Throughout the world, workers are engaging in strikes and mass protests over austerity, unprecedented levels of social inequality and the criminal response of capitalist governments to spread of the pandemic. This page will report on the latest developments in the class struggle throughout the world and provide a voice to workers and a means of organizing their struggles. At the same time, it will help workers draw the necessary lessons from the history of the class struggle and socialist movement for their battles today.

To be effective today, even the most basic forms of working-class resistance must be coordinated on an international scale. As the global class struggle escalates, the page will assist workers in building new organizations of struggle, rank-and-file factory and workplace committees independent of the unions, to defend themselves and coordinate their struggles across national borders.

The task of the WSWS is to assist the growing mass movement by providing the Marxist theoretical guidance and political perspective required to transform the spontaneous eruptions of social opposition into a class conscious and internationally coordinated revolutionary struggle for socialism.

Striking auto parts workers in Matamoros, Mexico
Featured Articles
Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia - 24 October 2020

India: Assam state railway workers demand festival allowance

Several hundred workers organised by the Northeast Frontier Railway Workers Union demonstrated at 52 work sites in several cities in Assam state on October 18 to demand the Durga Puja (religious festival) bonus. They threatened to stop the entire railway network if the government ignored their demand.

India: Haryana auto plant workers protest against labour laws

Workers from the Bellsonica Auto Component India (BACI) plant held a hunger protest outside the mini Secretariat at Gurugram, Haryana state, on October 15. Eight office bearers of the BACI employees’ union held an eight-hour hunger strike and were joined by other workers as they ended their shifts.

The demonstration was to protest the Indian government’s latest labour laws. The union claimed that the new legislation undermines workers’ rights, gives employers a free hand to exploit workers and would lead to an increase in contract labour.

Bangladesh: Port workers unions call off national strike without resolution

The Bangladesh Water Transport Workers' Federation (BWTWF) and the Bangladesh Lighterage Workers Union shut down the national strike of 200,000 water transport workers after three days without resolution to their charter of 11 demands.

The strikers were demanding payment of salaries in line with the government gazette announced in 2016, the issuing of landing passes, appointment letters and identity cards, the provision of food allowances for India-bound vessel workers and compensation of one million taka ($US11,798) for workers killed in workplace accidents.

Western Australian workers protest after worksite death

At least 2,000 construction workers and family members marched to the Western Australian parliament building in Perth on Tuesday to demand industrial manslaughter legislation promised by the States McGowan Labor government in 2017, and held up in the Upper House committee on technicalities, be passed urgently. The legislation increases financial and criminal penalties for those convicted of industrial manslaughter.

The protest came just one week after a 20-metre high glass and steel awning at Perth’s Curtin University collapsed killing 23-year-old glaziers apprentice Johnnie Hartshorn and leaving two more workers injured, one critically. The disastrous collapse could have killed and injured another two dozen building workers if they had not left for lunch off-site five minutes earlier.

Jonnie Hartshorn, 23 year-old Australian construction worker killed in roof collapse October 13
The Fight for Rank-and-File Committees
Emergency Meeting against GM Plant Closures votes unanimously to found rank-and-file committees among autoworkers, December 9, 2018

Around the world, workers are rising up against the attacks by the capitalist class on their wages, standard of living and basic democratic rights. Millions are opposed to the drive to re-open schools, factories and other workplaces, sacrificing human life in the interest of private profit.

To provide these struggles with an independent organization and democratic leadership, the World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party are building new organizations of struggle, rank-and-file committees, among autoworkers, teachers, warehouse workers and other section of the working class. Rank-and-file committees provide the means for workers to fight independently against both the companies, their union lackeys and their political representatives, and establish democratic control over production by workers themselves.

Rank-and-file committees reject the nationalist poison of the unions, which divides 'native' workers against 'foreign' workers and ensures the defeat of both. Instead, rank-and-file committees understand that workers all over the world have the same interests, and provides them the means for international discussion and collaboration.

Stop the spread of COVID-19! Form a safety committee at your workplace!

Rank-and-file safety committees represent and fight for the health of workers, in opposition to the demands of management and the profit principle, which are jointly defended by the companies and the unions. Committees will draw up detailed regulations and standards that must be monitored and enforced. Where conditions are violated, there must be a stoppage of work.

Core objectives of these committees include:

Controlling work hours and line speeds.

Guaranteeing personal protective equipment.

Ensuring safe and comfortable working conditions.

Enforcing regular testing.

Demanding universal health care and guaranteed income.

Ensuring the distribution of information.

Ensuring job security.

The World Socialist Web Site and the Socialist Equality Party stand ready to assist. Contact us today for more information.

Critical Reading for Workers
Latest articles