Networking: Revolutionary and anarcho-syndicalist unions worldwide

Let me shortly introduce myself. I am Mo, organized in the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg and working at a refugee camp. I have been involved in the coordination of the Transcontinental May Day 2017 and am still helping with the administration of the International Student Movement (ISM) platform. Recently I also became a member of the international committee of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) – an anarcho-syndicalist federation union in Germany. As such I want to reach out to other anarcho-syndicalist and revolutionary unions around the world. I am particularly in charge for the Asian region, but of course syndicalists in other parts of the world are also most welcome to get in touch.

There already exists an extensive network of revolutionary and anarcho-syndicalist unions, which plan to unite in a new transnational organisation. It is to be founded at a congress somewhere in Italy in May 2018.

For a better understanding of the FAU, I am attaching parts of the international strategy paper and a talk given by an FAU member with the focus on the so called Foreigners Section in Berlin in English below.

Also interested in connecting on the transnational level with the FAU to practically support each other and act together? Then feel encouraged to contact me: fauhh12@fau.org.


International strategy and position paper

The idea of the unity of the working class despite differences in social-economic situations is one of the principles of the FAU. Providing solidarity on an international level as well as developing and fostering relations with unions in other countries are thus an important part of our identity. The FAU endeavors to take part in the common struggle of workers worldwide. Through intense exchange with other unions, we strive to learn from these, to develop common tactics to counteract oppressive economic conditions and to spread the idea of anarcho-syndicalism.

In light of this, the FAU is against any kind of contact ban. For one thing, anarcho-syndicalists are in a minority worldwide. Thus, contact to an organisation that is not anarcho-syndicalist could be crucial to the success of a struggle by allowing it to become effective. On the other hand, this sort of cooperation offers a framework for overcoming principle differences between organisations.

We clearly position ourselves against ideologies that weaken the cohesion of the working class (social partnership, nationalism, racism, sexism, anti-semitism, etc.) and do not work together with organisations that evidently adhere to these ideologies. We nevertheless support the conflicts of the rank and file of such organisations, as long as their struggle is not based on such ideologies. The goal is to promote the ideas of anarcho-syndicalism through solidarity.

Solidarity

The FAU’s support and solidarity work is one of the pillars of our union activities. Borders are of no importance to us in this light. Information about conflicts must be exchange as quickly as possible to make our solidarity work more effective. We often receive solidarity request far too late for an appropriate reaction.

Individual syndicates within the FAU are called upon to take part in solidarity action more often, whereby the coordination commission and international committee should support them whenever possible. Solidarity action can help small syndicates develop a profile as a union and to present themselves in public as a union. Financial support from the regions and coordination committee for solidarity actions should be possible within the framework of the principle of federalism.

Establishing consistent activities on an international level

We aim to develop consistent, resilient and concrete union work at an international level as soon as possible. To this aim, we put particular emphasis on working with sister unions where a certain degree of cooperation already exists.
Above all this refers to Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) in Spain and Unione Sindacale Italiana (USI) in Italy. […]

[…] we aim for close cooperation with the Sveriges Arbetares Centralorganisation (SAC) in Sweden and the Confédération nationale du travail (CNT-F) in France. We have had fruitful relations with both unions for decades, which we would like to expand in the near future and see translate into more consistent practical work.
We would also like to continue and expand the periodic exchange we have had thus far with the Solidarity Federation (SF) in the UK, the Federación Obrera Regional Argentina (FORA) in Argentinia, the Inicjatywa Pracownicza (IP) in Poland, the Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs – Solidarité ouvrière (CNT-SO) in France and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).

– extract from the International Strategy and Position paper of the FAU (2015)

Advertisements

Report from Yangon

In Yangon the All Burma Federation of Student Unions (ABFSU) invited to a meeting at the office of Youth for a New Society.

We discussed the global labour movements, Burmese workers struggles and workers rights conditions in Burma. People from  the All Burma Federation of Student Unions, members of Youth for a New Society, some Trade Union leaders and representatives as well as some scholars participated.

Report from Dhaka

The International Affairs Secretary of the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre (GWTUC) sent us the following report on their May Day activities in Dhaka.

Workers of the world, Unite!

Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre
Mukti Bhaban, 2 Comrade Moni shingha Road, Purana Paltan, Dhaka-1000
www.gwtuc.org; www.facebook.com/gwtuc; +8801924150250

GWTUC observe May Day demanding 16000 BDT
Minimum monthly wage & free trade union rights

In the wake of the great May Day, the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre, the organization of the fight and struggle of 4.5 million garment workers in Bangladesh, has organized a huge rally in Dhaka. The rally held at Comrade Moni Shingha Street at 10am. The leaders gave revolutionary congratulations to all the working people and people of the country in their speech. They announced this May Day as the May Day of the struggle for increased wages. The leaders demanded for minimum basic wage of Tk 10 thousands ($ 123) and minimum gross wage of Tk 16 thousands ($ 197) for the readymade garment sector of Bangladesh and urged workers to move to the movement. The leaders also urged all the conscience people of the society to join the struggle for the working people. The leaders further said that, the rights and privileges of the workers were being robbed by the owners and government. Most workers still don’t have a holiday on May Day. Workers’ rights are denied according to the labor laws. Workers don’t have safety of the job and workplace, and the right to trade unions freely. Unemployment, commodity prices, housing rent and housing crisis have worsened. Women workers are victims of discrimination and sexual harassment. The demand for declaration of the minimum wage of the country is still neglected. Leaders urged to build up the independent, pro revolutionary and class oriented trade union movement. They called for international solidarity among the working class.

One of the legendary and veteran leader of the working class Comrade Manzurul Ahsan Khan was the chief speaker of the rally. The president of the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Comrade Mujahidul Islam Selim, president of the GWTUC Mantu Ghosh, general secretary Joly Talukder also addressed the rally.
In the afternoon nine rallies were held at different industrial areas. The areas are Ashulia, Narayanganj, Kanchpur, Gazipur, Chittagong, Narsingdi, Tejgaon, Joydebpur and Fatullah.

May Day demonstration by GWTUC in the streets of Dhaka

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

On 29 April 2017 without providing any reasonable grounds whatsoever, the police authority unlawfully, arbitrarily and without exercising valid legal principles revoked the permission to arrange the pre-determined May Day rally at Ashulia industrial area. Where a strong strike and struggle has been held some days before for increased wages. But ignoring the barriers and facing the attack GWTUC held the rally and thousands of militant workers were there. Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) president Comrade Mujahidul Islam Selim addressed the rally.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Kanchpur Industrial Area

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Fatullah Industrial Area

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Badda Industrial Area

Narsingdi Industrial Area


In addition to the May Day report the following article was attached.

 Observing the 4th year since Rana Plaza Tragedy

The Garment Workers’ Trade Union Centre (GWTUC) observed the 4th year of Rana Plaza tragedy as another year passed by without the workers being compensated, rehabilitated and the people responsible for the commission of such a tragedy nowhere near to be accounted for their atrocities in a court of law.

In such circumstances, GWTUC began the day by paying respect to the victims who are resting in peace at the Jurain Graveyard at 8 am. One minute of silence was observed to pay homage by the leaders and members of GWTUC. At the same time another team of GWTUC leaders and members paid homage to Rana Plaza Memorial at Savar.

The government irresponsibly, recklessly and perhaps intentionally obstructed the public meeting of GWTUC which was scheduled to take place in front of the ruins of Rana Plaza at 4 pm on 24 April 2017. The police without any provocation or reasonable grounds whatsoever used excessive, undue and unlawful force to disperse the public meeting and took away the stage on the night before 24 April 2017 thus violating Constitutional rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Disabled and handicapped victims of Rana Plaza who were present at the meeting were injured by police brutality along with the leaders and activists of GWTUC.

On 25 April 2017, GWTUC organized a public meeting to protest and condemn suppression of constitutional rights by the government in front of National Press Club.

 The leaders and activists condemned the police attacks on their public meeting on 24 April 2017 and demanded justice for the victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy. After the meeting, the procession protesting the events of 24 April 2017, went through several important central streets and ended in front of the party office of Communist Party of Bangladesh.

Following are the demands

  1.  the victims dead or alive must be properly compensated as soon as possible;
  2. the victims who are injured and living without any financial security and the least human dignity must be rehabilitated;
  3. the people responsible for this tragedy must be brought to justice;
  4. 24th April should be declared to be observed and respected nationwide as a day of national mourning and a public holiday.

Report from Brighton

The following report was sent to us from Brighton:

Precarious Mayday in Brighton

On 1st May, a coalition of groups came together in Brighton to hold a Precarious Mayday’ night demonstration to support and develop worker self-organisation in the city. The coalition calling the demonstration was made up of precarious academic staff from the university, supermarket workers and Deliveroo riders (organised in the IWGB base union) alongside students from a rent strike mobilising group, an occupied social centre and two political collectives (Plan C and SolFed). All the workers in this coalition have been let down by the big unions – either
they’ve been sold out, the union works with the bosses, or their sector is considered too difficult to organise. Now we are proving that working together as a self-organised class is a viable alternative to joining unions that don’t care about us. Social movements, too, have shown how making common cause with workers can increase the strength of all our demands.

The demonstration began at 7pm, and about 100 people took over the city centre with pyro and a sound system, despite an usually heavy police presence. The demo also confronted the Ephesus restaurant, which is refusing to pay workers the minimum wage, and demanded fair treatment and a right to self-organisation. The police, as ever, protected the business, even though they were the ones not paying the legal minimum wage.

Since the demonstration, the Circus street social centre has been evicted by the police. The state continues to crack down on occupied spaces in the city to prevent workers developing the infrastructure they need to further
develop a movement. However, even with this opposition, victories are being won: Deliveroo riders are reporting that their average wages continue to rise as a result of their organisation.

Report from Hamburg

In Hamburg activities were organized by the local syndicates of the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) as well as Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) on three different days. One focus was the support of the ongoing struggle of plantation workers on Margaret’s Hope Tea Garden (Darjeeling, West Bengal) for better working and living conditions. A seperate call to action was published as well.

April 28th

The documentary Silence Flows which was created by fellow activists on the ground and informs about the working and living conditions of the tea plantation workers in the region was shown at the autonomous cultural centre Schwarze Katze (Black Cat). The screening was attended by about 20 people.

May 1st

The FAU Hamburg and IWW Hamburg mobilized to a block on the general May Day rally that is antinational, anticapitalist and critical of the policies of the Federation of German Trade Unions (DGB), especially of their idea of “social partnership“.

All together more than 8,000 people joined the rally, which was made up of various blocks from different more or less leftist groups. And hundreds of flyers were distributed informing about the call for a Transcontinental May Day as well as the struggle of the tea plantation workers in Darjeeling.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

May 2nd

A day after the May Day rally members of the local FAU and IWW gathered at the Gebrüder Wollenhaupt GmbH, a tea wholesaler in the region that also makes profits by selling tea from Margaret’s Hope.
Some pamphlets were distributed and a talk between two members of the syndicates and the Wollenhaupt management took place. The meeting was not organized in advance, so there was no time to prepare. Nonetheless it was used to inform about the two grassroots unions in Hamburg being in touch with the labour union of the plantation workers in Darjeeling (Chaay Bagan Sangram Samity, CBSS) and to forward their demands. Those include the implementation of a proper minimum wage and payment of outstanding wages, free supply of work equipment (e.g. boots to protect from snake bites), and proper medical facilities near the plantations.

The Wollenhaupt management agreed to consider contacting CBSS and that they will look into the problems put forward. Let’s see if this will increase the pressure on those responsible for the conditions on the ground. The local FAU and IWW syndicates will stay tuned.

on the banner it says “Solidarity” in Nepali

செயலுக்கான அழைப்பு

இந்த ‘செயலுக்கான அழைப்பு ‘ என்பது உலகளவில் ஒருங்கிணைக்கப்பட்ட மே நாள் நிகழ்வுகளின் ஒரு பகுதியாகும். இதில் பரிந்துரைக்கப்பட்ட குறியீடுகள் மற்றும் hashtag #1world1struggle என்பவையும் அடக்கம். இந்த அழைப்பு இந்த ஒருங்கிணைப்புக்கு ஒரு பொதுவான உள்ளடக்கத்தை வழங்குகிறது. நமது செயல்பாடுகள் குறித்து அனைத்துலக அளவில் கொண்டு செல்ல இந்த குறியீடுகள்,hashtag போன்றவை பயன்படும்.

இந்த கண்டம் கடந்த மே நாள் அழைப்பில் இணைந்து கொள்ளவும்,இந்த முயற்சியின் ஆதரவாளராக இணையவும் மே நாள் 2017 மின்னஞ்சல் குழு என்ற இணைப்பை தொடர்பு கொள்ளுங்கள். உங்கள் பின்னூட்டத்தையும் கீழே பதிவிடலாம்.

கண்டங்களுக்கிடையேயான மே நாள் 2017
1 மே , 2017

ஒவ்வொரு ஆண்டும் மக்கள் தெருக்களுக்கு வந்து மே 1 ம் தேதி சர்வதேச தொழிலாளர் தினத்தை நினைவுகூரும் வகையில் வேலைநிறுத்தத்தில் ஈடுபடுகின்றனர். சர்வதேச மாணவர் இயக்கம் (ISM) என்ற தளத்தின் ஊடாக, தொழிலாளர்கள் மற்றும் மாணவர்களின் குழுவினர் நடத்திய பல கூட்டங்களின் விளைவாக பின்வரும் அழைப்பை விடுக்கின்றோம். உலகெங்கும் களப்பணியாற்றிவரும் குழுக்கள்,தொழிற்சங்கங்கள், புதிய முன்முயற்சிகளை மேற்கொள்பவர்கள் என அனைவரின் மே நாள் செயல்பாடுகளை ஒன்றிணைப்பதன் மூலம் நடந்து வரும் போராட்டங்களுக்கு ஒரு உலகளாவிய பார்வையை கொடுக்க விரும்புகிறோம்.

நமது வாழ்விடங்களைத் தாண்டி தொழிலாளர்கள் மற்றும் மாணவர்களாக நாம் ஒற்றுமையுடன் நிற்க வேண்டும், ஏனென்றால் நாம் அனைவரும் இலாப நோக்கம் கொண்ட நலன்களுக்கு எதிரான போராட்டத்தில் ஈடுபட்டுள்ளோம். மக்கள் நலத்திட்டங்களுக்கான நிதி ஒதுக்கீட்டில் சரிவு, அயலாக்கம்(outsourcing), குறைந்து வரும் கூலி/ஊதியம், தனியார்மயமாக்கல், அதிகரித்து வரும் வாழ்வாதாரச் செலவுகள் மற்றும் கல்விச் செலவுகள் இவை அனைத்தும் உலக முதலாளித்துவப் பொருளாதார அமைப்புடன் நேரடியாக தொடர்புடைய அறிகுறிகளாகும். சுரண்டலையும் போட்டியையும் அடிப்படையாகக் கொண்ட இந்த அமைப்பு முறை நமது வாழ்க்கையின் அத்தனை அம்சங்களையும் வணிக மயமாக்குகிறது.

பணியிடமாக இருந்தாலும், கல்வி நிலையங்களாக இருந்தாலும் அதிகரித்து வரும் செயல்திறன் பற்றிய அழுத்தம் மிகவும் கவலை அளிப்பதாக உள்ளது. குறிப்பாக குழந்தை மற்றும் இளைஞர்கள் மத்தியில் இந்த அழுத்தம் அதிகரித்து வருகின்றது. சந்தைப் பொருளாதாரம் மற்றும் அதனுடன் தொடர்புடைய தேசிய அரசு கட்டமைப்புகள், மக்களின் சுதந்திர சிந்தனைகளை வளர்த்தெடுப்பதை விட, குழுவோடு ஒத்துப்போதல், போட்டித்திறன் மற்றும் மதிப்பு-சேர்க்கப்பட்ட உற்பத்தி ஆகியவற்றுக்கு முன்னுரிமை அளிக்கிறது. “நமது எதிர்காலத்தில் முதலீடு செய்வதாக” தூண்டப்பட்டு நாம் கல்விக் கடன்களை சேர்த்துக்கொண்டே போகிறோம். இந்த பெரும் கடன் சுமையை நாம் பெறப்போகும் அறிவு,திறன்கள் உள்ளிட்ட தனிமனித மூலதனத்தையும், கூட்டு செயல்பாட்டை கற்றுத்தரும் மனித உறவுகள்,சமூக விழுமியங்கள் உள்ளிட்ட சமூக மூலதனத்தையும் உழைப்பு சந்தையில் விற்பதன் மூலம் திரும்ப செலுத்த வேண்டியுள்ளது. தற்போதைய அமைப்பு முறை முதலாளித்துவ அமைப்புக்கு பொருந்தக்கூடிய எல்லைகளுக்குள்ளேயே நமக்கான கல்வியை கற்பிக்கின்றது. மாறாக, நமக்கு ஒரு திறந்த மற்றும் அனைவருக்கும் இலவசமான கல்வி வேண்டும். மேலும், இது எந்த விதமான சமூக பொருளாதார அடிப்படையிலும் பாகுபாடற்ற ஒரு கல்வியாக இருக்க வேண்டும்.நாம் வெறுமனே ஒரு இடையூறு செய்ய முற்படவில்லை , மாறாக இவ்வமைப்பையே தகர்க்க விழைகிறோம்.

முதலாளித்துவத்தின் தேசங்கள் கடந்த அதன் இயல்பை பார்க்கிற போது, உலகளவிலான தொழிலாளர்களின் ஒருங்கிணைப்பு எவ்வளவு பொருத்தமானதோ அதே அளவு பொருத்தமானது மாணவர்களின் இணைப்பும். எல்லைகளுக்கு அப்பாற்பட்ட ஒரு வட்டத்தில் ஒன்றிணைவதன் மூலம், நமது உள்ளூர் வாழ்க்கையைத் தீர்மானிக்கும் பன்னாட்டு பொருளாதார அமைப்பு முறையை இனங்காணலாம். மேலும், அது ஆபத்தான பணி நிலைமைகள் மற்றும் சுரண்டலுக்கு எதிரான போராட்டத்தின் புதிய சாத்தியக் கூறுகளையும் சக்தியையும் நமக்கு அறிமுகம் செய்கிறது. ஒரே மதிப்பு கூட்டப்பட்ட சங்கிலிக்குள் ஐக்கியப்படுவதன் மூலம், தொழிலாளர்களின் கூட்டு பேர வலிமை மிகப்பெரிய அளவில் அதிகரிக்கும். எடுத்துக்காட்டாக, தென் ஆப்பிரிக்காவின் மரிக்கானாவில் வேலை நிறுத்தம் செய்த சுரங்கத் தொழிலாளர்களும், ஜெர்மனியின் BASF இரசாயன ஆலைத் தொழிலாளர்களும் ஒன்றிணைந்து இருந்தால் என்ன நடந்திருக்கும் என்று நினைத்து பாருங்கள். அந்த சுரங்கத்தின் உற்பத்தியில் பெருமளவு கொள்முதல் செய்வது BASF என்பதை இங்கு குறிப்பிட வேண்டும். இப்படிப்பட்ட தொழிலாளர்களின் ஒருங்கிணைப்பு நிகழ்ந்திருக்குமேயானால், 2012 மரிக்கனா படுகொலை சம்பவம் தவிர்க்கப்பட்டு இருக்கலாம்.

சர்வதேச அளவில் ஒருங்கிணைக்கப்பட்ட மே நாள் 2017 மூலம், நமது கூட்டு இலக்காக ஒரு மேம்பட்ட வாழ்க்கையை அடைய விழைகிறோம். உலகளவில் தொழிலாளர்கள் மற்றும் மாணவர்கள் ஒற்றுமையை கட்டமைப்பதன் மூலம் மட்டுமே இது சாத்தியமாகும். தேசியவாத மற்றும் இனவெறி போக்குகள் அதிகரித்து வரும் இவ்வேளையில் பொதுவான போராட்டத்தை வலியுறுத்தி நாம் ஒருவருக்கொருவர் கைகோர்த்து நிற்க வேண்டியதையும் , நம்மை நமக்கெதிராக திரித்து காட்டும் சக்திகளை எதிர்க்கவும் வலியுறுத்துகிறோம்.

எல்லைகளைக் கடந்து, அனைவருக்குமான நல்வாழ்க்கைக்காக !

#1world1struggle

Chat #12 (final chat before May Day)

April 30th: Final Chat Meeting
before the Transcontinental May Day 2017

The chat meetings are an important part of the tools of communication in the coordination process of the Transcontinental May Day 2017. Notes of previous chat meetings are available inside this pad. The next chat meeting will take place on Sunday, April 30th, at 4pm UTC!

A first eleven chat meetings to discuss the idea and agree on a common framework took place since September 2016. They were joined by people in Hamburg, Dhaka, Rabat, somewhere on the Philippines and Malaysia, in Madrid, Freetown, Louvain, Koblenz, West Bengal, Regensburg, Nijmegen as well as Florida and Zürich.
A final chat meeting before May Day is scheduled to take place on April 30th (Sunday).
It will be used to collect some last minute updates from around the world.

And for those of you who have a profile on fb, there is this event page.

Suggested Chat Agenda

TOP1: round of introduction & clarification of any questions (if necessary)
TOP2: sharing updates related to May Day 2017

TOP3: coordinating next steps/ responsibilities
TOP4: open space

The main pad can be used to share ideas, leave comments or suggestions.

How to participate in the Chat Meeting

April 30th (Sunday) — noon EDT, 4pm UTC, 6pm CET, 9:30pm IST
this time converter can help you find out what time 4pm UTC will be in your location

Chatroom: IRC-channel #ism-global on chat.freenode.net
direct link: http://webchat.freenode.net/?randomnick=1&channels=ism-global
=> NO webcam or microphone needed – just confirm that you are not a robot and enter the chatroom!