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?
Sean RobertsonDecember 6, 2019
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.
Sean RobertsonDecember 3, 2019
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.
Sean RobertsonNovember 27, 2019
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.”
Sean RobertsonNovember 15, 2019
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.
Sean RobertsonOctober 25, 2019
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.
Sean RobertsonOctober 22, 2019
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.
Sean RobertsonJuly 27, 2018
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).
Sean RobertsonJanuary 25, 2018
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.
Sean RobertsonJune 10, 2017
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.
Sean RobertsonMarch 9, 2017
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.
Sean RobertsonMarch 9, 2017
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.
Sean RobertsonFebruary 23, 2017
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.
Sean RobertsonFebruary 22, 2017
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.
Sean RobertsonDecember 1, 2016
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.
Sean RobertsonMay 13, 2016
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.
Sean RobertsonMay 6, 2016
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”.
Sean RobertsonFebruary 16, 2016
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’?
Sean RobertsonJanuary 27, 2016
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.
Sean RobertsonAugust 29, 2015
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.
Sean RobertsonAugust 20, 2015
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.
Sean RobertsonAugust 13, 2015
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.
Sean RobertsonAugust 11, 2015
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.
Sean RobertsonJuly 22, 2015