• Michael Laxer

Greece Resists: Red Review #10 -- International Left and Labour News

The tenth edition of our weekly review of international left and labour news with stories from Russia, Greece, India, the United States, Turkey, Mexico and elsewhere. There are also updates from Peru where leftist Pedro Castillo won the presidential election but the far right is refusing to concede.

Greek workers protest June 16 -- image via Twitter


June 13:


‘We moved a mountain’: Colorado pre-K teachers win a union


Now that these teachers have won their union, they are looking forward to contract negotiations. Teachers are working together to formulate demands by submitting ideas for the top three things they would like to see change in their workplace. Dignified wages are a vital point for preschool teachers across the county. The current starting wage for non-licensed preschool teachers in Jefferson County is $12.50/hour, a tenth of what the district superintendent makes hourly.


Teachers also want to see larger classroom budgets that cannot be taken away. According to Mauro, in the 2019-2020 school year, classrooms received $850 per classroom. The next year, each classroom got $500. Both budgets were first frozen, then dissolved, leaving instructors paying out of their pockets. While the district did receive federal relief funds, they claim the pandemic prevented them from funding the classroom budgets. Even in normal years, educators like Smith were paying $150 a month from their paychecks to stock their classrooms. They hope to solve this through the bargaining process and win victories for both themselves and their students.


Most of all, the Jefferson County preschool teachers are looking forward to having a collective voice. This voice is something that they have found among themselves over the course of the campaign.


June 14:


CPI(M) seeks relief for locals of illegal colony


Leaders of the Left parties here on Monday demanded that the residents of Khori Basti, an unauthorised colony on forest land, be rehabilitated and compensated before carrying out the demolition drive in adherence to the Supreme Court order.


The demand was made by a joint delegation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Communist Party of India leaders in a memorandum addressed to Chief Minister Manohar Lal submitted at the Faridabad Deputy Commissioner office.


Left parties to hold nationwide protest from June 16-30 against rising fuel, commodities prices


Left Parties will hold a fortnight nationwide protest starting from Wednesday against the rising prices of fuel, essential commodities and medicines.


Left Parties including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)-Liberation have issued a joint statement on Sunday.


According to the statement, the protest will start on June 16 and end on June 30. The parties demand the central government to roll back increased fuel price and control the prices of essential commodities and drugs.


Mexico’s MORENA Party consolidates top position in 2021 midterm elections


According to official tallies of the National Electoral Institute (INE), the parties with the largest number of national congressional votes were MORENA with 40%, 19% for the center-right National Action Party (PAN), and 18% for the long-reigning Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).


MORENA’s coalition partners, the Mexican Green Ecological Party (PVEM) and Workers Party (PT), together received almost 8% of the vote. Under AMLO, MORENA is seeking to achieve what it calls a “Fourth Transformation” (4T), a major historical renewal of modern Mexican politics equivalent in importance to independence from Spain in 1821, the reform led by Benito Juárez in the mid-19th century, and the 1910 Mexican Revolution.


Final counts show the midterm earned the social democratic MORENA and its coalition partners a 279-seat majority in the 500-seat lower house Chamber of Deputies. While MORENA itself dropped in seats compared to what it won in the 2018 election, the coalition parties made up the difference. MORENA and PVEM also won 11 out of 15 governorships contested. And MORENA now governs seven of the nation’s ten most populous cities, including Tijuana and Ciudad Juárez along the U.S. border, adding to their existing hold on the office of mayor of Mexico City and other cities throughout the country.


Another electoral setback for the right in Chile: center-left parties sweep the second round of governors


The Constituent Unit coalition, made up of left and center-left parties, emerged as the great winner of the second round of governors in Chile, by obtaining eight of the 13 positions that were at stake, including the Metropolitan region of Santiago, which covers to the capital of the country.


Communist Party of Turkey rallies to denounce government’s involvement with mafia boss


Communists in Turkey called a mass rally in Istanbul to denounce the collaboration between the ruling conservative AKP party, political sects, bosses and the mafia.


The district governor tried to illegally ban the Communist Party (TKP) from having the demonstration, but the organizers went forward and published their press release and call to action: “The reason for the ban is the content of the press release. In other words, it makes them uncomfortable that we are against sects and mafia. Our meeting has been banned because we want an order without sects, mafia, or bosses. We declare here, sects will be banned and we will establish a country without exploitation.”


Russian CWP, Information for brotherly communist and workers parties


XXII Congress of RCWP (Russian Communist Workers Party as a part of CPSU) was held in museum complex “Gorky Leninskie” near Moscow on April 24-25. 102 delegates representing 47 regional party organization took part in the work of the Congress. Participants of the Congress listened to and discussed the summary reports by both Central Committee and Central Control and Audit Commission of RCWP. Special importance of the Congress for elaboration of future development directions was due to the fact,that two years before the Congress because of creation of a party faction, that faction acting against program directives and contrary to the strict Marxist-Leninist politics of RCWP, the situation in the party had deteriorated.


Atwin backtracks on Palestine (theleftchapter.com)


Jenica Atwin, the MP for Fredericton who crossed the floor from the Greens to the Liberals four days ago appears to have backtracked on her recent comments in support of Palestinians.


June 15:


Nicaragua warns of election interference, hits out at U.S. sanctions


“An unprecedented and relentless attack is unfolding against Nicaragua’s government and people are driven by false narratives advanced by right-wing, U.S.-financed media outlets and ‘opposition’ figures,” the Sandinista government warned in a statement.


A number of Western media reports accuse the Nicaraguan authorities of detaining opposition figures, a narrative that critics say is part of a broader attempt to discredit the government and sow discord in the run-up to the elections.


But those who have been taken into custody are under investigation for serious crimes, including money laundering, treason, and seditious conspiracy, with the government insisting that it is operating in an open and transparent manner in accordance with Nicaraguan law.


Hospital unions join forces against bill to cap their wage increases below inflation


For the first time, Ontario's two largest hospital unions are joining forces to do their collective bargaining with the Ontario Hospital Association. It will be a first for the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) hospital division, the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU/CUPE) and the other union, SEIU Healthcare.


Both unions said they have been brought together to fight the Ontario government's Bill 124, which puts a one-per-cent wage cap per year on their collective bargaining agreements.


Workers at Adonis grocery store in D.D.O. file for union accreditation


A request for certification has been filed to unionize a first Adonis grocery store in Canada.


The Dollard-des-Ormeaux store has between 150 to 200 workers, a majority of whom have decided to unionize.


CUPE 15 members ratify three-year deal with City of Vancouver | Canadian Union of Public Employees


CUPE 15 members who work at the City of Vancouver, Vancouver Parks, Britannia Centre, and Ray-Cam Cooperative Centre ratified a three-year agreement with the City last week. The agreement, retroactive to January 1, 2020, remains in effect until December 31, 2022.


June 16


Unifor begins radio ads for Reliance boycott campaign


At a rally held outside Reliance Home Comfort's headquarters, Unifor announced new radio ads promoting the union's ongoing boycott of the Ontario HVAC company.


"Reliance has locked out front-line COVID heroes and they're using scabs to cross our picket lines. This unethical company can expect escalating actions in the coming weeks," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.


Local 114 members end Ocean Concrete job action with gains


Wage increases and benefits enhancements characterize a new contract for Local 114 members locked out for six weeks by Ocean Concrete.


"The Local 114 members at Ocean Concrete deserve to be congratulated for staying strong on the picket line," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President.


Local 3019 members end three-day strike at B.C. zinc mine


The new agreement includes a $2 per hour wage increase (six percent on average) in year one, followed by 2.5%, and 2% in years two and three. The 320 Local 3019 members will also see improvements to the pension plan and stronger protections against contracting out.


No Subsidies Report - Stand.earth


In 2020-21, BC’s NDP-led government spent $1.3 billion on fossil fuel subsidies — 8.3 percent more than the previous year — and they are now more than double what they were when Premier Horgan’s NDP took power.


Rather than decrease over time, these subsidies are estimated to surpass $1.8 billion in 2023-24—more than triple what the B.C. Liberals spent in 2016-17.


Strikes and protests rock Greece in opposition to anti-labour law (theleftchapter.com)


Tens-of-thousands of workers went on a one-day general strike and participated in marches across Greece Wednesday June 16 in opposition to the what the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has called the government's new "anti-labour" law. This is another in a series strikes and protests that have been going on for weeks.


109th International Labour Conference: Global agreement reached at ILO Conference on action for COVID-19 recovery


Delegates from 181 countries representing the Governments, workers and employers at the International Labour Conference (ILC) have adopted unanimously a Global Call to Action for a human-centred COVID-19 recovery that prioritizes the creation of decent jobs for all and addresses the inequalities caused by the crisis.


June 18:


Workers At Modern Cannabis Logan Square Join Teamsters Local 777


With over 80 percent of workers voting in favor of union representation, Modern Cannabis (MOCA) Budtenders in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago have joined Teamsters Local 777 – the second location at the company to do so.


Teamster USF Reddaway Freight Members Approve New Contract


Teamsters at USF Reddaway have overwhelmingly ratified a new contract that brings Reddaway under the Yellow National Master Freight Agreement (NMFA), increases wages to match the YRC Freight wages in the same area, maintains the health, welfare and pension plans with NMFA increases, and increases paid holidays and vacation time, among other improvements.


French Communists ratify rejection of US blockade against Cuba


The leader of the French Communist Party (PCF) Lydia Samarbakhsh reiterated today the organization's condemnation of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which she described as unacceptable.


Canada’s unions elect new leaders to help chart a hopeful post-pandemic future for workers | Canadian Labour Congress


Nearly 4,000 delegates at the Canadian Labour Congress’ 29th Constitutional Convention today elected Officers to lead the organization until 2023.


The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) is Canada’s major umbrella organization of national unions, provincial federations of labour and local labour councils and represents over three million workers.


Montreal's Oasis Reaches Deal With Its Animation Workers Union (cartoonbrew.com)


Members of Canada’s first-ever accredited animation union have reached a groundbreaking agreement with their employer, Montreal’s Oasis Animation. It address matters such as pay, seniority, and transparency around worker evaluations.


June 19:


CSC news: CSC activists protest against the US blockdade


Cuba Solidarity Campaign activists took actions in London, Manchester and Sheffield today as part of the World Caravan Against the US blockade of Cuba.


The events were part of an international weekend of actions in advance of the United Nations General Assembly vote on the US blockade which takes place on 23 June. CSC members in Liverpool and Birmingham are also set to take actions on Sunday.


Chesham and Amersham: Cracks in the blue wall, curtains for Starmer?


Labour under Starmer was supposed to be electable, to appeal to the centre ground and to steal those soft Tory Remain voters away from the increasingly right-wing Brexit party the Conservatives have become. They parachuted a Blairite candidate into the Buckinghamshire seat, fully endorsed by Blair himself, and had several members of the shadow cabinet knocking on doors in the run up to polling day. Where did it get them? They took 622 votes, only two hundred more votes than Reform UK – the renamed Brexit party. Twice as many people voted Green than voted Labour.


Teamsters Local 174 Members at Columbia Distributing Vote to Strike


Hundreds of Teamsters Local 174 members who work at Columbia Distributing voted unanimously in favor of a strike against their employer today during a spirited online meeting. These workers warehouse and deliver beer, soda, water, juice, and some wine and spirits to restaurants and stores throughout the Puget Sound area, and if they were to walk off the job, these deliveries would all but cease.


Peru:


Castillo wins vote in Peru as Fujimori refuses to concede (theleftchapter.com)


Leftist Pedro Castillo has won the presidential election in Peru by 44,058 votes. But many fear that far-right candidate Fujimori may succeed in pulling off what Noam Chomsky, Roger Waters, and Vijay Prashad termed a "lawfare coup". Latest updates.


Peru: Fujimori cries electoral fraud – and unleashes torrent of racism


The prospect of the son of illiterate Andean peasants becoming president as his rival cries fraud has shaken Peru’s entrenched class system and its fragile democracy, letting loose a torrent of racism in the bicentennial year of the country’s independence.