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Successful CWI public meeting in Caracas
ON 7 APRIL the CWI section in Venezuela together with the union of the hospital workers of the Algodanal in Caracas held a successful public meeting about the widespread protest action by students and workers in France.
Celso Calfullan, CWI, Caracas
The draconian CPE law proposed by the French ruling class would introduce a contract which would allow young workers to be sacked in the first two years of their employment, without explanation. Two days after the meeting the law was withdrawn as a result of the mass movement of French workers and youth
More than 100 workers attended the meeting - amongst them members of Sintrasalud, the trade union of hospital workers, two community radio stations, and representatives of workers in struggle such as the comrades from Race, a pharmaceutical company.
The latter explained their attempts to establish a trade union, their illegal sacking from the factory, their struggle for union recognition, and for the union leaders to be re-admitted to the workplace.
The meeting also welcomed two community leaders from Petare, a borough of Caracas. Different people from the missions (anti-poverty projects supported by the government), attended the meeting as well
Karl Debbaut, on behalf of the international secretariat of the CWI, introduced the meeting.
He highlighted the main aspects of the struggle of the French working class, such as the defence of basic trade union rights, and the struggle against neo-liberalism and the growing poverty (higher than what we generally assume here in Latin America), that these policies are creating in the most advanced capitalist countries.
The speaker also pointed out the undemocratic nature of parliamentary politics in Western Europe. When politicians insist on implementing a law 73% of the French population is against, one has to ask what kind of democracy are we talking about?
The audience was very interested in the introduction which was followed with a lively debate. Many questions were asked about how the ideas of socialism are understood in France and the other European countries.
Other participants asked for more details about the methods used in the struggle of the French students and workers and about the precise meaning of the law proposed by the French government.
The public meeting was without any doubt a new and special experience. Because, in general, many of us in Latin America have the vision that the European working class is privileged and that they do not struggle directly against capitalism. The meeting also stressed the need for an international struggle against capitalism and neo-liberalism.
We drew up a very positive balance from this meeting between workers living in very different cultures but with so much in common that we can learn from each other.
Socialist Party members protested outside the Kazakhstan embassy in London last week over the attack on landless residents in the Shanyrak district of Almaty by the city authorities.
The authorities want to bulldoze the residents homes in order to build entertainment complexes and elite flats for Kazakhstan's new rich. (see last week's the socialist, with more details on www.socialistworld.net)
A letter of protest was delivered while Socialist Party members explained to passers-by that the struggle for the streets of Shanyrak is a struggle against president Nazarbayev's regime and its bandit-capitalist supporters.
In The Socialist 20 April 2006:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party election campaign
Workplace news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis