National Sections of the L5I:

Trade Unions

Russian workers struggles revive

Dave Stockton looks at the recent upsurge in workplace struggles in the former Soviet Union Read more...

Masses storm capital to halt austerity drive

On Friday 21 January thousands of indigenous Indians stormed Ecuador’s parliament building in the capital Quito.

A state of emergency was announced on 5 January to try to forestall planned strikes and demonstrations. But the mass of protesters ignored the government’s decree. Sweeping aside the troops guarding the building they occupied the parliamentary chamber and demanded the resignation of the country’s President, Jamil Mahuad. Read more...

Trade unions in Central Europe: fighting the market

In the old Stalinist states trade unions were a prison house for the workers they claimed to represent. Lesley Day charts the changes capitalist restoration has made. Read more...

French workers rock Juppé

For three weeks in December French workers took to the streets in mass protests, strikes and occupations. Paul Morris explains the events and their aftermath. Mathieu Roux of Pouvoir Ouvrier (French section of the LRCI) examines the response of the French left. We also print translations taken from the bulletins and newspapers issued by Pouvoir Ouvrier during the strikes. Read more...

Germany: the return of the class struggle

After many years of “good-bye to the working class”, in which, “new global questions facing humanity” seemed to make all orientation to the working class appear hopelessly out of date, a discussion has recently broken out in Germany over the “rebirth of the social question”. One prominent German trade union leader, Schmithenner, summed it up;

“The ‘social question’, which many people thought had been resolved, has announced its return with a vengeance…and this return of the traditional battlegrounds of social conflict within the capitalist market economy comes at a time when the idea that post-materialist culture and lifestyles were now all that mattered had carried the day in scientific and political discussions.”1 Read more...

Thatcher, Major and the unions: Fighting “the enemy within”

When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 she had united the Tory party around the goal of breaking the strength of the British trade unions. Read more...

Fighting the "enemy within" - Thatcher Major and the Tories

When Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 she had united the Tory party around the goal of breaking the strength of the British trade unions. This, the Thatcherites argued, was essential for the restructuring of industry and the restoration of British capitalism’s profitability. Read more...

SWP and the unions: Syndicalism’s fear of the bureaucracy

It might at first sight seem curious to accuse the Socialist Workers Party of syndicalism. After all is it not a party? But Colin Lloyd argues that in fact the SWP has a thoroughly syndicalist notion of the rank and file movement and the struggle for union democracy. Read more...