Economic crisis, workers’ resistance


A series of strikes are underway in Greece in advance of a planned general strike involving both the public and private sectors on February 24: here.

Greece faces a growing fuel shortage as a customs workers’ strike halts the flow of petrol into the country: here.

USA: State and local governments have become the front line in the assault on living standards and social programs carried out in the name of fiscal discipline: here.

New claims for unemployment benefits in the US rose last week at a sharper rate than expected by analysts: here.

The five largest US health insurance companies reported $12.2 billion in profits last year, while 2.7 million Americans enrolled in private health plans lost their coverage: here.

1 thought on “Economic crisis, workers’ resistance

  1. Thursday MARCH 4

    NATIONAL DAY of ACTIONS to DEFEND EDUCATION

    The Bail Out the People Movement endorses the March 4 National Day of Actions to Defend Education.

    Across the country, students, teachers, faculty and other workers, along with concerned parents, community activists and organizations, will be using the week of March 4 to strike decisively to defend public education and the right to pursue higher learning.

    The effects of the economic crisis have been felt in all sectors. Hundreds of thousands have faced having their homes foreclosed on or being evicted. Millions have lost their jobs and have added to the ranks of unemployed, especially people of color. Many families face hunger on a daily basis.

    The crisis has not abated but continues like a storm. Federal, state and local governments are now cutting back on vital social services; closing schools; defunding education, health care and other needs; and laying off more workers.

    There has been an accelerated push to privatize public education under the guise of “school choice,” using the crumbling infrastructure of inner city schools as an excuse. This crumbling is due to decades of systemic underfunding.

    Parents and their children are wooed by for-profit and even nonprofit charter schools as a way out. But the charter schools offer a clear and present danger to teachers’ unions and are not bound to provide English as a Second Language or special education services. Charters can be granted to companies or a group of individuals who ultimately select the students and control the curriculum and budget.

    Besides the above, corporations and financial institutions would like to get their hands on the $800 billion a year spent on education.

    The Obama administration has contributed to the race to privatize public education. It has dangled $4 billion in front of strapped state governments to compete for by devising a new plan for education. This “Race to the Top” program calls not only for diminishing or eliminating altogether the cap on charter schools, but also calls for the tying of teacher pay to performance, opening the door for the firing of teachers at “underperforming schools.”

    The state budget crisis, which grew out of the general economic crisis, has provided state governments across the country a pretext for further attacks on public education. As of December, 36 states have made higher education budget cuts, resulting in tuition increases and reductions in faculty and staff. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have cut aid to K-12 schools. Additional cuts across states are expected to be widespread in 2010.

    In this climate of severe and relentless education cuts, March 4 is just the beginning of a movement to unite students, educators and other workers against the attacks on public education. That is why the Bail Out the People Movement is proud to stand up for public education on March 4 and raise the demand: “Money for Jobs and Education, Not for War and Incarceration.” As the struggle continues to grow post-March 4, it will be critical to link together the movements for jobs and education with the movement to stop the wars and occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    For more information on the March 4 National Day of Actions to Defend Education:

    * Visit the Web site for more details at http://www.defendeducation.org.
    * Endorse the call by sending an email to march4nationaldayofaction@gmail.com.
    * Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=213637229312.

    Like

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