Tag Archives: internationalism

The Ghetto Dwellers Speak: Portavoz con Staylok- El Otro Chile (The Other Chile) with English subs

 

We’re sharing this video from an incredibly powerful Chilean MC: Portavoz (which means “spokesman” in Spanish). This is our first sharing of music. We feel that a working class and progressive culture is needed in South Florida. It will be constructed through the efforts of the working class and laborers here. However, as an organization based on working class principles, we will continue to spread any music we feel is relatable to us. This helps show the efforts of artists and workers in the US and around the world that may be useful to constructing an autonomous working class movement. Some content will be more historical others contemporary. In this particular video, Portavoz demarcates from official Chilean “history” and the reality facing regular working people versus the capitalist presentation in their media (true to the elements of Hip-Hop and it’s tendency of being the voice of  everyday ordinary people). It draws a clear line between the Chilean masses and the classes dictating Chilean society. Chile historically has had strong, well organized worker’s organizations and this is reflected in their creative works. As an international class, we feel the workers should know their history here and abroad, and much of the specifics to Chile can easily be replaced by local details in South Florida and US in general. English subtitles are available on the “settings” button of this link….

Looking Back In Time: Workers in the US and Chile have a link not too well known among our workers. Chile was the scene of a brutal military coup backed by the US (with our tax money!). The direct CIA and economic intervention of US Imperialism which backed certain factions of Chilean capitalism, was responsible for the kidnappings, tortures and murders of tens of thousands of working people in Chile. Chile was where the current economic attacks on workers around the world with budget cuts, cutting wages and mass privatizations was first developed. Forced by Pinochet, the General who ran Chile for Chilean and International capitalists, the Chilean economy undertook massive attacks on the working class

Workers Struggle shares a glimpse of our sister and brother workers reality in Chile and recognizes the brutality of the bosses the world over for profit no matter what it does to our lives or our world. This should act as a calling to ourselves here to organize against those who exist off the labor of workers, and at our expense!

(Posted by Ricardito Ramos, 11/06/2016)

Fired textile workers call for support!!

500gourdesWe received the following from the Rapid Response Network:

Textile workers in Haiti ask that we pressure H&H sweatshop (where clothing for retailers like Walmart is produced) to rehire the workers who were fired, respect the right to organize, and to pay the wages workers demand. Working class solidarity knows no borders! Workers of the world: unite! Please share widely.

Details here: http://goo.gl/PW0h8l

and here:

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NYC Event: Haiti: Imperialist Domination, Occupation and Emancipation: The Working-Class Perspective

july28

We received a notice for an event coming up:

The Batay Ouvriye Solidarity Network invites you to our monthly progressive community
gathering on the occasion of the 101st Anniversary of the first U.S. Occupation of Haiti
(July 28, 1915-July 28, 2016).

Haiti: Imperialist Domination, Occupation and Emancipation: The Working-Class
Perspective

Political Analysis
Refreshments & Debate

Saturday, July 30, 2016 – 6:00 PM

Jan-Jak Desalin Community Hall
836 Rogers Ave, Brooklyn
(between Church Ave and Erasmus St, take #2 train to Church Ave.)

for information call: 516-499-1689bosolidarity@yahoo.com

 

Call for Solidarity: Demand Reinstatement of Union Organizer in Haiti

We received the following call for international solidarity from Textile Factory Union Platform-Batay Ouvriye (PLASIT-BO). Please take action, and send solidarity statements to the workers (info below). Kreyol original is behind the cut.

Textile workers mobilize for the minimum wage May 11, 2016 in Port-au-Prince.

Textile workers mobilize for the minimum wage May 11, 2016 in Port-au-Prince.

Following the day of mobilization on May 11, 2016 that the Textile Factory Union Platform-Batay Ouvriye (PLASIT-BO) launched to demand that the government set the minimum wage at 500 Gourdes ($7.94 for an eight-hour workday) and publish an Executive Order to make it official immediately, Clifford Apaid, owner of the plant, Premium Apparel, made the decision to fire our comrade, Telemarque Pierre, General Coordinator of Apparel and Textile Workers Union (SOTA-BO) and spokesperson for PLASIT, on Saturday May 14, 2016.

The firing is an act of repression, which is not a surprise to us after we learned of the declarations of capitalist organizations such as ADIH (Haitian Industrialists Association), Better Work and USDOL (United States Department of Labor). They are united to denounce and condemn acts of violence they claim to have been committed against property and people during the day of mobilization. After these declarations of war, we knew the bosses were going to retaliate against us, workers, who are fighting to change our lives.

We denounce the repression against our comrade. We say, “an injury to one is injury to all of us.” We’re calling on our friends and comrades, brothers and sisters in national and international organizations to demand the reinstatement of Telemarque Pierre in his post immediately.

To do so, contact the companies and agencies below :

Premium Apparel (factory): premium@agacorp.com

Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST), Haiti : maffairesocial@yahoo.fr

***

In addition, you can contact the following:

AGA Corporation (Premium is its subsidiary):
7209 NW 41 St., Miami, FL 33166-6711
305-592-1860

Gildan (the international clothing brand that contracts with Premium):
Jason M. Greene, Director of Supply Chain: 843-606-3750
Corporate office (Montreal): 514-735-2023; toll free 866-755-2023; info@gildan.com
Customer Service (Charleston, SC): 843-606-3600
Twitter: @GildanOnline; facebook.com/GildanOnline/

Use #RehirePierre #SolidarityForever #500Gourdes

Send statements of solidarity directly to the textile workers, and let them know of your activities: batay@batayouvriye.org

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This Thursday 5/19: Textile Workers in Haiti Pledge to Mobilize Against Repression!!

May11b

[Kreyol original below]

Management has begun a repression campaign following the day of mobilization on May 11, 2016 by the Textile Factory Union Platform-Batay Ouvriye (PLASIT-BO) to demand that the government set the minimum wage at 500 Gourdes ($7.94 for an eight-hour workday) and publish an Executive Order to make it official immediately.  The general coordinator of the Apparel and Textile Workers Union-Batay Ouvriye (SOTA-BO) and spokesperson of PLASIT, Telemarque Pierre, has been fired on Saturday May 14, 2016 with no motive given. This act of repression is not a surprise to us coming from the factory boss, Clifford Apaid. He’s simply acting on his interest not only as a reactionary bourgeois, but also, acting in accordance to the dictates of his masters in United States Department of Labor (U.S.D.O.L.). Capitalist organizations such as ADIH (Haitian Industrialists Association) in mesh with Better Work and U.S. Department of Labor are united to denounce and condemn acts of violence they claim to have been committed against property and people during the day of mobilization.

Cheaply said  but badly thought out.  Just as May 11, we have become aware that it is through our COLLECTIVE STRUGGLES WE WILL WRESTLE OUR RIGHTS UNDER THE WEIGHT OF CAPITALISTS, THE HAITIAN STATE AND THEIR IMPERIALIST MASTERS. We, the workers, know very well, “an injury to one is injury to all of us in the working class.” Where were ADIH, USDOL and Better Work for the eight (8) months that nothing was said about our minimum wage ?

Mobilization of textile workers, May 11, 2016, Port-au-Prince

Mobilization of textile workers, May 11, 2016, Port-au-Prince

All of these ravings are a declaration of war against us, workers, who are fighting for a living wage allowing for a better life for our children. They are speaking of violence without thinking about the violence we are subjected to everyday in not being paid a living wage to meet our basic needs such as feeding our children, paying rent, having health insurance even as we work so hard. This is the violence capitalists are perpetrating against us, workers, while the institutions, national as well as international, and the Haitian State, have said nothing against that. They all keep their mouths shut.

It should have been clear to the bosses and their allies, “hungry dogs don’t play!” They are responsible for the conditions that forced us to take to the streets to scream for help so they  give us a minimum wage of at least 500 Gourdes ($7.94 for an eight-hour workday). Neither ADIH, Better Work nor USDOL can understand the extreme violence against us when we cannot feed our children dinner everyday after work. We are forced to go and borrow 20 gourdes ($0.32) in order to give our children sweetened water to drink. They are using a few isolated incidents committed during the living wage mobilization to confuse the issue and make the victims appear to be the bullies. In this way, they can launch a repression campaign or take sanctions against union leaders.

That is why we say : The firing of our comrade will not be tolerated. All employers who wish to use the dictates of USDOL to intimidate us, make us afraid to continue to organize or mobilize, we are telling them, WE WILL NOT OBEY! The Fight for social justice will continue! Our comrade is fired for his union activities, demanding a living wage. Union activities such as strikes and marching cannot be motives to fire a union leader. The firing of our comrade is an act of repression, intimidation and interference in the fundamental rights of workers to organize concerted activities to defend their economic and social interests.

We demand the reinstatement of our comrade, Telemarque Pierre, immediately! Why should he lose his job just because he was doing union business for demands of a collective nature? We disagree with the minimum wage of 265 Gourdes ($4.21) the ADIH employers are pushing for. We will not be intimidated nor give up in this fight. The mobilization for a minimum wage of $500 Gourdes and other demands will continue with more vigor! We will rally on Thursday May 19, 2016 to continue our mobilization in front of SONAPI and march to the National Palace.

DOWN WITH REACTIONARY ADIH BOSSES WHO ARE PULLING STRINGS TO STOP US FROM GETTING THIS MEASLY MINIMUM WAGE !

FORWARD WITH THE STRUGGLE OF FACTORY WORKERS WHO DEMAND 500 GOURDES ($7.94) AS MINIMUM WAGE !

THE STRUGGLE HAS JUST BEGUN!

PLASIT-BO/MAY 16, 2016

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Statement from garment workers in Haiti on May First

BOlogoSquare[Kreyol original is below]

TEXTILE PLANT UNION PLATFORM

PLASIT-BO (Textile Plant Union Platform – Workers Fight)

TO COMMEMORATE MAY FIRST 2016, WE SAY: WE WON’T OBEY!

MayDay is not “Day of Agriculture and Labor.” It is a day to commemorate the struggles of workers on the planet. To celebrate agriculture and labor is to celebrate a collaboration where workers are forced to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the bourgeois bosses and the latifundistas together with representatives of the reactionary government. That’s an all-out effort to prevent us from  commemorating what MAYDAY represents for workers all over the world. They say it’s day of agriculture and labor while there is no real policy for the development of agricultural production or investments to create decent jobs at the very least in the country.

MAYDAY is the commemoration of this gigantic FIGHT THE WORKING CLASS throughout the world carried out in 1886 to achieve an 8-hour workday among other demands. Facing off the bourgeois and their reactionary state, this FIGHT began in the city of Chicago in the United States. Quickly, it spread throughout the country. Then a year later, it covered the whole planet. The reactionaries killed workers and laborers, lynched some of them and deported many others. However, the working class fought back also. They struggled and hit back an eye-for-an-eye. There were even special combat organizations, mass mobilizations, FIGHTS everywhere, for a long time. Finally, the bourgeoisie together with their reactionary state conceded to the workers demand for the 8-hour workday for their earned wages.  Haiti is one of a few countries on the planet which does not acknowledge this date and tries to claim it to co-opt workers into class collaboration with the bourgeois bosses. Today, we see through the maneuvers and games of the State where even the governments that claim to be “progressive” show the same reactionary attitude of deviation-cooptation.

That is why PLASIT-BO says: WE WON’T OBEY! We will always wage OUR INDEPENDENT STRUGGLES in the commemoration of MAYDAY. So, in OUR INDEPENDENT MOBILIZATION, in Port-Au-Prince as well as Au Cap, Caracol, and Ouanaminthe, we are raising our immediate demands, namely:

  • A living wage to meet the needs of our children, our families and ourselves. We demand 500 gourdes ($7.94) a day at the very least without increasing the quotas, and other social benefits ;
  • Good working conditions and respect for our union rights to defend our interests ;
  • A new Labor Code that protects all categories of workers against exploitation and humiliation ;
  • A social security system that protects us against line-of-duty accidents, illnesses, maternity and old age based on a real social protection net in the country ;
  • Comprehensive agrarian reform and technical support for peasants and other laborers in the rural areas ;
  • The country to regain its sovereignty to choose its own economic model to create wealth and decent and sustainable work in our territory. And for the State to guarantee a decent living conditions for workers and laborers and their families on the basis of the wealth creation. Therefore, the State must guarantee the social and economic rights of all workers against all national and international capitalists so they don’t step on those rights.

Today, the imperialists, the bourgeoisie and their reactionary State are attempting to disorient our minds on the fraudulent elections; those elections that aggravated the deep structural crisis in the country. Today, the economy is in deep trouble; interference/stewardship and the MINUSTAH military occupation is growing rapidly and threatens our sovereignty as a nation. Therefore, we should not continue to obey this decaying social order. We, workers, laborers, the popular masses in general, to achieve real change in our lives, in the country in general, we must continue to focus on  our true interests firmly so we can contribute to the development of a gigantic movement of uprising that will pave the way for a new Haiti.

LET’S COME TOGETHER TO DEFEND OUR INTERESTS!

AGAINST THE BOURGEOIS VIOLATING OUR RIGHTS AND THEIR REACTIONARY STATE!

ONLY A GENREAL MOBILLIZATION WILL HELP US EMERGE FROM THE HOLE WE ARE IN!

LONG LIVE THE WORKING CLASS WORLDWIDE!

May First 2016

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Statements denouncing abuse of landless peasants in Corail, Haiti

The folowing was sent to us from Batay Ouvriye. On March 11, Batay Ouvriye took part in a press conference with JILAP to denounce the abuse against landless peasants in Corail, 5th Section Delice, Arcahaie at the hands of communal authorities in the area. Following are the statements made by three organizations at the press conference [Kreyol originals follow English translations]:

Statement of Batay Ouvriye (Workers Fight):

We, members of Batay Ouvriye, we are present at the table, first of all, because the organization of landless peasants laborers in Corail (OPTK) is an organization of Batay Ouvriye Arcahaie. We are denouncing the anti-organization character of all State authorities in the country, all the misdeeds and abuse imposed on Organized peasants and laborers at the hands of the three communal members, 5th Section, Delice, in the Arcahaie Commune, in particular a communal official called Joseph Pierre Rene.

They fear independent peasant laborers’ independent organizations, they cannot corrupt them in small NGO projects; the organized peasant laborers take courage in their two hands to raise and demand that what’s happening in the section be done according to their rights and interests. This is why Batay Ouvriye calls on the peasant laborer organizers to continue to consolidate their organizational work and actions that put forward their interests despite attempts from some to make them afraid. Batay Ouvriye will be present in a course of action to bring those bully communal officials to justice.

Long Live the struggle of the all organized Peasant Laborers in the country!

DOWN WITH A STATE POWER THAT SUPPORTS CRIMINAL STATE OFFICIALS!

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13 Demands of Workers and Laborers for Haiti’s Transitional Government

STATEMENT FROM MAY FIRST UNION FEDERATION/WORKERS FIGHT

ENTE-SENDIKAL PREMYE ME/BATAY OUVRIYE      

FEBRUARY 7, 2016

(Kreyol version is below)

Today, February 7, 2016, we, workers, peasants, laborers in diverse economic categories in the country, raise our voices to warn that we will not continue to accept the conditions of life allotted to us. Since the big mobilization that ousted the repressive government that took away our rights in 1986, we hoped for changes in our conditions of life and work. However, unfortunately, our situation has worsened! In 2016, we continue to be under such a crisis that keeps us from seeing where our country is heading. But with our determination, we will continue to fight; we will continue to resist against all political maneuvers and threats pointing at our heads to take away our rights as workers.

As to where this big political crisis brings us today, the word of the day is ‘transition.’ We say, during the short time it will last, the roadmap of the transitional government must take into account the demands of the workers, peasants, and laborers in the formal economy, private and public, in the informal sector in urban and rural areas, so they can breathe. Among other things, we demand that the transitional government:

  1. Take measures to lower the cost of living, and the country should be put on the path to national production. The inflation rate at 12.5% is gobbling up the measly income we acquire in hardship or in other activities that barely help our families survive.
  1. Increase the base minimum salary for all categories of workers and set up a multi-sectorial tripartite entity to propose a social benefits program such as for food, transportation, housing, schools for our children or for ourselves. There must be a salary grid with a career ladder for public sector workers, and a social protection program which allows workers in the informal sector to benefit from a social security plan.
  1. Pay wages due to all public school teachers, teachers in the PSUGO program (Free Universal and Mandatory School Program) and all public sector workers.
  1. Challenge the impunity that management enjoys in violating the rights of workers in the factories, laborers in the production establishments for local markets, in government jobs, in the service and commercial sectors to form unions.

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firestone strike

Robert Allen

July 2015

 

every action, or inaction, is political in a degree.

What we thought was happening was far from what was really happening, literally.

A world apart, in fact.

 

“free will is for the lower classes – the ruling class acts out of necessity.”

– Adam Kotsko, religious scholar Shimer College

 

but what if we chose to ape them? as if we too, knew the actual stakes?

free will being all about choices – made before it’s too late!

we got a video in the mail; “there is an ongoing need to operate this equipment”

detailing the wages and benefits – it was for the wives, to push their striker husbands back to work

the hubris enraged us – but who were “we”?

 

a set of workers, right wing talk radio listeners, born again Christians, African Americans from the ‘hood, poor white trash, Vietnamese immigrants, old patriotic men who “fought for freedom Over There”, guys who finally started buying Japanese cars once they began making them “over here”, it did not matter…

we knew the company was our enemy

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