All eyes on Tunisia

January 23, 2011

A working class revolt has broken out in Tunisia. Trade unions, professional organisations and millions of poor and oppressed people have faced off with the armed thugs of dictator Ben Ali, and after weeks of protests, strikes and clashes he has been driven from power. The dictator fled to Saudi Arabia, but the people are still on the streets, demanding the complete destruction of his political party, the corrupt regime he and his family led, and the creation of a new and better Tunisia.

At this point events are moving very quickly and it is uncertain where the movement will go. There is no mass revolutionary socialist party in Tunisia, and there are a wide variety of demands being raised. Whether the movement will succeed in destroying the old state apparatus and establishing the political and social power of the working class remains to be seen. However, several things are clear. This is an inspiring uprising of the oppressed which demonstrates the power that the working masses have when they act collectively and without fear. The Tunisian uprising will send a shockwave throughout the Arab world, and already people in Egypt, Jordan and throughout the Middle East are demonstrating in solidarity with the Tunisian revolt, while also calling for a similar movement in their own country. Tyrants throughout the Arab world have reason to be afraid.  Read the rest of this entry »

How to fight redundancies

January 4, 2011

Don Franks

A contribution to a discussion among Workers Party members

I don’t have a problem in principle with unions calling on the government to intervene on redundancies.

Its a call that can come up from the floor of union meetings.

If I had a say at such a meeting I’d say, well, I don’t expect the bastards to do anything, and the history of both parties shows that they’re unlikely to help now. However,we’ve got nothing to lose so if you want to put it to them, it can’t hurt to try. I’d couple that with specific concrete demands related to the specific situation, to try and forestall any unwanted type of government help, such as counselling. It certainly is inadequate and a betrayal for union leaders to call on the government for help and leave it at that. Read the rest of this entry »

Casino workers hit New Year with festivity and militancy

January 2, 2011

Jared Phillips

SkyCity Casino workers in Auckland took strike action after the clock turned twelve on New Year’s eve, with more than 150 employees filing from the building and filling up its Victoria street side, and with the same number, combined, walking out from later shifts.

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