Teachers strike in Puerto Rico
Fighting U.S. privatization
By Berta Joubert-Ceci
Teachers in San Juan, PR, strike to say ‘Education is not a business.’
A broad struggle against the privatization of public education in Puerto Rico began March 19 with a teachers’ strike as the Legislative Assembly tries to approve what it calls “educational reform.”
This strike has been called by the Front in Defense of Public Education, which encompasses several labor union groups. Besides teachers’ organizations, such as UNETE, Educamos, the Federation of PR Teachers and Puerto Rican Educators in Action, the Front includes the National Organization of Directors of Schools of Puerto Rico and the Organization of Directors and Administrators. Other unions such as UTIER, representing the energy sector, as well as several progressive organizations and mothers, fathers and students have joined the call.
The support of the people has been taken note of in radio and television news coverage as well as in social media.
This call to action comes at a crucial time for Puerto Rico. It is now six months since hurricanes Irma and Maria and just three months before the new hurricane season begins, yet the devastation caused by the powerful storms has not been resolved.
Thousands of people are still without electricity. There is catastrophic unemployment and major health problems, including an increase in suicides and depression. Many are still homeless and thousands of other problems persist, including extensive poisoning from toxic ash produced by burning coal. And there is the “recovery” work — ineffective and bordering on criminal — of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Colonialism stifles true government
Colonialism prevents a country from developing the capacity to set up a government responsive to the interests of its people. Every four years in Puerto Rico, a legislative farce takes place in which elite rulers are elected who continue the subjugation of the people for the benefit of U.S. interests, perpetuating colonialism and dependence. Continue reading
FISE Statement On The New Shipwreck With Refugees In Agathonisi
On Saturday, March 17 we witnessed a new tragedy in Agathonisi (a small Greek island near the borders with Turkey) where 16 refugees were drowned (among them 6 children and one infant), trying to cross the Aegean sea and reach the coasts of Greece.
This tragedy is not only a new list of drowned refugees, immigrants and their children. It is not one more picture in the media. We do not just feel sadness and anger. These developments create greater responsibility to continue the struggles against the imperialist atrocity.
The dead refugees and migrants “cry” that the tragedy of the uprooted victims will not end, imperialist wars and capitalist exploitation will not stop turning the Mediterranean into a water grave of the persecuted, unless we strengthen the organized struggle against the monopolies and their competitions, against NATO’s blood-stained plans, against the imperialist barbarism.
The EU-Greece-Turkey Agreements and the border guard mechanisms cannot and will not stop the wave of refugees and death, simply because they do not care about putting an end to the war, the abolition of the political persecutions and the elimination of the exploitation of the peoples.
We call on the trade unions, the Federations, the Regional Trade Union Centres, every worker and unemployed, to turn the rage into organized struggle against the causes that create the refugee phenomenon and immigration, against imperialist plans and wars.
The Secretariat Continue reading
FISE CONDEMNS THE BRUTAL REPRESSION BY THE SYRIZA-ANEL GOVERNMENT AGAINST THE TEACHERS’ STRIKE.
FISE, the World Federation of Teachers’ Union, condemns the brutal assault against the teachers’ strike rally and expresses its solidarity with the struggling teachers.
The SYRIZA-ANEL Government, as the previous governments of ND- PASOK had done, fulfilling the requirements of the business interests and the UE, attacked once again a strike rally, as it had done again a couple of days before when assaulted the PAME’s protest against the auctioning off of the people’s homes
With the use of chemicals and the Riot Police, they attacked the strike rally of teachers outside the Ministry of Education, who were demanding from the government no to lay off any supply-contract teacher, to have mass appointments and permanent work for all.
One thing is for sure: the government show their real face, they show how good they are at doing the dirty work of the great financial interests and their profitability.
A response came from the protesting teachers who occupied the courtyard of the Ministry of Education and they will get a new, more massive, more dynamic response from all the workers.
They do not intimidate us. Massive struggle is the answer to authoritarianism and repression.
We call on all unions to condemn the intimidation of the SYRIZA-ANEL government and to express their solidarity with the struggling teachers.
Solidarity with the fighting teachers in Puerto Rico
The 18th Congress of FISE proclaims solidarity with the fighting teachers unions and organizations in Puerto Rico in denouncing the sweeping ‘education reform’ privatization plan announced by Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló on February 5.
Puerto Rico has been a colony of the U.S. since 1898, in gross violation of international law. This education reform plan is a colonially-imposed neoliberal imposition on the Puerto Rican people.
We stand with the Puerto Rican people’s struggle to defend their public schools and public education against this privatization scheme, which is being opportunistically introduced in the aftermath of the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
The Puerto Rican people continue to heroically resist these colonially-imposed neoliberal attacks. We stand in solidarity with the teachers and education workers in Puerto Rico in their struggle. Their fight is our fight.
- Children in Pakistan are not only denied their Basic Right to a life of Dignity, but are also denied their most Fundamental Right- the Right to Education
While addressing the National Seminar organized by Pakistan Labour Federation (PLF) Haji Muhammad Saeed Arian Founder/Secretary General said that Children in Pakistan are not only denied their basic right to a life of Dignity, but are also denied their most Fundamental Right- the Right to Education. He said that The official figure of out of school Children paints a gloomy picture, calling out for emergency measures. According to data from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training , as many as 44 percent of Children between the ages of five and 16 are out of school. Of these, the Majority are Girls as the family deems Girls’ Education a waste of money and a burden on the already precarious Financial condition. Continue reading
SOLIDARITY MESSAGE TO THE TEACHERS IN VIRGINIA FROM THE 18TH CONGRESS OF FISE IN MEXICO
FISE FIRMLY SUPPORTS THE TEACHERS OF WEST VIRGINIA US
Τhe World Federation of Teachers’ Unions, FISE, affiliated to WFTU, the class oriented teachers organization, recognized AND FULLY SUPPORTS the heroic teachers of West Virginia in the US.
Your continuing struggle against anti- union, pro capital forces in West Virginia has taken on historic proportions. All the US is watching us. The whole world will be watching now.
We know that the governments, which supported and keep supporting the interests of the monopolies and the multinationals, forces especially among the coal operators who control the State legislature are vigorously opposed to your unions and the basic rights of all teachers and related personnel.
Decent wages, no charge for health services and a decent pension is a struggle that West Virginia families, almost all of whom have coal mining in their blood, hold strong to those traditions.
WE WISH SUCCESS IN YOUR STRUGGLE
INTERNATIONAL CLASS ORIENTED TRADE UNIONS ARE WITH YOU.
All POWER TO THE WORKERS AND THEIR TRADE UNIONS.