A 24-hour general strike protesting the government’s austerity policies largely paralysed Portugal on Wednesday, with planes grounded, trains cancelled and rubbish going uncollected.
Unions hailed the action as a massive success. The national strike is Portugal’s first since 2007, and the first called jointly by the two big trade union confederations, CGTP and UGT, in 22 years.
Here are three documents we translated in English and that seem to us to be important. We would like to apologize for the mistakes in translations, which sometimes sound as “Frenglish”, but it’s the concern for internationalism that prevails.
The State and Bosses only understand one Language… (1)
Strike, Blockage, Sabotage
The French Caribbean departments of Guadeloupe, Martinique & French Guyana officially, through the LKP ( a vast coordination of parties, unions, local community groups etc.), went on a one-day General Strike today, called as a warning of a more extensive one to start on 14th December in protest against the rising cost of petrol, electricity, food and water. There was a large demonstration in the capital Pointe-à-Pitre. These areas are part of French territory and are ruled by the French State, though with a tradition of struggle usually independent of the struggles of the mainland.
Mouvement Communiste report their impressions of the past several weeks of struggles in France.
This is based on eye witness accounts, testimony of comrades and friends and cross checking with the media. It cannot pretend to be a complete account but it gives you an idea of how we understand things.
We have seen a growing number of demonstrators in many towns and cities of France in demonstrations called by the unions and supported by official left-wing parties. But on the side of working class strikes the figure is not so bright.
Yesterday - 12th October - there was a General Strike in France - the third in 5 weeks (the others were Sept. 7th , & Sept. 23rd (see Developing Struggles in France). Possibly as many as 3,500,000 marched in the streets for the withdrawal of the extension of the retirement age from 60 to 62 or from 65 to 67 for those only eligible for State pensions.
The strike was pretty extensive, effecting both French and international capital (for example, Ryanair alone had to cancel over 230 flights).
Description of the 1891 miner's strikes for the eight-hour day in Iowa. From underground newspaper Free Flowing (February 1977), published out of Ames, Des Moines and Iowa City.
"Labor is the creator of all wealth," argued one What Cheer miner during the 1891 statewide strike for the eight-hour day. "They rob us while producing their wealth." The anonymous miner had a good deal of evidence to back up his claim of robery.
The CNT of Spain discuss the recent campaign against unionism in Spain, while distinguishing genuine revolutionary unionism from the collaborationist unionism of the majority unions in Spain.
It’s clear that a complete campaign, orchestrated by unnumerable sections of the media, dedicated to discrediting what is commonly understood by “unionism”; a campaign that has been noted as ruthless by one of the leaders of the CCOO [one of Spain’s two major union confederations], given that it is principally against this organization as well as the UGT [Spain’s other major union confederation] t
The CNT of Madrid are calling for participation in the September 29 general strike while noting the dangerous possibility that the state-sponsored unions who are calling the strike may call if off if asked to "negotiate".
There's no doubting that we have more than enough reasons to strike. The politicians and employers have been burning us for two years. First they gorged themselves on redundancies while turning all of the public dough into a fine cake for the banks and businesses, until unemployment arrived at almost five million people.
The Spanish anarcho-syndicalist union the CNT is calling for a nationwide walkout against the government's new labor law reform.
Their press release stated:
The labor reform that the PSOE [Spanish Socialist Party] intends to introduce will be the greatest act of aggression against the rights of workers since the transition to democracy.
We must use the one-day strike as a trigger for later and broader mobilisations.
7th September 2010 - In response to the government's proposal to raise the pension age from 60 to 62, French workers have held widespread strikes that brought severe disruption to the French economy.
French unions have claimed that up to three million people have taken part in street protests amid a national strike against France's economic policies.
Police gave an estimate of 1.2 million people at rallies nationwide.
Schools have been closed and public transport disrupted, with demonstrations held in about 200 towns.