Category: Labor
Sanders, Dems introduce $15 minimum wage bill

 

Tim Devaney
 
Sanders, Dems introduce $15 minimum wage bill© Provided by The Hill Sanders, Dems introduce $15 minimum wage bill Democrats are uniting behind Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) in a legislative push to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.

Sanders will reintroduce a $15 minimum wage bill Wednesday, attracting support from some Democrats such as Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), who previously supported a smaller minimum wage increase.

Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.) will drop a companion bill in the House. Ellison has previously pushed for $15 an hour, while Scott joined Murray in calling for a $12 minimum wage hike last Congress.

The $15 minimum wage bill stands little chance of passing in a Republican-controlled Congress, but could put pressure on GOP lawmakers to stand up for workers.

Sanders and the Democrats will rally Wednesday outside the Capitol building with a group of striking workers. The low-wage federal workers claim President Trump’s labor policies have started a “war on workers.”

PAME calls Greek and foreign workers to honour the International Workers’ Day in Athens

Monday, April 17, 2017

PAME calls Greek and foreign workers to honour the International Workers’ Day in Athens

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/pame-calls-greek-and-foreign-workers-to.html

On the occasion of the 2017 International Workers’ Day, the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) issued the following statement, calling Greek and immigrant workers to attend the May Day rally in Athens on May 1st.

FOR THE INTERNATIONAL WORKERS’ DAY – MAY 1st 2017.
Together With The Workers Of All Countries For A World.

Without Exploitation, Wars, Refugees.

Greek and foreign workers, united, we honour May Day.
The Workers’ Federations, labour centres, trade unions, workers’ committees and militants, who rally with PAME (All-Workers Militant Front) we honour the International Workers’ Day, May 1st, by strengthening our struggle against the imperialist wars.
We struggle for work for all with full rights according to our contemporary needs!
We will not be slaves in the 21st century.
The anti-workers’ measures imposed by the Greek Government of SYRIZA , continuing all the previous, are taken to support the business groups.
They concern us all, the Greek and migrant workers, the persecuted from their countries, refugees, who will take part in the production process in Greece, in any EU country.
Everywhere, anti-workers’ measures are imposed. The capitalist development is based on the extreme exploitation, work without rights, stealing from the peoples and even based on their slaughter through the control of the energy sources, markets, transport routes and redefinition of borders.
This is happening around us, the migrants and refugees have experienced it. Whole regions are on fire from the Ukraine, the Black Sea, the Balkans and the Aegean to the Eastern Mediterranean, Middle East and North Africa.
The war in Syria, in which powerful capitalist powers are involved such as US-EU-Russia, has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, has uprooted millions and the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees continues with their entrapment in our country.
At the same time the SYRIZA Government, puts Greece deeper into bloody imperialist plans. It has brought the hawks of war, the NATO, in the Aegean and it participates in NATO operations
We will not bleed for their profits in Peace!
We will not become flesh for their weapons in the war!
We strengthen our organization, our class unity, our working class solidarity!
We demand:
• No participation, no involvement of Greece in the imperialist interventions that are taking place and in those that are being prepared.
• Stop the imperialist US-NATO-EU interventions in order to stop the uprooting of the refugees.
• No to the hatred of the nationalists. Solidarity with the refugees and immigrants.
We continue on the path that millions of workers worldwide paved with their uncompromising class struggle.
We are moving forward for the future that belongs to us, for the great cause of the liberation of the workers and the oppressed of the chains of exploitation.
Long live the International Workers’ Day!
Greek And Immigrants
All In The Rally On May Day At Athens
Syntagma Square At 10:00 A.M.
May Day 2017.
PAME calls for demonstrations on April 7 against Greek government’s antiworkers measures

Thursday, April 6, 2017

PAME calls for demonstrations on April 7 against Greek government’s antiworkers measures

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/04/pame-calls-for-demonstrations-on-april.html
The All-Workers Militant Front (PAME) calls the unions to continue and escalate their fight against the unified attack of the Government – the Capital – the European Union, with massive participation of the workers in the demonstrations of PAME all over Greece in April 7.
In Athens the demonstration is going to take place at Omonia Square at 6.30 pm, in Thessaloniki at Venizelos statue at 6.30 and in Piraeus at Karaiskaki Sq. same time.
The General Secretary of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas is going to participate in the demonstration at Athens’ Omonia sq.
PAME calls the trade unions, the federations, the Regional Labour Centres and workers’ committees, who are daily on the streets, in factories, offices and all the workplaces. Those who are the vanguard for informing the workers, in the organization of workers’ response to the brutal attack of the Industrialists, the Greek Government and the European Union.
The thousands of workers, who took part in PAME’s demonstrations declared:
  • NO CONCESSION TO THE BRUTAL ANTIWORKERS’ MEASURES
  • NO CONCESSION TO THE SYRIZA GOVERNMENT’S LIES
Against the fatalism and the defeatism, against the disappointment and the compromise, the rich and multiform action of the class trade unions, the discussion, the information, their militant example in workplaces give hope and courage. They make workers more militant and mobilize them.
PAME calls the unions, the federations and the labour centres to address to the working class with decisiveness and militant spirit.
To reveal the lies of the SYRIZA Government, about the “Fair Growth” and the “Counterbalanced Measures”, in front of the workers. It seems like a “déjà vu” all over again. The working class doesn’t have to expect anything positive from the New Agreement.
With all of our forces and militant initiatives, we create the conditions to give Response against the brutal antiworkers’ measures with a General Strike.
How Marx’s Crisis Theory Explains Growing Anti-Immigrant Hate

4 March 2017 – 06:00 PM

How Marx’s Crisis Theory Explains Growing Anti-Immigrant Hate

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http://www.telesurtv.net/english/analysis/How-Marxs-Crisis-Theory-Explains-Growing-Anti-Immigrant-Hate-20170313-0027.html

Karl Marx.
Donald Trump. Nigel Farage. Marine Le Pen. Geert Wilders.

The rise of these four politicians is emblematic of growing anti-immigrant hate sweeping the imperialist countries. Basing their campaigns on xenophobia, they’ve been able to convince millions of people in their respective countries that immigrants are the source of their problems.

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And at a time when there are more international migrants than ever before in human history, anti-immigrant hate can’t get any more dangerous.

In public discourse, the dominant narrative explaining this phenomenon is largely based on race and religion. Many have correctly pointed out that Latino, Black and Muslim immigrants are being targeted because of white supremacy.

While this argument is certainly true, it doesn’t fully explain why there are more immigrants — and anti-immigrant hate — than ever before. This analysis recognizes an important symptom of the problem, but not its root cause.

People are looking for explanations that mainstream media and academia won’t give them. That’s probably why a growing number of people are turning to revolutionary philosophers like Karl Marx for answers. Sales of Marx’s “Capital,” which he wrote 150 years ago, have been on the rise since 2008, the Guardian reports.

Marx, who is primarily studied under the lens of critical theory and philosophy, dedicated most of his time writing about economics. He believed that by understanding the underlying economic system of a given society, all other phenomena, like immigration, could be better understood. Metaphorically speaking, economics determines society in the same way soil determines the outcome of vegetation. This is called economic determinism.

In accordance with economic determinism, Marx believed that capitalism, an economic system based on profit and private ownership, is responsible for most of society’s problems. While mass migration and anti-immigrant hate weren’t Marx’s main areas of investigation, his economic theories can still be used to examine them. After all, the global capitalist system that he wrote about in 1867 was the embryonic version of the advanced one we live under today.

Marx’s crisis theory is perhaps his most important in the realm of economics. It posits that capitalism creates constant crises within society because of the tendency of the rate of profit to fall. Profit is defined as financial gain accumulated from the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating or producing something.

Here’s an illustration of how the falling rate of profit and crisis theory works.

Suppose a shoe company in the United States spends US$50 on wages and raw materials every hour to produce one pair of shoes. If the company is able to sell the pair of shoes for US$80, they make a profit of US$30 an hour.

Given the rising cost of wages and raw materials in the U.S., the shoe company, like most capitalists, turns to developing nations for profit. Let’s say the company decides to move to Haiti and spends US$30 on wages and raw materials every hour. If they are able to sell the same pair of shoes for US$80, they make a profit of US$50 an hour.

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The owners of the shoe company walk away with more money, the U.S. worker is sent to the unemployment line and the Haitian worker is severely underpaid and super-exploited.

As workers around the world make less money because they are forced to compete with each other, they are unable to purchase the same products they produce as consumers. This creates a situation where the shoe company, for example, is unable to sell their products because no one has enough money to buy them. Thus, their profits steadily decline.

Because capitalism is based on this process, crisis becomes commonplace. Unemployment in the imperialist countries and mass migration from the developing world embark on a collision course. Politicians like Trump, Farage, Le Pen and Wilders convince millions that immigrants are the problem, while the capitalist system itself is responsible. This directly contributes to the growth of anti-immigrant hate in the most developed countries.

Understanding Marx’s crisis theory and the falling rate of profit is crucial to understanding this phenomenon. It explains why jobs are leaving the dominant capitalist countries, why people are leaving third world countries and why all workers have a shared interest in abolishing capitalism. It also debunks the myths that “immigrants are stealing jobs” and that workers in countries like Mexico are “getting a better deal.”

As capitalism reaches a crisis and decline that it can not overcome, as it reaches a dead end, it is more important than ever to unite the world’s working class.

As Marx said, “There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits.”

Karl Marx: The Man Who Changed The World Forever

Friday, March 17, 2017

Karl Marx: The Man Who Changed The World Forever

Karl Marx: The Man Who Changed The World Forever

By Nikos Mottas*.
 
“On the 14th of March, at a quarter to three in the afternoon, the greatest living thinker ceased to think. He had been left alone for scarcely two minutes, and when we came back we found him in his armchair, peacefully gone to sleep-but forever”. With these words, Friedrich Engels had opened his speech during Karl Marx’s funeral at London’s Highgate cemetery. This year marks the 134th anniversary since the death of the greatest thinker in the history of mankind; the man who tried not only to interpret the world but to change it. And, indeed, Marx’s theoretical work became the basis for social change, highlighting the scientific perception of the class struggle as the driving force of History.
 
“The genius of Marx”, Lenin wrote,lies in his having been the first to deduce from the lesson world history teaches and to apply that lesson consistently. The deduction he made is the doctrine of the class struggle” (V.I.Lenin, The Three Sources and Three Component Parts of Marxism). Marx’s thought and work consists of a milestone in the history of philosophy, political economy and social sciences. As Lenin wrote, the Marxist theory “is the legitimate successor to the best that man produced in the nineteenth century, as represented by German philosophy, English political economy and French socialism”.
The thought of Marx brought a cosmogony in the field of social sciences thus changing the way we interpret the world. “At best”, Lenin pointed out, “pre-Marxist “sociology” and historiography brought forth an accumulation of raw facts, collected at random, and a description of individual aspects of the historical process […] Marxism indicated the way to an all-embracing and comprehensive study of the process of the rise, development, and decline of socio-economic systems. People make their own history but what determines the motives of people, of the mass of people—i.e., what is the sum total of all these clashes in the mass of human societies? What are the objective conditions of production of material life that form the basis of all man’s historical activity? What is the law of development of these conditions? To all these Marx drew attention and indicated the way to a scientific study of history as a single process which, with all its immense variety and contradictoriness, is governed by definite laws”.
 
Through his extensive work, Karl Marx elaborated and expounded Hegel’s dialectics and created an integrated philosophical materialism which gave to humanity- and especially to the working class- a powerful weapon of knowledge. Marx- with the significant contribution of Engels- highlighted aspects of political economy that prominent bourgeois economists and scientists of the nineteenth century had failed to feature. As Lenin explained, “where the bourgeois economists saw a relation between things (the exchange of one commodity for another) Marx revealed a relation between people […] The doctrine of surplus-value is the corner-stone of Marx’s economic theory”.
 
Karl Marx in 1861.

Although Marx’s economic theory have been vindicated by History herself (e.g. the over-accumulation crises in capitalism etc.), the bourgeois propaganda still disputes the correctness of Marxist economics. However, even some of the most prominent representatives of bourgeois politics have admitted the truth about Marx. Here is what Paul Craig Roberts, an acclaimed bourgeois economist and former US Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy under President Reagan, wrote in 2009: “If Karl Marx and V.I.Lenin were alive today, they would be leading contenders for the Nobel Prize in economics. Marx predicted the growing misery of working people, and Lenin foresaw the subordination of the production of goods to financial apital’s accumulation of profits based on the purchase and sale of paper instruments. Their predictions are far superior to the “risk models” for which the Nobel Prize has been given and are closer to the money than the predictions of Federal Reserve chairmen, US Treasury secretaries, and Nobel economists, such as Paul Krugman, who believe that more credit and more debt are the solution to the economic crisis” (Counterpunch.org, 7 October 2009).

 
The man who could perfectly and precisely summarize the importance of the Marxist thought is, of course, the long-time companion of Marx, Friedrich Engels, with whom he co-authored some of the most significant theoretical works of the proletariat’s revolutionary theory such as “The German Ideology” (1845), “The Holy Family”(1845) and the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” (1848). Among other things, Engels noted in his farewell speech at Marx’s grave in 1883: Just as Darwin discovered the law of development or organic nature, so Marx discovered the law of development of human history […] But that is not all. Marx also discovered the special law of motion governing the present-day capitalist mode of production, and the bourgeois society that this mode of production has created. The discovery of surplus value suddenly threw light on the problem, in trying to solve which all previous investigations, of both bourgeois economists and socialist critics, had been groping in the dark”.
 
Refering to his own work, Marx was pointing out:What I did that was new was to prove: (1) that the existence of classes is only bound up with particular historical phases in the development of production (historische Entwicklungsphasen der Production), (2) that the class struggle necessarily leads to the dictatorship of the proletariat, (3) that this dictatorship itself only constitutes the transition to the abolition of all classes and to a classless society” (Marx to J.Weydemeyer in New York, March 5, 1852).
 
The heritage of Marx’s thought is certainly inversely proportional of the material goods he left to his descendants. He died as he lived: poor, without the scientific recognition that other thinkers and scientists of his era had enjoyed. With the extraordinary assistance by Engels he left behind the most valuable, powerful and important work that the working class could inherit. From the “Capital” (one of the most brilliant works in the history of human intellect) to the “Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy” and from the “Manifesto of the Communist Party” to the “Critique of the Gotha Programme”, Marx gives answers to the most fundamental questions that had been highlighted by humanity’s pioneer philosophical thinking.
 
Marx’s tombstone in Highgate, London.

The work of Karl Marx consisted of the basis for the emergence of another great man- the leader of the Great October Socialist Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, who further developed the theoretical work of Marx and Engels in the era of Imperialism thus composing the revolutionary theory of Marxism-Leninism. Marx’s heritage became the foundation for the first socialist state in the world, the Soviet Union, while Marxism became the “moving wheel” for numerous popular movements across the world which aimed at social emancipation and the abolition of exploitation of man by man. Likewise, Karl Marx and his work inspired and influenced revolutionaries and extraordinary personalities-symbols of the 20th century’s socialism- from Rosa Luxemburg to Ernst Thalmann and from Ernesto Che Guevara to Fidel Castro and Ho Chi Minh.

Today, more than 25 years since the counterrevolutionary overthrow of the USSR and the socialist countries of eastern Europe, those who had predicted the “end of History” and the failure of socialism have been refuted. The prolonged, deep systemic crisis of capitalism and the immense contemporary problems rooted in the anarchy of capitalist production prove the correctness of Marxist thought. Being rotten and outdated, capitalism becomes more and more aggressive, creates and perpetuates economic crises, extended poverty, unemployment and war. Karl Marx- the man who changed the world forever- has been totally vindicated by History and his revolutionary thinking is more timely than ever. 
 
*Nikos Mottas is the Editor-in-Chief of In Defense of Communism.
Eliot Seide: How to survive and thrive in a right-to-work nation
| March 6, 2017 | 8:06 pm | Action, AFSMCE, Labor, political struggle | No comments

AFSCME Council 5's Eliot Seide pledges support for postal workers.

AFSCME Council 5’s Eliot Seide pledges support for postal workers.

I believe our unions can survive and thrive in a right-to-work nation. America isn’t powered by quitters and neither is our labor movement. We’re committed to our members, to each other, and to our communities.

With President Trump and Justice Gorsuch, we know right-to-work will happen. The only question is how soon.

Survival won’t be easy. It requires all of us to wage a fierce resistance and to change how we do our work. Resisting wealthy extremists who want to give workers the right to live poor, get sick and die without union protections – that’s the easy part. It’s who we are and it’s what we have always done. Changing how we do business will be even harder.

Unions must change to survive and thrive. Creating a path back to increased activism, membership and power requires one-on-one conversations and building relationships in the workplace.

Truth be told, our movement was stronger when unions had to collect dues directly from their members. My grandfather was a union printer. He proudly carried a proof-of-payment book, stamped like a Passport. Back then, workers bonded at labor temples. We lost touch when laws required the employer to deduct dues from paychecks.

The Friedrichs case was delayed by the death of Supreme Court Justice Scalia, but what cannot die is the sense of crisis within our unions. For AFSCME, the Friedrichs case was a wakeup call that business as usual is a prescription for assisted suicide. With several more lethal cases in the high court’s pipeline, we can’t dismiss the threat.

AFSCME Strong is our campaign to build an even stronger union with members who are more engaged. In one year, we’ve trained 800 leaders to have conversations with 25,500 of their co-workers. Instead of talking at workers, we listen. We connect their hopes and concerns to our union vision. We discuss how problems can be solved through collective action. Building worker power and prosperity is like building a house. Here’s how we’re building ours.

house• Grow Membership. Our foundation is membership growth. We lift our movement off the ground by organizing both new and current members. Public workers organized their unions before it was legal. We don’t need permission from any politician or court. A union exists wherever workers come together with common purpose.

• Mobilize Members. Then we mobilize our members to take action on issues that matter to their daily lives. Workers who came before us marched, went to strike and even gave their lives in the struggles that won the weekend, safe working conditions, secure retirement benefits, and a voice on the job. To protect those hard-earned gains, we create strong local unions. Together we can build power to get the pay, benefits and respect we deserve.

• Take Political Action. Our democracy will be at stake in the 2018 election. Labor must unite to elect a pro-worker governor and restore DFL control of the Minnesota House. Otherwise, we will be Wisconsin. Better politics means better budgets and better contracts. It’s how we protect our jobs, our retirement and the public services that Minnesota needs. When workers have a voice in the halls of power, kids are smarter, families are healthier, and our communities are safer.

• Build Public Support. Projecting a bold, proud image of union members is essential. A strong identity builds member pride and loyalty and it attracts new members. We reach elected officials, reporters and allies with a powerful message of who we are and what we’re fighting to protect. Workers must tell their side of the story on the news.

• Work in Coalition. Trump will try to pit union against union. We’ve seen divide-and-conquer tactics in Wisconsin. Our future depends on solidarity inside and outside the house of labor. In the 1960s, we marched alongside Dr. King for civil rights. Today, we must recognize the intersections of race, gender and class that impact and impassion our evolving membership in this hostile political environment. Working together with community allies is critical to survival.

Wealthy extremists will continue their attacks on workers. If we resist and change, they won’t write our obituary.

– Eliot Seide is executive director of AFSCME Minnesota Council 5.

 

KKE: Women’s liberation is connected with the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism

Sunday, March 5, 2017

KKE: Women’s liberation is connected with the struggle for the overthrow of capitalism

With a political and cultural event held at the Party’s headquarters in Perissos, Athens on Saturday evening, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) honoured the International Women’s Day (8th March). 
 
Hundreds of women and men of all ages attended the event which had the slogan “With the KKE in the struggle for the equality and the contemporary needs of woman”.
 
The major speaker at the event was the General Secretary of the CC of the KKE Dimitris Koutsoumbas. Secretary Koutsoumbas hailed the 8th of March as a “milestone day for the participation of women in the struggle for the equal rights between men and women in labour, education and social life”

In his address, the KKE GS said that during the 100 years of the KKE there are numerous examples of communist women who have demonstrated extraordinary heroism in their activity. 
Talking about the simple, working class, heroic women who fought through the ranks of the KKE, of EAM-ELAS and the Democratic Army during extremely difficult periods, Koutsoumbas pointed out among other things: “We talk about women who with their stance as communists, as militants, but also as mothers, choosed to give a “lesson for life” thus contributing with their stance to the militant education of their children, even if this would lead them to execution”. And he added: “They could find the courage, the power to resist through their unwavering faith to the rights of the working class, of our people”.
 
The event was concluded by a theatrical play prepared by the Thessaly Organisation of the KKE. 
 
With info from 902.gr.