World News

UAW announces tentative agreement with GM, keeping strikers in the dark on contract terms

By Jerry White, 16 October 2019

A major factor in the UAW’s move to shut down the month-long walkout is the growing strike wave nationally, which threatens to break the union’s isolation of the GM workers.

As strike wave grows, UAW scrambles to shut down GM walkout and impose sellout contract

By Jerry White, 16 October 2019

With the walkouts by Mack-Volvo truck workers and copper miners in Arizona and Texas, and the announcement of an impending strike by 30,000 Chicago teachers and support staff, the UAW is anxious to shut down the GM strike as soon as possible.

New Zealand housing crisis worsens under Labour government

By John Braddock, 16 October 2019

Landlords and property speculators have exploited the housing crisis and the Labour government’s pro-business policies.

Government has no solution to Australia’s water crisis

By Martin Scott, 16 October 2019

Hundreds of thousands in the state of New South Wales face running out of water before the end of next year

IMF meeting confronts “synchronized” global economic slowdown

By Nick Beams, 15 October 2019

Two years ago the global economy was experiencing an upswing with growth in nearly 75 percent of the world economy, but today lower growth is expected in 90 percent of the world.

Australian governments trial police-state measures against climate protesters

By Oscar Grenfell, 15 October 2019

The authorities are using the demonstrations as a test case for future repression of the emerging social and political struggles of the working class.

Syrian army, Iran threaten counterattack against Turkish invasion of Syria

By Alex Lantier, 14 October 2019

A large-scale Middle East war could strangle the world's oil supply and escalate into a war between nuclear-armed powers. The working class is coming face to face with the real possibility of a Third World War.

Mack Truck, copper miners, Chicago teachers, gig economy workers

Spreading strike wave shows potential for GM workers to expand struggle to Ford and Fiat-Chrysler

By Jerry White, 14 October 2019

If the month-long strike is to be won, autoworkers must take the fight into their own hands, end the isolation imposed by the UAW, and fight for an industry-wide shutdown.

“It’s like the UAW is management:” GM strikers speak out as union moves towards sellout

By Tom Hall, 14 October 2019

Reporting teams for the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter spoke to striking GM workers throughout Southeast Michigan over the weekend, as news emerged that the UAW is preparing to move towards a tentative agreement to shut down the four-week strike and enforce concessions.

As GM strike enters fifth week, Mack Truck-Volvo workers launch first strike in more than 35 years

By Nick Barrickman, 14 October 2019

The two American automotive strikes are part of an international movement of the working class against austerity, including 70,000 auto parts workers in Mexico and rolling strikes at GM’s South Korean plants.

Large Berlin solidarity protests against anti-Semitism and right-wing terrorism.

By our reporters, 14 October 2019

This weekend’s protests underscored, once again, the widespread opposition that exists to the return of fascism in Germany.

Wildfires and forced blackouts lead to multiple deaths in California

By Evan Blake, 14 October 2019

In total, Pacific Gas and Electric cut power to over 700,000 homes or businesses in two phases last Wednesday and Thursday, likely equivalent to over two million people.

Mass arrests continue in London and other cities in global Extinction Rebellion protests

By Robert Stevens, 14 October 2019

By Sunday afternoon, police had arrested 1,309 protesters in London, more than were arrested in the first wave of demonstrations in April.

Nationalists win parliamentary elections in Kosovo

By Markus Salzmann, 14 October 2019

The turnout of just 44 percent shows that the majority of the population rejects the policies of the narrow layer that runs the country.

Trump backs China’s handling of Hong Kong protests

By Peter Symonds, 14 October 2019

Trump’s comments demonstrate that US imperialism, far from defending democratic rights, cynically and selectively exploits “human rights” as the means for prosecuting its own interests.

Conflict erupts over European Central Bank’s return to “quantitative easing”

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2019

According to initial reports of the September meeting, as many as nine members of the 25-member governing council opposed the ECB's decision to return to “quantitative easing.”

Two dead, one missing after hotel worksite collapses in New Orleans

By Aaron Murch, 14 October 2019

The area remains under evacuation, with at least 100 people being forced from their nearby homes due to the danger of further collapses.

Four homeless men murdered in New York City’s Chinatown

By Owen Mullan and Sandy English, 14 October 2019

The tragic incident, involving six of the poorest people in the United States, is a product of the city’s social decay, the most unequal large American city.

NDP advocates spending tens of billions on Canada’s military

By Roger Jordan, 14 October 2019

Canada’s social democrats are full-throated supporters of the Trudeau Liberal government’s plans to buy new fleets of warships and fighter jets.

M.I.A. visits Julian Assange in prison: “It’s about truth—and that’s something people have to uphold and fight for”

By Laura Tiernan, 14 October 2019

Speaking at a press conference outside Belmarsh late Saturday afternoon, M.I.A.—Sri Lankan-born Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam—condemned Assange’s tormentors, indicting the US and UK governments, the courts and the corporate media.

Prominent Australian parliamentarian declares extradition of Julian Assange to US “totally unreasonable”

By James Cogan, 14 October 2019

Barnaby Joyce admitted this morning that the attempt to extradite Assange is a flagrant attack on his rights as an Australian citizen.

Protest in New Zealand six months after Assange’s arrest

By our reporters, 14 October 2019

The Socialist Equality Group’s Tom Peters denounced the New Zealand government’s support for US imperialism and the persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Germany: The election of the SPD leader and the decline of social democracy

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 October 2019

A glance at the list of candidates for the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) makes clear the wealthy social layers that set the tone and whose reactionary programme they represent.

Six months since the brutal arrest of WikiLeaks’ publisher Julian Assange

By Oscar Grenfell, 12 October 2019

While Assange is subjected to what amounts to torture in a British prison, the war criminals he has done so much to expose walk free.

US sends 3,000 more troops to defend Saudi monarchy

By Bill Van Auken, 12 October 2019

The escalation of the US troop deployment in the region followed on the heels of a missile attack on an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea.

Auto strike in peril: UAW, GM prepare to end strike and impose contract betrayal

By Tom Hall, 12 October 2019

Having isolated the strikers for four weeks, the UAW is moving to end the walkout on GM’s terms.

Five dead and almost 1,000 arrested as repression mounts in Ecuador

By Andrea Lobo, 12 October 2019

The Ombudsman Office of Ecuador confirmed that the repression has left 5 demonstrators killed, 554 injured, and 929 arrested. These numbers, however, conceal the brutality of the repression.

India: Thousands of Telangana transport workers strike; Darjeeling tea estate workers demand higher pay; New Zealand medical laboratory workers strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

12 October 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Right-wing extremist network behind fascist synagogue attack in Germany

By Ulrich Rippert, 12 October 2019

The reality is that the “ideological inciters” of the right-wing terrorist attack in Halle hold top positions within the state and security apparatus, the intelligence agencies, the military and the federal government.

European Union continues talks with Johnson government over possible Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 12 October 2019

Labour MPs are reported to be “blitzing” party leader Jeremy Corbyn with demands that he support a fresh Brexit referendum being held before a general election.

As wildfires, power outages spread throughout California, tens of thousands ordered to evacuate

By Dan Conway, 12 October 2019

Fires burned throughout the Southern California region on Thursday and Friday, leading to deliberate power outages with dozens of homes and buildings destroyed.

US and China reach limited trade deal

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2019

The markets responded enthusiastically with the Dow finishing up by more than 300 points, but for all the celebrations, the agreement is very limited.

US immigration policies sending thousands of children, including babies, back to Mexico

By Kevin Martinez, 12 October 2019

The Trump administration has ordered 16,000 migrants under the age of 18 to await their US immigration court hearings in Mexico, including nearly 500 infants.

Canada’s NDP spouts “progressive” rhetoric while planning to prop up minority Liberal government

By Roger Jordan, 12 October 2019

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh’s push for a de facto coalition with Trudeau’s Liberals is in keeping with the NDP’s traditions as a nationalist, pro-capitalist party allied with the union bureaucracy.

Official cover-up continues of Australian paramedic’s suicide

By Cheryl Crisp, 12 October 2019

Undisclosed disciplinary action against senior managers over the death of Tony Jenkins is at odds with a NSW Ambulance report that identified systemic deficiencies.

Ahead of ruling in Catalan show trials

Catalan nationalists, Spanish unions and pseudo-left demobilize opposition

By Alejandro López, 12 October 2019

The Catalan bourgeois nationalists are terrified of growing opposition in the working class to the austerity and police-state policies of the Spanish ruling class. Jordi Sànchez,

Dortmund, Germany withdraws prestigious award from the author Kamila Shamsie over support for BDS

By Sybille Fuchs, 12 October 2019

The withdrawal of the prize is yet another case of censorship by the German state and local authorities, which claim to oppose anti-Semitism but in fact suppress and criminalise any criticism of the Israeli government’s right-wing policies.

New Anti-capitalist Party demands military escalation against Turkey in Syria

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2019

The Pabloite NPA bitterly opposes a struggle to unify the working class internationally in a movement against imperialist war and the Middle Eastern bourgeoisie.

Seattle Democrats endorse Socialist Alternative’s Kshama Sawant

By Julio Patron, 12 October 2019

As the working class moves to the left, Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative are even more fully integrating themselves into the Democratic Party.

Edward Snowden: The man who exposed the electronic surveillance of everyone by US intelligence

By Kevin Reed, 12 October 2019

The memoir Permanent Record by the former intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden is an important account of the life of the man behind the exposure of secret global electronic surveillance programs run by the NSA and CIA.

Crisis mounts over Turkish offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria

By Bill Van Auken, 11 October 2019

Trump’s green light for the Turkish invasion has prompted heated condemnations from his Republican allies as well as within the US military.

CIA spied on Assange’s lawyers, visitors in Ecuadorian embassy

By Oscar Grenfell, 11 October 2019

The El País report indicates that the US pursuit of Assange has included the illegal surveillance of American lawyers and journalists, in violation of the US Constitution.

Spanish Supreme Court approves exhumation of fascist dictator Francisco Franco

By Alejandro López, 11 October 2019

Despite the legitimate hatred that millions of workers feel for Franco, the fascist dictator and mass murderer, the exhumation ruling is a dangerous political fraud.

Australian government ministers call for protesters to be cut off welfare

By Mike Head, 11 October 2019

While the remarks referred to “Extinction Rebellion” demonstrators who temporarily blocked some traffic in major cities, they have a wider anti-democratic logic.

Ecuador’s president retreats from capital in face of growing mass protests

By Andrea Lobo, 9 October 2019

In the face of a continuing strike and mass indigenous mobilization, Moreno took the unprecedented step of moving his government from Quito to Guayaquil.

UAW keeps GM contract proposal secret from workers at company’s request

By Eric London, 9 October 2019

The UAW is keeping workers in the dark as the strike has forced furloughs or layoffs of at least 150,000 workers across the auto industry.

India: Motherson autoworkers strike at cross roads

By Arun Kumar, 9 October 2019

Motherson workers should break the isolation imposed upon them by All India Central Council of Trade Unions and fight for the broadest mobilization of workers in India and internationally behind their struggle.

Why do the CIA assassins and coup-plotters love this “whistleblower”?

By Patrick Martin, 9 October 2019

The CIA official who filed a formal whistleblower complaint against Trump is being defended by those who spent eight years under the Obama administration persecuting whistleblowers.

US protects NSA spy’s wife wanted in UK over teenager’s death

By Laura Tiernan, 9 October 2019

Anne Sacoolas is wanted by police over the death of the young motorcyclist in Northamptonshire on August 27 but left the UK claiming diplomatic immunity

Hundreds of Extinction Rebellion protesters arrested in central London

By Steve James, 9 October 2019

Over 500 peaceful climate protestors have been arrested in central London in just two days as part of an escalating response from the British state aimed at outlawing mass environmental protest as a form of terrorism.

Brazilian unions push “green and yellow” chauvinism in education strike against austerity, political interference

By Miguel Andrade, 9 October 2019

A range of issues, from austerity measures to privatizations, have repeatedly brought students to the streets, causing panic not only in the government, but in the unions and the opposition.

Mass protests against endemic poverty, government corruption convulse Haiti

By Richard Dufour, 9 October 2019

Moïse and his corrupt and repressive regime cling to power thanks only to the support of Washington, and its French, and Canadian allies.

Amazon workers in California win job back for fired co-workers

By Kayla Costa, 9 October 2019

The development is a result of a recent group formed by workers at a delivery center in Sacramento, California, who submitted a petition of 78 signatures demanding the rehiring, full back pay, and paid time off for all part-time workers.

Sri Lankan railway unions end strike, after “promises” from President Sirisena

By Pradeep Ramanayake and K. Ratnayake, 9 October 2019

Sirisena’s assurances are worthless but always seized on by the union bureaucracy to shut down industrial action and impose a sell-out.

Student protests in Indonesian Papua suppressed by police violence

By Owen Howell, 9 October 2019

As social tensions in the West Papua region continue to escalate, authorities are trying to conceal the true nature of the state violence used to quell protests.

Trump White House declares it will not cooperate with impeachment inquiry

By Joseph Kishore, 9 October 2019

The Democrats have chosen quite deliberately to base their opposition to Trump on the most reactionary, anti-democratic grounds possible: support for the intelligence agencies and American imperialism.

Sri Lankan SEP announces presidential election campaign public meetings

9 October 2019

The Socialist Equality Party meetings will discuss the vital social and political issues confronting workers, youth and the poor.

As strike enters fourth week, UAW says talks with GM have “taken turn for the worse”

By Jerry White, 7 October 2019

The hard line by GM proves that the UAW is leading the strike to defeat and makes clear that workers must respond by expanding the struggle to Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

“Capitalism is the core of the problem:” Striking GM workers call for global struggle against auto companies

By Tim Rivers and Tom Hall, 7 October 2019

GM workers on the picket discussed the need for an international strategy for the expansion of their strike with the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter this weekend.

Australian Labor Party courts big business

By Mike Head, 7 October 2019

Labor leaders are “blitzing” corporate boardrooms to win their backing in the wake of Labor’s election debacle.

Canada: Five thousand public sector workers strike in Saskatchewan

By Carl Bronski, 7 October 2019

The strike, involving workers at SaskPower, SaskTel, SaskWater, SaskEnergy, the Water Security Agency and two SaskTel subsidiaries, is the largest in Saskatchewan for decades.

Bone-crushing labor prevails across the American meatpacking industry

By Brian Brown, 7 October 2019

While the meatpacking industry has historically been a dirty and dangerous occupation, taking workers lives and limbs, a dangerous job will become a lot worse with the Trump administration pushing further de-regulation.

ICE arrests nearly 600 immigrants in enforcement surge, targeting “uncooperative” local jurisdictions

By Leslie Murtagh, 7 October 2019

The coordinated attack on immigrants by the Trump administration across 20 states at the end of last month was the largest multi-state operation reported so far this year.

UK: Inquest adjourned into death of Port Talbot steelworks contractor Justin Day

By Margot Miller, 7 October 2019

The events leading to the tragedy of Justin Day’s death are still unknown, but the circumstances of a machine switching on with an engineer working inside it points to a disastrous breakdown in health and safety protocol.

Disgraced academic Noah Carl spearheads far-right campaign on UK campuses

By Thomas Scripps, 7 October 2019

Eugenicist Carl has raised over $100,000 to begin a legal appeal against the St. Edmund’s College decision to rescind his appointment, on the grounds of wrongful dismissal.

Julian Assange’s life is in danger!

By James Cogan, 7 October 2019

John Shipton, the father of WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange, has warned that his son “may die” as a result of the conditions under which he is being imprisoned in Belmarsh Prison in London.

This week in history: October 7-13

7 October 2019

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Ecuadorian government arrests hundreds and deploys military against nationwide strike

By Andrea Lobo, 5 October 2019

The Moreno government has responded to protests triggered by a massive gas price hike by imposing a national state of exception for 60 days, involving the deployment of the military against demonstrators and the suspension of democratic rights.

Trump continues to defy Democrats’ impeachment inquiry

By Barry Grey, 5 October 2019

On Friday, President Donald Trump stepped up his defiance of the impeachment inquiry launched by the Democrats with the support of the intelligence agencies.

GM strike in danger of union-enforced defeat as UAW announces ‘good progress’ on temps, health care

By Tom Hall, 5 October 2019

The United Auto Workers (UAW) and General Motors are making “good progress” towards an agreement, UAW Vice President for GM Terry Dittes said in a letter published Friday evening.

Hong Kong’s chief executive invokes emergency law against protest movement

By Ben McGrath, 5 October 2019

The use of this British colonial era law is a warning that the ruling class in the Hong Kong and Beijing are preparing to suppress the months-long demonstrations for basic democratic rights.

20,000 jobs and six plants threatened at German tire maker Continental

By Marianne Arens, 5 October 2019

The company’s executive announced what is alleged to be its biggest ever reorganisation—a frontal attack on workers.

Johnson faces possible legal action as he plots to ensure UK leaves EU on October 31

By Robert Stevens, 5 October 2019

Stating last month that he would rather “die in a ditch” than request an extension, Johnson is set on a collision course with the dominant pro-Remain faction of the ruling elite that could end in legal action.

Redundant Thomas Cook workers speak out at Manchester jobs fair

By our reporters, 5 October 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to the company’s former employees attending the fair.

Ontario education workers set to strike Monday against Ford’s savage cuts

By Penny Smith and Roger Jordan, 5 October 2019

The Canadian Union of Public Employees and the teachers unions are terrified that a strike will result in a head-on clash with the hated Ford government and trigger a broader working-class challenge to the capitalist elite’s austerity agenda.

White supremacist Coast Guard officer pleads guilty to drug and weapons charges

By Matthew Taylor, 5 October 2019

A list of potential targets found on Paul Hasson’s computer included the Democratic Party politicians and media figures routinely attacked by President Donald Trump and his supporters.

Illinois steelworker killed on the job, police launch investigation

By Jacob Crosse, 5 October 2019

Police and government officials are investigating the death Adrian Gomez, 26, husband and father of two, who was killed when he became trapped in machinery.

New York City transit workers exposed to toxic asbestos for decades

By Philip Guelpa, 5 October 2019

Dangerous, antiquated conditions at the East New York bus depot are only one symptom of the severely deteriorated condition of the city’s transit system.

Iraq in flames

By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2019

Iraqi security forces opened fire on unarmed civilians for the fourth day in a row Friday as protesters poured into the streets once again in defiance of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s declaration of a round-the-clock curfew.

Behind the GM strike: Wall Street wants temps for hi-tech vehicles and the UAW agrees

By Jerry White, 5 October 2019

Striking workers are resisting Wall Street’s demands for “more flexible manufacturing systems” to build electric and self-driving cars, including lower-paid temporary workers that the UAW has already agreed to.

“Julian has reached a point where he may die”—Assange’s father John Shipton speaks with the WSWS

By Johannes Stern, 5 October 2019

On Thursday the WSWS met John Shipton, Julian Assange’s father, in Berlin to discuss the condition of his son’s jailing in London’s Belmarsh Prison.

Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka to contest the November presidential election

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 5 October 2019

The election has been announced amid rising opposition to the government’s austerity measures and the eruption of mass strikes by public sector workers for higher pay.

Thousands of Assam tea workers strike over bonus payments; 17,000 non-academic university workers remain on strike in Sri Lanka

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and New Zealand

5 October 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Trump announces plan to further privatize Medicare

By Patrick Martin, 4 October 2019

The Democrats are basing their impeachment drive not on opposition to Trump’s fascistic attack on immigrants and pro-corporate social policies, but on claims that he is not pursuing US foreign policy aggressively enough.

John Deere announces layoffs at plants in Illinois and Iowa

By George Gallanis, 4 October 2019

With the assistance of the UAW, Deere is using a slump in sales to attack workers and increase profits.

Indonesia: Student unrest continues as tens of thousands of workers set to strike

By Oscar Grenfell, 4 October 2019

Police have responded to the largest student demonstrations since the movement that toppled the Suharto dictatorship in 1998 with violent repression and mass arrests.

Australia: Another “super union” merger—a bigger industrial policeman

By Terry Cook, 4 October 2019

Claims that the merger of United Voice and the National Union of Workers will serve the interests of workers are belied by the betrayals and sell-outs of both organisations.

A visit to the workers’ quarters at a Unilever tea plantation in Kenya

By our correspondents, 1 October 2019

Conrad Black decries Trudeau’s “weak” leadership, “evil campaign”

By Roger Jordan, 1 October 2019

Black’s National Post op-ed sheds light on the real motives behind the feigned outrage within the political and media establishment over Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s “blackface” photos.

New industrial “integrity” laws seek to head off working class eruption in Australia

By Terry Cook, 1 October 2019

The Morrison government’s legislation is a pre-emptive move by the corporate establishment which is nervous about rising strike action by workers internationally despite the efforts of the unions to hold them back.

Democrats frame impeachment drive as defense of “national security”

By Patrick Martin, 30 September 2019

There is not the slightest democratic content to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“The UAW is allowing GM to take us back to before the sit-down strikes”

Striking GM workers on picket line discuss what is at stake in their battle

By our reporters, 30 September 2019

GM workers discussed their fight to overturn decades of UAW-backed concessions, end the exploitation of temporary workers, and support the victimized Mexican GM workers.

Wall Street gives GM and UAW time to wear down strikers and impose concessions

By Tom Hall, 30 September 2019

Investors are giving GM and the UAW the time they need to wear down strikers and enforce a defeat that would shape the future of global auto industry.

As US GM strike continues

Layoffs mount in Canadian auto industry

By Carl Bronski, 30 September 2019

Over 6,000 Canadian auto assembly and parts workers have been temporarily laid off as a result of the ongoing strike by 48,000 American UAW members against GM.

Tesla autoworkers in California support striking GM workers, denounce working conditions

By Evan Blake, 30 September 2019

The rise of Tesla is part of a global restructuring of the auto industry to prepare for the production of electronic vehicles, using fewer and more poorly paid workers.

London: Hundreds rally for Assange outside Belmarsh Prison

By Laura Tiernan, 30 September 2019

SEP National Secretary Chris Marsden emphasised that Assange’s persecution was a product of the drive to war and dictatorial rule by the US, British and world imperialism.

Half a million people join Montreal climate change protest

By our reporters, 30 September 2019

The scale of Friday’s protest attests to mounting popular anger at the failure of the world’s corporate-controlled governments to address this social and ecological crisis.

New Zealand PM promotes internet censorship at UN

By Tom Peters, 30 September 2019

Jacinda Ardern met with world leaders and tech companies to promote a new “crisis response protocol” to rapidly remove online content deemed “extremist.”

Striking Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians return to work, ending three-month work stoppage

By Dmitri Church, 30 September 2019

The one-year contract signed last week accedes to management’s demands to cut the symphony’s summer season, while doing nothing to guarantee salaries.

Drawing the lessons of the ICFI split—International Strategy and National Tactics: The change in the ICFI’s approach to national liberation movements

By Deepal Jayasekera, 30 September 2019

This lecture was delivered to the Socialist Equality Party (US) Summer School on July 25, 2019 by Deepal Jayasekera, Assistant Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party in Sri Lanka