Workers' Struggles

Last weekend, Italy saw one of the biggest demonstrations in the last 20 years as more than 200,000 people rallied for a massive anti-fascist protest in Rome. This was a colossal response to an attack against the national headquarters of the CGIL trade union a week earlier by the neo-fascist organisation Forza Nuova. The sheer scale of this demonstration shows the real strength of the working class. Only class struggle can defeat fascism.

The Turkish working class is beginning to move as a series of strikes and protests spread across the country. Factory workers; textile workers; construction workers; health workers; postal workers; service workers; miners; airline workers; press workers; municipality workers; and more have begun fighting back against union busting, unfair contracts, layoffs, dismissals, and unpaid wages.

The USA has been hit by a ‘Striketober’ of industrial action across a range of sectors: from healthcare to construction; carpentry to coal mining; media to communications; snack foods and cereal manufacturing. In all, 100,000 workers voted to authorise strike action this month.

Since 16 September, more than 2,500 factory workers at the electric appliance company Universal have been engaging in a heroic strike at the industrial zone in 6th of October City, near Cairo. Please read this appeal, and share our solidarity motion (below).

Last week, in a desperate gamble the Bukele government in El Salvador introduced a new Bitcoin Law that will make the volatile cryptocurrency legal tender in the Central American nation. The measure has been extremely unpopular and has met with all manner of technical and political problems. Since the first of these two articles was written, a massive protest of 10,000 people against the Bukele regime took place on 15 September, marking El Salvador’s 200 years of independence. The comrades from the Bloque Popular Juvenil (Salvadorean section of the IMT) participated actively.

A decade after the 2010/11 revolution threw out the hated dictator Ben Ali, a wave of anti-government protest has rocked Tunisia. The government has been ousted in a palace coup, but there can be no faith in any bourgeois faction. The masses can trust only in their own strength. A new revolutionary upsurge by workers and youth is necessary to win a real future. 

The revolution in Myanmar, after months of heroic struggles by the masses, has ebbed. The regime has clamped down brutally, while the protest movement has shifted from mass strikes and demonstrations to small-scale armed skirmishes. The question has to be posed, why have we reached such a situation, and what lessons need to be learned?

On 22 May, 1,400 farmers protested against the lack of permanent access to water in the Iranian province of Isfahan. The regime answered by sending riot police, who brutally beat the farmers, who fought back, leading to clashes. This was not an isolated incident; there is widespread discord among farmers, with recent protests in Khuzestan, Sistan-Balochistan, Khorasan and elsewhere.

Over the last few days, dockworkers of the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) in the port city of Durban have refused to handle cargo from an Israeli ship, in protest against Israel's bombardment of the besieged Gaza strip over the last few weeks. Currently, the ship is still lying in the Durban harbour waiting to take on cargo. 

Protests and strikes are now spreading across every sector of the economy in Iran. There have been at least 100 strikes and protests over the course of the past few months. While not yet on the scale that we have seen in the recent past, pensioners and workers receiving social security have also held weekly protests across the country.

Mass demonstrations were seen in cities across Britain over the weekend, as thousands took to the streets to condemn the crimes of Israeli imperialism, and to show support for the Palestinian liberation struggle. Intifada until victory!

Colombia’s national strike has been ongoing for 13 days now and has managed to secure Finance Minister Alberto Carrasquilla’s resignation and the withdrawal of the tax reform. It is still going strong in the streets, its lungs filled with fresh air. The government attacks the movement in an attempt to destroy it, but it is all in vain; every injury it sustains arouses its fury, develops its consciousness and intensifies its resolve. It is a movement filled with the energy of change that draws strength from the dignity the people have been deprived of for so long.

The movement in Colombia that successfully beat back Duque’s tax theft is at a crucial juncture. Our Colombian comrades have written the following 10 theses for how the struggle must proceed. The logic of this fight is a struggle for power with the regime. The main slogan must be: Duque Out!

The mobilization of the dockers at the Port of Montreal is reaching a critical point. With the strike only beginning, the Trudeau Liberals, with the full support of the CAQ at the provincial level, are moving to take away the democratic right to strike. We cannot let another strike be crushed through the use of back-to-work legislation.

A failed attempt to unionise Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama is a lesson in the need for a bold and effective strategy by the US labour leaders. Even a goliath like Amazon is no match for the power of the working class when effectively organised. The battle goes on!

Jose del Paso and Tom Trottier from Socialist Revolution (the IMT in the USA) interviewed former Amazon employee, Chris Smalls, who was fired following his attempt to organize a strike at one of the company’s Staten Island facilities over health concerns resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. After terminating his job, Amazon attempted to use him as a scapegoat to tarnish organizing efforts by Amazon workers nationwide. Chris went on to found the Congress of Essential Workers, an alliance of workers who fight for higher wages and better working conditions for essential workers.