[Protesters put a truck on fire during the 2-day trade union strike in Noida.]
A union leader was killed in Haryana and factory units damaged in Delhi suburb Noida in sporadic violence on Wednesday as the start of a two-day nationwide strike called by trade unions evoked a mixed response with banking services paralysed and public transport disrupted. Kerala, Tripura and Bihar were among the worst hit states where normal life was thrown out of gear while stray incidents of violence were reported in Odisha and Karnataka. Protest marches were taken out in several cities.Flight and rail operations remained unaffected in the strike called by 11 trade unions against UPA’s economic and alleged anti-labour policies.
Reports from state capitals said financial services were crippled and bus commuters faced difficulties.
In Noida Phase 2 area, workers clashed with factory owners in a hosiery complex and set ablaze vehicles prompting authorities to deploy PAC in the area. Workers went on a rampage and damaged industrial properties, police said.
From Sector 82 till Greater Noida entry point, which is the industrial belt, workers set ablaze a car, bus and a fire engine, police said.
“People just barged in, looted everything in sight and even tore our registers,” an industrialist said while another said every single building in the hosiery complex had their windows broken and many vehicles were set on fire. Continue reading →
S-21/E-42, Indira Kalyan Vihar, Okhla Phase I, New Delhi 110020
PRESS STATEMENT, 19.02.2013: “Observe the Two Day Countrywide Strike on 20-21 February 2013!”
All the central trade unions have come together to call a two-day countrywide strike on 20 and 21 February 2013 in order to demand the fulfilment of a number of pressing issues connected to the lives of the workers and employees in both the organised and unorganised sectors. DGMF is aware that most of these trade unions are affiliated to the same parliamentary parties in power – whether at the centre or in various states – which are directly responsible for implementing anti-worker and anti-people policies. These political parties and their trade unions have repeatedly sacrificed the interests of the working masses of the country without batting an eyelid. In fact, all the parliamentary parties in the country today stand exposed as the agents and the representatives of foreign and domestic big capitalists.
The central trade unions have never seriously challenged the pro-imperialist policies of their mother parties. So to call a two-day strike upholding the rights of the workers is nothing but an eyewash – a move to hoodwink the toiling masses. It is out of popular pressure that these unions had to call a protest action in the form of the strike. The demands articulated by the two-day strike, however, are genuine demands of the workers themselves. DGMF therefore extends its solidarity to the workers’ strike and calls upon the working people of the country to observe the two-day strike. Without being a part of the grand alliance of ruling-class and revisionist trade unions, DGMF along with other revolutionary trade unions of the country has independently issued a strike call for 20 and 21 February 2013, and will strive to successfully implement the strike.
ATHENS, Greece, October 17, 2011 – Greek railway workers and journalists joined ferry crews, garbage collectors, tax officials and lawyers on Tuesday in a strike blitz against yet more austerity measures required if the country is to avoid defaulting on its debts.
The protests will lead into a general strike over the coming two days, culminating on Thursday when Parliament holds a crucial vote on the new painful cutbacks that follow nearly two years of austerity. A similar strike before an austerity bill in June was accompanied by large protest marches which degenerated into street battles between rioters and police.
The highly unpopular new measures include further pension and salary cuts, the suspension on reduced pay of 30,000 public servants out of a total of more than 750,000 and the suspension of collective labor contracts. Continue reading →
COLUMBUS, Ohio — First Wisconsin. Now Ohio and Indiana.
Battles with public employees’ unions spread on Tuesday, with Republican-dominated Legislatures pressing bills that would weaken collective bargaining and thousands of pro-union protesters marching on Capitol buildings in Columbus and Indianapolis.
After a week of upheaval in Madison, Wis., where the thumping din of protesters has turned almost celebratory, the battle moved to Ohio, where the Legislature held hearings on a bill that would effectively end collective bargaining for state workers and drastically reduce it for local government employees like police officers and firefighters.
Several thousand pro-union protesters filled a main hall of the state courthouse in Columbus and gathered in a large crowd outside, chanting “Kill the bill,” waving signs and playing drums and bagpipes. There were no official estimates, but the numbers appeared to be smaller than those in Madison last week. One Democratic state legislator put the figure at 15,000. Continue reading →
[An impressive mobilization of trade union numbers, but where it will lead depends on the role, actions, and influence of radical activists. As this al-Jazeera article points out, “Workers’ unions may have considerable political influence, but historically youth protest have contributed significantly toward bringing down government reforms….More than 150 young people were detained across the country on Friday, according to the interior ministry. Both students and police have been injured, and the ministry has urged police to exercise restraint…Juliane Charton, the treasurer for the UNL, a leading student union, said the government was choosing repression over dialogue with the student movement.”–ed.]
al-Jazeera, 16 Oct 2010
Protests attack France pension plan
The battle over a planned overhaul of France’s pension system has intensified, with
Protesters in Paris as part of a national day of mass rallies against pension reforms
hundreds of thousands of people taking part in the latest of a series of protests across the country.
Labour unions said that more than 2.5 million people joined the demonstrations on Saturday as strikes shut down oil refineries, sparking fears of a petrol shortage, and temporarily cut supplies to Paris’s airports.
“Both sides seem to be really digging their heels in. [President] Sarkozy wants people to know he’s not giving into pressure from the street,” Al Jazeera’s Jacky Rowland, reporting from the French capital, said.
A broad alliance of unions, left-wing parties and students warned that another nationwide protest will be held on Tuesday in a final attempt to stop the legislation, which would raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 and see state pensions not awarded until aged 67, ahead of a government vote on Wednesday. Continue reading →