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latest news

Greece
H&M workers score victory against management plans

28/03/2017: Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

  Greece

 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

South Africa

Metalworkers’ union expelled from COSATU

www.socialistworld.net, 25/11/2014
website of the committee for a workers' international, CWI

Rebuild the trade union movement on socialist principles!

WASP Reporters

The pro-African National Congress (ANC) right-wing of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) leadership has accomplished what the apartheid regime could not and split the 2.2 million-strong trade union federation. On the night of 7/8 November – dubbed the ‘night of the long knives’ in the press – Cosatu’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) voted 33 to 24 in favour of expulsion of the metalworkers’ union NUMSA. This action was taken to punish NUMSA for their December 2013 decision to break with the ANC and the steps they have taken toward the creation of a socialist political alternative. For the ANC, the split in Cosatu is a disaster. Their strategy to turn Cosatu into a ‘labour desk’ of the ANC has failed and NUMSA has been put beyond their reach. In their attempts to subordinate Cosatu within the Alliance and neuter working class resistance they have inadvertently accelerated the re-emergence of the working class as an independent political force.

In NUMSA general secretary Irvin Jim’s marathon three hour presentation to the CEC, refuting every charge and accusation levelled at NUMSA, he summarised precisely why NUMSA was being targeted, when he said, “You want to expel us because we constantly remind you how you are failing to protect the interests of the working class”. Jim further warned that, “inside or outside Cosatu, we will not stop mobilising the working class on the road to socialism. We will not give you any peace as we expose the miserable failure of the class alliance you are entangled in and how it compromises your ability to lead the working class.”

The split

Heeding the call, on 10 November a further seven of Cosatu’s 19 affiliates suspended themselves from participation in Cosatu’s leadership structures in solidarity with NUMSA. The unions are the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU), the South African Football Players Union (SAFPU), the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa), the Public and Allied Workers Union (PAWUSA), the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the South African State and Allied Workers Union (SASAWU) and the South African Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (SACCAWU). At Cosatu’s press conference, on 11 November, which formally announced the expulsion, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi was absent. An ally of NUMSA, Vavi later released a letter opposing the expulsion. He is next in the firing-line of the right-wing, and the next CEC on 19 November will discuss reinstating the charges that led to his suspension from August 2013 to April 2014. As with NUMSA, the real reason for the attack on Vavi has been his vocal criticism of the pro-capitalist policies of the ANC government.

The unions whose ‘leaders’ voted for NUMSA’s expulsion are riddled with corruption and splits and do not have the support of their members for their actions against NUMSA. The general secretary of the transport union SATAWU recently appeared in leg irons in the commercial crimes court charged with theft but is still in office and welcome at Cosatu meetings. The CEPPAWU leadership has not convened a national executive for over two years in order to protect their positions. Several CEPPAWU regions have publicly voiced their opposition to the leadership’s support for the right-wing in the course of Cosatu’s crisis.

Splits in these unions are likely and some are already underway. The former president of the pro-ANC led South African Democratic Teachers Union (SADTU) is pioneering the launch of a new public sector trade union after being expelled this year for his support for Vavi. The potential exists to create a new trade union federation, replacing the class collaboration of the Tripartite Alliance, with the principles of working class political independence and socialism. The possibility has been acknowledged by FAWU deputy general secretary Moleko Pakhedi, at the press conference of ‘the seven’ on 10 November.

The seven NUMSA allies are resuming their court action to force the convening of a Special National Congress of Cosatu. A special congress could elect a new leadership and reinstate NUMSA. For that reason the demand has been refused by the right-wing for over 18 months despite the criteria for convening a special congress having been met. The right-wing will continue to resist this and block NUMSA’s return. A new scab metal industry union – the Metal & Allied Workers Union of South Africa (MAWUSA) – is expecting to complete its registration with the department of labour by year end. Founded by former NUSMA president Cedric Gina, who abandoned NUMSA just before its 2013 special congress, they have requested admittance to Cosatu.

The blame for the break-up of Cosatu lies with the right-wing. They have betrayed every principle of working class political independence, workers’ control and socialism. All that remains within Cosatu of the traditions that gave birth to the federation in the 1980s battle against apartheid is the name.

Bold action necessary

We support the efforts of NUMSA and its seven allies to continue the battle for a special congress. However, time must not be lost in laying the basis for a new socialist trade union federation should that battle fail. NUMSA has already announced it will go ahead with the national launch of its United Front, which WASP participates in, on 13-16 December. NUMSA is also convening mass meetings of its members and shop stewards across the country with an invitation to all Cosatu members to participate whether or not their leaders voted for the expulsion. They have also said their members should continue to attend Cosatu structures. This is the correct strategy as it is absolutely crucial that workers and rank-and-file members are drawn into active participation in the re-moulding of the labour movement.

But more, the Workers and Socialist Party (WASP) believes that out of these meetings a date should be set early in the New Year for a conference to discuss the way forward for the trade union movement. This should be open, not just to NUMSA and its allies, but members and structures of other Cosatu affiliates, affiliates of the Nactu trade union federation, independent unions and groups of unorganised workers struggling to found new unions.

WASP has consistently raised the idea of a Socialist Trade Union Network based on such broad forces. The time for such an initiative is here and could be launched from the conference we are proposing. The immediate task would be to rally those forces in the trade union movement genuinely committed to socialism and worker-controlled trade unions and bring the full force of the organised working class to bear in the battle to reclaim Cosatu. Such a Network could overcome the paralysis of working class struggle created by Cosatu’s crisis and give a lead in the looming public sector wage struggle, the struggle to enforce the wage settlement in the metal industry and the struggle to scrap e-tolls. It would simultaneously lay the basis for greater unity and cooperation with non-Cosatu unions should that battle to reclaim Cosatu succeed or bring together the forces that could be the basis for a new trade union federation should that battle fail.

Linked to the building of working class unity around a strategy of class struggle must be the creation of a mass workers’ party with a socialist programme. A mass workers’ party could unite organised labour with the communities and the youth by expressing the general interests of the working class – the creation of a socialist society. This is the greatest fear of the capitalist class and their political representatives in the ANC and South Africa Communist Party (SACP). But the opportunity must be boldly seized. We call on all those who support this strategy to participate in NUMSA’s United Front and to join WASP and work with us to help bring such a party into being, as part of the struggle for a socialist South Africa and a socialist world.



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NEWS

Greece: H&M workers score victory against management plans
28/03/2017, Statement (slightly edited) by Xekinima (CWI Greece):
Despite very difficult times, struggle can bring results

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?

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