In response to the bushfires in Australia, General Motors workers at the Silao plant in Mexico issued a statement of appreciation to workers in Australia that have donated to their defense fund. The statement was given to the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter, which has been leading the defense of Silao workers.
Amid the looming threat of war after the US killing of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, the statement also calls for a fight against war and for environmental planning.
The international defense fund was established by the rank-and-file group, Generating Movement, to support seven workers who were fired for mobilizing support for the 40-day GM strike in the United States. The workers were fired for actively opposing speed-ups and forced overtime, which GM management was demanding in order to weaken the US strike. The pro-company trade union enforced these measures and the punitive firings.
The following statement was sent by their elected spokesperson:
In the name of all my comrades, I want to thank all workers and people who have sent us donations. We want to give special thanks to workers in Australia, who we know are living under difficult conditions due to the fires in their country. Far from receiving support from the powerful nations, a war is breaking out—a war that will only leave death, pain and suffering. For all, in the US as much as Iran, I believe that it’s our obligation to demand that this war be stopped. At the same time, we have to fight to create environmental plans to help the planet. We still have time if we do something about the world. Let’s fight to stop this war.
Israel Cervantes, Generating Movement
In the context of mass protests and strikes against social inequality across the world, the brave stance of the Silao workers and the international support they have received demonstrates the growing strivings by workers to coordinate their struggles and a recognition that they need an international strategy to fight global capitalism.
The threats posed to the working class by imperialist wars and climate change can only be confronted through such a strategy, aimed at abolishing their source—capitalism—and establishing socialism, that is, the reorganization of the global economy under the democratic control of the working class and scientific planning.
All organizations with nationally rooted programs, such as the trade unions in the US, Canada and Mexico and their pseudo-left apologists, cannot advance workers’ interests. Despite their claims to represent workers, they work systematically to lower the labor costs for their “own” capitalists in order to make them more “competitive” and profitable. Politically, this takes the form of support for trade war and ultimately imperialist wars.
This bankruptcy applies to all capitalist governments, including the Mexican administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, which responded to the US imperialist aggression against Iran by adopting a “posture of neutrality, non-intervention, respect in the decisions of nations.” As defenders of the profit interests of the Mexican bourgeoisie, López Obrador and his Movement for National Regeneration (Morena) were top advocates for the US, Canada, Mexico Agreement—a trade war measure by the Trump administration to isolate China and a key preparation for military conflict.