Economic crisis, workers fight back

Ford Visteon Occupation – A fight for justice – Interviews with Enfield Workers from Adrian Cousins on Vimeo.

Stock markets in Europe and the United States plunged yesterday, amid growing fears of a further downturn of the global economy: here.

From British daily News Line today:

The debt crisis is now eating at the heart of the Eurozone, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso warned yesterday.

He urged all 27 EU countries to urgently rethink their rescue systems, after earlier warning that the eurozone is in ‘system failure’.

From News Line today, about Britain:

The TUC Congress next month is meeting at an historic juncture of worldwide economic and political crisis.

Millions of workers are having their wages frozen or cut, jobs are being destroyed on a vast scale, and all public services are being cut and privatised, with the government hell bent on destroying the Welfare State and slashing benefits, at the same time as it is spending billions on its Afghan and Libyan wars.

However, the Congress 2011 Preliminary Agenda contains calls for coordinated strike action against the cuts, and in defence of pensions, but no call for a general strike.

Families fighting to save a Glasgow daycare centre for disabled people stepped up their campaign today to force the council to find alternatives to closure: here.

Spain: Major attack on living standards will follow November election: here.

On Wednesday evening, the Frankfurt Labour Court banned a strike by air traffic controllers, which would have crippled air traffic over Germany for six hours: here.

The United States had its political origin in a revolutionary struggle against an entrenched aristocracy. Today, the working class faces a no less determined foe—a parasitic financial elite whose only response to the crisis it has created is ever more draconian attacks on the social conditions of the vast majority of the population in the US and around the world: here.

How many millionaires didn’t pay income tax during the recession? Here.

Michigan workers denounce cuts to Social Security, Medicare: here.

Kentucky to privatize management of Medicaid program: here.

How JP Morgan Took Over All Kentucky’s Financial Services, And Why You Should Be Scared: here.

The receiver for Central Falls, Rhode Island filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, opening the way for new attacks on city workers and retirees: here.

Further signs of economic downturn in Australia: here.

4 thoughts on “Economic crisis, workers fight back


    There is a false equivalency that comes into play when President Obama insists on presenting himself as a “reasonable” mediator between two political sides.

    Since BuzzFlash was founded in May of 2000, we have lambasted many Democratic leaders for lacking strength and conviction. We have deplored that Democratic leaders, with a few exceptions like Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich, repeatedly accept the far-right Republican-generated “conventional wisdom” as the starting point for negotiating public policy.

    When President Obama, in an appeal to the so-called “Independent” vote, positions himself as straddling the middle ground between two equal sides, it is an abandonment of leadership that could expose the moral bankruptcy and manufactured bullying of the Koch brothers’ (and like-minded billionaires’) created “Tea Party.”

    President Obama implicitly and explicitly asserts that those who would protect Medicare and Social Security, for instance, are leftist counterparts to Ayn Rand followers who want to destroy the federal government and create free-market anarchy to replace it.

    As BuzzFlash has stated many a time, the mythical “center” of public opinion is not some immutable set of public policies. America’s strength has been its vigorous and inventive ability to evolve. Otherwise, we would still have slavery and women wouldn’t be able to vote.

    When the White House legitimatizes the radical notions infused into a segment of confused and frustrated Americans by “Americans for Prosperity,” “FreedomWorks” (two perniciously euphemistic names considering their missions) and the entire right-wing media and think-tank infrastructure, it is providing them with credibility. Outrage is called for from the bully pulpit of the presidency, not equating advocates of programs for the elderly and poor with hateful radicals who want to drown government in a bath tub, after strangling it (as followers of Grover Norquist) – but keep their Medicare and government subsidies.

    The 20 to 25 percent of the population that is holding America hostage has made Obama look weak, not strong. In his first administration, Obama held all the cards, but still folded on virtually everything but health care reform (and that, while having many good substantive insurance improvements, was a financial windfall for private health insurance companies).

    The White House’s attacks on progressives while showing respect toward the acolytes of Ayn Rand will not help the nation evolve into a clearer understanding of the serious action needed to save our economy and preserve our democracy.

    It calls for the audacity of hope, an impassioned advocacy of a vision infused with the facts, not a “reasonable” legitimatizing of psychotic politics that threatens the ruin of our nation.

    Mark Karlin
    Editor, BuzzFlash at Truthout


  2. Thousands march against austerity measures in Madrid

    Thousands of workers marched through Madrid September 6 to protest against austerity measures and changes to the constitution to cap government spending on social programmes.

    Reuters reported that “workers and members of the youth Indignados movement gathered in Puerta del Sol square—ground zero for anti-government protesters in Spain—in the evening carrying banners reading ‘I don’t want any change to the constitution.’ ”

    Union leaders said 25,000 people took part.

    “As a result of the labour reform and the proliferation of temporary contracts, there are not going to be any workers with permanent jobs,” Luis Gomez, a 59-year-old mathematics teacher, told Reuters news agency. “Young people have been given a real kick in the teeth.”

    The protest occurred the day before Spain’s Senate was due to change the constitution to limit structural deficits in central and regional governments.

    Youth unemployment tops 40 percent in Spain and one in five workers are jobless, the highest rate in the European Union.


  3. Teachers to walk out for 48 hours

    SPAIN: Teachers in Madrid are set to stage a two-day strike next week in protest at staff cuts the government claims are a vital deficit reduction measure.

    Teachers’ union leader Eduardo Sabina said today that secondary school and vocational training teachers will go on strike on September 20 and 21.

    Last week unions had said the strike would begin today, the first day of school, but Mr Sabina said teachers decided on Monday night to change the date to increase participation.


  4. Pingback: Economic crisis worsens | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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