The Guardian • Issue #2050


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2050

The governments of ten Latin American and Caribbean countries met to discuss the best ways to jointly counter the inflationary wave sweeping the world which has been a scourge to their populations. The meeting was convened by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and was attended by government representatives from Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Honduras, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, Belize, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines representing, in addition, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the host, Mexico. Among the measures considered were the exchange of foodstuffs, and trade in foodstuffs and raw materials in order to tackle, in a united way, the problem of high prices that plunge people into serious difficulties. Dealing with hunger and shortages requires popular agrarian reform, a type of cooperative and solidarity economy that puts the needs of the population first, and rewards peasants and small farmers.

The International Day of Peasant Struggles was commemorated on 17th April. On this day, La Via Campesina called for a day of global mobilisation to highlight and denounce the continued criminalisation, oppression, and repression of peasants, farm workers, rural women, migrants, and Black and Indigenous communities around the world. In the face of the advance of capital over territories that until recently were considered “marginal,” peasants, Indigenous peoples, and other rural inhabitants represent the main frontier of resistance against the hydro-agro-extractivism of transnational mega-corporations, says the text of the appeal issued by the coalition, which brought together 182-member organisations in 81 countries. Hunger is violence. Food sovereignty is a necessity, an essential human right.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Tugboat operator Svitzer has been  forced to agree to abandon its reckless and implausible legal action to cancel the EBA of almost 600 tugboat workers around Australia. Tugboat workers had been denied a pay rise for over four years, a process that has been deliberately strung out by Svitzer’s managers and lawyers, with the added threat of complete termination hanging over their heads. In March, to coincide with Svitzer parent AP Moller Mærsk’s Annual General Meeting, a delegation of representatives from the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) joined with comrades from global transport unions FNV Havens (the Netherlands) and 3F Transport (Denmark) and the ITF’s Maersk Network to bring the Svitzer campaign to the doorstep of the world’s largest shipping company in Copenhagen, Denmark, with a full-page, front page ad in Jyllands-Posten published by the MUA on the day of the AGM warning shareholders about the anti-worker actions of Svitzer’s Australian managers. “The citizens of Denmark must realise that although Mærsk is a national icon and are good corporate citizens in Denmark, they are not anywhere else in the world,” MUA Assistant National Secretary Jamie Newlyn told Berlingske newspaper. Newlyn demanded that Danish shareholders in the global shipping behemoth call Svitzer’s Australian managers into line. “Svitzer and Maersk’s behaviour is an attack on the principles of collective bargaining and is contrary to the social values of both the Australian and Danish people. These managers should be called to heel by their Danish parent company or shown the door,” Newlyn said.

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