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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Red Review #57 -- International Left and Labour News

With news from India, the USA, China, the DPRK, Greece, Sweden and elsewhere.

Greek Communists hold an anti-war rally on the acropolis in Athens, May 12

May 10:

President Xi Jinping has put forward a new vision for the Communist Youth League of China, calling on the youth movement to better unite, organize and serve young people and encouraging the nation's youth to dedicate their wisdom and efforts to national rejuvenation.

In a speech at a ceremony in Beijing on Tuesday marking the 100th anniversary of the CYLC, Xi urged the nation's young people to forge ahead on the path of national rejuvenation, saying that young people in the new era were born at the right time and have great responsibilities.

A grand event marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC) was held at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, delivered a speech at the event.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, attended a grand gathering at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Tuesday, marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Youth League of China (CYLC), and delivered an important speech.

The following is the full text of the address.

The Starbucks at San Jose and Ricky Drive in Mandarin along with the Starbucks at San Marco Square both voted to unionize Tuesday, bringing the number of unionized locations in the Sunshine State to three.

Organizers at the Mandarin location succeeded in a close 10-7 vote with nearly half of eligible staff not casting a ballot one way or the other. The San Marco Starbucks chose 8-1 to unionize.

A Tallahassee Starbucks voted to unionize last week, becoming the first in the state to do so. Two Starbucks locations, one in Miami and one in Estero near Fort Myers, also had elections but voted down their unions.

On Tuesday, a new retail store joined the recent frenzy of union activity: Workers at a Target in Christiansburg, Virginia, filed for a union election with the National Labor Relations Board.

The workers behind the drive at that location hope to be the first of many for the retail chain. Other stores are working in concert with these organizers on following suit, although none are ready yet to call their own elections. Adam Ryan, one of the lead organizers at Target Workers Unite—the umbrella organization for Target employees seeking to unionize—and the Christiansburg store, estimates that workers at about a half-dozen Target stores currently have active but early stage campaigns.

May 11:

Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury said they have always opposed the sedition law. “It [sedition law] is anachronistic brought in by the British to crush our freedom struggle and it has no place in the statute book in independent India. It is good that the Supreme Court, hearing this case, has now ordered that this section must be kept in abeyance, stayed all pending proceedings, and directed the central and state governments not to register new cases.”

Workers at Brenntag Canada Inc., a chemical and ingredients distribution centre in Winnipeg, have voted overwhelmingly to join the United Steelworkers union (USW).

“We are pleased to welcome the newest members from Brenntag Canada Inc. to our union family,” said Scott Lunny, USW District 3 Director. “These workers supported each other throughout this process because they knew they deserved better. This win is certainly a testament to their determination and unity to build a better workplace and future.”

May 12:

On Thursday, May 12 militants of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) held an anti-war demonstration on the Acropolis in Athens under the slogan “No to war. No involvement. No to the bases of death.” Rallies were held in other cities as well.

They were called after the Greek government "voted in Parliament for the new despicable Greece-US agreement that provides for the expansion of the US-NATO military bases in Greece." This comes against the backdrop of the imperialist war in Ukraine.

Last Thursday, in a win for members of United Campus Workers at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UCW-CWA Local 3865), the University of Tennessee announced graduate student workers will no longer have to pay student fees. This move will save graduate assistants – those who work teaching or performing research – nearly $2,000 a year. For the last three years, the members of UCW-CWA Local 3865 have been fighting to eliminate these burdensome fees that add to the financial hardships the workers are already facing as the cost of living continues to rise. This win follows the successful efforts of the members of United Campus Workers-Georgia (CWA Local 3265) to remove the "Special Institutional Fee" across all public universities in Georgia.

In Mississippi, part-time and full-time staff, faculty, and student workers from the University of Southern Mississippi, members of United Campus Workers of Mississippi (UCW-CWA Local 3565) held a rally last Thursday to call on the university to raise the school’s minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour. The university advertises its role as an economic driver for the community, generating an annual economic impact of over $600 million. Yet, the lowest paid university workers receive an annual salary of only $21,000 (roughly $10.50/hr) – a sub-poverty wage for those with families. The rally ended with the delivery of more than 300 employee signatures to University President Rodney Bennett pressing for the establishment of a living wage for all employees.

The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) joins the working class in celebrating International Nurses Day, this year held under the theme “Nurses: A Voice to Lead – Invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health.”

Nurses remain the bedrock of the healthcare system of every country and have been at the forefront in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to other diseases that beleaguer humanity.

In Swaziland, a high number of nurses are among the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic as the regime failed to provide adequate personal protective equipment, thus exposing them to the virus. As a result, nurses and health workers have held protests demanding the basics needed for them to do their work.

The 8th Political Bureau meeting of the 8th Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) was convened at the office building of the Party Central Committee on May 12.

Kim Jong Un , general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, was present at the meeting.

Attending the meeting were members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee, and members and alternate members of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee.

May 13:

May 14:

Left parties announced a nationwide protest against the rising prices of essential commodities and unemployment starting from May 25 and concluding on May 31. In an official joint statement released on Saturday, the Left parties directed all their units across the nation to coordinate this "united and concerted nationwide struggle" against the rising inflation and joblessness.

Starbucks workers at Peoria’s Campustown location are back on the picket line, fighting for the rights of a fellow employee at risk of losing her job.

Workers held a half-day unfair labor practice strike around noon Saturday, also known as a ULP strike. Similar demonstrations were happening across the country at other Starbucks locations, calling out their franchise management teams for what employees are calling unfair measures and practices.

FERMANAGH bus drivers are preparing to strike after a Translink pay offer was rejected by union members.

May 15:

Hundreds of Careem drivers in Jordan said they would go on strike on Sunday to protest their working conditions, Jordanian media reported on Saturday.

Strikers say the Careem rideshare company, which is based in Dubai, has failed to meet their demands despite repeated meetings with company representatives and with Jordan's Land Transport Regulatory Commission (LTRC), a government body regulating transport services in the kingdom.

The Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea convened an emergency consultative meeting again to discuss measures for epidemic prevention on May 15.

Kim Jong Un, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea, guided the consultative meeting.

Attending the meeting were members of the Presidium of the Political Bureau of the WPK Central Committee and members and alternate members of the Political Bureau of the Party Central Committee.

Present there as observers were officials of the state emergency epidemic prevention sector and a leading official of the Ministry of Public Health.

May 16:

The Communist Party of Sweden (SKP) condemn the decision of the ruling Social Democratic Party to back the country's membership in NATO. In a comment published in SKP's official gazette “Riktpunkt”, the Communists remind that by accepting Sweden's accession to the North Atlantic imperialist alliance, the Social Democrats actually violate the decisions of their own Congress.

On Sunday, Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson announced that Stockholm will seek broad support for an application to join NATO, after her party dropped its long-standing opposition to membership.


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