International unions

Health workers win in Berlin

Healthcare workers in Berlin have achieved gains through a month-long strike. Workers at the Charité (university-linked) and Vivantes (Berlin-local-state-owned) hospitals, organised in the trade union Verdi and the Berlin Hospital Movement, sustained 35 days of action for safe staffing levels and levelling up of conditions and pay between directly employed and subsidiary contract workers. In October agreements on safe working ratios were reached at both hospitals, including compensatory payments aimed at enforcing levels. It is estimated that this will mean an additional 1,000 nursing staff...

Support Palestinian food workers' fight for union recognition

Workers at the Ta'aman food factory, located in the Mishor Adumim industrial park in Ma'ale Adumim, a Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, are organising to demand improved conditions, better pensions, and recognition of their union. They struck from 5-12 December, after the employer refused to recognise their union and negotiate over their demands. Workers began organising through the Workers' Advice Centre-Ma'an (WAC-Ma'an) in October. WAC-Ma'an is a radical workers' centre which organises in both Israel and Palestine, organising both Jewish and Arab workers, and often...

Reddit vs. Kellogg’s union busting

Redditors at r/antiwork have organised to flood the Kellogg’s corporation process for hiring scab labour with bogus applications. Once Kellogg’s had announced its intention to hire scab labour, members created a comprehensive guide for how to create a realistic seeming faux application which quickly became one of the subreddit’s most popular posts. At one stage, the sheer volume of applications caused Kellogg’s website to crash. Hundreds of workers across four Kellogg’s plants in the US have been on strike for over two months after rejecting a contract negotiated between the company and the...

Referendum win for change in the United Auto Workers

After two years hard campaigning across the United Auto Workers union in the USA (UAW), the Unite All Workers for Democracy (UAWD) grassroots campaign has won a historic victory with 63% of union members across all sectors voting for direct election of International Executive Board officers. Currently, election is indirect, by delegates, and UAWD says that leads to little contest and scope for cronyism and corruption. The results must be certified by a federal court, but it is expected that will be a formality. UAWD chair Scott Houldieson described the new voting process as a “huge step in the...

Yang freed. Back his call to free Lee!

After 84 days in jail, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions president Yang Kyeung-soo has hailed the “spirit of international solidarity” which sustained him and helped win his release, and demanded “immediate release of brother Lee Cheuk-yan… and imprisoned workers around the world”. Lee Cheuk-yan was general secretary of the now-dissolved Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions. He is serving 18 months in prison for his role in a Tiananmen Square memorial demonstration and other pro-democracy protests, and faces new charges under the National Security Law. Yang was arrested on 2 September in...

UAW sells out John Deere workers

Ten thousand strikers at twelve John Deere plants across the US have accepted a contract backed by management and the UAW union after 5 weeks of strike action. One striker summed up the feelings of those battling Deere (and unfortunately their own union): “We were sold out”. A six year contract with a 12% wage increase (i.e a shoddy 2% a year) was passed by 61% across Deere, although in the tractor plant at Waterloo, Iowa, it is reported that 56% of workers rejected the deal. The bosses’ papers dutifully parrot the Deere media blitz that a “significant margin” passed the deal, which is meant...

Victory for HK strikers

From 13 November 200 food delivery workers in Hong Kong struck for two days against their employer Foodpanda. They took to the streets on 16 November with a 15 point series of demands. The police unfurled blue banners instructing them to disperse or face arrest as an illegal assembly — the charge that has seen many leading Hong Kong trade unionists given prison sentences of up to two years. But the workers did not cease their action. The Foodpanda workers, many of whom are Asian migrants to Hong Kong, were protesting about many of the problems experienced by other delivery workers across the...

The political economy of Sudan's coup and uprising

UK-based Sudanese socialist and student activist Mohammed Elnaiem, who was active in Sudan during the revolt of 2019, spoke to Solidarity. On Saturday, we had a “Millions March” in Sudan, part of a schedule of protests called by the resistance committee – neighbourhood committees that are currently leading the rebellion. Two days before it, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan announced the composition of the new, post-coup “sovereignty council”. This added fuel to the fire. People in multiple cities not only demonstrated but effectively rose up and built barricades. There is ongoing civil...

John Deere strikers face re-vote

A re-vote has been announced on the defeated deal in the dispute at John Deere agricultural equipment factories, in Iowa and Indiana and elsewhere in the USA. 10,000 workers had vowed to continue, but union officials from the United Automobile Workers (UAW) announced on 12 November that there would be a re-vote on the agreement already overwhelmingly voted down on 3 November, with only small alterations made. This is reminiscent of the UAW actions at Volvo trucks earlier this year, where 3,000 workers voted down three UAW sell out agreements. It takes the total UAW backed contracts rejected by...

Sudan's neighbourhoods and workers vs the military coup

On 7 November a new wave of protests and a mass strike began in Sudan to overturn the military coup of 25 October. We hope to carry more next week. Sudanese civil society activist Hamid Khalafallah spoke to us on 2 November. What happened after the struggles of 2019? Many people feel this new coup was almost inevitable, because the arrangements created in 2019 were highly problematic. The military ousted Bashir [authoritarian ruler Omar al-Bashir] in 2019, and then they wanted to hold on to as much power as possible. In the course of the uprising, they killed a lot of people – for instance...

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