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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Red Review #8 -- International Left and Labour News

The eighth edition of our weekly review of international left and labour news with stories from Brazil, Paraguay, Canada, Cuba and elsewhere.

Tens of thousands march across Brazil in opposition to far right president Bolsonaro, May 29 - photo via twitter

May 27:

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter on Thursday to the World Symposium for Marxist Political Parties, saying that the Communist Party of China stands ready to jointly promote the cause of human progress and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind with Marxist political parties worldwide.

May 29:

Vietnam always wishes to deepen relations between the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and the Communist Party of Cuba and the United Russia Party.

The statement was made by Le Hoai Trung, head of the CPV Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations, while chairing online conferences to inform outcomes of the 13th National Congress of the CPV to the two Parties on May 28.

Tens of thousands of protesters have poured on to the streets of Brazil’s largest cities to demand the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro over his catastrophic response to a coronavirus pandemic that has claimed nearly half a million Brazilian lives.

The demonstrators turned out in more than 200 cities and towns for what is the biggest anti-Bolsonaro mobilisation since Brazil’s Covid outbreak began

May 30:

Peru's National Electoral Jury on Sunday hosted a debate between the two candidates Pedro Castillo and Keiko Fujimori ahead of the presidential runoff to be held on June 6.

May 31:

Hundreds of workers of the Egyptian Iron and Steel Company took part in demonstrations on Sunday, as the management took some more measures towards its liquidation by stopping production at its plants, independent news outlet Mada Masr reported on Monday, May 31. According to the trade union committee of the organization, close to 500 workers who were protesting were confronted by Egyptian police who used excessive force against them and tried to chase them away from the protest site at the main gate of the company’s headquarters. 10 workers were detained for two hours before being released.

Global unions and international fashion brands agree to a three-month extension of the commitments of the 2018 Transition Accord to allow negotiations to continue.

June 1:

A new political party formed by outspoken former members of the Green Party will be launched this weekend.

An Rabharta Glas – Green Left – or ARG for short, will be launched on Saturday after it initially planned to hold an official launch last February.

The party hopes to be “eco-socialist” and its mission statement is to “reconstruct the political system so that it serves people and nature, not profit and extraction”.

Even after two months of strike action at Warrior Met Coal plant in Brookwood, Alabama, workers are not ready to concede grounds. Over 1,100 workers have been on strike since April 1, on the day when the existing contract expired. Two weeks before the strike negotiations for a new contract failed to yield one that workers could consider to be fair. Organized by the local branch of the United Mine Workers Association (UMWA), the strike is currently among the longest running walk-outs in the United States right now.

June 2:

Garbage collectors occupied Paris’s city hall last Tuesday in protest against austerity measures that will make them work more days with no extra pay. Essential workers shouldn’t be the ones to pay for local government’s COVID debts.

Nearly 2,600 workers at the Vale Canada plant in Sudbury, Ontario have gone on strike after they overwhelmingly rejected the company’s proposal for a five-year contract. The strike began a day after workers, organized by United Steelworkers’ (USW) Local 6500, refused to ratify a tentative agreement in a vote held on May 31. The results of the vote with a turnout of 87% were released on June 1 and saw over 70% voting against the deal.

The first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), Miguel Díaz-Canel, is chairing an assembly in central Villa Clara province on Thursday, giving continuity to the 8th Congress of the organization.

June 3:

With deep internationalist fervor, we inform that this June 12 and 13 we will be holding the 9th Congress of the Paraguayan Communist Party, under the slogan "Broad and deep unity for socialism."

On Thursday 03/06, the workers and trade unions rallied in PAME responded with new mass rallies in Athens, Thessaloniki, and other cities, demanding that the government immediately repeals the monstrous draft bill that provides for the abolition of the 8-hour working day.

Municipal workers, represented by CUPE 2019, have reached a four-year contract with their employer, the Town of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL.

Both the union and the employer have ratified the agreement and a signing ceremony took place on Tuesday, June 1. The collective agreement covers the period of January 1, 2019, to December 31, 2022, and includes modest wage increases and other improvements.

June 4:

Over 650 workers at an oil refinery in Beaumont, Texas, are still out of job a month after ExxonMobil Corporation announced a mass lockout of unionized workers. On May 1, the company initiated a lockout of workers after the union refused to hold a vote on its contract offer.

The company refused to concede to any of the demands made by the United Steelworkers’ (USW) local chapter District 13-243, which represents the workers in the negotiations for the new contract. ExxonMobil also replaced union workers with temporary unskilled workers in what the USW has deemed to be a clear attempt at union-busting.

Miguel Diaz-Canel, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), is visiting the western province of Matanzas on Friday to continue the cycle of meetings about the role of that political organization.


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