International unions

Losing the “climate election”

Author

Janet Burstall

The Australian Labor Party’s climate action platform for the May 2019 Federal Election was the most ambitious yet. Pre-election polls showed climate change was a high priority for voters.

The Liberal-National coalition was divided on climate action. Climate-change deniers controlled the party room, and had elected Scott Morrison as leader, an MP who had famously cradled a lump of coal in parliament to show his support for coal-fired power. Yet Labor lost the election.

May Day arrests in Iran

Following a call by four independent labour organisations, Trade Union of the Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company, Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane Workers’ Union, Coordination Committee for Establishing Labour Organisations and the Retirement Alliance, workers, teachers, students and pensioners demonstrated outside the Iranian regime’s "parliament" on May Day.

The regime’s response was to arrest a large number of demonstrators.

Iran: free jailed worker activists!

Esmail Bakhshi, a leader of the workers at the big Haft Tappeh Sugar Cane complex in south west Iran, has been in jail since 20 January.

His family says he is ill and not getting medical care. They fear for his life.

Sepideh Gholian, an activist and journalist who supported the sugar cane workers in a long-running series of strikes demanding unpaid wages and workers’ control over the enterprise, has also been jailed since 20 January.

Working as a CSA in São Paolo

Submitted by Tubeworker on Wed, 20/02/2019 - 21:35

JB, a worker-militant working on the railway in São Paolo, Brazil, recently visited London, and spoke to a number of radical workers' organisations including Tubeworker and the Angry Workers of the World. He is involved with the Invisíveis collective.

He wrote a document describing his experiences as a worker, and outlining his perspectives for struggle. They are not perspectives Tubeworker would entirely share, but we republish them here (with the author's permission) in the interests of making links between transport worker-militants internationally. The document was originally published in Portuguese by the Passa Palavra website.

The document is available here as a PDF.

Tubeworker also spoke to JB about his thoughts on the situation for workers' struggle in Brazil following the election of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro. He told us:

"There's no doubt that we're in a very bad moment. There are widespread fears about what Bolsonaro's presidency might lead to, in terms of an increase in violence against workers, the left, and minority groups and so on, and these are fears that I share. There is a growing reactionary movement in society. Bolsonaro has talked semi-explicitly about armed struggle, and he will facilitate people getting guns more easily.

"I don't believe the institutions of the official left, the unions and the Workers' Party (PT), are part of the solution. They have been part of the administration of the state. Bolsonaro's working-class supporters are in part reacting to the institutionalisation of the left, and the fact that the left defends the system. They saw a vote for Bolsonaro as a way of creating a rupture with that system.

"Appeals to an abstract 'anti-fascism' won't help us. We have to get serious about practical organisation against the threat of fascism, including talking seriously about self-defence. We need to build a movement that can address the social grievances the Bolsonaro movement exploits. Not all of his supporters are convinced fascists, and working-class people who voted him could be reached by a genuinely revolutionary working-class movement that presents an independent alternative."

Attachment Size
CPTM - trad inglês.pdf(305.32 KB) 305.32 KB
Tubeworker topics
Around the world

The Yellow Vests: potentials and dangers

Author

Michael Elms

The Yellow Vests (Gilets Jaunes) movement, now fourteen weeks old, drew thousands of protestors onto the streets of France on 16 February. Although the latest demonstrations fell short of the estimated 50,000 who came out the week before, the movement shows little sign of stopping.

7,000 jailed in Iran

Author

Colin Foster

Esmail Bakhshi and Sepideh Gholian, are still in Iran’s jails but Ali Nejati has been allowed into hospital. Bakhshi is a leader of the Haft Tappeh sugar¬cane workers, in south¬west Iran; Nejati, a former leader of those sugar¬cane workers; Gholian, a social activist and supporter of the workers. All three are known to have been tortured in jail, and their jailing is part of a response by the Iranian government to action by the sugar¬cane workers, and by steelworkers in nearby Ahvaz, which has seen dozens jailed and then released since late last year.

General strike in India

Author

K R Shyam Sundar

These excerpts from an article by K R Shyam Sundar in the Mumbai Economic and Political Weekly (19 January) give information on the recent general strike in India.

The joint platform of Central Trade Unions comprising 10 unions conducted a general strike on 8 and 9 January 2019.

Since 1991, the CTUs have conducted 18 countrywide work stoppages and multiple forms of protests...
apart from concerted strikes at the industry level, like banks, insurance, etc, against the economic and labour
policies of the central government...

Mass strike wave in Zimbabwe

Author

Rhodri Evans

Police and soldiers have killed at least a dozen people, wounded scores and arrested hundreds since mass strikes and demonstrations began on 14 January against the government of Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Mnangagwa, a long­time sidekick of the former liberation fighter turned despot Robert Mugabe, eased the 94 ­year-­old Mugabe out of office in November 2017, but has continued a regime very like Mugabe’s corrupt and autocratic crony capitalism.

Bakhshi and Gholian jailed again

Author

Gerry Bates

At 23:55 on Sunday 20 January, a large number of armed men in 15 SUV patrol cars descended on Esmail Bakhshi’s home and detained him.

Bakhshi is a representative of the Haft Tappeh sugar­cane workers, in south­west Iran, who have recently been in dispute over unpaid wages and control of the sugar­cane complex. He was previously jailed on 18 November, and released on bail on 12 December.

Trump holds USA hostage

Author

Eduardo Tovar

As of Monday 14 January, the US federal government has been partly closed for 24 days — the longest shutdown in the nation’s history. Federal agencies that provide services deemed essential are still running, but “nonessential” services, including those relating to scientific research, food inspection, and the maintenance of national parks, have stopped completely.

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