International unions

Mass arrests in Hong Kong

Prominent trade union leaders were amongst the 53 activists arrested in Hong Kong on the early morning of Wednesday 6 January 2021. Carol Ng, the chair of the HKCTU and Winnie Yu, chair of the most vibrant new health workers' union, the HAEA, were amongst them.

General strike in India

On 26 November many tens of millions of workers took part in a general strike against India’s far-right government. Indian unions gave a figure of 250 million. Alongside its fascistic Hindu-chauvinist and anti-migrant policies, which it has intensified during the pandemic, Narenda Modi’s regime has consistently pursued an aggressively neoliberal, anti-working class economic and social agenda. The strike, also backed by a mass farmers’ mobilisation, demanded the withdrawal of Modi’s anti-worker changes to labour law, expansion of social provision, the restoration of subsidies and price...

US unionists pass historic general strike vote

This report from Daniel Randall as Assistant Chair of the Bakerloo branch of the RMT rail union is taken, with thanks, from RMT London Calling, the website of RMT London Transport Region.. Three activists from the RMT Bakerloo branch attended, via Zoom, the Saturday 21 November convention of the Vermont State Labour Council (AFL-CIO) as observers. The convention was attended by nearly 100 delegates and guests, from local union branches and campaign groups, as well as a number of elected city councillors. As a state-wide federation, the rough equivalent to the Vermont AFL-CIO in the British...

French teachers strike

School teachers in France struck on 10 November to demand better virus controls in schools. Their demands included: • Rota systems, with students in school half-time, to allow half-size classes • More staff, again to facilitate smaller classes • Better ventilation and cleaning • Free masks. (Masks are compulsory in French schools). Unions report a 45% turnout for the strike from junior high schools and 20% from primary. In some areas students blockaded senior high schools in the days before the strike as an act of solidarity. On 5 November, the government tried to deflect the strike by...

US workers plan for Trump coup

Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants, has been vocal about workers' action to block a Trump coup Last week we interviewed David Van Deusen, President of Vermont State Labor Council (AFL-CIO), about their plans for strikes if Donald Trump attempts to steal the election. On 30 October, the Labor Council reported on a discussion organised by the new Labor Action to Defend Democracy coalition: “Vermont AFL-CIO was pleased to be on a zoom call with 99 key labour leaders from around the US tonight in order to discuss our role in the defense of democracy should there be a...

Belarus: solidarity and "imperialism"

A few days ago, following up on a suggestion I made to LabourStart’s mailing list that people try out the secure messaging app Telegram, I received an interesting question. I had mentioned that pro-democracy protestors in Belarus and Hong Kong were using the app intensively. The question I received was: “Is Telegram also being used in Bolivia?” When I replied that I didn’t know, my correspondent replied: “It’s just that it’s used in two places where the imperialist states are very much involved against the government.” Leftists who see Belarus and Hong Kong as countries under some kind of...

"If Trump attempts a coup, all bets are off"

David Van Deusen is president of the Vermont State Labor Council AFL-CIO, the state's union federation. He spoke to Sacha Ismail from Solidarity about how the labour movement can resist a Trump coup. There’s a real possibility that Donald Trump will lose this election, outright, but manipulate the process and use his powers as President to refuse to go. This is not a fringe idea – our United States Senator, Bernie Sanders, is rightly banging the drum about it too. It’s a real possibility, and no joke. There’s various ways it could happen – there could be attempts to discount certain ballots...

Letters: Marsha de Cordova and the Equalities Act; On-the-spot strikes

My article last week referred to a tweeted comment by Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Marsha de Cordova, and her failure to respond to calls to apologise. It’s worth spelling out the detail. The Law Society had published some good guidance on how to support gender-transitioning employees. A transphobic response was published by a blog called “Roll on Friday”. It criticised the Law Society for saying transitioning employees should be able to use the toilet that they are comfortable using, saying that it meant abolishing “single sex spaces” and implying that it went against the Equality...

Howie Hawkins interview, part 2: "We need a left party that organises in the unions"

Howie Hawkins, a socialist running in the US presidential election on the ticket of the Green Party, spoke to Stephen Wood from Solidarity. Part 1 of this interview was in Solidarity 567. Workers’ Liberty backs Hawkins in the election. Bernie Sanders, during the Democratic primaries, was clear about his policies. But it looks like now he’s making almost no demands on Biden? Bernie Sanders is saying if we get Joe Biden in there, we can push him. But in the course of this campaign, he’s compromised on his signature issue, Medicare for All. He went on MSNBC and said: I’m willing to compromise to...

Why American unions back Biden

• See here for other articles debating the US election, Trump, etc. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is “lamentable”, “utterly useless”, a “creep” and a “shit”. Those are not the words of Donald Trump, but they are all used in an article in this newspaper last week. The author of that article, it seems, does not like Joe Biden. He prefers that American workers throw their support behind the little-known candidate of the Green Party, Howie Hawkins. American trade unionists have a rather different view of the former Vice President. They are throwing everything they have into ensuring...

This website uses cookies, you can find out more and set your preferences here.
By continuing to use this website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions.