Thursday, May 1, 2008

Factory closures, layoffs and suspensions: this is what the bourgeoisie offers us globally!

May 1st 2008

Today, everywhere in the world, capitalism in crisis manifests plans of economic management resulting in factory closures, through mass layoffs, wage cuts for those who manage to keep their jobs… Primarily, by more misery for our class, the proletariat. This, without mentioning the 2/3 of humanity starved by this system. Today, here, there and everywhere, this very capitalism spreads its barbarism in every conceivable form: escalation of wars and areas of inter-imperialist tensions, the proliferation of numerous terrible acts of terror – and let’s not forget those ecological catastrophes occurring ever more frequently – maiming and killing thousands, each and every day.

The ruling class, abetted by its media, manages to justify all its anti-worker policies by so-called “imperative necessities” of an ideologically planned and manufactured “globalization”, as it sweeps under the rug the daily atrocities generated by its system while offering local assholes (such as Vincent Lacroix, Pierre Karl Péladeau and Conrad Black) as scapegoats or by putting it all down to fate and luck of the draw.

But some workers resist!

At Olymel of Valley-Junction, Friday, April 18, following disciplinary measures aimed at seven of their comrades, workers from the “Cutting” sector went on a massive strike, paralyzing the factory. They didn’t wait for the union, which wanted to take the suspensions to arbitration while sticking to a nauseating 7-year collective agreement.

Then, the boss’s watchdog, the State, came to the rescue, ordered the resumption of work deeming the strike under consideration for Monday to be illegal. Despite this and the union’s disavowal of the strike, that evening the factory’s employees voted 78% in favour of an illegal strike on Monday morning. As a result of their action independent of the trade union, the disciplinary measures against six workers were overturned! The seventh case will be the subject of an accelerated arbitration.

Elsewhere in the world, let us also consider the example of Pomigliano’s FIAT factory in southern Italy that’s paralyzed by a strike. A working committee, formed independently of the union apparatus, organized the mobilization. Until Sunday April 13, the picket lines were supported by 99% of the employees. Monday April 14, the strikers decided to block the flow of commodities to shut the factory down completely. The conflict concerns the fate of 316 skilled workers considered “inconvenient” by the company, which decided to subcontract out their jobs. Trucks will continue to be blocked so long as the 316 workers are not reinstated. Active solidarity and support are essential for strikers manning the picket lines 24 hours a day.

As these two battles clearly show, the working class is not ready to accept the increasing and massive sacrifices that capitalists and their State seek to impose on them.

Careful with fake solutions!

The two battles of Olymel and FIAT are quite different from those of Crocs of Quebec and Golden Brand delicious of Montreal. In Crocs, the State, through its Minister for “Employment and social Solidarity”, Sam Hamad, maintains that its ministry will do everything to accelerate assistance to workers and to facilitate the search for employment while the union spokesman speaks of a revival project. In spite of no mobilization and the complete isolation of the workers, the company chose to close the factory for a few weeks rather than face the prospect of resistance. Some 540 workers will lose the jobs at Golden Brand as a result of outsourcing of its clothing workshop abroad. Silly actions such as the boycott of Moores stores will not change anything. Politicians like Giles Duceppe, leader of the Block, have become political assets on the backs of workers. Their slogan may be “Buy Canada” but what they’re really saying is “Sell everywhere”. Today it’s “Buy Canada” and tomorrow it’s “Defend Canada or Quebec”… And let us kill our enemies, the workers of Vietnam, China, Russia, Romania or elsewhere through a world war of their choosing. Capitalist competition, economic crises are always regulated by wars with workers from opposing imperialist camps, obliged to kill themselves.

Workers, we do not have to support these nationalist slogans; we are the many; it is we who produce the wealth but control nothing.

Our struggles are legitimate, but are they sufficient to drive back the exploiters?

For its fight to be effective, the working class must first shift the balance of forces against the bourgeoisie. To that end it is necessary for it broaden its struggles and extend them, by means of mass delegations to other factories, companies and sectors, to do everything possible to unite them. Even though our struggles are legitimate, are they sufficient to drive back the exploiters?

To undertake this requires workers to take their struggles in hand through sovereign general assemblies and elected strike committees subject to immediate recall, and not turn back to the trade unions which are no longer, nor have been for a long time, organizations for the defense of workers interests. Quite the contrary! Today it’s the only way the proletariat can effectively defend its immediate interests and to push back the repeated attacks of capital.

But this is also that way which will enable workers tomorrow - through the development of their struggle and because they are the revolutionary class - "to storm the heavens" and rid us of this system which can only lead humanity to a new and surely a last word war.


Some internationalist communists, Montréal and Internal Fraction of the International Communist Current

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Address : CIM_ICM, C.P.55514, Succursale Maisonneuve, Montréal, (QC) H1W 0A1

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