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Sean Robertson

Australia

A Month of Chilean Rebellion: Whither the Constituent Assembly?

The massive uprising in Chile has entered its second month. However, two of the demonstrators' main demands have not been met: the dismissal of President Piñera and the convening of a constituent assembly. What's next?

Chile: Dockworkers’ Union in the Frontline of the Struggle Against Piñera

The Dockworkers Union of Chile (UPC) has been at the forefront of the struggle against conservative president Sebastián Piñera since the popular rebellion began on October 18. The dockers’ union has repeatedly brought the nation’s ports to a standstill and taken part in numerous general strikes and demonstrations. The UPC is also playing a leading political role with its opposition to the “Agreement for Social Peace and a New Constitution,” an accord signed by establishment politicians that seeks to divert the ongoing rebellion into a process of limited constitutional reform.

Chile: Justice for Daniela Carrasco and All Victims of State Violence

Daniela Carrasco, a 36 year old Chilean mime was found hanging in a park only a few hours after the police detained her. Now the Chilean protests are demanding an investigation of her death. The State is responsible! Trigger warning.

Chilean Workers Reject Piñera’s “New Constitution” with a General Strike

On Tuesday, a day-long general strike paralyzed parts of the Chilean economy. There were massive demonstrations and hundreds of roadblocks were put up across the country. All the while, the discredited president Sebastián Piñera is attempting to regain the initiative with a call for a “new constitution.”

International Dockworkers Council Threatens Boycott of Chilean Cargo

The IDC warns the President of Chile that: “We are on alert and ready to block cargo from Chile in other ports around the world.” This is part of a decades-long tradition of working-class internationalism by dockers and longshore workers.

Chilean Dockers Call for General Strike

In the face of an ongoing state of emergency imposed by right-wing Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, members of the Dockworkers’ Union of Chile (UPC – Unión Portuaria De Chile) have not only begun to take strike action across the nation’s ports, but have also called on all workers to launch a nationwide general strike.

Over 160 dockworkers face dismissal in the Port of Buenos Aires

Around 160 dockworkers in the Port of Buenos Aires, Argentina have been handed telegrams advising them of their impending dismissal from Terminales Río de la Plata (TRP). In response, workers have established a protest camp outside the terminal gates, and a process of government-mediated compulsory conciliation has begun.

Australian Unions Face $100 Million Suit After Docks Struggle

Just weeks before last Christmas, a Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) delegate was sacked from the Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) facility in the Port of Melbourne. Unionists and community members responded with a nineteen day around the clock picket that stopped all container movements in and out of the VICT terminal. Now unions are being sued by the company for up to AU$100 million (US$75-80 million).

Spanish Dockworkers Strike in Defense of Jobs

On June 5, Spanish dockworkers began the first of a series of strikes that will see eight days of strike action over three weeks. These strikes have been called in response to the conservative government’s new Royal Decree Law that targets the country’s port labor system, and the stevedoring companies’ refusal to protect the jobs of 6,150 currently employed dockers.

Spanish and International Unions Strike to Defend Spanish Dockworkers

The conservative government of Spain has set in motion plans to scrap the current port labor system, which would force over six thousand dockworkers to be laid off over four years. In response, Spanish dockworkers’ unions have launched a round of strikes that will begin on March 10. That day will also see international union federations hold an international day of strike action in solidarity with their Spanish colleagues.

Over Six Thousand Spanish Dockworkers’ Jobs Face the Axe

Over six thousand Spanish dockworkers could be made redundant if the Spanish government abides by the demands of the European Commission to scrap the country’s current port labor system.

Swedish dockworkers do battle with APM Terminals

Swedish dockworkers in the port of Gothenburg are in the midst of a long-running dispute with APM Terminals (APMT). This dispute between members of the Swedish Dockworkers’ Union (SDU) and APMT has seen the union’s right to represent its own members targeted and Swedish labor laws ignored by the company. APMT is now threatening to lay off as many as one hundred dockworkers.

Swedish Dockworkers’ Union: Born Fighting Bosses and Bureaucrats

The Swedish Dockworkers’ Union (SDU), or Svenska Hamnarbetarförbundet (HAMN) in Swedish, has been shaped by decades of rank and file dockworkers’ rebellion, bureaucratic expulsions from a general transport union and a long history of international solidarity.

Trotskyist and Feminist Bárbara Brito Wins University of Chile Student Union Vice-Presidency

This is the first time that a candidate from the revolutionary, anti-capitalist left won a senior position in the country’s oldest student federation at its most important university.

April 29 Sees Massive Union Mobilization Against Austerity

All five of Argentina’s deeply divided union federations came together to hold a huge joint demonstration against the conservative government of Mauricio Macri.

Historic victory for the Left in the Tire workers’ union (SUTNA)

On April 29, a united left slate won a historic victory in the elections of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores del Neumático Argentino (SUTNA - United Tire Workers’ Union of Argentina). The Negra-Roja-Granate (Black-Red-Garnet) list convincingly defeated the Violeta (Violet) list led by Pedro Wasiejko, who has controlled the union since 2000. This historic victory for clasismo (working-class politics) signals the defeat of one of Argentina’s most important union leaders and the first time in decades that the Left has won national control of any union in the country.

Long on Rhetoric, Short on Detail: The Communist Party of Australia and the Hutchison Ports Dispute

The dispute that began in August 2015 with the sacking of 97 dock workers has been resolved. After months of negotiations between Hutchison Ports Australia (HPA) and Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) representatives, a round of voluntary redundancies has occurred and a new enterprise agreement is now in place. The Communist Party of Australia (CPA), has printed its ‘analysis’ of this dispute, an analysis that is short on detail about the final outcome and long on windy rhetoric and Stalinist-style attacks against the so-called “ultra-left”.

Hutchison Ports Dispute Ends With Dozens of Voluntary Redundancies

The dispute that began on the night of August 6, 2015, when Hutchison Ports Australia (HPA) sacked 97 dockworkers (“wharfies”) by text message and email, has come to an end. So what was the end result of the dispute that some described as ‘the biggest confrontation on the Australian waterfront since the 1998 Patrick lock-out’?

Hutchison Ports Dispute Enters its Fourth Week

The ongoing dispute between Hutchison Ports Australia and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) has entered its fourth week. The 97 dockworkers, sacked by text message and email on August 6, still remain locked out.

Left Voice launches campaign for 97 sacked Australian dock workers

Supporters of the news website Left Voice have launched a campaign in solidarity with the 97 dock workers employed by Hutchison Ports Australia who were sacked by text message and email on the night of August 6.

Australia: 97 dock workers sacked by Hutchison Ports remain locked out

After a week of magnificent union and community solidarity with the 97 dock workers sacked by Hutchison Ports Australia, the battle for their reinstatement has gone to court.

Australia: Almost 100 dock workers sacked by Hutchison Ports

On August 6, at half an hour before midnight, almost 100 dock workers received text messages on their mobile telephones asking them to check their emails. These members of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) unsuspectingly logged on to their accounts only to find out that Hutchison Ports Australia had sacked them all by email.

Bus Drivers of Line 60 defeat employer sackings and lock out

After a marathon 41 day struggle, the 1,200 bus drivers of the Line 60 bus service in Buenos Aires returned to work on August 5 after winning the reinstatement of fifty sacked workmates. This historic strike by the drivers, known as “choferes” in Argentina, successfully ‘twisted the arm’ of the triple alliance of bosses, government and the leadership of the Union Tranviarios Automotor (UTA - Tram Drivers Union) that was lined up against them.

Maritime Union of Australia elections: continuity and change

The Quadrennial Elections of the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) have just been finalised, with newly elected officials taking office on July 1. The election results in the union which covers the economically strategic areas of shipping, stevedoring and the offshore oil and gas industry were a real mixed bag. The Maritime Union and its predecessor unions have had a long association with Communism, an association which has left behind a contradictory legacy.