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latest news

Scotland
Indefinite strike by Glasgow Council Homeless workers

01/04/2015: Workers treated unfairly by council for years

  Scotland

South Africa
Cosatu splits as ‘Vavi’ expelled

01/04/2015: Expulsion opens new chapter in working class struggle

  Africa, South Africa

Singapore
Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew dies

31/03/2015: Apologist for neo-liberalism and autocracy

  Singapore

France
Elections punish Valls and Hollande

31/03/2015: Department results show need for fightback against austerity and racism

  France

 Venezuela
Alcedo Mora must be found alive!

30/03/2015: Urgent need for international solidarity

  Solidarity, Venezuela

Netherlands
Election setback for Labour Party

30/03/2015: Main parties guarantee austerity - A mass party of the Left with a socialist programme needed

  Netherlands

Germany
20,000 people give ECB “the finger”

28/03/2015: Big demo and blockade against the reopening of the Central Bank

  Germany

 Video
Interview with a Greek socialist

28/03/2015: The Syriza government and the Troika and building the Greek Left

  Greece, Video

South Africa
NUMSA & WASP discuss international experiences of new workers’ parties

27/03/2015: South Africa’s metalworkers union in discussion with WASP and CWI

  Africa, South Africa

Obituary
Harald Mahrer (1974-2015)

27/03/2015: An active, critical and inspiring comrade

  Obituary

 Video
Dave Nellist on Russia Today TV

26/03/2015: Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing throughout Britain in May elections

  Britain, Video

Norway
Lessons of the pilots’ strike

25/03/2015: A struggle against outsourcing

  Norway

Israel
Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election

25/03/2015: New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

  Israel / Palestine

China
Demand release of arrested women activists

24/03/2015: Has the commemoration of International Women’s Day also now been outlawed in China?

  China

Italy
The instability of domestic capitalism

24/03/2015: Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

  Italy

Sweden
Central bank rates cut "panic measure"

23/03/2015: Eurozone’s QE intensifies currency wars

  Sweden

Greece
Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer

23/03/2015: Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

  Greece

Tunisia
Twenty three killed in terrorist attack

20/03/2015: Down with terror! Down with capitalism!

  Tunisia

Belgium
No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity

20/03/2015: New action plan against right wing government takes off

  Belgium

Ukraine
Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement

18/03/2015: Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

  Ukraine

Ireland North
Public sector workers strike against austerity

18/03/2015: For a second day of strike action in the run-up to the May general election!

  Ireland North

 North Cyprus
New strike wave against cuts

17/03/2015: Workers determined to stop austerity

  Cyprus, Solidarity

 Brazil
Urgent solidarity protests needed

17/03/2015: Faced with lack of water for the people, Sao Paulo water company SABESP cuts costs, sacks more than 500 workers and victimises trade union activists

  Brazil, Solidarity

 Scotland
Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) leaves Solidarity

16/03/2015: Tommy Sheridan departs from principled socialist position with call for “lending vote" to cuts-making SNP

  CWI, Scotland

Britain
What lies behind UKIP?

14/03/2015: Its Tory-oriented anti-immigration, anti-EU rhetoric has been adapted to a right-wing populism aimed at winning voters fed up with the political establishment

  Britain

Ireland North
Massive public sector strike against austerity

13/03/2015: Socialist MPs in Southern Ireland Parliament send message of support to strikers

  Ireland North, Ireland Republic

Ireland South
Marriage equality referendum set for May

12/03/2015: Poisonous bigotry must be challenged

  Ireland Republic

Ireland North
Stormont government crisis on eve of public sector strike

11/03/2015: Struggle can force politicians back from austerity measures

  Ireland North, Ireland Republic

Iran
Independent workers’ organizations statement about minimum wage

11/03/2015: Increasing demands for a living wage

  Iran

Ireland North
13 March public sector strike against austerity

10/03/2015: Dead-end of rightwing, sectarian politics - new anti-sectarian party which fights for working class needed

  Ireland North

  Video
Dublin ROSA demonstration on International Women’s Day

10/03/2015: Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) speaks along with other activists

  Ireland Republic, Video, Women

 International Women’s Day 2015

09/03/2015: Articles from CWI sections celebrating IWD

  Women

Greece
Syriza’s first months in power

07/03/2015: The working class and social movements must enter the struggle for their rights

  Greece

Netherlands
Wave of student protests

05/03/2015: For democratic reforms and end to budget cuts

  Netherlands

Austria
The year starts with antifascism

05/03/2015: Right-wing Ball events, PEGIDA, and neo-nazi Violence: A Month of Intense and Successful anti-fascism in Austria

  Austria, Venezuela

Greece

90% turn-out for teachers’ strike; 10,000s join marches

www.socialistworld.net, 19/09/2013
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Teachers show the way! Build for all-out general strike action to defeat new austerity attacks!

Xekinima (CWI Greece) Reporters, Athens

Participation in the first day of a five-day teachers’ strike (Monday 16 September) was massive, on average over 90% nationally. The teachers’ marches were massive too, with 30,000 demonstrators on the march in Athens and 10,000 in Thessaloniki! Although mainly made up of secondary and high school teachers, contingents of workers from the public sector (Social Security, Pension Funds, Public Insurance Funds, Social Welfare and University Administration) were very big, as well.

Four union federations co-ordinated their action with OLME (the secondary school teachers’ union) and announced they would take repeated strike action against ‘staff suspensions’ (which in the end will mean layoffs), in their sections. Student Union contingents were equally massive on the demonstrations, as were those of primary and private school teachers. Unions representing social housing workers and the Department of Development were also present with banners. Together with teachers in Athens, hundreds of school students joined the march and created a very vibrant mood with their chants.

The size of the march went beyond teachers’ expectations and showed the courage and enthusiasm all the workers on strike.

The first battle has been won! However, there is a long way ahead and the only thing we know for certain is that the government, together with the help of the main TV channel owners and newspapers, and the forces of repression, will intensify their attacks against these workers.

The response of the teachers can only be - as the banner of the teachers’ union from Kallithea, N. Smyrni and Moshato stated – “Brothers and sisters, stand up!” The same strength and resilience must be shown by workers from other union federations that have entered the fight.

The most important and immediate steps necessary in the struggle, at this stage, are as follows:

  • All schools and other work places participating in the strike need to be defended through mass pickets outside every school
  • The strike should expand to a ‘pan-education front’ that actively and massively involves parents, school and university students
  • Big efforts must be made to force the leadership of the primary school teachers (DOE) to listen to the voice of the rank and file and the general assemblies of primary school teachers that demand by a vast majority repeated 5-day strikes, on the lines of the secondary school teachers
  • Steps to build a strike fund to support the most vulnerable among the workers needs to continue
  • Also, we need to ensure – through mass campaigning - that the 48-hour strike by ADEDY is a success!

Finally, the most essential thing is that the front of trade union federations which is proceeding to five-day repeated strikes becomes as wide as possible, as soon as possible, with the involvement of more sections of the working class. The teachers and all other workers on strike have shown that the movement, i.e. the rank and file, not only wants to fight but can actually fight! Co-ordination and escalation are the way to build a force that can kick out the Troika and their lackeys ruling us!

Greece: Teachers strike for 5 day against huge attacks on jobs, conditions and education

Indefinite united strike front demanded, until the government is out!

The following is the text of a Xekinima leaflet distributed during teachers’ demonstrations last Monday and on ADEDY marches, both of which were very big, on Wednesday 18 September.

socialistworld.net

Since 16 September OLME (the secondary school teachers’ union) have been on a five day strike, which is intended to be repeated at the weekly general meetings of the teachers, aiming at an indefinite strike by the teachers’ union. This decision was taken by the teachers’ general assemblies by huge majorities, as they have no other way of defending themselves against the attack on public education by the government and the Troika.

Teachers are fighting against (amongst other things):

  • School closures (since 2011, 2500 schools have been closed or merged in primary and secondary education).
  • The abolition of Health Studies and Applied Arts - where tens of thousands of students were studying in public vocational schools - making them available exclusively in private Institutes of Vocational Training etc.
  • Teachers’ “suspensions”, many if not all of which will become dismissals.
  • Compulsory transfers that completely overturn the planning and finances of thousands of families.
  • A new law that turns Lyceums (upper secondary schools) into an examination marathon and which will lead to the increase of students leaving school without a Lyceum certificate.
  • The decrease, by 60%, of functional expenses for schools
  • The teachers must not be on their own in this struggle; the defence of public education concerns all of us. If the example of OLME is followed by other unions and sections of workers, a powerful strike front can be created that will overthrow these policies and the government that is implementing them. If the opposite happens, and the teachers remain alone in this struggle, nobody can be optimistic for its result. History, so far, has proved that one sector alone cannot beat the government and the Troika if it goes into the struggle on its own!

Teachers must not be left to fight on their own!

The administrative staff in the universities are also on repeated strike action (10 days to start with) , while a number of university authorities enhance this struggle by closing down universities, initially for a week.

However DOE (the primary school teachers’ union), which is a very important union as it is one of the biggest unions, called only for participation in the 48-hour strike that was called by ADEDY (the public sector union confederation – public sector TUC) and a three hour work stoppage. This is a decision that objectively weakens the struggle’s front and creates disappointment among secondary school teachers.

DOE’s National Executive (NEC) decided in favour of the 48-hour strike despite the fact that 21 out of 36 primary school teachers’ locals had decided at their general assemblies in favour of the repeated 5 day strikes (i.e. amounting to an all-out strike by the sector). It is not a coincidence that on DOE’s NEC, the dominant forces are the union factions of New Democracy [the main party in government] and PASOK [the second party of government] … Nevertheless, depending on the extent to which the secondary school teachers’ strike “holds out”, there is the possibility that the primary school teachers - pressure from “below” – force the NEC to call for more militant strike action, on the lines of the secondary school teachers and the university administrative staff.

The struggle is not only for public education!

Along with OLME, three more unions are on five days continuous strikes; the workers in OAED (Manpower Employment Organisation) in IKA (Social Security Service) and the staff of organisations of government social policy.

Apart from the above, four more unions of workers from EOPYY (National Organisation of Health Services), the Ministry of Labour, the National Insurance Fund (for the self employed) and from tax services decided during the summer to call on ADEDY to coordinate and organise an indefinite general strike.

But as long as ADEDY is controlled by the PASOK and ND union factions, it is naïve to expect that it would ever be possible that they will organise any king of struggle that would end up with an indefinite general strike movement with the aim of the overthrowing the ND/PASOK government’s current policies and the government itself.

Therefore it is necessary that the unions that are now in the forefront of the struggle ‘by-pass’ ADEDY, and immediately move in the direction of repeated five day strikes, along with OLME, expand the strike to more sectors and move to the creation of a ‘common centre’ of struggle which will take on the tasks that ADEDY should carry out: coordination, planning and expansion of the mobilisations in other sectors.

The basic precondition for all the above is for the secondary teachers to ‘hold out’, and therefore to give time to more sectors to join the struggle. It is not easy, but there is no other way.

It is of high importance that this struggle is connected with the struggle of ERT [national broadcaster, closed down last summer,] workers. ERT, which is still under workers’ occupation and management, can become the voice of the strike movement.

Workers in the Municipalities, Public Health, Hellenic Vehicle Industry, in the water supply services, the railways etc – Now is the time!

Local municipality workers were among the first to find themselves in the centre of the government’s and Troika’s attacks (and they still are!).

If there is no stop to this storm of ‘Memoranda’ [cuts] school care takers and municipal guards will be followed by thousands more workers, including the key section of the refuse collectors, which due to be handed over to big private capital (the impact of waste management run by ‘national’ mega-contractors will be disastrous for both our pockets, as well as for the environment).

The leaderships of the Union of Local Council Workers do not seem, so far, to be willing to move into a common front with other unions in an attempt to organise aand coordinate more , indefinite strike action of many sectors, in the direction of an indefinite general strike.

Pressure from the rank and file needs to be increased and all the union branches that can, must immediately decide to strike along with OLME – this is the most essential form of pressure.

Public health workers must immediately go into this common strike, fighting against the Memoranda that require that out of 140 hospitals, only 80 should remain open, and that the current 80,000 workforce must be cut to 40,000 by 2015.

The government is scared of the possibility of having to face a broad indefinite strike front and is therefore making various promises and reassuring words to the “endangered” sectors. Up until now, the government ‘promised’ via various members of the Cabinet, that no primary or secondary school teacher, tax worker or public health worker will be sacked. But these are obvious lies, with the aim of breaking the movement and gaining time for the coalition government.

Greek Vehicle Industry, Water Supply, railway and all the utility company workers - who are about to be privatised or closed down - also need to join strike action.

And of course this struggle needs to be supported by the workers in the private sector, the unemployed and the pensioners, by the whole of society, to turn it into an all-out general strike – the only means that we have left to avert the disaster facing working people and to overthrow those that are causing it.

All-out general strike!

Indefinite strike is the strongest weapon that the workers’ movement has against its tyrants.

If this weapon is used “lightly”, without plan and adequate preparation and campaign in the various work places it can fire-back in the hands of those that are holding it. If it used correctly, i.e. if the indefinite strike has massive participation, determination, expands into many sectors and especially is it escalates to an indefinite general strike it can overthrow not only the policies applied but also the government itself.

The leaderships of the GSEE (Greek TUC) and ADEDY (public sector TUC) will not take up the initiative for an indefinite general strike. But, an indefinite general strike can be imposed from below, with the full knowledge that even if the central trade union leaderships are pushed into adopting this proposal, they will do so in order to sabotage it and to lead it to a dead-end and to its defeat. This is why control of the struggle needs to be passed to the hands of the mass movement; with regular general assemblies in every workplace; with democratically elected (and recallable) strike committees (which will control and where needed, replace union NECs); with stewarding teams, with “communication” teams that will answer the mud-slinging of the big TV channel owners and big press publishers that support the government and the Troika, and with a central ‘Coordinating Body of Struggle’, that will not allow the trade union leaderships to abrogate the interests of the movement.

(Translations by Amalia Loizidou and Eleni Vetsika)



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NEWS

Scotland: Indefinite strike by Glasgow Council Homeless workers
01/04/2015, Matt Dobson, Socialist Party Scotland (CWI):
Workers treated unfairly by council for years

South Africa: Cosatu splits as ‘Vavi’ expelled
01/04/2015, WASP (Workers’ and Socialist Party) reporters:
Expulsion opens new chapter in working class struggle

Singapore: Former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew dies
31/03/2015, Ravichandren, CWI Malaysia:
Apologist for neo-liberalism and autocracy

France: Elections punish Valls and Hollande
31/03/2015, Leila Messaoudi, from Gauche Revolutionnaire (CWI France) website (updated 30 March):
Department results show need for fightback against austerity and racism

Venezuela: Alcedo Mora must be found alive!
30/03/2015, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI in Venezuela) reporters:
Urgent need for international solidarity

Netherlands: Election setback for Labour Party
30/03/2015, Pieter Brans, Amsterdam:
Main parties guarantee austerity - A mass party of the Left with a socialist programme needed

Germany: 20,000 people give ECB “the finger”
28/03/2015, by Michael Koschitzki, SAV – Sozialistische Alternative (CWI in Germany):
Big demo and blockade against the reopening of the Central Bank

Video: Interview with a Greek socialist
28/03/2015, Nicos Anastasiades of Xekinima (CWI Greece):
The Syriza government and the Troika and building the Greek Left

South Africa: NUMSA & WASP discuss international experiences of new workers’ parties
27/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
South Africa’s metalworkers union in discussion with WASP and CWI

Obituary: Harald Mahrer (1974-2015)
27/03/2015, Sozialistische LinksPartei (CWI Austria) Reporters:
An active, critical and inspiring comrade

Video: Dave Nellist on Russia Today TV
26/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) standing throughout Britain in May elections

Norway: Lessons of the pilots’ strike
25/03/2015, Elin Gauffin, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
A struggle against outsourcing

China: Demand release of arrested women activists
24/03/2015, Sally Tang Mei-Ching, Socialist Action (CWI in Hong Kong):
Has the commemoration of International Women’s Day also now been outlawed in China?

Sweden: Central bank rates cut "panic measure"
23/03/2015, Per-Åke Westerlund, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI Sweden):
Eurozone’s QE intensifies currency wars

Tunisia: Twenty three killed in terrorist attack
20/03/2015, Statement by CWI-Tunisia:
Down with terror! Down with capitalism!

Ireland North: Public sector workers strike against austerity
18/03/2015, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
For a second day of strike action in the run-up to the May general election!

North Cyprus: New strike wave against cuts
17/03/2015, Özgür İnsanoğlu and Bahtiyar Girne, North Cyprus:
Workers determined to stop austerity

Brazil: Urgent solidarity protests needed
17/03/2015, Translation of a solidarity appeal from the LSR (CWI in Brazil):
Faced with lack of water for the people, Sao Paulo water company SABESP cuts costs, sacks more than 500 workers and victimises trade union activists

Scotland: Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) leaves Solidarity
16/03/2015, Statement from Socialist Party Scotland Executive Committee:
Tommy Sheridan departs from principled socialist position with call for “lending vote" to cuts-making SNP

Britain: What lies behind UKIP?
14/03/2015, Hannah Sell, Socialist Party (CWI in England & Wales):
Its Tory-oriented anti-immigration, anti-EU rhetoric has been adapted to a right-wing populism aimed at winning voters fed up with the political establishment

Ireland North: Massive public sector strike against austerity
13/03/2015, Socialistworld.net:
Socialist MPs in Southern Ireland Parliament send message of support to strikers

Ireland South: Marriage equality referendum set for May
12/03/2015, Helen Redwood, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland):
Poisonous bigotry must be challenged

Ireland North: Stormont government crisis on eve of public sector strike
11/03/2015, Kevin Henry, Socialist Party (CWI Ireland), Belfast:
Struggle can force politicians back from austerity measures

Iran: Independent workers’ organizations statement about minimum wage
11/03/2015, Statement by six Iranian workers’ organizations:
Increasing demands for a living wage

Ireland North: 13 March public sector strike against austerity
10/03/2015, Text of Socialist Party (CWI Ireland) leaflet, Belfast:
Dead-end of rightwing, sectarian politics - new anti-sectarian party which fights for working class needed

Video: Dublin ROSA demonstration on International Women’s Day
10/03/2015, socialistworld.net:
Ruth Coppinger, Socialist Party TD (MP) speaks along with other activists

CWI Comment and Analysis

ANALYSIS

Israel: Netanyahu mobilises far right to win election
25/03/2015, Yasha Marmer, Socialist Struggle Movement, Israel-Palestine:
New coalition will face unresolved crises and bitter struggles

Italy: The instability of domestic capitalism
24/03/2015, Marco Veruggio, ControCorrente (CWI Italy):
Political vacuum pushes FIOM to take initiative

Greece: Varoufakis’ “erratic Marxism” is not the answer
23/03/2015, Peter Taaffe, from Socialism Today (monthly magazine of the Socialist Party, England & Wales):
Necessary to clarify ideas upon which successful struggles of European working class will be conducted

Belgium: No agreement reached between unions and government over austerity
20/03/2015, Eric Byl, LSP/PSL (Belgian section of the CWI), Brussels:
New action plan against right wing government takes off

Ukraine: Conflict unresolved after ’Minsk-2’ agreement
18/03/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
Only independent working-class mass movement can remove the region’s authoritarian rulers

Greece: Syriza’s first months in power
07/03/2015, Andreas Payiatsos, from Xekinima (newspaper of the CWI Greece):
The working class and social movements must enter the struggle for their rights

Quebec: Towards a hot spring
02/03/2015, Deirdre and Bruno, Socialist Alternative (CWI Quebec):
Disrupt them like they disrupt us!

Greece showdown
26/02/2015, Article to be published in the March issue of Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party, CWI in England and Wales):
Niall Mulholland interviewed NICOS ANASTASIADES, of Xekinima (CWI Greece), just as Syriza leaders agreed a four-month bail-out extension with the EU.

Libya: War-torn country becoming new hub for IS activities
25/02/2015, Serge Jordan (CWI):
Libyan people bearing the brunt of NATO’s fiasco

Europe: Eurozone time-bomb
25/02/2015, Lynn Walsh, article from Socialism Today (magazine of the Socialist Party of England and Wales):
Mired in recession, the eurozone is haunted by the spectre of stagnation

Greece: Syriza retreats under Troika threats
24/02/2015, Nicos Anastasiades, Xekinima (CWI Greece), Thessaloniki:
Popular mood shows anti-austerity, socialist policies would win huge support

History: The political legacy of Malcolm X
21/02/2015, Eljeer Hawkins, Socialist Alternative:
50 years after his assassination

Spain: Is ‘Podemos’ the Spanish Syriza?
16/02/2015, Danny Byrne, CWI:
Dangers of “moderation” and domestication

Egypt: Regime brutality on fourth anniversary of revolution
10/02/2015, David Johnson, Socialist Party (CWI England & Wales):
Masses will regain confidence and willingness to fight

Greece: Not a single step back!
08/02/2015, Statement by the Editorial Board of Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Conflict between SYRIZA government and EU escalates

Kurdistan: ‘Islamic State’ driven out of Kobanê
02/02/2015, Serge Jordan, CWI:
Will the end of Kobanê’s siege turn the tide against IS?

Greece: Why did Syriza and the KKE fail to reach agreement?
29/01/2015, Article from Xekhinima (CWI Greece) website [dated 26 January 2015] translated and slightly edited:
For socialist policies to end austerity nightmare!

Greece: Syriza comes to power, as old ruling parties collapse
27/01/2015, Niall Mulholland, socialistworld.net, interviews Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Left parties fail to form government - Syriza goes into coalition with populist right Independent Greeks

Cuba: Diplomatic relations with US restored, embargo eased
24/01/2015, Tony Saunois, CWI:
Threat of capitalist restoration accelerates

Russia/Ukraine: Facing a turbulent 2015
21/01/2015, Rob Jones, CWI, Moscow:
As death toll rises, economies plunge into freefall

Greece: Prospect of Syriza victory raises workers’ hopes
20/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, from Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
Mass intervention of working class to struggle for socialist policies is vital

Nigeria: The Massacre in Baga
19/01/2015, H.T Soweto, DSM (CWI in Nigeria):
Socialism or Barbarism

Germany: What is behind the ‘PEGIDA’ anti-immigrant demonstrations?
13/01/2015, Wolfram Klein, Socialist Alternative (SAV- CWI Germany):
Unions and Left must organise against racism and for jobs and decent living standards for all

Greece: Towards a Syriza government?
08/01/2015, Interview with Andros Payiatsos, Xekinima (CWI in Greece):
General elections on 25 January