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latest news

China
Labour disputes soar

17/04/2014: 40,000 workers paralyse world’s largest sports shoe maker

  China

Greece
International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”

16/04/2014: Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

  Greece

South Africa
Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections

15/04/2014: WASP campaigning material available on pdf

  South Africa

India
Massive election process could end in turmoil

14/04/2014: New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

  India

Cyprus
Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years

11/04/2014: One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

  Cyprus

 Iranian nuclear talks
Hypocrisy abounds

10/04/2014: Paul Murphy MEP

  Video

Britain
Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies

10/04/2014: Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

  Britain

Taiwan
Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days

10/04/2014: What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

  Taiwan

Hungary
Election highlights lack of Left challenge

09/04/2014: Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

  Hungary

Environment
Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby

09/04/2014: Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

  Environment, Ukraine

Belgium
50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration

08/04/2014: Protesters’ radical mood

  Belgium

Britain
One in ten council seats will have TUSC candidate

07/04/2014: No-cuts election challenge grows

  Britain

Review
Net political impact

06/04/2014: To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

  Review

Belgium
The rise of the PTB/PvdA

05/04/2014: Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

  Belgium

Ivory Coast
First victory for students at University of Cocody

04/04/2014: An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

  Ivory Coast

Canada
Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains

03/04/2014: After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

  Canada

France
Government punished in local elections

02/04/2014: Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

  France

Nepal
Turning back the wheel of history

01/04/2014: Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

  Nepal

South Africa
WASP manifesto launch success!

01/04/2014: On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

  Africa, South Africa

Taiwan
Half a million on the streets against President Ma

31/03/2014: Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

  Taiwan

US
Winning $15 an hour in Seattle

31/03/2014: A socialist strategy

  US

Netherlands
Socialist Party local election gains

31/03/2014: Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

  Netherlands

 Video
Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine

29/03/2014: Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

  Ukraine, Video

 Sweden
New political winds affect CWI Congress

28/03/2014: Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

  CWI, Sweden

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

28/03/2014: Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

Portugal
Thousands of police and military march in Lisbon

27/03/2014: Reflection of the government’s intrinsic weakness

  Portugal

Spain
A million march for dignity in Madrid

26/03/2014: 22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

  Spain

Taiwan
Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament

26/03/2014: Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

  Taiwan

Bosnia-Herzegovina
Mass protests - The first flowers of spring

26/03/2014: What programme should the Left advocate?

  Bosnia

Sudan
Has al-Bashir survived mass protests?

25/03/2014: Removal of hated regime not enough; crises of poverty and oppression due to grip of capitalism

  Sudan

Britain
After Bob Crow and Tony Benn

24/03/2014: Mourn the loss, fight for the future

  Britain

South Africa

Hundreds of thousands striking metal workers joined by petrol refinery workers

www.socialistworld.net, 12/07/2011
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Mobilise all workers and communities to defeat bosses!

Mametlwe Sebei, Democratic Socialist Movement (CWI South Africa)

Workers in South Africa’s metal and engineering industries embarked on industrial action on 4 July, following the deadlock between the unions and employers in the Metal, Engineering and Related Industries Bargaining Council (MEIBC). About 20,000 workers marked the beginning of the strike by marching through the streets of Johannesburg to the head office of the employers’ association offices, with thousands of others protesting in Cape Town and Durban.

The strike is now entering its second week and a settlement is not within sight. The strike is undoubtedly the biggest in the private sector in the past few years. It reflects the deepening restlessness of the South African working class and their determination to fight back against the savage attacks of the bosses on their conditions of work and living standards.

The main demands of the workers are for a 13% wage increase (having initially submitted 20%), and the banning of the ‘labour brokers’, which employs over 23% of the workforce in the metal industries. Other demands include, 20 days paid leave for shop stewards, an increase in days leave for family responsibilities and single-term instead of multi-year collective agreements. The employers are offering 7% wage increase, which is up from the 5% they tendered at the beginning of the wage negotiations, and they are unwilling to concede to the demand to end the usage of labour brokers in the industry.

Owing to the sheer size of the strike and the militancy of the metal workers, which is reflected in the radical rhetoric of union leaders, the strike has inspired other workers to join the fight back and furthered polarised society along class lines. This has forced leaders of major unions in related industries to start mobilising their members for strikes on similar demands. On 11 July, around 70,000 workers in the petrol refineries joined the 200,000 participating in the metal industries strike. The National Mineworkers Union is also mobilising for similar actions in the mining industries. The union federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), threatened to issue a call for a general strike in support of the metal industry workers and the living wage campaign.

4 July 2011, city of Johannesburg

Media campaign against strike

The bosses are waging a savage campaign to try to discredit the strike. The media is calling for workers to halt industrial action in the “national interests” of “economic recovery and competitiveness in the global markets”. After these by these pathetic ‘patriotic’ appeals failed to stop the strikes or wider working class sympathy for the metal workers, the ruling class resorted to an outright media campaign of lies, distortions and exaggerations calculated to undermine the basis of workers’ support and public sympathy for the strike.

The media reports are now overwhelmingly focused on the isolated incidences of violence and assaults of strike breakers, clearly exaggerating their scale to imply that they are general features of the strike. Unions have also come under fierce media attack for “not stopping” these incidences and refusing to call off the strikes, which are exacting a heavy toll on the manufacturing industries, already paralysed by the economic crisis. The pro-bosses’ media rant about the “narrow outlook” of trade unionists, who “forsake” the national interests to advance “selfish interests” of their privileged employed members. Yet the strike still continues to enjoy support of many workers.

This metal industry strike clearly represents another opportunity to unite the working class into a united and mighty class front to confront the crisis of capitalism and the capitalist elite behind it. The wide admiration of many in the rank and file of the workers’ movement towards the metal industry strike is indicated by the desperation of the pro-bosses’ media. Many trade unionists call on union leaders to call for similar actions in their industries.

There are many fighting communities, social movements and other grass roots organisations of the working class which have openly stated their willingness to join forces with organised labour in support of workplace struggles but they are being marginalised by the Cosatu bureaucracy. On the eve of the metal workers’ strike, during the Gauteng activists’ forum (part of the Democratic Left Front), these organisations called again on organised labour to take action (despite the Democratic Left Front’s leadership’s middle class politics, it galvanises a significant section of working class communities and social movements under its banner).

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) and Cosatu leaderships failed to mobilise this support, which could re-ignite the finest traditions of the working class struggle against the apartheid regime in the 1980s. This saw communities stand in solid support of workers, and vice versa, during the long struggle against the bosses and the repressive state machinery.

The union leaders’ failed to mobilise support to aid the metal workers and to prepare thoroughly for a decisive blow against the parasitic and reactionary bosses in the metal industries. This reflects the union leaders’ ideological demoralisation and lack of necessary political perspectives for a socialist solution to the capitalist crisis - other than through making workers pay.

This is evident from their continued commitment to class collaboration. Union leaders formed ‘the manufacturing circle’, an alliance with bosses from big metal companies, for the purpose of finding ‘solutions’ to the crisis in manufacturing industries.

To the extent that the strike is successful, it will be a reflection of the militant traditions and high level of political consciousness amongst metal workers.

Rolling action needed

The CWI in South Africa (Democratic Socialist Movement) has support in the Metal and Electrical Workers Union of South Africa (MEWUSA), which is party to the metal industry council, where DSM supporters called for the formation of strike and industrial site committees, together with solidarity committees. The DSM argued that these bodies could mobilise all metal workers, non-metal workers and communities behind the call for mass rolling actions, culminating in a general strike of all workers and communities to crush the stubborn resistance of the metal bosses.

The failure of the union leaders to mobilise is reflected in the incidences of violence of the part of those workers, who feel isolated and betrayed by those breaking the strike, which, in some instances, constitute the whole workforce in factories. It is estimated that about 200,000 out of almost 350,000 workers are out on strike. Unions in the industry council organise only 170,000, with Numsa alone representing 120,000 of these workers. Belated calls for a general strike by Cosatu are nothing more than the usual rhetoric of the union (mis) leaders before they plan to capitulate and sell-out workers.

These strikes again confirm the need for the organised working class to break with policies of class collaborationism and to build genuine fighting unions to take on bosses in the workplaces and to resist the repressive actions of the state. The rank and file needs to campaign for democratic control of their unions and for the formation of a mass party of the working class. Such a party can unite all the fighting contingents of the working class - in communities, workplaces and social movements – and struggle with independent class policies for a government of workers and poor people.



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NEWS

China: Labour disputes soar
17/04/2014, chinaworker.info reporters:
40,000 workers paralyse world’s largest sports shoe maker

Nigeria: Bomb explosions in Abuja - more evidence of the failure of capitalist government
16/04/2014, Segun Sango, Socialist Party Nigeria National Chairperson:
For democratic self-defence committees

Greece: International anti-fascist conference “No pasaran!”
16/04/2014, Sebastian Forster (CWI Germany) and Elin Gauffin (CWI Sweden):
Four thousand attend three-day event in Athens

South Africa: Enthusiastic response for WASP ahead of May elections
15/04/2014, Socialistworld.net:
WASP campaigning material available on pdf

India: Massive election process could end in turmoil
14/04/2014, Clare Doyle (CWI international Secretariat):
New party expresses, but cannot solve, major discontents

Cyprus: Austerity sees living standards fall back 40 years
11/04/2014, Athina Kariati, New Internationalist Left (CWI in Cyprus):
One year of the right wing Anastasiades government

Iranian nuclear talks: Hypocrisy abounds
10/04/2014, :
Paul Murphy MEP

Britain: Dave Nellist on BBC outlining TUSC’s socialist policies
10/04/2014, :
Trade union and socialist coalition (TUSC) candidate count reaches 476 for May local election

Hungary: Election highlights lack of Left challenge
09/04/2014, Sonja Grusch and Tilman M. Ruster:
Declining vote for ruling Fidész party; neo-fascist Jobbik picks up 20% as false ‘alternative’

Environment: Ukraine crisis exploited by multinational fracking lobby
09/04/2014, Paul Murphy, Socialist Party MEP, and Tanja Niemeier:
Oppose the pro-big business EU/ US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!

Belgium: 50,000 join ETUC Brussels demonstration
08/04/2014, Eric Byl, General Secretary, Linkse Socialistiche Partij / Parti Socialiste de Lutte (PSL/LSP):
Protesters’ radical mood

Review: Net political impact
06/04/2014, Ben Robinson, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales) published in Socialism Today:
To Save Everything, Click Here • By Evgeny Morozov •

Ivory Coast: First victory for students at University of Cocody
04/04/2014, CWI in Ivory Coast:
An important step to push the struggle against neo-liberal policies further

Canada: Port of Vancouver truckers’ strike wins significant gains
03/04/2014, Socialist Alternative Reporter, Vancouver:
After bosses’ seen off - unions must defend their right to strike!

France: Government punished in local elections
02/04/2014, Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI in France) reporters:
Far right gains highlight need for strong fighting left opposition

South Africa: WASP manifesto launch success!
01/04/2014, Workers’ and Socialist Party (WASP):
On Saturday 29 March the Workers and Socialist Party launched its 2014 election manifesto at a rally in Katlehong, Gauteng

Taiwan: Half a million on the streets against President Ma
31/03/2014, CWI reporters in Taipei:
Demonstrators call for trade pact to be withdrawn and for president to step down

Netherlands: Socialist Party local election gains
31/03/2014, Pieter Brans, Amsterdam:
Vote for SP can be the basis for a mass struggle against cuts

Video: Hypocrisy of Irish Govt & EU on Ukraine
29/03/2014, socialistworld.net:
Joe Higgins, Socialist Party (CWI MP) speaks in Irish parliament

Sweden: New political winds affect CWI Congress
28/03/2014, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna Reporters:
Optimistic Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna prepares for elections

No to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership!
28/03/2014, Vladimir Bortun, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Anti-democratic agreement seeks to increase corporate domination of politics

Portugal: Thousands of police and military march in Lisbon
27/03/2014, Jose David Gregorio, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Portugal):
Reflection of the government’s intrinsic weakness

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Taiwan: Occupation of parliament ends after 23 days
10/04/2014, Interview with Sally Tang Mei-ching, CWI participant in Taipei protests:
What are the lessons of the island’s ‘sunflower movement’?

Belgium: The rise of the PTB/PvdA
05/04/2014, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (CWI in Belgium):
Recent polls confirm a probable electoral breakthrough for the Workers’ Party of Belgium (PTB/PvdA).

Nepal: Turning back the wheel of history
01/04/2014, Senan, CWI:
Second constituent assembly election – a shift to the right

US: Winning $15 an hour in Seattle
31/03/2014, Patrick Ayers, Socialist Alternative, USA:
A socialist strategy

Spain: A million march for dignity in Madrid
26/03/2014, Angel Morano, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Spain):
22M: A before and after moment for the class struggle

Taiwan: Ma government rocked by mass protests and occupation of parliament
26/03/2014, Sally Tang Mei-ching in Taipei and Vincent Kolo:
Down with undemocratic Kuomintang rule – for a Taiwan-wide student strike as the next step!

Bosnia-Herzegovina: Mass protests - The first flowers of spring
26/03/2014, Sonja Grusch, Socialist Left Party (CWI in Austria):
What programme should the Left advocate?

Britain: After Bob Crow and Tony Benn
24/03/2014, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (No.177, April 2014), monthly magazine of the Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Mourn the loss, fight for the future

Scotland: Unions and the socialist case for independence
23/03/2014, John McInally, national vice-president of the Public and Commercial Services union (personal capacity):
Aruging a independent, working class position

Ukraine: Crimea breaks away to join Russia
18/03/2014, Niall Mulholland, CWI:
Tensions between powers worsen

Australia: Socialist Party playing key role in fight against East-West tunnel
13/03/2014, Mel Gregson and Stephen Jolly, Socialist Party (CWI in Australia), Melbourne:
Campaign brings public transport to forefront of political debate

Bosnia Herzegovina: Mass protests of working people and youth show the way forward
13/03/2014, CWI Leaflet text:
Working people stir to end poverty, joblessness, corruption and ethnic divisions!

Socialist perspectives for Aotearoa / New Zealand
09/03/2014, CWI Aotearoa / New Zealand:
The world and New Zealand in crisis

International Women’s Day 2014
07/03/2014, Clare Doyle (Committee for a Workers’ International):
Fighting austerity and oppression world-wide

Venezuela: A year after Chavez’s death
06/03/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez (CWI Venezuela).:
Commemorations in context of new crisis

Ukraine: Russian troops take up positions throughout Crimea
04/03/2014, CWI Reporters:
Tensions deepen between Western powers and Moscow

Greece: Still in the eye of the storm
26/02/2014, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece) published in Socialism Today:
From the outside, it can appear there’s a certain pause in the struggle in Greece. Is this true?

Ukraine: Bloodshed in Kiev
19/02/2014, Rob Jones, from Socialism Today (March edition, No.176):
What lies behind the Ukraine crisis?

Venezuela: An analysis of 12F
19/02/2014, By Gabriela Sanchez- SR Venezuela:
On 12F, three people (two right wing supporters and one government supporter) were killed in Caracas and dozens injured and arrested in the protests and demonstrations that took place around Venezuela to commemorate the annual ’Youth Day’.

Pakistan: Negotiating peace
18/02/2014, Khalid Bhatti, SNP Lahore:
Government/Taliban talks begin - But where will they go?

South Africa: The end of Cosatu?
17/02/2014, WASP (Workers and Socialist Party) Reporters, S Africa:
Time for a new socialist trade union federation

Greece: The fascist threat
08/02/2014, Christina Ziakka, Xekinima (CWI Greece) - translated by Amalia Loizidou. First published in Socialism Today:
Deep economic crisis, savage austerity and social upheaval have polarised Greek society.

South Africa: After NUMSA’s Congress
04/02/2014, Workers And Socialist Party (WASP) statement:
Seize the historic opportunity of the 2014 elections

Tunisia: Three years on since the fall of Ben Ali
30/01/2014, Serge Jordan and CWI supporters in Tunis:
New ‘technocratic’ government no response to workers’ demands

Thailand: Prolonged political crisis
27/01/2014, Ravichandran, CWI Malaysia:
Working class and rural poor need party of their own