top of page
  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Indian farmers victorious: Red Review #32 -- International Left and Labour News

The thirty-second edition of our weekly review of international left and labour news with stories from India, Belarus, Nicaragua, Canada, the United States and elsewhere. There are also sections related to news from Bolivia and Wet’suwet’en.

Communists celebrate the victory of Indian farmers over the Modi government, Jharkhand, India -- photo via Twitter

November 15:


The IATSE Basic Agreement ratification passed on Monday by the narrowest of margins, with a few hundred votes in two guilds deciding the outcome.

A bare majority of the 40,000-odd members of the 13 West Coast locals voted to reject the agreement — with 50.4% voting no and 49.6% voting yes. But the union’s contracts are ratified based on a delegate system, with delegates awarded based on the majority vote within each local.

Camera operators, prop makers, lighting technicians and other members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees ratified new contracts with Hollywood studios on Monday. But the margin was perilously narrow, with many members viewing the pact as toothless in terms of preventing long working hours — the kind of conditions recently endured on the set of “Rust,” the Alec Baldwin movie where the cinematographer was killed and the director wounded.

On November 13 and 14 were held the plenary sessions of the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE), called the Centennial Congress as a tribute to the founding, in November 1921, of the Communist Party of Spain as the Spanish Section of the Communist International.

Throughout the two days of debates, the delegates debated and unanimously approved the Political and Accountability Report, which analyzed the tasks carried out by the Party since the previous Congress, held in November 2017, the proposal of reform of the Statute of the Party and the Political Resolution which stablishes the main tasks of the PCTE until the next Congress. Seven short resolutions on different issues were also approved unanimously.

November 16:

The Croatian Socialist Workers Party on Tuesday condemned the United States' repeated attempts to destabilize Cuba.

The chair of an East Riding parish council has defected from Labour to a new socialist party.

Ben Munro, chair of Thorngumbald Parish Council in Holderness, has left Labour to join the Breakthrough Party which formed earlier this year

.Members of USW Local 9042-23 have ratified a new five-year collective agreement that brings across-the board improvements for 114 workers at NTN Bearing in Mississauga, Ont.

The employer opened bargaining demanding the stability of a five-year agreement, longer than the union’s preference for three-year contracts. With the solidarity of the workers behind the bargaining committee, the union was able to get good wage gains and other improvements in exchange for the longer term.

The union negotiated wage increases of 2.75% in each of the first three years of the agreement, and 3% in each of years four and five, for total wage gains of 14.25%.

November 17:

The two parties that make up the coalition government in Spain, the Socialist Party (PSOE) and junior partner Unidas Podemos, have filed an amendment to the draft Democratic Memory Law that seeks to ensure that crimes committed during the regime of former dictator Francisco Franco no longer go unpunished. The agreement between the two groups – which could also see the Valley of the Fallen monument in Madrid renamed – has been reached three days before November 20, the day that Franco died in 1975.

Poland's actions towards refugees is a policy of destruction, including of their civilian population, Gennady Zyuganov, Chairman of the Central Committee of the Community Party of the Russian Federation, said in an interview with the Belarus 1 TV channel, BelTA has learned.

The latest developments, with thousands of refugees and immigrants stranded at the Belarus borders with EU countries (Poland, Lithuania, Latvia) are yet another result of imperialist interventions and wars led by the USA, the EU, and NATO. It is a manifestation of the inhuman capitalist exploitation faced by the people and a desperate struggle for survival, forcing millions of people to choose increasingly dangerous escape routes, to fall into the hands of traffickers.

The collapse of the unacceptable agreement between the EU and Belarus on the refoulement of refugees, following the attempt of Euro-Atlantic imperialism to topple the current political leadership of Belarus, has led —among other things— to the current appalling exploitation of the refugee-immigration question, in the context of geopolitical games and negotiations between the EU and the Belarusian authorities.

In an impressive example of what workers can achieve when they remain united and defiant, union members at John Deere in the United States have won significant gains in a contract they approved November 17. The workers had previously rejected two contract offers from management and held strong on the picket lines for over a month.

UNITE HERE Local 11 will rally outside the Rose Bowl to continue their call for FIFA leaders to select equitable and fair venues to host the World Cup in 2026.

FIFA Leadership is expected to visit the Rose Bowl soon and hospitality workers want to make sure basic labor standards are in place for any stadium to be considered as a World Cup venue.

In labor news, workers at five branches of Pacific Northwest restaurant chain Burgerville have become the country’s first fast food employees to successfully unionize. The tentative agreement with Burgerville includes expanded sick leave, vacation benefits, paid parental leave and a reliable three-month schedule. It also guarantees pay rates that are higher than the statewide minimum wage.

November 18:

In a statement, PCE once again strongly rejected “the coup attempts against Cuba” and stressed “that Cuba’s ills are caused by the criminal blockade the United States has imposed on Cuba for over 60 years.”

The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Central Committee’s Commission for Information and Education and the Communist Party of Cuba (CPC) Central Committee’s Ideological Department held an online talk on November 18 to discuss further tightening ties between the two Parties and nations, as well as share experience in ideology work and Party building.

Speaking at the event, Secretary of the Party Central Committee and head of the commission Nguyen Trong Nghia underlined the special traditional friendship between the two nations, saying that the organisation of the talk at this point of time reflects the determination to further deepen the fraternal solidarity, comprehensive cooperation and mutual trust between the two Parties, States and peoples of Vietnam and Cuba.

Paused industrial action will recommence at FedEx with rolling four-hour stoppages from Monday next week after talks broke down when the company refused to even consider a reasonable counter-offer put forward by workers.

The TWU is calling on FedEx to abandon its approach to attack workers and instead work cooperatively on a safe, secure and sustainable future which defends it against the threat of the ‘Amazon Effect’.

November 19:

After fighting for almost a year, farmers in India finally won a victory against the three farms laws enacted by the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government last year. Prime minister Narendra Modi announced on Friday, November 19, that the three laws would be repealed and all legal processes related to the matter will be completed during the upcoming session of parliament.

The news of the announcement led to celebrations all across the country. People hailed the victory of the farmers’ movement and took to the streets and social media to express their joy, while recalling the sacrifices made by the farmers in their year-long agitation. Several called it a victory against the arrogance of power.

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) salutes the historic victory of the year-long spirited, inspiring and courageous struggle by the kisans under the leadership of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha.

An obdurate PM and his government were forced to bend. Yet Modi continues to justify these black laws blaming a section of farmers being misled. There is no remorse expressed at the deaths of our farmers or the attacks against them.

The South African Commercial Catering and Allied Workers Union (Saccawu) will begin an ‘indefinite strike’ on Friday (19 November) at group companies owned by Walmart-led Massmart Holdings in South Africa.

On Tuesday (16 November), Saccawu notified Massmart of its intention to embark on a no-work, no-pay strike.

A new collective agreement for workers at the AcelorMittal plant in Zenica has finally been reached after many months of long, fraught and postponed negotiations. The agreement was reached a mere 24-hours before a strike had been called by the unions. The conflict culminated when two days before the announced strike, the management tried to turn public opinion against the workers, stating that a knock-on effect of a strike would be that heating for the city of Zenica could not be guaranteed.

Several thousand workers at autos supplier Robert Bosch protested in Germany on Friday against planned plant closures and job relocations which the company said are needed to adapt to changing demand in the transition to electric vehicles.

Around 3,000 workers from various plants gathered outside a Bosch plant in Buehl, union IG Metall said, where around 1,000 staff in Germany will lose their jobs by 2025 as a result of relocations, cuts, or new hires, according to the company.

The Teamsters United reform slate secured victory this morning in an election for new leadership in one of the nation’s largest unions. With 1.4 million members, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) election results have implications not just for the massive upcoming United Parcel Service (UPS) contract, but for organizing Amazon and pushing labor-friendly legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act.

The election marks the first time that a coalition backed by Teamsters for a Democratic Union, a rank-and-file reform caucus, will head the union since former IBT president Ron Carey was removed from office on false corruption charges in 1997.

Ten of the 11 CUPE locals voting on a tentative agreement agreed to accept it, the CUPE New Brunswick central bargaining team announced today.

CUPE local 1253, school bus drivers, custodians and other school workers voted to reject the proposal but agreed to stay at work while bargaining continues.

The accepted wage package is 2 per cent a year plus a 25 cent an hour increase for each year, with the increases front loaded at the beginning of each year. Casual workers, who used to receive reduced wages, will now receive 100% of their salary.

“We’ve pushed back against austerity, against the wage mandate, and showed that it could be done with collective action,” said CUPE President Steve Drost, “but this has done nothing – zero – to address recruitment and retention.”

November 20:

Hundreds of janitors at Denver International Airport walked out on the job Saturday morning. Members of the Service Employees International Union Local 105 says 350 employees wanted better wages and working conditions.

On Saturday afternoon, the union announced they reached an “historic” agreement with its contractor, Flagship Facility Services. The agreement includes a $4/hour pay increase over the course of three years. The first year employees will see a $2.50/hour raise.

November 21:

"Venezuelans, let's go to vote in peace and harmony and united for the love of our Homeland. Let's vote to win! Let's win to advance!" President Nicolas Maduro tweeted.

On Sunday, 21.1 million Venezuelans are entitled to elect 23 governors, 335 mayors, 253 legislators, and 2,471 councilors. For the first time since 2007, the opposition participated in the democratic process and called on the population to go to the polling stations.


BOLIVIAN President Luis Arce has vowed to defend the country from another Washington-backed coup as thousands rallied against violence from fascist opposition groups across the country.

Speaking in the capital La Paz on Wednesday he said: “We are not going to allow them to do what they did in 2019.”

The progressive government of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party in Bolivia, with the strong support of the majority of the people, took a major step in averting a second coup d’état in the country. The government abrogated Law 1386 of the National Strategy to Combat the Legitimization of Illicit Profits and the Financing of Terrorism, which the members of far-right civic committees and the supporters of opposition leaders had used as a pretext to strike, mobilize and block roads across the country in recent days.

On November 16, both chambers of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly of Bolivia voted to repeal law 1386, also known as the Mother Law. The same day, acting president David Choquehuanca promulgated it, and it was immediately published in the Official Gazette. This way, the annulment announced by President Luis Arce was consolidated. President Arce, who was in Brazil, on November 13 announced that the law would be repealed to ensure that the Bolivian economy was no longer paralyzed, and there was peace.


In a breathtakingly cynical, disgraceful move, the RCMP in British Columbia have chosen the backdrop of a state of emergency due to climate change, landslides and flooding to launch raids on Wet’suwet’en territory.

To issue a statement about the RCMP raids on Wet’suwet’en territory without mentioning the BC NDP provincial government is a farce. A total joke. And shows, yet again, that the NDP's primary commitment is to narrow perceived partisan electoral interests and not to justice or reconciliation for Indigenous Peoples.

Three members of the news media are among the dozens arrested on Wet’suwet’en territory. Two journalists remain in custody.

Even though there is a weather emergency, provincial cabinet ministers didn't utter a peep when officers were deployed to protect a pipeline project


bottom of page