Socialist Worker

International round-up—Strike to defend French pensions

Issue No. 2672

RATP workers

RATP workers join in the action (Pic: Revolution Permanante/Twitter)


Workers across France are set to strike next Tuesday against the government’s assault on pensions.

President Emmanuel Macron wants to sweep away 42 different pension schemes won by workers in sectors such as rail, teaching and nursing.

They would be replaced with a universal scheme where workers win “points” rather than knowing what their pension is worth. The points would then be turned into cash through a formula that the government can determine.

People would also have to work longer before receiving their pension. The battle against the scheme has already begun.

Paris was shut down last Friday after workers in the RATP train, bus and metro network struck in massive numbers.

Ten metro lines had to be closed in the biggest Paris pension strike since 2007.

Strikers invaded the RATP headquarters with some calling for union leaders to launch an indefinite strike.

On Monday nurses, pilots and lawyers struck.

With the Yellow Vest movement gathering strength again after the summer, Macron could be beaten.


Sunset for Golden Dawn in Greece

Two leading Nazis in Greece were handed prison sentences last week. Former Golden Dawn MP Nikos Michos, and current MEP Yiannis Lagos were convicted over an attack on a community centre in Athens in 2013.

They were each given an eight-month suspended prison sentence for leading the attack by 20 Golden Dawn thugs.

Another five Nazis were found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm and using weapons.

They are the first convictions in the landmark trial, now in its fourth year, which includes charges over the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas.


Racism will be winner in Israeli election

Results of a general election in Israel—the second this year—were set to be announced as Socialist Worker went to press.

The outcome is certain to be defined by racism towards Arabs and claims to Palestinian land. Racist warmonger prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu was forced to call a second election after failing to form a government.

He has promised to annex all Israeli settlements, as well as the Jordan Valley, in the Palestinian West Bank.

This is apparently part of a “peace deal” agreed with US president Donald Trump, which is expected to be revealed after the election.

The plan would leave Israel in complete military control of the West Bank, with the remaining Palestinian land fragmented and isolated. Yet right wing parties that Netanyahu will need to form a coalition with say the plan doesn’t go far enough.


Car workers down tools at US GM plants

Nearly 50,000 workers in General Motors (GM) plants across the US began a strike last Sunday night.

Some 46,000 members of the United Auto Workers union walked out of 52 car factories and other facilities plants across nine states. They are fighting over pay, plant closures and other issues.

Drivers in the teamsters’ union said they will refuse to transport GM vehicles during the action.

Around 8,000 GM workers in South Korea last week struck for three days over pay and threatened job cuts.

International solidarity will be essential in the battle against GM bosses


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