metals

Fighting back in Ukraine - Oleg Dubrovskii with Simon Pirani

pamphlet cover

This short pamphlet was put together by Simon Pirani in 1996/7 from a series of interviews with Ukrainian worker activist Oleg Dubrovskii. It’s of general interest in relation to the way that life for the workers changed when the old Soviet Union disintegrated, but also provides some useful background information to what’s happening in the Ukraine today.

It’s always useful to remind ourselves that the class struggle is lurking in the shadows, even in situations where national divisions appear to be far more significant than class ones.

Security guards murder locals scavenging for gold in Papua New Guinea

Private security guards employed by ‘Barrick Gold’, aided by local police have killed at least five miners at the Porgera mine in Papua New Guinea. The shootings came after mine security confronted a group of 300 locals who they deemed to be ‘illegal miners’ and ‘trespassers’. Barrick Gold – the world’s largest producer of gold - has a long history of using violence, gang rape, and murder against their workers, and local people in Papua New Guinea. Barrick founder and owner, Peter Munk, claimed that ‘gang rape’ is just a ‘cultural habit’.

The mine bosses are denying any responsibility for the trouble, claiming that their staff was attacked by trespassers, and they called for police assistance.

Violence has spread to nearby villages. The following is a description of events via an eye-witness at the Protest-Barrick campaign:

Greece: Anti-fascist rapper stabbed to death by 25 neonazis

Greece: Anti-fascist rapper and metal worker was stabbed to death by 25 neonazis on the night of Tuesday 17 September in the Keratsini area of Piraeus.

Pavlos Fyssas, a 34 year old antifascist and hip hop artist (Killah P), was murdered by Golden Dawn neonazis in Keratsini, a working class neighborhood in Piraeus.

Romania: resistance against corporate environmental destruction and politics-as-usual

This article, on insistent protests against an environmentallt destructive mining project in Romania, was written for ROARmag.org, where a slightly differently edited version can already be found, together with a very useful comment on the article.

For 8 consecutive days, people in Romania have been protesting a planned mining project in Rosia Montana, a mountain village. The protest is directed against threatened environmental destruction. But protests also express distrust of the government, of parties and the political establishment in general. There is already talk of a “Romanian Autumn”.

FIOM strike and student demonstrations

The union FIOM (the metalworkers’ federation) held a general strike on December 5 and 6 to protest against both the agreement’s merit and the fact of having a separate agreement signed by the sector’s right-wing unions excluding FIOM, the sector’s most representative union.

The union FIOM (the metalworkers’ federation affiated to CGIL) held an eight-hour general strike on December 5 (in Lombardy, Marche and Tuscany) and on December 6 (in all other regions of Italy) to protest against the separate agreement signed by the sector’s right-wing unions, FIM and UILM.

Review: Revolution and counterrevolution: Class struggle in a Moscow metal factory and worker resistance under Stalin: Class and revolution on the shop floor

A review of two books on the topic of working class responses to Stalinism in the USSR.

Kevin Murphy, Revolution and Counterrevolution: Class Struggle in a Moscow Metal Factory, International Studies in Social History Series (New York: Berghahn Books, 2005).

Jeffrey J. Rossman, Worker Resistance under Stalin: Class and Revolution on the Shop Floor (Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 2005).

Solidarity with mine workers at Marikana Platinum

Families of those killed demonstrate against police

This statement from South African shack dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo on the massacre at Marikana Platinum has just come out on their newswire. The death toll is now over 40.

17 August 2012
Abahlali baseMjondolo Press statement

Solidarity with Mine Workers at Marikana Platinum

Striking miners killed by security forces in South Africa

Earlier today at least seven striking miners have been gunned down and killed by security forces at South African platinum mine. The killings are the latest in a long line of deaths during a strike that is complicated by a bitter and violent inter-union dispute over membership numbers.

Yesterday, South African police ordered thousands of striking miners to leave the vicinity of the Lonmin Marikana platinum mine or face being forcibly removed. Up to 3,000 police officers, an elite paramilitary unit, supported by horses and helicopters, confronted the miners and delivered their ultimatum.

Just before the police attacked the strikers, a spokesman said that:

“We’ve been robbed long enough. It’s time to strike” : Remember the 1916 strike on Minnesota’s iron range

Jeff Pilacinski takes a look back at a 1916 IWW struggle in northern Minnesota.

On Saturday, June 3 we remember the valiant struggle of over 15,000 fellow workers and through our continued agitating in 2006, carry their fighting spirit forward. This date marks the 90th anniversary of the great mine workers strike on Minnesota’s Mesabi, Cuyuna, and Vermillion Iron Ranges – a strike that threatened the economic grip of the U.S.

India: workplace resistance increases

The labour movement in India is still under the control of bureaucratic leaders and political groups. However, as shown by a strike last year, among the workers of the country is gradually spreading the idea of self-organization and sovereign general assembly.

Up to 100 million workers were involved in a one-day strike in India on February 28. Strike, which affected a number of branches across the country, has been named one of the biggest strikes ever taken place in the world. It was announced 11 trade union centres (they first worked together since the declaration of independence) and 5000 smaller unions.