Workers' Struggles

Ruthless British Airways bosses are set to cut thousands of jobs at the airline, using the pretext of the pandemic to undermine workers’ wages and conditions. The labour movement must fight for nationalisation and workers’ control.

Indian workers face illegal pay cuts and layoffs at the hands of their unscrupulous bosses, working hand-in-hand with a yellow union. Meanwhile, the regional and central governments are using the COVID-19 crisis as cover to sneak in attacks on the working-class. Defend wages and workers’ rights!

In the last week, over 20,000 workers took to the streets of Bangladesh to demand their wages after clothes factories stopped paying their staff due to a lack of orders. With the global coronavirus pandemic causing fashion retailers such as H&M, Walmart and Tesco to cancel their orders, many workers in Bangladeshi factories have gone up to two months without receiving any income. Now, in defiance of the nationwide lockdown, workers have organised massive protests demanding their money and risking infection to fight the bosses.

The 73 years that have passed since the transfer of power from British India to the native ruling classes of the Indian subcontinent has not alleviated the dire poverty, misery and exploitation of the vast masses of populace, and in particular the sanitation workers.

In November 2018, the British management of Luxfer Group announced the closure of its factory in Gerzat, in the department of Puy-de-Dôme. This despite the fact that the site was turning a profit and receiving many orders. The factory, which manufactured oxygen tanks, shut down in 2019, which led to an important mobilisation by the workers. The health crisis triggered by the coronavirus has given new meaning to their struggle.

Interview with Axel Peronczyk, CGT shop steward from the Luxfer factory in Gerzat.

Nursing homes are one of the most critical areas of care in the coronavirus pandemic, making them one of the most dramatic points of struggle in the current period. The situation in Madrid is especially dire, revealing the magnitude of the problem with absolute clarity. As of 26 March (the day on which the latest data was released), 50 percent of the 2,090 deaths registered in Madrid came from nursing homes. This compelled the army to intervene, which at once began to search for corpses abandoned in these homes. Today, La Sexta cited a shocking report according to which 3,000 of the 10,000 deceased in the entire country are old people coming from said residences. We interviewed Nuria,

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A series of wildcat strikes in the USA and elsewhere, including from non-unionised workers, shows the working class is not going to passively allow the bosses to sacrifice their health for profit. The COVID-19 pandemic is helping millions of workers understand their power in society as the sole producers of wealth, and despite the limitations of their leadership, they're ready to fight!

The comrades of the IMT in Italy, Sinistra Classe Rivoluzione launched a campaign, “Workers are not cannon fodder” for the closure of all non-essential production, with the workers to be sent home on full pay, and where work is deemed essential for full protective equipment to be provided and safety procedures strictly adhered to. Their campaign appeal saw over 200 trade union shop stewards and activists sign up immediately, and more workers are signing every day. Add your name to show your support!

This evening, at 7pm Italian time (6pm BST), an online meeting is taking place, with some key trade union activists taking part, to discuss the way forward in the important struggle of the Italian workers. A simultaneous translation into English will be provided for an international audience. We invite you to tune in and listen to the proceedings of this important meeting right here on marxist.com, or on our YouTube channel.

Following the government’s lockdown decree, all non-essential production is supposed to be stopped. But Tory ministers have been purposefully evasive and ambiguous about whether this applies to construction sites, which are a breeding ground for disease and contagion.

The following open letter was issued by workers of the Hotel Transamérica chain in Brazil, who are putting out a series of demands to ensure their safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faced with strike action by the working class and pressure from the bosses, the Italian government has flip-flopped on shutting down non-essential production to fight the coronavirus pandemic. Now the workers in Lombardy are preparing a general strike, with other parts of the country set to follow. A stormy new period is being prepared.

Strikes have broken out in several Amazon warehouses in France, to demand the closure of the sites and full payment of wages. Gregory Lavainne, activist and delegate from the UNSA trade union on the ORY1 site in Saran (close to Orléans), explains the situation.

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