As May Day approaches, the International Workers Association would like to express our solidarity to workers in struggle across the globe and to those fighting for a more horizontal economic and social order throughout the world. We would like to remind all of the meaning of May Day and the significance of the ideas behind the revolutionary workers' international – the IWA.
During the 1880s, workers and unionists like ourselves fought for the right to an 8-hour working day. They were violently repressed by the state and some of our comrades gave their lives for this struggle. Almost a century and a half later, many of us are still in the struggle for the 8-hour working day. The capitalists who exploit working people to collect their riches and usurp their power still work people beyond limits, especially in the poor countries of the world where they labor all day for their miserable existence. Often aided by the state, the capitalists may exploit and offer outrageously poor conditions which workers are driven into out of desperation. The world's working class is thus divided in relation to their access to the fruits of their labor, a world of more and less priveleged humans, with some workers clinging onto the lower rung for their survival. However, our struggle is a common one: to rid the world of this unjust and hierarchical social and economic struggle and to set about creating a world of truly equals.
We invite you to participate in a video conference / webinar on anarchosyndicalist organization. Participants may take part in discussions by chat, voice or video in the second half of each part, which lasts 1.5-2 hours.
The ABC's of anarchosyndicalism will be in 3 parts over the course of a month.
A IS FOR ANARCHOSYNDICALISMWhat is anarchosyndicalism, how is it different from mainstream unionism, what are the ideas and practices behind it?
On Sunday, 23rd March 2015, the Secretariat of the IWA organized a videoconference on wage theft. The aim was to share experiences from conflicts against bosses and this way help others to act more effectively. We used this form of presentation and discussion for the first time and the result is very positive. Members of organization from Europe and USA took part in the videoconference, concretely from ZSP (IWA Poland), Portland Solidarity Network, Seattle Solidarity Network, Solidarity Federation – Brighton (IWA UK), ARS (IWA Bulgaria), PA (IWA Slovakia), ASI (IWA Serbia) and MASA (Croatia). The topic was highly practical and the discussions helped perhaps the most the members from organization that do not have much experience in organizing conflicts.
Indra is a huge technology and consulting firm based in Spain. It has billions in yearly revenue and offices all over the world. It also is a company that illegally assigns workers in Spain, using dodgy intermediaries to avoid direct employment. Our comrades at the CNT have organized Indra workers in several places.
In 2013, two of our comrades from Madrid lost their jobs as a reprisal for reporting the illegal assignment of workers. Now two of the directors of Indra are being charged with perjury in their cases. At the same time, there are headline stories of how Indra bought off judges and prosecutors in Madrid.
With these latest scandals, we call for solidarity with the precariously employed, illegally assigned workers of Indra and with those who were repressed by this firm and then were screwed over by a corrupt system of judicial injustice.
We support the call of the CNT for actions at Indra offices.
On the occasion of International Woman's Day, we would like to address the issue of problems which disproportionately affect women in the workplace, dealing with them in a more effective manner and increasing the participation of women in our movement.
Talking to comrades from inside the anarchosyndicalist movement and from outside, we can see that we still have a long way to go to take an organized approach to fighting sexism in our workplaces. At the recent international anarchafeminist conference, during the workshop which dealt with workplace organizing, we found that women had many similar complaints and experiences in the workplace, but few of them had been involved in organizing around those issues where they worked. Only a few of them were involved in unions, either mainstream or alternative.
The reasons for this may be very complex and can also involve many personal specifics. But it is worth discussion. In some of our organizations we have a gender inbalance or women are somehow marginalized because of patterns of behaviour that may be more inclined towards male socialization. However we all know that our movement should not function like this and that the struggle for equality is not only an economic one, but a struggle for equality in all aspects.
On this occasion, we call on our comrades to explore these issues, to take steps towards making improvements where necessary and to highlight the role of women where they have been active and successful.
In the week of January 26-31, a number of actions were held at Amazon and Manpower in solidarity with workers at Amazon Poland, some of whom are employed through the Manpower agency. The ZSP union in Amazon is fighting to regulate payments which weren't made and to improve the overall working conditions.
Organizations and individuals sent protests from many countries and organized actions in the UK, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Spain, Norway, Brazil and Poland. Prior to this week, there was also an action at Manpower headquarters in the USA.
Resolution of the IWA Founding Congress, 1922.
War and Militarism
Militarism is the system of monopolistic State violence for the purpose of defence and expansion of the national theatre of exploitation (defensive war or war of aggression), for bringing fresh theatres of exploitation under control (colonial war) and for coming down hard on the rebellious popular masses (strikes, unrest, rioting).
In every instance, the object is to preserve and increase the profits of the ruling classes, to wit, the proletariat’s enemy class.
Militarism is the last and the mightiest resort at the bourgeoisie’s disposal in keeping the working class under the thumb and snuffing out its struggles for freedom.
During the international week of struggles against Arvato-Qualytel with pickets and actions at Orange outlets in various countries, the first court case against Arvato-Qualytel and Adecco was to take place, but it did not happen because a favourable agreement was made with the worker.
On the morning of Monday the 19, we were in court at the aforementioned case of one of the suits made by one of the comrades of the CNT-AIT union in Arvato-Qualytel. The respondant's lawyers solicited a recess in order to come to a settlement. After various offers which the worker rejected, all admitting that the dismissal was not allowed, an agreement was reached for compensation of 132 days of salary for each year employed, which is four times more than is set out in the law.