European Workers Issues

UK: Asda supermarket workers protest inferior contract

By Robert Stevens, 16 August 2019

Asda’s workers face a devastating situation because the GMB union agreed to the contract being brought in on a “voluntary” basis two years ago and have refused to mount any serious fight since then.

UK supermarket worker: “The ‘choice’ from Asda is no choice—you sign or you’re out of a job”

By our reporters, 16 August 2019

World Socialist Web Site reporters spoke to Asda supermarket workers, who protested in Leeds Wednesday against the imposition of an inferior contract.

Threat of Ryanair strikes across Europe; Kenyan public workers in 15 counties are set to walk out

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

16 August 2019

More workers at Ryanair have voted to strike as the job action by Portuguese delivery drivers continues and Kenyan public sector workers are set to walk out Tuesday.

Hospital workers strike spreads throughout France

By Anthony Torres, 15 August 2019

The urgent care nurses and assistants are opposing Macron’s assault on healthcare and the deterioration of conditions for staff and patients.

A socialist strategy is needed to defend jobs and conditions

UK: Bradford NHS workers vote to strike against privatisation

By Richard Tyler, 15 August 2019

Hospital workers in Bradford, England, facing the backdoor privatisation of their jobs, have voted to take indefinite strike action from August 26.

Portugal’s social-democratic government calls out army against truckers’ strike

By Alex Lantier, 14 August 2019

The financial aristocracy has made clear that it will not tolerate workers’ demands for a dramatic rise in wages and working conditions, proper rest times, and fundamental social change.

UK supermarket workers oppose new wage-cutting contract at Walmart subsidiary Asda

By Barry Mason, 14 August 2019

To fight the plans of global corporations such as Asda, workers must adopt a strategy opposed to the nationalist, pro-capitalist policies of the trade unions.

More strikes called off by UK airline unions

By Margot Miller, 10 August 2019

Airline staff in many different countries, who are determined to fight to defend their wages, jobs and conditions, face sabotage by trade unions working to isolate and suppress their struggles.

040 Right-wing record of Syriza in Greece

9 August 2019

UK Ryanair pilots vote to strike; South Africa’s bank workers two-day national stoppage; Kenyan construction workers wildcat strike over pay and conditions

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

9 August 2019

Ryanair pilots in Britain have given an 80 percent strike mandate while south African bank workers plan to protest massive job losses and Kenyan workers struck the multi-billion-shilling Thwake Dam construction project.

German auto supplier Eisenmann files for bankruptcy

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 3 August 2019

The family-owned company in Baden-Württemberg employs 3,000 workers at 27 locations in 15 countries.

Unions step up sabotage of airline workers’ struggles in Europe

By Robert Stevens, 3 August 2019

The unions across Europe are working in concert to head off any united offensive by airline workers.

Public transport workers’ meeting Thursday to demand WikiLeaks founder’s freedom

London bus drivers show support for Julian Assange

By our reporters, 30 July 2019

Many London bus drivers, drawn from every corner of the world, including Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, have first-hand experience of the US war crimes and government corruption exposed by WikiLeaks since 2006.

UK: First Bus drivers to vote on revised pay-offer after Unite calls off strikes

By Simon Whelan, 29 July 2019

An “improved” offer reportedly involves a miserly 17 pence an hour increase and a one-off payment of just £320, which the union is selling as an extra week’s wages.

UK Heathrow airport strike continues as pilots vote to strike; South Africa dockers defy unions

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

27 July 2019

In South Africa, dockworkers are continuing a two-week go slow in defiance of the unions.

UK Heathrow airport strike continues as pilots vote to strike; South African national rail strike; unions denounce South African dockers’ unofficial go-slow

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

27 July 2019

Some 4,000 workers carried out a two-day strike at London’s Heathrow airport while strikes continue in South Africa where dockworkers are continuing a two-week go slow in defiance of unions and rail workers carried out a one-day nationwide walkout.

Bradford NHS workers to strike against “backdoor privatisation”

By Barry Mason, 24 July 2019

The Bradford hospital trust’s plans are aimed at enforcing government-imposed efficiency cuts of 4 percent each year, around £16 million in the current financial year.

German automaker Opel to cut a further 1,100 jobs

By Marianne Arens, 23 July 2019

Shortly before the plants closed for the summer holiday, news emerged that 1,100 jobs will be cut in Rüsselsheim, Eisenach and Kaiserslautern.

After three-month cover-up, investigation into police assault of “yellow vest” Geneviève Legay transferred to Lyon

By Francis Dubois, 19 July 2019

The police assault on the septuagenarian in Nice is part of the erection of a police state by the government of the financial aristocracy headed by Macron.

Deutsche Bank to eliminate one in five jobs

By Gustav Kemper and Peter Schwarz, 17 July 2019

Employees are now paying the price for the bank’s criminal activities over the last 30 years.

UK: SEP wins support for Julian Assange at Durham Miners’ Gala

By our reporters, 15 July 2019

The gala is an annual labour movement event. Held for the first time in 1871, it attracts an estimated 200,000 attendees in celebration of the town’s coal mining heritage.

UK hospital in week-long strike; National strike threats on South Africa’s railways and Nigeria’s public sector

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 July 2019

Staff at Bradford hospitals struck against plans to transfer them to the employ of a private company, while thousands of South African railroad workers and Nigerian public workers are on strike.

Syriza’s election defeat: A balance sheet of a political betrayal

By Alex Lantier, 9 July 2019

Hailed as a “radical” alternative to capitalism by the middle-class left, the Syriza-led government of Alexis Tsipras spent four years carrying out austerity measures on behalf of the EU.

Paul Hanebrink’s A Specter Haunting Europe: The Myth of Judeo-Bolshevism

Part 2: Stalinism, communism and anti-Semitism

By Clara Weiss, 9 July 2019

Hanebrink’s false equation of Stalinism with communism leads to a significant and misleading omission in his discussion of the reemergence of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe after World War II and internationally today.

Furniture retailer Conforama announces 1,900 job cuts in France in 2020

By Anthony Torres, 5 July 2019

Workers at several stores targeted for closure spontaneously walked off the job in protest at the deal worked out behind their backs by management and the unions.

Zimbabwe unions threaten general strike as walkouts spread in Nigeria

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 July 2019

The main Zimbabwe union federation has threatened a nationwide strike over the devaluation of currency while Nigerian dockworkers are set to strike this week over nonpayment of back wages joining civil servants and polytechnic staff.

Germany’s Deutsche Bank slashes 20,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 4 July 2019

The plans confirm that workers in the service and banking sectors, like their counterparts in industry, are paying for the preparations for trade war and military conflict.

Irish unions sabotage health workers’ strikes

By Dermot Byrne, 3 July 2019

Irish health unions called off the walkouts and have sought to divert anger into appeals to the Labour Court.

German IG Metall trade union promotes trade war at rally in Berlin

By Hendrik Paul, 3 July 2019

Germany’s biggest trade union used the demonstration to bang the drum for trade warfare, to promote nationalism and prepare the way for mass job losses.

Paris police use pepper spray against seated climate change protesters

By Will Morrow, 2 July 2019

Riot police strolled around the group, pepper spraying their faces from 20 centimeters away and ripping protective goggles off them, as onlookers filmed with their phones.

205 Yellow vests statement

2 July 2019

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.

Royal Marines from anti-Russia exercise daubed swastikas on chest

By Thomas Scripps, 28 June 2019

The marines were part of the Future Commando Force (FCF) taking part in Exercise Baltic Protector, described in the UK media as designed “to strike fear” into Putin.

Two German fighter jets collide in midair during practice flight

By Marianne Arens, 28 June 2019

Following the collision of two fighter planes, which resulted in the death of one pilot, German media outlets expressed their outrage at the lack of patriotism in the response of the population.

Siemens cuts another 2,700 jobs in the energy sector

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 26 June 2019

Shareholders are demanding that attacks on jobs and working conditions be stepped up in the name of increasing profits.

After Bridgend strike vote in opposition to plant closure

Ford workers in Wales must adopt an international strategy

By Robert Stevens, 22 June 2019

In a vote last week, over 80 percent of Unite trade union members at the Bridgend plant voted to oppose closure.

EU powers build joint “Future Combat Air System”

European Union rearms for World War III

By Johannes Stern, 21 June 2019

At the Le Bourget air show the defence ministers of Germany, France and Spain signed major agreements to develop a joint European air combat system.

The war on journalism is a war on the humanities

By Monika Eisenhauer, 21 June 2019

The World Socialist Web Site received this statement opposing the persecution of Julian Assange from Monika Eisenhauer, an independent historian and medievalist living in Germany.

London: Julian Assange Defence Committee lobbies Jeremy Corbyn’s Constituency Labour Party

“This is not a time for fence-sitting”

By our reporters, 21 June 2019

The Julian Assange Defence Committee urged rank-and-file Labour Party members in leader Jeremy Corbyn’s constituency to oppose US extradition proceedings against WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange.

Italian and French dockers refuse to load ship to protest Saudi Arabia war in the Yemen; UK Bridgend Ford workers strike vote against closure

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

21 June 2019

Protests against the Saudi war in Yemen continued by French and Italian dockworkers, while Ford workers in Britain voted 83 percent for strike action against threats to shutter the facility.

Grenfell fire anniversary used by pseudo-left to boost Labour and Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 17 June 2019

All the saccharine words and carefully orchestrated scenes on the part of the government cannot conceal the contempt it has for the Grenfell survivors.

“Everyone is fighting for justice, not only for the people for Grenfell Tower, but all the people around the world”

Family members and supporters of Grenfell fire victims speak to the WSWS

By our reporters, 17 June 2019

Hamid expressed the frustration of all the bereaved Grenfell families that they have still not been given answers as to why their loved ones perished and who is responsible.

Spain’s Supreme Court endorses 1936 fascist coup

By Alejandro López, 17 June 2019

If Franco is rehabilitated, it is because powerful factions of the ruling class are considering another break with legality and democratic forms of rule, in order to defend their wealth.

Left Party to enter state government in West Germany for the first time

By Peter Schwarz, 17 June 2019

Following the recent defeat of the SPD and Greens in Bremen, the Left Party is securing both parties a majority and joining the state government to continue their despised policies.

German police threaten climate change protesters

By Harold Hambacher, 17 June 2019

Police are treating youth concerned about climate change like criminals.

Austrian billionaire takes over leading German chain store

By Marianne Arens, 15 June 2019

The takeover by René Benko of the major German department store chain Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof will result in more branch closures and cuts to jobs and wages.

Ford to close Bridgend engine plant in Wales, eliminating 1,700 jobs

By Robert Stevens, 8 June 2019

Workers at the plant were given no notice. They were sent home Thursday after receiving a letter saying they will lose their jobs in phases by September 25, 2020.

French Nutella workers strike, Tram and metro workers’ stoppage in Greek capital

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

7 June 2019

Workers at the Nutella factory in Normandy have been blockading the plant over demands for a wage increase while Greek tram workers stopped work Monday to protest the Syriza government’s attacks on public transportation.

The global assault on jobs

By Jerry White, 5 June 2019

Job cuts by the Australian telecommunications company Telstra are part of a wave of international layoffs that urgently point to the need for a globally coordinated response by the working class.

Banks and multinationals announce mass layoffs in Spain

By Alejandro López, 22 May 2019

The ability of companies to impose redundancies is dependent on the collaboration of Spanish unions.

Germany: Siemens hives off energy and power plant division

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 15 May 2019

Shareholders expect jobs and working conditions to be attacked and dismantled even faster than they have been in order to boost profit rates.

Corporate murder: Trial opens of France Télécom executives over worker suicides

By Will Morrow, 10 May 2019

To shrink a workforce legally protected from sacking, executives adopted a covert policy of psychological torture designed to coerce workers to quit or commit suicide.

South African municipal strikers defy unions; strike continues by South African workers at Cell C phones

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

10 May 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Thousands of jobs threatened at Bombardier plants in Belfast and Casablanca

By Steve James, 7 May 2019

Bombardier’s move is the next phase of a global restructuring necessitated by ferocious competition in the world airline industry.

Fuel tanker drivers threaten new strike in Portugal

By Paul Mitchell, 4 May 2019

The fuel tankers dispute is the latest manifestation in Portugal of the eruption of the class struggle internationally.

UK rail union calls off strikes against driver-only-operated trains

By Michael Barnes, 3 May 2019

The Conservative government is behind the plot to impose a huge cost-cutting and de-staffing operation on the railways

In naked sellout, union announces end to strike by 300,000 Polish teachers

By Will Morrow and Clara Weiss, 27 April 2019

The union is covering up the fact that it is ending the strike without meeting any of the teachers’ demands by claiming the strike is being “suspended.”

International finance backs Socialist Party in Spain’s April 28 elections

By Alejandro López, 26 April 2019

European Union sources are warning of prolonged political instability and looking to the PSOE and Podemos for an answer.

Miners’ union sells out five-month long strike at Sibanye Stillwater in South Africa

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

26 April 2019

The South African Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union agreed to a deal ending the five-month strike by gold miners on the same terms as the “slave labour” agreement signed with three other unions.

As union seeks to end walkout

Polish teachers speak out on why they are striking

By Will Morrow, 25 April 2019

The main teachers’ union has called for the suspension of the powerful strike to allow students to complete their exams.

Unions scramble to contain Polish teachers’ strike as 40,000 social workers prepare to stop work

By Clara Weiss, 24 April 2019

The teachers’ strike, the first nationwide walkout since 1993, is one of the largest strikes since the restoration of capitalism in Poland in 1989.

Scotland: Union suppresses teachers strike as lecturers fight on

By Darren Paxton, 24 April 2019

The teachers dispute has been closed down, but lecturers and education staff fight on.

George Galloway declares for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party

By Chris Marsden, 24 April 2019

Having spent over three years hailing Corbyn as the left rebirth of Labour, Galloway now parrots the claim that Farage’s politics articulate the views of the working class on what he insists is the main issue of the day—Brexit.

New police crackdown in France as Macron to announce further austerity cuts

By Will Morrow, 23 April 2019

At last Saturday’s “yellow vest” protest, police were once again given free rein to violently assault and arrest protesters.

Bayer cuts 4,500 jobs in Germany

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 23 April 2019

Chemical giant Bayer AG is cutting 4,500 jobs in Germany, almost one in seven of its 32,000 positions in the country.

Polish government vows to fight wage rises as teachers’ strike enters second week

By Clara Weiss, 17 April 2019

Both the Polish government and the ZNP union are trying to isolate the national teachers’ strike and keep it from sparking a broader movement of the working class.

Largest UK department store chain, Debenhams, goes into administration

By Barry Mason, 16 April 2019

Last year saw the loss of nearly 150,000 retail jobs with the closure of 20,000 shops and restaurants.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

12 April 2019

Gold miners in South Africa voted to continue strike action against Sibanye Stillwater, while Greek teachers planned a 24-hour walkout and Israeli firefighters say they will strike over working conditions.

The resurgence of the class struggle in Poland

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 11 April 2019

Thirty years after General Wojciech Jaruzelski’s Stalinist regime began to collapse, paving the way for capitalist restoration, Polish teachers are mounting a national strike.

Germany: Tens of thousands demonstrate in Berlin against high rents

By our reporters, 10 April 2019

The demand for the expropriation of real estate companies was at the centre of the demonstration and met with tremendous support among workers and young people.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 April 2019

Gold miners have voted to continue their four-month strike after management rejected a deal proposed by mediators.

Ford confirms its target of 5,000 layoffs in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 1 April 2019

The axing of 5,000 jobs is part of a global cost-cutting program by Ford intended to save up to $14 billion.

At UK demonstration over factory closing, unions plea to Tory government and Honda

By Paul Mitchell, 1 April 2019

To defeat this immense assault, car workers in Swindon and every factory must break from the trade unions and create new, independent, fighting organisations to take up the struggle that the unions abandoned long ago.

Swindon Honda workers speak out

“The working class needs to be organised against global capitalism”

By our reporters, 1 April 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending last Saturday’s demonstration in Swindon, England, against the threatened closure of Honda’s car plant.

210 Mass layoffs at Ford

30 March 2019

Build rank-and-file factory committees to fight Honda job losses!

By Steve James, 30 March 2019

Today’s demonstration shows workers are ready to fight and there is widespread support for such a struggle in the car industry in the rest of the UK and internationally.

Textile workers strike in Ethiopia’s new economic zone; Sibanye miners union ends strike paving way for slave labour deal

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 March 2019

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Goodyear-Dunlop plans 1,100 job cuts in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 27 March 2019

The latest measure will cut over one-third of the workforce at two factories in the state of Hesse.

Ford announces 5,000 job cuts in Germany

By Marianne Arens, 23 March 2019

The mass lay-offs are a component of Ford’s global onslaught on jobs known as the Fitness Programme, which aims to eliminate 25,000 jobs around the world.

Macron sends the French army against anti-austerity protests

By Alex Lantier, 22 March 2019

The move is a major step toward the implementation of police-state forms of rule in France, as part of a global onslaught against democratic rights.

European Union leaders grant May extra time to pass Brexit deal in UK parliament

By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2019

The EU has agreed a plan allowing a delay of Brexit to May 22 on condition that UK MPs approve the deal the EU agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May by the previous official exit date of March 29.

047 Ford layoffs

22 March 2019

Fiction and reality: The Italian Five-Star Movement’s citizen income scheme

By Marianne Arens, 22 March 2019

The “reddito di cittadinanza” (citizen income) is a vanity project of the co-governing Five-Star Movement that will not change Italy’s stark social inequality.

Hungary hit by strikes in public sector and auto industry

By Markus Salzmann, 19 March 2019

Nearly 10,000 public sector employees went on strike in Hungary last Thursday, protesting poverty wages and government policy.

Germany: 3,000 Bosch workers protest in Stuttgart against job cuts

By K. Nesan, 19 March 2019

The Bosch company is using the introduction of electric-powered autos to press ahead with the biggest job cuts in its history.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 March 2019

Thousands of teachers strike in Morocco, car workers walkout in Hungary.

Volkswagen announces thousands of layoffs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 14 March 2019

The slashing of up to 7,000 jobs by the world’s second largest automaker is part of an escalating assault on jobs throughout global auto industry.

British retail sector continues shedding thousands of jobs

By Simon Whelan, 2 March 2019

Some 19,000 high street jobs have been lost or put at risk in the two months since Christmas.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

South African gold miners’ strike at Sibanye in third month, Kenyan striking nurses defy back to work order

22 February 2019

As the strike by workers at Sibanye gold mine continues, the company announced the closure of two mines costing 7,000 jobs. Meanwhile Kenyan nurses are defying a back to work order by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Irish nurses’ union seeks to impose settlement after calling off strike

By Dermot Byrne, 20 February 2019

The INMO nurses’ union is betraying the struggle for a decent pay rise and better working conditions.

Germany: Public transport strike paralyzes Berlin

By our reporters, 16 February 2019

For much of Friday, all subways and trams in the capital stood still and most buses remained in their depots.

Nationwide public sector strike hits Portugal

By Will Morrow, 16 February 2019

Leading union officials have issued warnings to the government that its actions could trigger “uncontrollable” struggles by workers that they cannot prevent.

UK rail strike at South Western Railway, Sibanye gold and platinum miners’ strike continues

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

15 February 2019

Rail workers at South Western Railway voted by a near 90 percent majority to continue strikes in opposition to the extension of the use of driver only operated trains.

Tens of thousands strike in Berlin against poor working conditions

By our reporters, 14 February 2019

Tens of thousands of public sector workers took part in a one-day strike in Berlin on Wednesday. More than 10,000 people marched to the Brandenburg Gate.

One-day national strike paralyzes Belgium

By Will Morrow, 14 February 2019

Large parts of Belgium were brought to a standstill yesterday, as tens of thousands of workers took part in a national 24-hour strike to demand wage increases.

National 24-hour strike goes forward in Belgium

By Will Morrow, 13 February 2019

As strikes and protests grow across Europe, anger is mounting among Belgian workers at low wages enforced by state-run talks between business and the unions.

UK rail workers demand reinstatement of conductor sacked for opposing Driver Only Operated trains

By our reporter, 11 February 2019

The SEP and the WSWS warn rail workers that the RMT bureaucracy cannot be trusted to defend the victimised worker, any more than they can to oppose the introduction of Driver Only Operated trains.

The CGT’s “national strike”: French unions seek to strangle the “yellow vest” protests

By our reporters, 9 February 2019

For the unions, the day of action was an opportunity for its base of officials and bureaucrats to meet with “yellow vest” protesters and seek to gain control of their movement.

UK rail worker sends solidarity to Detroit auto workers protest

9 February 2019

“I wish you good luck and never give up. You need to be organised and stand up to the oppressing regime in order to succeed.”

UK Arriva North rail sell-out deal, Scottish lecturers’ strike, Sibanye miners’ stoppage continues in South Africa

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

8 February 2019

Strikes by rail guards working for Arriva North in northern England, who are opposing the introduction of driver only operated trains, have been called off by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union.