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latest news

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

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

South Africa

Battle for control of mining sector

www.socialistworld.net, 31/01/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Statement on the retrenchment threats by Anglo America n Platinum and Harmony Gold

Weizmann Hamilton, DSM (CWI South Africa)

The agreement by Anglo American Platinum to place a moratorium on their retrenchments cannot be trusted. The moratorium is for sixty days only and the conditions they have cited as making retrenchments unavoidable have not changed.

The threat to close four shafts, sell one mine and retrench 14 000 mineworkers in their Rustenburg operations is an open challenge to the entire working class. It would be the largest retrenchment by a single company in the history of SA. The real motives of the mining bosses is to crush the militancy that rocked the mining industry after the Marikana uprising. It is a desperate attempt to restore the balance of power in the mining industry which, for the latter half of 2013, had shifted in favour of the workers.

It follows the earlier decision by Harmony Gold to illegally lock out 6000 workers from the Kusasalethu Mine in Carletonville and a similar announcement of retrenchment, leaving workers who had travelled thousands of kilometres from as far as Lesotho, Mozambique and the Eastern Cape, stranded in the rain without food or shelter.

Emboldened by the muted response to the Carletonville offensive, the mining bosses have opened up a second front in Rustenburg. The truce that set in over the festive period in the class war that had raged across the mining industry for the latter half of 2012 is well and truly over. Hostilities have resumed and the working class must respond accordingly.

Battle for control of the mining sector

The significance of the capitulation of the Lonmim bosses last year went far beyond the salary increases. They were compelled to condone the collapse of the authority of their bass boy union, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), to sign an agreement outside of the provision of the collective bargaining system for the first time, and, worst of all, from their point of view, to bestow recognition on the strike committees set up by the workers independently of all the unions.

This is why it was greeted with such hysteria and condemned by big business as well as the NUM. The NUM leadership’s initial reaction to the threat of retrenchment was to echo management’s threats. They continue to swallow the argument that the retrenchments are being forced on management due to a combination of circumstances out of their control and the unreasonable demands of the workers. Instead of exposing management’s hypocrisy and mobilising for mass action to defend jobs, they are using the moratorium to peddle the illusion that the differences between the bosses and workers can be resolved by negotiations. In fact they are disarming the workers. It is ruled out that any alternative jobs created through management’s proposals would absorb 14 000 workers.

The real attitude of the mining bosses is revealed by Harmony Gold Chief Executive, Graham Briggs. In a vengeful but premature comment quoted in Business Day (15.01.13.) he said: “The tables have turned. It is us the company, which has demands on the tables now, not the unions”. Management’s position, Briggs goes on further to state, is to disregard past grievances and to demand that workers return to work on their terms.

This is an orchestrated strategy to break the defiance of the workers, re-establish the authority especially of the NUM as a collaborator in the maintenance of “discipline” over the workers, to co-opt Amcu and to break the back of the independent strike committees and to restore the pre-Marikana dictatorship on the mines. Amplats’ withdrawal from the section 189 process of the Labour Relations Act proves they were cynically using labour law to entrench their power and to break worker resistance.

Capitalists refuse to share fabulous profits

Despite the decline in demand for platinum, fabulous profits have been made across the mining industry in this period. According to the Labour Research Service, in 2011, the nine mining houses made a combined profit of R39 billion. This would have enabled Lonmim to pay each worker R88,000 and still make a profit and explains why despite widespread denunciation of the workers’ demand for the an increase of R12 500, management signed an agreement very close to it.

Harmony made a profit of R2.5bn for the year ending 31st March 2012. Year-on-year, it increased net operating profit by 80% from R3.3bn to R5.9bn for the period 2011/2012! According to Amplats’ own figures, in the first half of 2012, the four shafts earmarked for closure achieved increases in labour productivity and output of 20% and 30% respectively.

Nor did the strike and its outcome make a serious dent on profits. Net income for the first quarter of 2012/13 increased five-fold (388%) compared to the last quarter of 2011/12. Harmony was the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s best performer of the last year.

In contrast, lost production resulting from the strike, which lasted from the 2nd to the 29th October, 2012, amounted to R325m. Increased wages will cost the company a mere R10m a month. Chief Executive, Chris Briggs, earns R7.3m a year even after being forced to forego his bonus of 50% of his salary (because the company failed to prevent fatal accidents). The wage gap in the mining industry is 390 to 1. In the mining industry, the average worker would have to work 325 years to earn what a CEO earns in 1 year.

The ANC – a party of the mine bosses

Minister of Minerals and Energy, Susan Shabangu’s condemnation of the Anglo Plat’s announcement is of course sheer hypocrisy. She shared the view of hostile antagonism of the entire economic and political elite towards the Lonmin workers’ strike and is complicit in the Marikana massacre. But she is correct to point out that these decisions were not made overnight – they were planned over many months. What Shabangu, and the ANC, are really reacting to is the fact that the mining bosses’ action exposes the contempt in which the capitalists hold the ANC government. After 19 years of bending the knee to big business, the mining bosses rightly see them as their stooges. If you lie on your belly in front of the bosses, they will kick you in the teeth!

Nor is the timing of this counter-offensive by management an accident. They awaited the outcome of the ANC’s Mangaung conference from which they derived great comfort. In a pitiful attempt to appease international capitalist investors, ANC delegates not only finally shut down the nationalisation debate, even the word “nationalisation” itself was erased from the economic policy documents. From the reaffirmation of the youth wage subsidy, the endorsement of e-tolling and, and the adoption of the neo-liberal National Development Plan, to the election, with an overwhelming majority, of the butchers of Marikana – Zuma, Mthethwa and Ramaphosa, the bosses had every reason to celebrate.

From the “left” such as it is, in the form of the anti-Zuma faction in Cosatu, which had arrived at Mangaung bound hand-and-foot by their capitulation to the Zuma faction at their own conference, there was heard nothing but the silence of the lambs led to the slaughter. To crown it all the post-apartheid tradition of the occupation of key ANC leadership positions by a graduate from the mining industry school of class collaboration – hitherto confined to the general secretary position in the ANC – was now elevated to a new level: the grand prize of the presidency itself, at the latest by 2019. The symbolism was complete: the ANC was not just in the hands of the capitalist class – it was now the public lackey of the mining bosses.

Bosses have miscalculated

But the bosses have misread the situation. The threat of mass retrenchments is a serious political miscalculation. In the eyes of the mineworkers, Marikana had exposed the role of the ANC (and indeed of the whole Tripartite Alliance) as a strike-breaking conspiracy. From the Marikana experience the mineworkers had drawn profound political conclusions. Determined to reclaim their class and political independence, jointly with the Democratic Socialist Movement, mine workers strike committees from several mines founded the Workers and Socialist Party on December 15th 2012 at Bokoni Mine in Limpopo.

This latest action by the mining bosses again exposes the role of the ANC as a tool of the mining bosses in the eyes not just of the mine workers, but of the entire working class. It will reinforce the political process that commenced as early as during the ANC’s very first term in office (as revealed in Cosatu’s 1998 survey which found that at that time already 30% of shop stewards wanted Cosatu to form a workers party and to contest the elections) -- the steady erosion of electoral support. Over the past few years this process has accelerated with the ANC’s 66% parliamentary majority masking the decline in its electoral support in the overall population to 34% of the eligible voting population in 2009. The warmth the Zuma faction is feeling following its overwhelming majority inside the halls of Manguang, will be replaced by the icy cold wind of an alienated working class determined to find its own voice, its own programme, its own party in the WASP.

WASP will be built through struggle. In the lead up to it launch on Sharpeville Day, 21st March 2013, it will lead a campaign to fight threatened retrenchments on the mines by calling for a General Strike. As part of the mobilisation WASP has initiated a million-signature campaign. Disillusioned with the ANC, but not offered an alternative by any of the other pro-capitalist parties in parliament, twelve million people did not vote in the last election. WASP will offer these voters the radical anti-capitalist fighting alternative by attempting to unite all the struggles of workers on farms for better wages, in communities against corruption and for better services and amongst students against financial and academic exclusion and for free education in a general strike in solidarity with the mine workers.

• For a general strike to defend jobs

• Nationalise the mines under democratic control and management of the working class.

• For national minimum wage of R12 500 a month.

• Recognise the independent strike committees.

• Build the Workers and Socialist Party into a mass militant fighting socialist party



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NEWS

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!

Ireland: A web of intrigue sparks government crisis
22/02/2017, By Cillian Gillespie, Socialist Party (CWI in Ireland) :
Smear campaign against a prominent police whistleblower

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

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

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

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