Following violent clashes over the decision to dismiss hundreds of unionised workers and replace them with unaffiliated workers, locals in the Odisha region of India have forced the closure of seven large open cast coal mines, and two railway stations. 1,000 local workers ransacked the management offices and fought running battles with workers who remain loyal to the bosses.
Over forty mining vehicles have been set on fire and destroyed, and railway tracks have been damaged to prevent the transportation of coal. Several hundred police officers have been drafted into the village to try and regain control.
300 miners across two shifts at a mine in the Black Sea area of Zonguldak have barricaded themselves underground in protest at atrocious health and safety. Turkey has the worst mine safety record across all of Europe, with 2,554 miners losing their lives since 1991. They have vowed to continue their protest until the demands have been met.
The protest was initiated by workers on the night shift , and then gained widespread support from those who were due to work the day shift. Around 2000 workers who did not wish to go underground have been conducting a protest outside the mine in solidarity with their colleagues.
Beyond Thatcher : militant testimonies on miners’ struggles and British syndicalism from yesterday and today
This year, Margaret Thatcher’s death reminded us of the economic policies she initiated in Britain and her anti-social and anti-union fights. In the last months, Autre Futur [French syndicalist website and association] wished to go further and to conduct a series of interviews with different British unionists and syndicalists, about these past struggles but also about the present, in order to get a better grasp of issues which have emerged in recent decades.
The relevance of these testimonies and thoughts have been shown to go beyond the British context and remind us the importance of a greater international cooperation and solidarity in the face of life and working conditions’ deterioration.
Issue of Solidarity published by Solidarity (South London) on 4 July 1969 with articles about Kingsnorth, keystone cops, Fiat workers and the Ilford squatters' struggle and more.
Squatters' last stand - on the Ilford squatters struggle
Fiat workers see through unions - on the autonomous struggle of Fiat workers in Italy
Jeremy Brecher's account of the strike wave in American mines from 1919 to 1922, where coalminers fought the bosses, the government and even the unions often pitched battles involving guns, dynamite and even a makeshift air force.
Most protracted of all the US industrial disputes of 1919 was the mass strike in the coal fields, with sporadic strikes, national strikes, and armed battles running from 1919 into 1922.
Over 300 precarious chemical workers have walked off the job at the Fajir petrochemical plant in Iran. They are protesting against a lack of job security, unpaid salaries of up to 22 months, broken promises on pay rises and permanent contracts, and health and safety issues.
Abbas Rezai, a local union activist reports that: