, Pieter Brans, Socialist Alternative (CWI in Netherlands), Amsterdam:
Oppose Wilders and the ‘mainstream’ right – Build a mass workers’ party that struggles for socialism

Russian Revolution: March 1917 - After the fall of Czarism, what next for the revolution?
16/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
New article on 1917revolution.org

Hong Kong: Protest against LSG Sky Chefs dismissal of union chairman
14/03/2017, Sally Tang Mei-ching, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) :
Ng Chi-Fai sacked for organising union by multinational’s Hong Kong division – international solidarity needed

Quebec: Counter protest against far-right
13/03/2017, Michele Hehn, Alternative Socialiste (CWI in Quebec) :
Rise of Islamophobia and right-wing reaction poses new challenges to the left

International Women's Day: Speech by Kshama Sawant
12/03/2017, Socialistworld.net :
Video of 8 March rally in Seattle

International Women’s Day: Millions join marches and take action
10/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI:
Socialists around the world demand an end to women’s oppression

Hong Kong: Women’s march against sexism and racism
09/03/2017, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong) reporters:
International Women’s Day: “Solidarity with global mass protests and women’s strikes”

Spain: Hundreds of thousands participate in International Women’s day student strike
08/03/2017, Sindicato de Estudiantes, students’ union in the Spanish state :
‘Libres y Combativas’ and Sindicato de Estudiantes call strike against sexist violence and for working class women's rights

Pakistan: Political spectacle of the ruling class
08/03/2017, Tariq Shahzad, National Organiser of IYWM (International Youth and Workers Movement) :
Most workers underemployed, 40% in poverty - situation demands new workers’ party

Britain: Massive demo shows battle to save the NHS can be won
06/03/2017, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) deputy general secretary :
Up to 250,000 march in national protest, organised from below

Egypt: Price hikes hit workers and middle classes
04/03/2017, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales) :
Falling support for dictator Sisi portends growing opposition

Hong Kong’s sham election
03/03/2017, Dikang, Socialist Action:
Pan-democrats sink to new low by supporting “lesser evil” John Tsang

US: Socialist response to Trump’s address to joint session of congress
02/03/2017, socialistworld.net:
Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative councillor, speaks

Catalonia: Historic demonstration in Barcelona in support of refugees
25/02/2017, Esquerra Revolucionària :
'Volem acollir'

Sweden: “Who could believe it?"

24/02/2017, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
What is behind Trump's attack?

Britain/Ireland: Dublin's #JobstownNotGuilty
23/02/2017, Neil Cafferky, from The Socialist (weekly paper of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Defend the right to protest - stop this political vendetta!

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Italy: Democratic Party splits and 5-Star Movement in crisis
22/03/2017, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrrente, (CWI in Italy) :
Class struggle can build real left force

Brazil: National day of strikes and protests shows Temer can be beaten


17/03/2017, André Ferrari LSR (CWI in Brazil) :
For a one-day general strike as the next step

Yemen: Workers and their families left to starve by multi-billionaire companies
16/03/2017, Cedric Gerome, CWI :
International campaign needed to force companies to pay

Ireland North: Snap election raises sectarian temperature    
14/03/2017, Daniel Waldron, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast :
Workers need strong socialist alternative at ballot box and in unions

International Women’s Day 2017: A century on from the Russian Revolution
06/03/2017, Clare Doyle, CWI :
Demonstrations world-wide swelled by anti-Trump anger

February revolution 1917: What lessons for today?
21/02/2017, Peter Taaffe, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales), printed in the Socialist (paper of the Socialist Party):
23 February 1917 (8 March in today’s calendar) marked the beginning of the socialist revolution in Russia, which sparked a revolutionary wave that would travel around the world.

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