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AN APPEAL TO THE INTERNATIONAL LABOUR COMMUNITY FROM THE WORKERS OF DITA FACTORY, TUZLA, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

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We, the workers of Tuzla-based detergent factory DITA, have been fighting a wave of corrupt privatisation, exploitation and asset stripping that is destroying the industry of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For over two years now, we have guarded our factory around the clock to prevent the removal of machinery and assets.

The process of privatisation of DITA was carried out in collaboration with corrupt politicians, judiciary and banks, which failed to carry out due diligence, and provided toxic loans to the new owners – money that never reached the factory.

Our country is suffering from lack of rule of law: criminal elites have pushed through amendments to the criminal code that mean there is no court that can try financial and trade crimes. Continue reading

Working people in Bosnia at the end of their tether: Two Tuzla workers – former combatants – plan suicide.

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(Since this article was written, we have learnt that the press and the police were following the marchers and the police confiscated the petrol cans along the way. Fearing that they might actually do as they threatened, the Sarajevo government gave the two a fictitious minimum-wage factory job for a year. They came back home alive.)

200 Tuzla workers set off on the “One-Way March” to the Croatian border at Orasje, saying they didn’t want to stay in their own country without jobs or a future (See “A cauldron ready to blow”, Workers’ International Journal no 10, January 2015). There has been an exodus of tens of thousands of Kosovars and their families to Europe. Although the guns have fallen silent, death still stalks the Balkans. Tossed on the scrap heap like a load of rusting machinery, and not having any political perspectives, the working class is condemned to gestures of despair. Continue reading

Out Now! Issue 11 of the Journal

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Inside this issue:

Workers Revolutionary Party of Namibia:
Report on November 2014 National Assembly elections

South Africa:
Numsa National Treasurer Mphumzi Maqungo speaks to the Australian Workers Union

Marxism:
Historical Materialism: A timely reminder. An extract from a forthcoming book by BALAZS NAGY examines and defends a fundamental aspect of Marxist thought

Special supplement of “The Journal”

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In this special supplement of The Journal we publish the full text of the “True State of the Nation Address” issued by the United Front in South Africa on 11 February 2015, the 25th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

THE UNITED FRONT was initiated by the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa(NUMSA). We believe that this statement is of special interest to the People’s Assembly in Britain and people standing up for socialism all over the world.

NUMSA explained that for them the massacre of the Marikana miners “marked a turning point in the social and political life of South Africa”. It could not be “business as usual”. They put the question: “How do we explain the killing of striking miners in a democracy?” They had to conduct “a sustained and thorough analysis of the political meaning of Marikana”. Continue reading

Political victory for Polish Miners

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The Polish miners’ strike ended last Friday evening (they went back to work on Monday) with a political victory and an economic compromise. The managing director has left, the sacked trade unionists have been re-employed.

Information and video published on the Sindicat Solidarnost Tuzla website and the Zagreb Workers Front website (see: https://www.facebook.com/Radnicka.Fronta/posts/915345861833247)

Miners Strike and repression in Poland

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Jan Malewski, 13 February 2015 (Translated from http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article34332 )

Polish miners at the Jastrzebie Colliery Company (JSW) have launched an appeal for international solidarity signed by Boguslaw Zietek, president of the “August 80” trade union (1). We would be grateful if you could disseminate it as widely as possible.

The strike started on 28 January when the managing director of JSW, Jaroslaw Zagorowski, sacked 9 trade unionist at the “Budryk” mine for organising a solidarity strike with the miners at another company, KW (Kompania weglowa [“mining company”] Europe’s biggest mining business, which wanted to close four pits and sack the miners. This strike, was successful, with the backing of the whole population. The four mines were not closed and there were no sackings, according to the agreement with the government signed on 17 January. At that time the government made a commitment that there would be no reprisals against the strikers and those who solidarised with them…) The managing director has also suspended the collective agreements signed two years ago when JSW was converted to a PLC with shareholders. Among those sacked was Krysztof Labadz, leader of the “August 80” union and of the 46 day-long strike in 2007-2008.

All trade unions supported the strike – “Solidarnosc”, ZZG (the mining branch of OPZZ), FZZ (Forum of trade unions), WZZ “Sierpen 80” (“August 80” Free Trade Union), “Kadra” (Cadres), etc. etc. There is a united strike committee made up of the five main unions in the region. Continue reading

An urgent appeal from Polish miners: Don’t shoot at workers

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Boguslav Zietek, “August 80” free trade union,

12 February 2015.

Don’t shoot at workers!

Don’t use state institutions against protesters!

On 12 February the courts ruled illegal the strike by several thousand miners at Jastrzebie Colliery Company (Jastrzebie Spolka Weglowa, JSW) in southern Poland. On the same day, a demonstration of miners’ wives and children marched through the town supporting their loved ones in struggle.

The authorities will stop at nothing to break this strike, which has already gone on for 16 days. Special police detachments sent against the miners have tried to crush the protest with unheard-of brutality, using anti-riot weapons firing 37mm anti-riot rubber bullets, water cannon and tear gas without any good reason. Continue reading

Some fascists seen off – but no cause for complacency

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Saturday 29 November 2014, Greek Embassy, Holland Park, London: 

Fascists had planned to picket the Greek Embassy in support of Golden Dawn – the Greek fascist organisation, several of whose MPs are currently in jail on various charges including murder, weapons offences and attacks on immigrants.

In the event about 20 turned up but they were seen off, after about an hour, by anti- fascists who had assembled some time before.

Polish fascists, who were reported to be behind the picket of the Greek embassy, are beginning to organise amongst the emigre community in the UK. They organised an attack on a music festival in Tottenham recently.

The counter demonstration was called by several groups: Greek Solidarity Campaign, Unite against Fascism and Anti Fascist Action for Greece (AAfG). Later a group of young anarchists arrived to give much appreciated support. Continue reading

Workers’ Front Croatia: An interview with DIMITRIJE BIRAC

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‘Yes, we want to abolish capitalism’

One of the founders of Workers’ Front says: “Our final goal and the character of the party are anti-capitalist, and our current aim is to show that all the problems we talk about, such as unemployment and the collapse in production, are consequences of the socio-economic system, and not of the success of failure of this or that economic policy”.

Q: Worker’s Front has been organising for six months or so, but last week you decided to show yourselves in public. Who belongs to your organisation beside the linguist Mate Kapovic and the trade unionist Denis Geto?

DB: Mainly young people, activists, workers, students, unemployed people. We will introduce some of them to show that it’s not limited to a tiny group.

Our organisation is working along two lines: The first is to work on the infrastructures in  different towns, the second is to form links with working people, to support workers’ protest demonstrations and to get in touch with various trade unionists, particularly those who want to put up a struggle.

We are open to all those who are interested in changing society in line with our principles and transitional demands. Continue reading

Croatia: Programmatic Principles of the Workers’ Front

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See also the Invitation to a conference in Zagreb

  1. The Workers’ Front is a political organization of workers, unemployed, retirees and students, fighting for a radical change of political and economic relations for the benefit of all oppressed and those who live off their work, for realisation of their social demands, and for protection and extension of their rights.

Unlike the existing parliamentary parties in Croatia, including those which in a populist and opportunist way occasionally appeal to workers, the Workers’ Front does not aim to establish itself as a traditional political party. Our goal is not to get integrated in the institutions of the system and secure parliamentary seats, salaries and pensions through petty politicking or to advocate only surface reforms, make different coalitions and compromise with those who are responsible for the current situation in the country.

The goal of the Workers’ Front is to bring about a radical change of the society we live in through a political struggle, both on economic and political levels. Therefore, participation in elections would only be one of the means to achieve our goals. In order to be able to accomplish this, we must build an organization rooted in workplaces and connected with everyday social struggle of the disenfranchised.

Unlike the existing political parties, our organization will be truly democratic within itself but act in a disciplined and effective manner. We strive for an organization of activists who would continuously be engaged in trade union, women’s rights and students’ movement, as well as in the struggle for the rights of all oppressed social groups. Continue reading