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written by FAU-Bern on 24.11.11, 12:45
Le directeur du principal employeur privé du canton se dit surpris. Il réfute en bloc les attaques du syndicat
Migros Genève riposte. Son directeur général, Guy Vibourel, a contacté les médias suite à la conférence de presse donnée par le syndicat Unia lundi (lire 24 heures d’hier)
. Ce dernier dénonçait les conditions de travail qui se dégradaient, selon lui, fortement au sein du principal employeur privé du canton du bout du lac. «C’est faux!» répond Guy Vibourel, qui se dit très surpris par les propos du syndicat. «Unia fait feu de tout bois car il a besoin d’adhérents, mais il ferait bien de s’occuper de gens qui sont moins bons employeurs que nous.» Selon un classement du magazine Bilan paru en février 2011, Migros figure parmi les meilleurs employeurs romands.
«J’ai lu dans la presse que nous avons procédé à des licenciements. C’est également faux», continue le directeur général. Il précise: «Migros Genève employait 3630 personnes au début de l’année, 400 sont parties suite à des départs à la retraite ou à une démission.» Parmi ces postes, 125 n’ont pas été remplacés, ce qui correspond à 3,4% des effectifs. «Il y a donc actuellement certes des postes en moins par rapport à l’année dernière, mais nous n’avons procédé à aucun licenciement économique.» La diminution des effectifs répond à une baisse des ventes, due notamment à l’évasion d’une partie de la clientèle vers la France voisine. «Je parle très souvent avec le personnel, je n’ai pas eu d’échos comme quoi l’ambiance se dégradait», a affirmé Guy Vibourel.
Lundi, Unia avait également regretté que, suite aux bons résultats de Migros en France, un système de péréquation n’ait pas été mis en place pour prévenir les suppressions de postes dans le canton. Selon son responsable, Migros Genève avait un chiffre d’affaires de 1,1 milliard de francs en 2010. Ce chiffre a baissé de 7,5% depuis le début de l’année, ce qui correspond à 65 millions de francs, dont 4% sont dus à une baisse des prix sur les assortiments et 3,5% à une baisse des volumes. Le recul des volumes s’explique par la réduction des achats liée à la conjoncture et à l’évasion d’une partie de la clientèle vers la France voisine en raison du franc fort. «Migros France, continue Guy Vibourel, obtient certes de bons résultats. Elle a d’ailleurs engagé depuis le début de l’année, mais on ne peut comparer ses résultats avec ceux de Genève.»
L’année dernière, son chiffre d’affaires évoluait autour des 150 millions d’euros. «On ne peut donc pas conclure que ses bons résultats peuvent faire contrepoids à ceux du canton.» Aucune décision n’a encore été prise sur les salaires de l’an prochain. Migros a proposé au niveau national une fourchette d’augmentation de 0,3% à 0,8%. «L’augmentation à Genève se situera dans cette fourchette», confirme Guy Vibourel. Interrogé sur des semaines de six jours de travail, le directeur général confie à nouveau son étonnement. Il indique qu’une enquête est en cours et que les consignes ont été rappelées. Elles sont claires: on ne doit pas travailler plus de cinq jours par semaine à Migros Genève. «Nous ne faisons pas de pressions, conclut Guy Vibourel. Nous avons intérêt à ce qu’il y ait un bon climat dans l’entreprise pour satisfaire la clientèle.»
Bénéfice en hausse pour Medtronic
Le fabricant américain, dont le siège européen est à Tolochenaz, annonce un deuxième trimestre en forte augmentation
Le fabricant américain d’appareils médicaux Medtronic, qui emploie plus de 1200 personnes en Suisse, a vu son bénéfice net bondir de 54% en variation annuelle, à 871 millions de dollars, au deuxième trimestre de son exercice 2011-2012 (clos le 28 octobre).
Le chiffre d’affaires s’est pour sa part accru de 6% à 4,132 milliards de dollars (3,79 milliards de francs), a précisé le groupe hier. La moitié de la croissance repose néanmoins sur des gains de change. Les ventes ont été particulièrement florissantes dans les pays émergents (+21%).
Medtronic est présent en Suisse à Tolochenaz, qui abrite son siège européen, un site de production et le centre européen de formation. La société est également implantée à Neuchâtel, à Frauenfeld et à Münchenbuchsee.
«Je suis très heureux d’annoncer un autre trimestre de constante croissance dans un environnement si difficile», a annoncé le président-directeur, Omar Ishrak. Il a poursuivi en déclarant: «La majorité de nos entreprises, et presque toutes les parties géographiques ont contribué à cette croissance.»
De 24 heures en ligne 22.11.2011
written by FAU-Bern on 24.11.11, 12:41
«La politique de Migros Genève vis-à-vis de ses employés est comparable à celle de Novartis.» Ainsi parle Joël Varone, secrétaire syndical d’Unia, à propos du plus important employeur privé du bout du lac (3627 collaborateurs en 2010 contre quelque 4000 dans le canton de Vaud). L’entreprise figure par ailleurs parmi les meilleurs employeurs romands, selon le magazine Bilan de février 2011.
Entre 2008 et 2010, les effectifs dans la vente à Migros Genève ont baissé de 2,6%. Cent postes ont été supprimés depuis janvier à la suite de départs à la retraite, de démissions et de licenciements, et 25 autres suppressions sont prévues, soit une baisse de 3,4% des effectifs en 2011. «Migros Genève a pourtant accumulé 25 millions de bénéfices ces trois dernières années», rappelle le syndicat. Depuis 2002, Migros en Suisse a engrangé 5,75 milliards de bénéfices.
Les employés se plaignent pourtant. L’un d’eux, Vincent (nom d’emprunt), témoigne: «Les conditions de travail se sont dégradées. La charge de travail explose. Nous travaillons régulièrement six jours sur sept, on nous demande toujours plus, et nos évaluations sont toujours plus sévères. Nous venons quand nous sommes malades de peur d’être licenciés.» Et de continuer: «On ne peut plus parler de la Migros comme d’une entreprise sociale tant nous avons l’impression d’être jetables.» «Nous ne nous sentons plus du tout écoutés de la direction», confirme une collègue. Le fossé entre la direction et les employés semble s’élargir.
Car, du côté des patrons, on semble voir les choses autrement. Le directeur de Migros Genève, Guy Vibourel, dans le magazine Horizons, destiné aux collaborateurs du géant orange, a milité cet été contre l’absentéisme au sein de l’entreprise.
Le syndicat critique aussi le programme de réinsertion de chômeurs M-Défi, qui permet à Migros Genève de bénéficier gratuitement de travailleurs pendant six mois pour autant qu’ils n’occupent pas de postes vacants. Une clause qui n’est pas forcément respectée. Unia rappelle qu’un système de péréquation pourrait répartir les excellents résultats de Migros France et des autres cantons si les ventes venaient à baisser à Genève. «On peut donc vraiment comparer Migros à Novartis, conclut Joël Varone. Sauf que la politique économique du géant orange est encore plus incompréhensible, son statut de coopérative ne l’obligeant pas à rendre des comptes à des actionnaires.»
Contactée, la direction n’a pas répondu, mais elle annonce que Guy Vibourel organisera une conférence de presse aujourd’hui.
De 24 heures en ligne 21.11.2011
written by FAU-Bern on 19.01.09, 20:52
Global crisis - Global proletarianisation - Counter-perspectives
By Karl Heinz Roth
"We are entering a world historical situation where all track switches of social-economic and political life are newly aligned. It will be the second epochal change for my generation after the period of 1967-1973. All the main facts and indicators of the last weeks point to the start of a world economic crisis which already now exceeds the extent of the 1973 crisis and of the intervening crises of 1982 and 1987. The current crisis is approaching the dimensions of the worldwide crisis and subsequent depression of 1929-1938. How should we react to such a gigantic challenge?" Read further...
[K.H. Roth is a german radical-left Social-Historian of the 20. Century. Here, he wrote down his thoughts about the current global situation and possible ways of resisting]
written by FAU-Bern on 19.01.09, 13:23
On Friday January 9, members of FAU Switerzland held a solidarity picket at Nestle HQ in Vevey in solidarity with Jacek Kotula, who was illegally fired in September from Alima-Gerber in Poland. ZSP Warsaw will hold a similar picket at Nestle HQ in Poland on Friday January 16. These pickets come before Mr. Kotula's next day in labour court, on January 19 and are meant to show the company that we do not forget about his case, nor do we forget about the repression of unionists that is so common in the Nestle corporation.
We are asking people to send solidarity faxes to Nestle HQ. Below is a sample letter. For more facts about the case, see:
Past problems with management: www.multiwatch.ch/fileadmin/Nachrichten/080722_Nestle_Polen.pdf
SEND BY FAX OR E-MAIL TO ONE OR ALL OF THE BELOW:
Fax:41-21-944 30 19
Nestlé Polska Sp.zo.o.
Fax: + 48-22 607 2222
Fax: 22-607 22 76
ul. Gen. Stanis?awa Maczka 1
fax. (017) 875 33 22
ul Cybernetyki 7
Fax 022 607 30 42
In fall 2008 the Chairman of Solidarity at Alima Gerber in Rzeszow, Poland , Jacek Kotula,
was dismissed on the basis of art. 52 of the Labour Code, despite the fact that he was protected by law. This is an attempt do intimidate and to gag unionists in your company.
Union representatives are protected by law since it is their job to protect the rights of workers, not just support the management. Jacek Kotula had to confront management on
different issues relating to the violation of the Labour Code, ranging from unpaid overtime work, work in dangerous conditions and mobbing at work. The reasons for dismissing Mr. Kotula seem like a convenient pretext to get rid of this unionist.
We are also aware that the company had been trying to hinder Mr. Kotula's union activity in the past.
We demand that Alima Gerber and Nestle stop it's anti-union activity and reinstate Mr. Kotula immediately.
written by FAU-Bern on 15.12.08, 13:07
We don't forget, we don't forgive - day of international action against state murders, 20.12.2008
Today (Friday), the assembly of the occupied Athens Polytechnic decided to make a callout for European and global-wide actions of resistance in the memory of all assassinated youth, migrants and all those who were struggling against the lackeys of the state. Carlo Juliani; the French suburb youths; Alexandros Grigoropoulos and the countless others, all around the world. Our lives do not belong to the states and their assassins! The memory of the assassinated brothers and sisters, friends and comrades stays alive through our struggles! We do not forget our brothers and sisters, we do not forgive their murderers. Please translate and spread around this message for a common day of coordinated actions of resistance in as many places around the world as possible.
written by FAU-Bern on 04.11.08, 18:16
Nestle attempts to break trade-unions in Alima Gerber in Poland
In September this year, Jacek Kotula, the president of the workplace commission of the “Solidarity” trade-union in Alima Gerber S.A. in Rzeszow, Poland (currently owned by Nestle) has been dismissed on disciplinary grounds. This is one of many cases of contempt for workers’s rights by large corporations operating in Poland. It is not the first time that Nestle workers have to fight with Nestle in order to have their basic rights respected in various Nestle factories spread around the world. Russian workers are still in the process of struggling for the right to negotiate wages.
Below, we present an interview with Mr. Jacek, made by a member of the Union of Syndicalists of Poland (ZSP).
ZSP: The official reason given for your dismissal was a conversation you had with a Polish farmer, in which you informed him that Alima Gerber imports apples from Italy instead of buying it from the local farmers. In the opinion of the management, this conversation was detrimental to the interests of the company. Do you think it was the real reason why you got fired?
Of course, this was just a pretext to get rid of me. The real reason was my activity and the activity of the workplace trade-union commission of “Solidarity” presided by me for 3 years. Let me just mention that since July 2008 our commission grew by 50% and our activity has expanded to Nestle in Warsaw. I have demanded wage raises of about 140 Euro monthly. Currently, a regular employee earns about 350 Euro after tax.
The employer was not interested in negotiations. I have also proposed to sign an agreement about combating stress-related problems. The management falsely claimed that there are no legal grounds to introduce such a program. I have also presented the facts related to the discrimination of our employees in comparison with another Nestle plant in Poland, where workers earn 50% more than the ones in Rzeszow, while performing similar work.
Since there was no reaction, I have sent a letter about the case to the United Nations. I have indicated the many illegal actions of the management of the factory, confirmed many times by the Work Inspectorate. I have asked the president of Nestle Poland to meet me regarding an important issue I have mentioned in writing. Each time, I was faced with a wall of indifference. In the end, they just got rid of me in the most brutal fashion - by way of a dismissal on disciplinary grounds.
The conversation with the president of the union of farmers of Alima Gerber which I had and the alleged encouragement to negotiate high prices for fruit and vegetables was only a sad pretext to get rid of me after 16 years of work there.
ZSP: How did your colleagues and union members react to the management's decision? Did the local commission act in your defence?
The decision to dismiss me was a shock for everyone. My colleagues from the Solidarity union gathered signatures on a protest against my dismissal. Two thirds of the workforce signed the protest. The union commission, nor the work council, did accept my dismissal. Despite this, the employer knowingly broke the law by dismissing a union representative protected by the law. This is a clear violation of the worker's rights and the Labour Inspectorate in Rzeszow has initiated a proceeding against the management.
ZSP: How was the dismissal delivered to you?
After I was informed about the intention to fire me and after I saw the September 5th letter asking the union to accept my dismissal, I felt very sick on psychosomatic grounds and I have spent a week being treated on the cardiology department. In the meantime, the management of Alima Gerber harassed my family several times. The saddest event occurred on September 13th, at 7 AM. Four of my children, aged from 7 to 13, were alone in the house, while my wife was working on a night shift. My children were woken up by the relentless bell ring. When my 12-year old son opened the door, the manager tried to give him the dismissal document.
My son did not want to accept anything from the manager. The manager demanded that an older son be called. But the older son refused to take anything and locked the door. The manager stood at the door until 9 AM, kept ringing and knocking the windows and door. The children were terrified and informed their parents by phone of what has happened. The youngest son kept crying and asking: "why do they want to put daddy in jail?"
After the manager left, the house was under observation until noon by a man in a red car, at about 50 m away from the house. Our neighbours informed us of this fact. After I left the hospital, I went to Bulgaria on September 16th, for a training organized by the European Trade Union Institute from Brussels. The training was earlier approved by the manager of the plant.
I was the only representative from Poland. At the Okecie airport in Warsaw, after luggage check-in, I saw the manager and the Human Resources director going after me. I was shocked to see them there. I ran to passport control and haven't seen them afterwards. After I returned from the training, I was not let into the plant. It was claimed that I was fired... at the airport!
ZSP: How did the management portray this case to the employees? Were there any attempts to turn employees against you? If so, were those attempts successful?
The management informed the employees that I am a criminal, because I have acted to the detriment of the company, allegedly advising the farmers to negotiate the highest possible prices for fruit. The management claimed that this was the reason for falling profits and that is why the employees cannot expect any significant raises. The workplace commission was also threatened that its members will have to participate in court hearings. Was this successful? I believe in some sense, yes.
ZSP: When will the trial begin?
I have filed the case on September 25th in the Labour Court in Rzeszow. The first court hearing will take place on November 10th. I believe I will win, as I did 6 months earlier, when the employer illegally punished me for entering with a workplace security inspector on a night shift. I did nothing wrong. As a matter of fact, the inspector admitted that I acted in the interest of the plant by informing the president of the farmer's union that apples are being imported from Italy. No one can convince me that apples imported from Italy will be cheaper than the apples from near Rzeszow. Besides, the farmers are shareholders of the company. They are not competitors, but members of a family and the plant could not function without them.
ZSP: Dismissals of active union members are quite common in Poland. The political climate for union activity is quite bad. This year several union members have been dismissed in state owned and private companies. The employers seem to act with impunity. How to reverse this negative trend?
We must highlight cases when the employers break the law. We need to show people the of meanness of some companies which knowingly break the law by firing protected union members. We also need to change the law in order to give real protection to the union activists who are on the front line of the struggle for workers rights. All unions must act together in this area.
ZSP: Temporary work is a common phenomenon. What kind of difficulties did you encounter while trying to fight for equal treatment of temporary workers employed by temp agencies and workers with permanent contracts?
Our plant has been hiring temporary workers from the Impel agency for three years. These employees performed the exact same work as the permanent employees, for half the wages. They did not receive compensation for working in noisy conditions, their working clothes were not washed and they did not receive meals.
They were discriminated against, which is not allowed by the law on temporary work agencies. We have reported the issue to the management, but to no avail. Two years ago, we informed the Work Inspectorate about the case. The inspection revealed that our suspicions were right. The plant was forced to employ 70 of the temporary workers on permanent contracts, with the same wages as other Alima Gerber workers. A few of the workers filed suits against Impel for discrimination. Their lawyer estimated their losses to over 3300 Euro a year. The case is still pending.
ZSP: The international character of many corporations doing business in Poland allows for international actions of support in case workers rights are being broken. What are your experiences working with other organizations internationally?
I have excellent experiences, especially with unions from the so-called "old" European Union. There seems to be quite a different union culture there. For example in 2006 I have written a complaint to the Swiss management about the extremely poor wages in our company. I have argued that an employee of our company cannot sustain himself, let alone his family on the wages he receives. We have received support from the European Confederation of Trade Unions in Brussels, from the IUF (International Union of Food workers) from Geneva, the European Worker’s Council and many unions in France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. A journalist from Basler Zeitung has visited us to write a big feature about the case. Another newspaper, “Input” has written an article about the topic.
The western media and organizations are the only real weapon of Polish unionists.
ZSP: Since you have lost your source of income, are you in need of material help? How can union members and people interested in worker's rights help you in your situation?
I have not received wages since September 16th. I don’t receive any unemployment benefits, since I was fired on disciplinary grounds. Our family subsists on the income of my wife, who is a nurse. I have four children, who still are very much in shock after what happened to me. I have to return a credit from the Social Fund until October 15th. I am in the same situation as many ordinary workers in Alima Gerber, who can only afford some basic necessities despite years of hard work. I believe that the good will prevail. I ask people of good faith only for prayer.
ZSP: Thank you for the interview. We wish you success in your fight for reinstatement in the workplace!
written by FAU-Bern on 23.09.08, 16:37
Vor einiger Zeit haben wir hier einen Aufruf von www.labourstart.org veröffentlicht, sich für die Freilassung einer verhafteten türkischen Gewerkschafterin einzusetzten. Mehr als 8'500 Leute haben mitgemacht und eine Protestmail an den türkischen Staat geschickt. Die Frau wurde jetzt wieder freigelassen. Hier jetzt die Meldung von LabourStart:
Great news: Turkish woman trade union leader Meryem Özsögüt has been released from jail.
In a statement issued today by Public Services International, it was reported
that Meryem's union -- SES -- "thanked the international community for its
support and solidarity via the LabourStart campaign as well as PSI affiliates" and others.
(The full statement is on the PSI website - http://www.world-psi.org/ )
Over the last 10 weeks, 8,586 of you sent off your messages of protest in one
of the largest campaigns LabourStart has ever mounted. It has now been crowned with success.
This should inspire all of us to sign up to the remaining campaigns --
particularly those protesting repression directed against trade unionists in
South Korea and Iran. The full list of current campaigns is here:
And remember -- LabourStart receives no corporate or government funding. To
conduct our campaigns we rely on your generosity. Please contribute today:
Thank you - and pass this message on!
written by Chrigu on 01.07.08, 09:05
(recieved today from Eric Lee, www.labourstart.org)
This message will be very brief and to the point.
The Turkish government has jailed a woman trade unionist, Meryem Özsögüt, and has kept her in detention for nearly six months.
Meryem is a leader of the public sector union SES, and we've been asked by Public Services International (PSI) to launch a big online campaign demanding her release.
For more details and to add your signature, please click here now.
This campaign will not take off, and we will not secure Meryem's release, unless we can mobilize thousands of our members around the world.
Please do what you can to help this campaign go viral -- forward it to your email lists, post information on your union websites, pass out flyers at events, use new tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogs to spread the word.
Meryem needs our help. I know that I can count on all of you.
written by FAU-Bern on 29.05.08, 15:38
Grand Rapids Starbucks Union and Sevilla, Spain CNT have announced a Global Day of Action against Starbucks July 5th
Day to protest recent firing of CNT member in Spain and continuing anti-union discrimination in Grand Rapids
The Union of Comerical and Hotel workers CNT-AIT in Sevilla, Spain along with the Grand Rapids Starbucks Workers Union (IWW) have announced a Global Day of Action scheduled for July 5th. The two groups are asking social organizations, unions, and individuals from around the world to promote and participate in this day of action.
On April 24th, 2008 a barista named Monica was fired for her union activity from a Starbucks in Sevilla, Spain. She was a member of the Union of Commercial and Hotel Workers of the Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores (CNT). Now with the support of all CNT affiliates, the International Workers Association, and the Starbucks Workers Union (IWW) they are demanding justice for Monica.
The treatment of Monica in Spain by Starbucks is similar to the charges of anti-union discrimination being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This new Grand Rapids investigation comes less than a year since Starbucks signed a settlement agreement with the NLRB claiming they would end intimidation against baristas interested in joining the Starbucks Union.
written by FAU-Bern on 21.05.08, 13:07
In Solidarity with Cosatu and the
Workers of the World
ZACF Statement on Zimbabwe, Xenophobia and Food Prices
The Zabalaza Anarchist Communist Front (ZACF) recognises that the crisis in Zimbabwe, ongoing xenophobic attacks and rising food prices are of great importance to the working class, both in South Africa and internationally. Resolving these crises in favour of the poor and working poor will require mass direct action and solidarity.
We stand by the right of Zimbabwean people to be free from violent repression, intimidation, arbitrary arrests, torture and murder by state forces and others allied to the despotic Mugabe regime.
We support the right of all people to be free from hunger, malnutrition and easily preventable sickness caused lack of healthy food.
We support people's right to freedom of movement under any circumstances, especially when seeking a better future for themselves and their families when the political and economic conditions in their places of origin to do not allow for their wellbeing.
We support the right of people to satisfy their basic needs, such as electricity, housing and other basic services.
In line with this, we support the demands made by Cosatu for actions to be taken to protect the poorest layers of society from the effects of rising food prices, by raising social grants and minimum wages. We support the demand for basic foods to be VAT zero-rated, for land reform to be accelerated, for more land to be made available for food production.
We agree with Cosatu that poor and working class South Africans and immigrants have a common interest in struggling together to improve their living conditions.
Our aim is for this common interest to grow into a common struggle to improve conditions and to resist all forms of oppression.
We call on working class and poor South Africans to build alliances and structures of support with immigrants living in poor communities in South Africa.
We call on all the organisations of the working class to make a sincere effort to involve immigrants in their struggles and, similarly, to support the day to day struggles of these immigrants in all their forms.
Alexandra, a hotbed of working class resistance to oppression for decades, has been racked and divided by xenophobic riots. Some among the South African working class are turning their anger against immigrants instead of the true enemy, the capitalists. This is a tragedy, not only for our immigrant brothers and sisters, but for the South African working class. A working class divided will win nothing but more oppression and exploitation. A working class united will never be defeated.
In Alexandra, the workers and the poor, both South African and immigrant, faces a crisis of housing. A battle between South Africans and immigrants over who gets the houses will only prolong the crisis. To win housing, water and electricity, the class must unite.
Working class organisations in Alexandra and elsewhere are fighting for housing and services. Immigrants and South Africans should join in these struggles. We call on the militant organisations of the South African working class to bring immigrants into their movements, to establish joint committees, to learn together the nature of the common oppression binding all workers, and to build and grow common struggles against this oppression.
In the face of hate-filled, mindless xenophobic attacks, immigrants have sought the protection of the police. We understand and respect this move. When our lives are threatened, we go where we can.
But the police are no friends of immigrants. Again and again they have shown their xenophobia. This is the force of repression that randomly picks people up off the street because their skins are darker than the average in South Africa, checking for ID books and papers as they checked for passes under the old regime. This is the force of repression that intimidates workers into passing over their hard-earned wages in bribes if they cannot prove they have the right to be in this country. This is the force of repression that throws workers into the squalor of the Lindela concentration camp for months of imprisonment until they are deported to their countries of origin, to poverty, to starvation, and in some of these countries – including Zimbabwe – to repression, torture and murder.
The police may show mercy today. But immigrants who seek police protection today may be arrested tomorrow – or next week, or in two months – by the very same police who offered to protect them today.
Today they may have no option. Xenophobic terror is terrible indeed. When Zimbabwean immigrants go so far as to ask to be repatriated to the country they fled, a country now plunging deeper than ever into economic ruin and tyrannical repression, they show the true terror of xenophobia – terror that, in the end, hits all the workers and all the poor.
In the face of such terror, we should do better than relying on our enemies. The robber capitalists and their armed wing, the state and its police, are our enemies. The friends of the workers are the workers. The friends of the immigrant workers should be the South African workers. We call on all workers and poor people to unite in daily struggle. And, while xenophobic attacks may continue, we hope the time will come when South African and immigrant workers will join in defence against these attacks.
The dockworkers of Durban, members of the South African Transport and Allied Workers' Union, members of Cosatu, have shown the way. Just last month, the Mugabe regime sought to import a shipment of weapons from China to slaughter those who resisted tyranny. This shipload was to be unloaded in Durban, and carried by truck through South Africa to the butcher of Harare.
The dockworkers of Durban declared that they would not unload this shipment. They were joined by transport workers throughout the world. The weapons were returned to China.
More weapons may follow. All workers in South Africa, whether South African, Zimbabwean, whatever may be their nationality, should be prepared to stop these weapons, to defend the workers and the poor of Zimbabwe against the tyrant.
Workers and poor people can unite in the struggle for housing, for water, for electricity, against repression, against dictators.
And workers and poor people can unite in the struggle for food.
The insane increase in food prices is a global crisis, and is meeting with global resistance. Throughout the world, workers, peasants and the poor face starvation as World Bank structural adjustment programmes, trade agreements prepared by and for the capitalists, oil profiteering, biofuel programmes that seek to evade the energy crisis by burning food, and price fixing so plainly criminal that even the South African state has felt obliged to fine food company Tiger Brands nearly R100 million (a mere 4.5 percent of these robbers' 2007 profit of R2.24 billion, bringing no relief in the price of bread), are united in a single onslaught of plunder and starvation.
But the people are fighting back. Workers and the poor have rioted from Egypt to Mozambique, from Haiti to the Philippines. In Haiti and in Cameroon, these actions have forced the state to cap food prices.
The ZACF supports Cosatu's demands to defend workers and the poor against food inflation. And we go further. We declare that by taking to the streets, the working class can win a price cap on all basic food.
In struggle the workers can unite. In struggle the workers of the world can defeat the capitalist plunderers who would starve us all to death if they could make a profit from it. In struggle the workers can reach beyond small differences of nationality, can topple the tyrant Mugabe as we toppled the tyrants of the apartheid regime, can build a world where neither boundary fence, nor plundering mielie merchant, nor policeman of hatred, will deprive us of our needs and hold us in terror.
The ZACF calls on Cosatu, on the community social movements, on all the organisations of the working class, across all borders, to join in direct action against every oppressor.
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