World Economy

Mack Truck, copper miners, Chicago teachers, gig economy workers

Spreading strike wave shows potential for GM workers to expand struggle to Ford and Fiat-Chrysler

By Jerry White, 14 October 2019

If the month-long strike is to be won, autoworkers must take the fight into their own hands, end the isolation imposed by the UAW, and fight for an industry-wide shutdown.

“It’s like the UAW is management:” GM strikers speak out as union moves towards sellout

By Tom Hall, 14 October 2019

Reporting teams for the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter spoke to striking GM workers throughout Southeast Michigan over the weekend, as news emerged that the UAW is preparing to move towards a tentative agreement to shut down the four-week strike and enforce concessions.

As GM strike enters fifth week, Mack Truck-Volvo workers launch first strike in more than 35 years

By Nick Barrickman, 14 October 2019

The two American automotive strikes are part of an international movement of the working class against austerity, including 70,000 auto parts workers in Mexico and rolling strikes at GM’s South Korean plants.

Conflict erupts over European Central Bank’s return to “quantitative easing”

By Nick Beams, 14 October 2019

According to initial reports of the September meeting, as many as nine members of the 25-member governing council opposed the ECB's decision to return to “quantitative easing.”

US and China reach limited trade deal

By Nick Beams, 12 October 2019

The markets responded enthusiastically with the Dow finishing up by more than 300 points, but for all the celebrations, the agreement is very limited.

Richest 400 Americans paid lower taxes than everyone else in 2018

By Trévon Austin, 10 October 2019

The overall tax rate on the richest .01 percent was only 23 percent last year, while the bottom half of the population paid 24.2 percent.

Little prospect of agreement as US-China trade talks set to resume

By Nick Beams, 8 October 2019

China is reported to be opposed to any all-encompassing deal on trade and changes to its economic programs along the lines being demanded by the US.

As strike enters fourth week, UAW says talks with GM have “taken turn for the worse”

By Jerry White, 7 October 2019

The hard line by GM proves that the UAW is leading the strike to defeat and makes clear that workers must respond by expanding the struggle to Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

“Capitalism is the core of the problem:” Striking GM workers call for global struggle against auto companies

By Tim Rivers and Tom Hall, 7 October 2019

GM workers on the picket discussed the need for an international strategy for the expansion of their strike with the World Socialist Web Site Autoworker Newsletter this weekend.

030 India Motherson autoparts workers strike

7 October 2019

Canada: Five thousand public sector workers strike in Saskatchewan

By Carl Bronski, 7 October 2019

The strike, involving workers at SaskPower, SaskTel, SaskWater, SaskEnergy, the Water Security Agency and two SaskTel subsidiaries, is the largest in Saskatchewan for decades.

Bone-crushing labor prevails across the American meatpacking industry

By Brian Brown, 7 October 2019

While the meatpacking industry has historically been a dirty and dangerous occupation, taking workers lives and limbs, a dangerous job will become a lot worse with the Trump administration pushing further de-regulation.

Behind the GM strike: Wall Street wants temps for hi-tech vehicles and the UAW agrees

By Jerry White, 5 October 2019

Striking workers are resisting Wall Street’s demands for “more flexible manufacturing systems” to build electric and self-driving cars, including lower-paid temporary workers that the UAW has already agreed to.

New US tariffs escalate trade war with Europe

By Alex Lantier, 4 October 2019

The Trump administration’s announcement of tariffs on $7.5 billion on EU goods is only the latest shot in a spiraling trade war that is dragging the global economy toward recession.

Australian central bank cuts interest rates to record low

By Mike Head, 3 October 2019

The speed and scale of the rate cuts point to alarm within the financial elite about the turmoil gripping the world capitalist economy and deepening slump in Australia.

Democrats frame impeachment drive as defense of “national security”

By Patrick Martin, 30 September 2019

There is not the slightest democratic content to the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.

“The UAW is allowing GM to take us back to before the sit-down strikes”

Striking GM workers on picket line discuss what is at stake in their battle

By our reporters, 30 September 2019

GM workers discussed their fight to overturn decades of UAW-backed concessions, end the exploitation of temporary workers, and support the victimized Mexican GM workers.

Wall Street gives GM and UAW time to wear down strikers and impose concessions

By Tom Hall, 30 September 2019

Investors are giving GM and the UAW the time they need to wear down strikers and enforce a defeat that would shape the future of global auto industry.

As US GM strike continues

Layoffs mount in Canadian auto industry

By Carl Bronski, 30 September 2019

Over 6,000 Canadian auto assembly and parts workers have been temporarily laid off as a result of the ongoing strike by 48,000 American UAW members against GM.

Tesla autoworkers in California support striking GM workers, denounce working conditions

By Evan Blake, 30 September 2019

The rise of Tesla is part of a global restructuring of the auto industry to prepare for the production of electronic vehicles, using fewer and more poorly paid workers.

French ex-President Jacques Chirac dead at 86

By Alex Lantier, 30 September 2019

The ubiquitous hailing of Chirac by the ruling establishment reflects above all the former Gaullist president’s ability to appeal to the political and class prejudices of the affluent middle class.

230 Climate Change

30 September 2019

Daimler-Benz workers in Germany support GM strikers

By Gregor Link and K. Nesan, 23 September 2019

German autoworkers in the city of Stuttgart support the strike of their American counterparts, against the auto companies and the union, as a model for their own upcoming struggles.

Jeff Pietrzyk, former aide to UAW vice president Joe Ashton, charged with criminal conspiracy

By Jessica Goldstein, 23 September 2019

Pietrzyk sat on the 2011 UAW-GM National Negotiating Committee, which pushed through a miserable sellout contract that maintained a pay freeze and the hated two-tier system.

The GM strike is in danger

By Marcus Day, 23 September 2019

While the weeklong strike by General Motors workers in the US has won the support of workers throughout the world, the UAW is working out a strategy to strangle it as quickly as possible.

Labor Notes, DSA line up with UAW bureaucrats against GM strikers

By Shannon Jones and Barry Grey, 23 September 2019

In the face of the UAW’s strategy of isolating and betraying the powerful strike by US General Motors workers, middle-class “left” groups like Labor Notes and the Democratic Socialists of America are working to keep strikers chained to the union apparatus.

Autoworkers at GM, Fiat Chrysler and Ford react to UAW’s starvation strike pay

By Tom Hall, 20 September 2019

Yesterday’s article detailing how the union has used the strike fund as a slush fund for UAW officials elicited a strong response from autoworkers.

As GM tries to cut health benefits for workers on strike, Federal Reserve prepares more handouts to Wall Street

By Andre Damon, 19 September 2019

The federal government wants unlimited amounts of cash to be provided to the financial system in the event of a stock market downturn.

005 US auto developments

16 September 2019

Video: GM workers speak out on strike

By our reporters, 16 September 2019

GM workers from the Flint Assembly and Romulus Engine plant spoke to the World Socialist Web Site on the issues behind the walkout of 46,000 GM workers.

“The rank and file have to take control!”

Ford, Fiat-Chrysler workers call for all-out strike alongside GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 September 2019

Workers are demanding an all-out fight against the companies and the corrupt UAW, which only called a strike after forcing GM workers to cross picket lines against striking janitors.

“The rank and file have to take control!”

Ford, Fiat-Chrysler workers call for all-out strike alongside GM workers

By WSWS Autoworker Newsletter, 16 September 2019

Workers are demanding an all-out fight against the companies and the corrupt UAW, which only called a strike after forcing GM workers to cross picket lines against striking janitors.

Germany: IG Metall union concludes pact with corporate bosses and government against workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 16 September 2019

The union is offering to cooperate in “structural changes” that will boost the profits of the auto companies.

Two years on, Foxconn’s Wisconsin boondoggle continues under Democrats

By Jacob Crosse, 16 September 2019

With the aid of state and local government officials, the Foxconn swindle rolls on even as job expectations fell short for the second year in a row.

US autoworkers shut down General Motors

By The WSWS Editorial Board, 16 September 2019

The strike by 46,000 GM auto workers marks a major escalation of class struggle in the United States and internationally.

The Brexit crisis and the struggle for the unity and political independence of the working class

By Thomas Scripps, 16 September 2019

The authoritarian turn represented by Johnson’s prorogation of parliament is the most advanced expression of the breakdown of the traditional mechanisms of parliamentary rule.

Countdown to contract fight: In final week before contract expires, autoworkers gear up for struggle against companies and UAW

By Tom Hall, 9 September 2019

A ferment is taking hold among autoworkers, who are determined to win back everything that has been taken from them.

Hurricane Dorian: Tens of thousands homeless in the Bahamas as damage assessed on Canadian coast

By Nick Barrickman, 9 September 2019

Post-tropical storm Dorian continues to destroy homes and livelihoods along Canada’s Atlantic coast as a humanitarian disaster intensifies in the Bahamas.

The issues raised by climate change in the wake of Hurricane Dorian

By Bryan Dyne, 9 September 2019

The destruction caused by Hurricane Dorian further supports the prediction that global warming will cause more destructive tropical storms.

Trade war accelerates trend towards global recession

By Nick Beams, 5 September 2019

Manufacturing survey results from around the world point to a significant slowdown with no signs of increased activity in the coming months.

Trump imposes new tariffs on China

By Nick Beams, 2 September 2019

The new measures, to be followed by further imposts in December, have hit a wide range of consumer products, amid growing concerns of a recession in the global economy and the US.

Former Fed official calls on central bank to end accommodation to Trump

By Nick Beams, 31 August 2019

An extraordinary intervention by former New York Federal Reserve president Bill Dudley reflects rising political tensions, fuelled by the growing prospect of a US recession.

Standard & Poor’s claims Argentina has “defaulted” on its debt

By Andrea Lobo, 31 August 2019

An Argentine banker cited by the Financial Times said they were recalling the strikes, riots and bank runs during the last default in 2001 and were "very afraid of what’s going on.”

Tongan government threatens to block access to Facebook

By Tom Peters, 27 August 2019

The threat to ban Facebook follows intense criticism on social media of Tonga’s royal family, and growing popular anger over social inequality.

Bank of England governor tells Jackson Hole conference: Existing financial system will not hold

By Nick Beams, 27 August 2019

Reporting on the meeting, the Financial Times noted that that “there was a sense that things would never be the same again.”

Divisions between major powers widen at G7 summit

By Nick Beams, 26 August 2019

The G7 meeting held in France over the weekend marks another stage in the breakdown of the post-war capitalist order.

Trump escalates economic confrontation with China

By Andre Damon, 24 August 2019

Trump’s “order” for American companies to leave China marks a milestone in the global descent into economic nationalism and preparations for military conflict.

Wall Street falls as US-China trade conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 24 August 2019

Tweets by Trump in response to tariff measures by Beijing were his most belligerent to date, taking aim not only against China, but US corporations and the Federal Reserve.

Markets await key speech by US Fed chair

By Nick Beams, 22 August 2019

Powell’s speech will be scoured for what it indicates about the future policy of the US Federal Reserve in conditions of growing financial turbulence and a slowing world economy.

Record global dividend payouts fuel rising social inequality

By Will Morrow, 22 August 2019

The report demonstrates how the financial markets serve as a mechanism for the transfer of wealth up the income scale, from the working class to the corporate elite.

Japan-South Korea conflict intensifies

By Nick Beams, 17 August 2019

South Korea announced this week that it has removed Japan from a list of countries that qualify for accelerated supply of South Korean products, after Japan had imposed a similar measure against South Korea on August 2.

Financial turbulence continues as major economies move towards recession

By Nick Beams, 16 August 2019

The gyrations in financial markets and the growing signs of recession—threatening to set in motion a crisis even more severe than that of 2008—pose vital political issues before the working class in every country.

Concerns grow over global financial stability

By Nick Beams, 13 August 2019

There is now a historically unprecedented situation in bond markets where it is estimated that some $15 trillion worth of government bonds are trading at negative yields, meaning an investor who purchased the bond and held it to maturity would make a loss.

Establishment figures welcome renewed anti-China hysteria in Australia

By James Cogan, 13 August 2019

The ruling elite requires Australia’s incorporation into US war preparations to be accompanied by slandering any public opposition as the product of “Chinese interference.”

Costa Rican public health workers strike against tax changes, privatization plans

Workers Struggles: The Americas

13 August 2019

Thousands of hospital and clinic workers across Costa Rica carried out a two-day strike last week to protest a tax reform bill that has imposed additional burdens on workers and led to underfunding of services.

UK growth contraction caps week of economic turbulence

By Nick Beams, 10 August 2019

The British GDP data ended a week of deepening uncertainty in financial markets and growing fears of a recession in major areas of the global economy.

UN: Global food and water crisis threatens 3 billion people

By Bryan Dyne, 9 August 2019

A new report by the United Nations warns that anthropogenic climate change, if left unchecked, will render a steadily increasing portion of Earth essentially uninhabitable.

As German industrial production records “devastating” fall

Bond markets point to global recession

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2019

The signs of a global slowdown, if not an outright recession, are most evident in Germany and the Asia-Pacific region, where three central banks cuts their interest rates yesterday.

Currency war: A new stage in capitalist breakdown

By Nick Beams, 8 August 2019

A global currency conflict will take the economic warfare being waged by the US against “strategic competitors” such as China as well as its nominal allies to a new level.

Layoffs in global auto industry hit Mexico, India, China and the US

By Jerry White, 7 August 2019

Global automakers are destroying hundreds of thousands of jobs as sales fall and a brutal competition unfolds to dominate the market for electric vehicles and other new technologies.

US-China trade conflict escalates to currency war

By Nick Beams, 6 August 2019

Stock markets fell sharply around the world yesterday, amid fears of a currency war, after China allowed its currency, the renminbi, to pass through the benchmark of 7 to the US dollar.

Trump’s trade war measures hit the financial markets

By Nick Beams, 3 August 2019

In its analysis of the latest turn in the trade war, the South China Morning Post said China had to decide either to a walk away from the negotiations or make major concessions to the US.

“GM has made all of these profits and we’re getting shafted”

Autoworkers speak out as GM Warren Transmission plant closes after 78 years of operation

By our reporters, 2 August 2019

The closure of the facility, which once employed upwards of 4,000, is the latest economic blow to workers in the Detroit area, once the center of global auto manufacturing.

Trump escalates trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 2 August 2019

The decision to impose a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, covering a wide range of consumer products, represents the most significant intensification of the more than year-long trade war to date.

Slump deepens in Australian residential construction industry

By Paul Bartizan and Richard Phillips, 2 August 2019

Multiple faults in new apartment buildings have become a factor in the bursting of a debt-fuelled property bubble that is threatening thousands of jobs.

Indian protest marks seven years of legal vendetta against jailed Maruti Suzuki workers

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 31 July 2019

The sole “crime” of the 13 jailed auto workers was to challenge the poverty-wages and repressive sweatshop conditions at Maruti Suzuki.

Jacksonville Electrical Authority board of directors approves privatization effort

By Matthew Taylor, 31 July 2019

Last Tuesday’s vote represents the latest effort in a years-long conspiracy by Mayor Lenny Curry and his backers to sell off the Florida city’s utility to private interests.

Retired teachers on hunger strike across Ecuador

Workers Struggles: The Americas

31 July 2019

The government of Lenin Moreno has asked thousands of retired teachers to accept payment in government bonds, rather than cash, in an effort to rob retirees of their pensions.

Layoffs mount as slump in world auto industry deepens

By Shannon Jones, 30 July 2019

Continuing sales declines, led by China and India, are leading to massive job losses and attacks on autoworkers as transnational companies seek to maintain high levels of return.

Trump threatens unilateral action against World Trade Organization

By Nick Beams, 30 July 2019

A memorandum on the WTO issued Friday by the White House represents a significant challenge to the structure of the world’s major trade regulatory body.

Amid significant fall in investment

US economy slows in second quarter

By Nick Beams, 27 July 2019

Data on investment and industrial production show that pro-corporate tax cuts have not produced the resurgence in manufacturing and investment forecast by Trump.

Australian central bank chief fearful of rising global tensions

By Mike Head, 27 July 2019

“When businesses are nervous, they don’t want to invest,” Philip Lowe warned a corporate lunch audience.

12,500 job cuts at Nissan as global restructuring of auto industry continues

By Jerry White, 26 July 2019

The Japan-based automaker says it will cut 6,400 jobs in Japan, the US, Mexico, Britain, Spain, India and Indonesia by the end of March 2020.

European Central Bank signals return to monetary stimulus

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2019

In response to a question at his press conference following the European Central Bank meeting, President Mario Draghi said the outlook for European manufacturing was getting “worse and worse.”

Amid growing signs of global slowdown

US-China trade talks to resume next week

By Nick Beams, 25 July 2019

The conflict has become more fraught since the US Commerce Department decided to place Huawei on its entity list, effectively banning it from supplies of US components for its operations.

The Bretton Woods Agreement 75 years on

By Nick Beams, 22 July 2019

The participants at the conference were acutely conscious of the fact that what was at stake in their deliberations to establish a new world economic order was nothing less than the survival of their rule.

Mixed signals on rate cut prompts Trump to demand the Fed enlist in US trade war against rivals

By Nick Beams, 20 July 2019

Trump is demanding that the Fed drop all pretence of “independence” and openly serve as an instrument of Washington’s economic war against its global competitors.

As US senators deepen attack on Huawei

Trump’s trade war against China hits Asian economies

By Nick Beams, 18 July 2019

Because it functions as a transhipment hub for final destinations in the rest of Asia, a sharp decline in exports from Singapore last month points to an economic slowdown across the region.

China’s growth slows to lowest level since 1992

By Nick Beams, 17 July 2019

While the growth figure is still within the official target range, there are clearly growing concerns in Beijing that it could go lower in the months ahead.

US-China trade negotiations at virtual standstill

By Nick Beams, 15 July 2019

While Beijing continues to maintain that it is open to discussions, the evidence indicates it has all but given up on any prospect of reaching an agreement.

Fed signals it will bow to Wall Street’s demands

By Nick Beams, 11 July 2019

Fed Chairman Powell’s testimony to Congress yesterday was warmly welcomed by the financial markets, with Wall Street’s S&P 500 index at one point surpassing 3,000, a new record.

As industry analyst calls UAW-automaker negotiations “Kabuki theatre”

Autoworkers demand substantial improvement in wages and conditions on eve of contract talks

By Jerry White, 9 July 2019

With negotiations set to begin on July 15, workers are determined to overturn decades of givebacks accepted by the United Auto Workers.

Australian retail giant to cut jobs, wages

By Eric Ludlow, 9 July 2019

Woolworths, one of Australia’s two major supermarket chains, last month announced a restructure that endangers thousands of jobs across the country.

Germany: Riva steelworkers in Trier and Horath on strike for four weeks

By Marianne Arens, 9 July 2019

Workers are fighting against the wage dumping of parent company Riva Stahl, which is trying to pit them against the rest of the workforce to force down wages.

Britain: Gang convicted of running “extensive and prolific” modern slavery network

By Richard Tyler, 9 July 2019

According to the International Labour Office, there are 40.3 million people in conditions of modern slavery across the world, including 10 million children .

Costa Rican public health workers strike over pay cut, government policies; truckers block highways

Workers Struggles: the Americas

9 July 2019

Three Costa Rican public health unions began strike action July 4 against government policies while Costa Rican truckers blockaded highways over imposition of a value added tax.

As economic conflicts intensify

One year since the start of US trade war against China

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2019

Under conditions of its relative economic decline, the US regards China's industrial and technological development as intolerable, and will use all methods necessary to prevent it.

International Labour Organization report documents growing assault on wages

By Nick Beams, 5 July 2019

In a “key finding,” the report states that “increases in top labour incomes are associated with losses for everyone else, with both middle class and lower-income workers seeing their share of income decline.”

Bank of England chief issues warnings on global economy

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2019

In a major speech, Mark Carney pointed to a “sea change,” defined as a “profound transformation,” in the global economy, with “worrying” portents.

Australian prime minister lines up with Trump at the G20

By Peter Symonds, 3 July 2019

Trump made clear that he expected Morrison and the Australian government to back the US in its confrontations on all fronts—in particular against Iran and China.

Mass protests resume against Sudan’s junta

By Jean Shaoul, 2 July 2019

Protesters were met Sunday with tear gas, stun grenades and live ammunition that killed at least seven people and injured 181 more.

Amazon’s meat grinder in the Dallas, Texas suburbs

By Tom Carter, 2 July 2019

Over a two-year period, 567 workers were injured at Amazon’s DFW7 fulfillment center in Fort Worth, Texas.

Human rights imperialism, social media censorship and the fraud of Facebook’s “Oversight Board”

By Kevin Reed, 2 July 2019

Behind the recent report on the creation of an Oversight Board to oversee “content decisions” at Facebook is a plan for social media censorship in defense of the global capitalist system.

2,000 workers to lose jobs as Philadelphia refinery shuts down

By Samuel Davidson, 2 July 2019

Blaming high costs from fire damage, Philadelphia Energy Solutions announced the closure of the largest oil refinery on the US East Coast.

Platitudes at the G20 can’t mask a world on the brink of war

By Nick Beams, 1 July 2019

Trump’s theatrical overtures of peace toward North Korea after the G20 summit were belied by the Senate’s passage of the biggest military budget in American history.

The G20 Summit in Osaka: The war of all against all

By Andre Damon, 29 June 2019

World leaders gathered in Osaka, Japan for the G20 summit amid the relentless promotion of trade war, protectionism and militarism.

Ford announces 12,000 layoffs, five plant closures across Europe

By Will Morrow, 28 June 2019

A global restructuring is underway, with all the automakers relying on the trade unions to seek to suppress the seething and growing opposition of autoworkers.

All eyes at G20 summit on Trump-Xi meeting

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2019

The sideline meeting is widely viewed as the last chance to restart trade negotiations that broke down in early May.

Union works to sabotage unity of Minnesota nurses’ struggle

By Matt Rigel, 28 June 2019

The Minnesota Nurses Association is working to sell out nurses in Minneapolis-St. Paul metro region by negotiating contracts at some hospitals while others remain unsettled.

Greek dockers plan 24-hour strike; Irish health workers strike; sit-in strike at South African chrome mine

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

28 June 2019

Greek dock workers have announced a 24-hour strike on Wednesday July 3, which is expected to heavily impact ferry services in the busy tourist season.