Revolt and Counter-Revolution, from Greece to Syria; Here Come the Reformers; Women’s Freedom; Against Racism
The first national oil refinery strike since 1980 manifested safety-related demands by the workers and garnered much labor, community, and environmentalist support.
The recent wave of strikes at Walmart and fast food restaurants signals the discontent brewing among the growing number of low-wage U.S. workers. They give notice that the far-reaching restructuring of jobs that was accelerated by the Great Recession also has a subjective side of revolt.
A week of strikes and demonstrations at Walmarts across the country peaked with events in 20 cities on June 4 alone. Chants of “Respect! Now!” joined the official demands of “$25,000 per year and enough hours to support our families” and an end to retaliation against workers who strike or speak up.
Workers in the state-controlled textile industry, mostly women workers, and public transport workers, sanitation workers, office workers, doctors, and even policemen launched a wave of strikes that caused Egypt’s Prime Minister and his entire cabinet to resign.
Oakland, Cal.—“One day longer, one day stronger!” shouted a transit worker to kick off a noon rally on Oct. 18 at Oakland’s Lake Merritt BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) station. SEIU (Service Employees Int’l Union) Local 1021 and ATU (Amalgamated Transit Union) Local 1555 had shut down the trains shortly after midnight.
Several hundred rallied in support of Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) workers trying to negotiate a contract with a modest raise and no more takeaways.
ATU orders bus drivers back to work: The strikers kept up the picket lines through a cold New York winter, defying rain, snow, and Bloomberg. The decision to order the drivers and matrons back to work in February came without any input from the strikers.
Workers struck at Walmart in Pico Rivera, Calif., on Nov. 20, demanding an end to retaliation against workers who speak out. On Nov. 23, the day after Thanksgiving, demonstrations [=>]
Oakland, Calif.—On Aug. 24, 100 activists converged on Oscar Grant Plaza to express solidarity with the South African miners’ struggle in Marikana and outrage over the police slaughter of 34 striking workers at Lonmin Platinum Mine there. Signs read: “This Was Not An Aberration” and “Capitalism Requires [=>]
Workers who created a wave of strikes in China from auto and electronics to steel over the past two years have confronted the power of private capital, the state and the Communist Party. In 2011 alone, China’s State Council acknowledged 500 large-scale “mass incidents” per day, including peasant resistance to land grabs as well as [=>]
Oakland, Calif.—Sutter Health nurses throughout Northern California walked off the job for one day on June 13. Hundreds of nurses and some doctors marched and rallied in front of Oakland’s Summit Medical Center and Berkeley’s Alta Bates Hospital.
Summit will not even renew the previous contract because they insist on a number [=>]
On Dec. 9, prisoners throughout Georgia began the largest prisoner strike in U.S. history. They refused to leave their cells for work or other activities, dubbed their strike a “Lockdown for Liberty,” and released a humanist statement of demands. These included: a living wage for work done; educational opportunities; humane health care; an end to [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters: “Superheroes in Honeywell lockout” – Metropolis, Ill. at the uranium conversion plant.
Superheroes in Honeywell lockout
Metropolis, Ill.–As you approach the tiny town of Metropolis, as far as 25 miles out you begin to see the lawn signs declaring “Proud Supporter of USW Local 7-669.”
Metropolis is known as [=>]
From the Nov.-Dec. 2010 issue of News & Letters:
French workers vs. state and union leaders
What follows are excerpts from an in-person report.
Montpellier, France–People ask me what it’s like living in France during these massive one-day strikes and popular mobilizations against the conservative Sarkozy government’s pension “reforms.” These cuts would push the minimum retirement age from [=>]