Socialist Worker

International round-up

Issue No. 2408

French railways at a standstill

Railways in France have been paralysed by strikes for more than a week.

Workers oppose reforms set to be debated in parliament as Socialist Worker went to press. 

These would lead to massive job cuts and open the door to privatisation.

The right wing newspaper Le Figaro said the strike had made trade unions “scary again”. 

The government tried to demonise strikers for wrecking students’ Baccalaureat exams which began on Monday of this week. But rail, teaching and student unions made statements of unity. 

Santos re-elected in Colombia

Colombia’s centre right president Juan Manuel Santos was narrowly re-elected on Sunday of last week. 

The election was seen as a referendum on his 18 month peace process with the left wing Farc guerrillas.

Challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, backed by hard right wing former president and staunch US ally Alvaro Uribe, topped the poll in the first round. 

But transfers from the left saw Santos win with 53 percent of the second round vote.

South African miners to settle?

The five-month long South African platinum strike looked close to settlement as Socialist Worker went to press. 

Some 70,000 miners have been demanding a living wage of 12,500 rand a month.

The hold up is said to be over how many years an increase in miners’ pay will take to be fully implemented. Some strikers are worried the deal might leave 235 miners sacked during the strike without their jobs.

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