One of the world's largest ever strikes began at midnight on Monday 27th Feb and will end at midnight tonight. Up to 100,000,000 Indian workers from different sectors and industries are calling for a national minimum wage, permanent jobs, and much more.
As reported by libcom blogger working class self organisation in January:
Why do we need a general strike?
Two things are essential to the production of all goods; materials, such as machinery and land, and labour, or the effort of humans. In our society there are a number of ways to make a living.
Chapter 4 of "Wobblies on the waterfront-interracial unionism in progressive-era Philadelphia" by Peter Cole, an excellent text about the American IWW in the early 20th century, and interestingly about some Wobblies' support of World War I.
This text is being put online for two reasons. Firstly, it's to draw attention to Peter Cole's splendid book about the IWW on the Philadelphia docks in the 1910s and 1920s.
On February 28th 2012 over 100,000,000 Indian workers will come out on strike. Workers from many unions and sectors are trying to gain improvements in areas such as, pay, pensions, and employment rights.
The strike has been called because workers have said 'enough is enough', after two years of the government refusing to negotiate with unions on any issue.
Nigerian unions have called off their national strike after a turbulent week. The Nigerian government have been forced into a partial climbdown, and have reinstated 60% of the fuel subsidies that they scrapped at the start of the year.
The Brotherhood of Timber Workers 1910-1913: A radical response to industrial capitalism in the southern USA
A journal article by James R. Green on the the violent struggle between the Brotherhood of Timber Workers (BTW) and the lumber companies of Louisiana and Texas in 1911 and 1912. The Brotherhood, which joined the IWW in 1912, recruited thousands of black and white labourers in an era characterized by increasing social segregation and racial repression.
Nigerian unions have issued the government with an ultimatum. Either re-introduce the fuel subsidy that was scrapped at the beginning of the month, or the strikes will escalate to Nigeria's oil production.
Oil production accounts for 40% of GDP, and any such move would cripple the already fragile economy. The unions have suspended strikes, demonstrations, and rallies, for two days, in order to give the government time to consider the ultimatum.
The launch of what unions have labelled an 'indefinite' strike in Nigeria, has led to many injuries and deaths as security forces clash with strikers and protestors. Despite Nigeria having substantial oil reserves, petrol prices have more than doubled in a week, in a country where the vast majority of the population live on less than $2 a day.
In the summer of 1842 a great wave of strikes engulfed Lancashire and Yorkshire. The wave began in the Staffordshire coalfield in July when the miners went on strike for fewer hours and more pay. They also linked economic with political demands when a meeting passed a resolution stating that “nothing but the People’s Charter can give us a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work’.” Miners marched from pit to pit spreading the strike as far north as Stockport.
Cotton masters in Stalybridge and Ashton-under-Lyne gave notice that they intended to reduce wages by 25%. A mass meeting was held in Ashton on 26 July which was addressed by two Chartists and this was followed by other local meetings.