From the nightmare of global crisis: Workers waking up and fighting back

COMMISSION 5: Promotion of Trade Union & Other Democratic Rights of the Working Class

Satoshi woke up to an extraordinary day in Japan. He knew that it was never going to be just another working day at the car factory where he has been working for the last 10 years. Because beginning that day, he would be working for one month but not going to get any salary at the end of the day.

The car factory management has decided on a deal with workers like Satoshi to work for a month for free, so they could keep their jobs for the rest of the year. This had to be resorted to by management to keep their workers from getting fired and keep their jobs.

This is the painful price, among others, workers have to pay for as a result of the financial and economic crisis that continues to hit the working peoples of the world.

Since the financial bubble burst and neoliberal economics started to crumble, workers and other working peoples have bore the brunt of its consequences.

The global economic downturn has created a “tsunami” of unemployment and job insecurity across the globe. Its most immediate impact is felt by those who are made redundant, and workers like Satoshi have become less secure in their work.

As a result of the worst economic and financial crisis, the situation of workers has drastically changed and deteriorated. Employers are adopting measures, such as the ones implemented at Satoshi’s workplace, longer working hours, suspension of collective bargaining agreements, etc. Joblessness and the threat of losing one’s job, have created new work practices that have been wreaking havoc on the working people.

Prof. Jose Ma. Sison, chairperson of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS), in a speech, sheds light on this dark episode currently affecting the working people of the world, thus:

“The neoliberal policy of globalization has resulted in the gravest economic and financial crisis since the Great Depression. Public money has been used to bail out the very malefactors that have caused the crisis, such as the financial oligarchy and the corporations in the military industrial complex in the US and elsewhere. There is no economic recovery in terms of expanding production and employment. The recovery is in the books of the banks, in certain major corporations and in the financial markets.

“The International Labor Organization reports, even if with understated figures, that real wages have plunged, while global unemployment has stood at an all-time high, with little hope of returning to pre-crisis levels in the near future. In contrast, American and European corporations appear to have bounced back and are logging record-high profits this soon since the crisis.

“The recent turn of events in the global crisis is the adoption of austerity measures by imperialist and puppet governments in the face of the rapidly growing public deficits and public debt to bail out the crisis makers and maintain government operations at higher cost. Government employees are being laid off in great numbers and their salaries and pensions are being eroded. Education, health and other public services are deteriorating while becoming expensive to the people.

“…..Governments across Europe have announced upwards of $200 billion in public spending cuts over the next two to four years—cuts that amount to public sector layoffs, pay cuts, and caps on benefits—alongside draconian labor reforms that aim to curtail workers’ collective bargaining rights.

“Whatever meager incomes workers are left with are being eaten away by spiraling energy and food prices.

“The proletariat and people in the imperialist countries have been victimized by the neoliberal policy of globalization. They have launched mass protests and general strikes against the worsening conditions of unemployment, homelessness and loss of social benefits. The monopoly bourgeoisie has increasing difficulties in obscuring the root causes of the crisis in the capitalist system and trying to deceive and divide the people with the reactionary currents of chauvinism, racism, fascism and war hysteria.”

Representatives of the working class and militant trade unions from around the globe are scheduled to converge in Manila, Philippines, as the issue on labor, labor rights and genuine trade unionism will be one of the major themes when the International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS), a global anti-imperialist alliance, convenes from July 7-9, 2011.

At the forefront of the global anti-imperialist struggle, the ILPS in its 4th Intl Assembly will have as theme: “Build a Bright Future! Mobilize the People to Resist Exploitation and Oppression Amidst the Protracted Global Depression, State Terrorism and Wars of Aggression”!

Through the 4th Assembly, the ILPS hopes to raise its “political will and capabilities to mobilize the broad masses of the people against imperialism”, expand the League to be able “to face the challenges and effectively advance its work…..”, and determinedly reach out to the vast army of the working people, like Satoshi, who are being hit and ravaged by the imperialist crisis and policies, wake them up from this imperialist nightmare, and arm them with the will to fight.# (D.L. Mondelo)

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