21st March: Sharpeville Day
Also called Human Rights Day
A resource-book for educators
The ANC and the PAC
Women, Workers, Trade Unionists, Mothers of the working class, Teachers.
On behalf of FISE the World Federation of Teachers’ Unions, affiliate member of WFTU, I convey warm militant greetings to all teachers’ women.
FISE put special emphasis on the organization, participation of women in trade unions and on the defense of the women’s rights of all the working class and the popular strata.
We cannot forget that the previous century was the century when the working women’s movement achieved great victories especially in the former Socialist Countries which inspired the women internationally to strengthen their struggles. These achievements positively impacted the developments worldwide.
Today in all corners of the world we find women with upgraded role in the formation of the social developments, in all fields of social life. The women workers play an important role in the labour struggles that take place.
However, the International Capitalist Crisis, the Antipeoples and Antilabour policy being implemented and the imperialist aggressiveness, create conditions of a barbaric attack imposing a huge setback to the labour and popular achievements.
In this framework, the role of the class-oriented trade union movement and the role of the class-oriented working women trade union movement are crucial. Continue reading
Terry Bell writes
Tuesday, March 8, is International Women’s Day (IWD). It comes at a time of ongoing global economic crisis and when we, in South Africa, face further massive job losses, turmoil on the university campuses and in the labour movement.
Perhaps, as never before, has the real message of the founders of IWD been more pertinent — and more likely, at an official level, to be ignored. It is also a message that the labour movement and the protestors of today ignore at their peril.
However on March 8, when the day is celebrated around the world, it will be in a manner that would certainly have appalled the founders of IWD. Because the focus of this day has long been wrested from the labour movement that founded it and it now provides a distorted image of the original IWD intent. Continue reading
On the occasion of the International Day of Working Women, the World Federation of Trade Unions honors the heroic struggles of the working women’s movement historically, salutes the working women and the militant women trade unionists worldwide and expresses its solidarity to their everyday struggles for the improvement of their living and working conditions. Continue reading
As reported last week, tens of thousands of Palestinian teachers have been on strike and mobilising for better wages and conditions. Most schools in the West Bank have been shut for over two weeks. Importantly, one of the teachers’ demands is for union members to have the right to elect their own representatives and not for the union officials to be appointed by the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority is threatening to force the teachers back to work. Solidarity messages to the Palestinian teachers can be sent here.
The automotive industry has seen a massive expansion over the last decade with hundreds of thousands of new workers being created. As in other countries experiencing this industrialisation boom, the working conditions are characterised by low wages, long days and atrocious OHS standards. Indian workers have fought hard against this exploitation. Even a business mouthpiece like the ‘Economic Times’ has had to acknowledge the widespread labour struggles in this sector. In the last couple of weeks, new actions have been taken by Honda workers in the Gurgaon region and the Tata Motorsworkers in Karnataka.
Last year saw major demonstration and strikes by thousands of automobile workers in the Bursa region of Turkey. Late last month, workers employed by Renault were scheduled to hold elections to elect new union representatives. Renault management not only cancelled these elections at the last moment but also dismissed workers who took action to protest at this attempt to stifle organising. Some workers were then arrested when police moved in to clear picket lines. The workers are continuing with their actions. Continue reading