Sri Lankan tea plantation workers committee supports call for February 9 demonstration in Detroit

In 2018, tea plantation workers in Sri Lanka launched a powerful strike against tea operators in a rebellion against the pro-management trade union. They launched a rank-and-file action committee, the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, to organize, direct and broaden their struggle. The committee sent the following statement urging workers in the US and Canada to attend the demonstration planned for February 9 at 2 pm at GM headquarters in Detroit against job closures and concessions.

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We, the Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee in Sri Lanka, would like to bring our warm greetings to the demonstration in front of General Motors headquarters in Detroit on February 9, called by the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter and the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees, against plant closings by General Motors.

We are aware that GM is planning to shut five factories in the US and Canada and eliminate nearly 15,000 hourly and salaried workers. We understand that this is a part of a global restructuring of the auto industry, driven by big business for super profits, which will escalate the divide between the haves and the have-nots.

The situation faced by the plantation workers and other sections of the working class here in Sri Lanka is also the result of similar policies of the profit hungry big business trans-national companies and bankers.

As plantation workers in Sri Lanka, we are confronted with brutal policies carried out by employers, with the full backing of their government in power. During the recent wave of strikes by plantation workers here, we had to intervene against the trade unions, which were collaborating with the employers and the government, to bring an international political perspective to the workers’ movement. We have realized, through our own experience, that this requires an independent organization like the Steering Committee of the Coalition of Rank-and-File Committees to be organized on an international level, cutting across national-state boundaries.

Hence, we consider the actions taken by the steering committee to be a blow not only for the defense of the fundamental rights of the US auto workers, but also on behalf of the international working class as a whole. We follow closely the development of class struggles internationally and prepare ourselves to join them based on a common strategy against social counter-revolution and imperialist war.

With fraternal greetings,

Abbotsleigh Estate Workers Action Committee, Sri Lanka.

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On February 9 at 2 p.m. EST, the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter is co-hosting a demonstration in Detroit to fight plant closings, mass layoffs and concessions. For more information about attending the demonstration, go to wsws.org/auto and find the event on Facebook .