Published on IUF UITA IUL
New government attacks on independent union in Algeria
24 January 2018 Urgent Action
The government of Algeria has further escalated its attacks on the independent energy union SNATEGS, which organizers workers at the state energy company SONELGAZ. SNATEGS is affiliated to the IUF through its catering workers.In May 2017, the union had its legal status revoked and the Labour Ministry made the fabricated claim in December that the union had formally voted to dissolve itself. Hundreds of union members, delegates and officers have been dismissed, harassed and persecuted on bogus legal charges for exercising their fundamental rights. Union President Raouf Mellal was sentenced to 6 months in prison for exposing a long history of SONELGAZ fraudulently overcharging Algerians for their utility bills.
Now the government is inventing new charges to persecute Mellal and cripple the union. On November 28 the union president was sentenced in absentia to two months in prison and fined EUR 5,000 for allegedly defaming SONELGAZ. The court hearing will take place on January 30.
Mellal has learned that he was sentenced in absentia in January last year to 6 months in prison and a fine of EUR 2,000 in a suit brought by the director of a security agency following a complaint of sexual harassment by a women worker who was fired as a consequence. Mellal was sued for defamation after expressing his solidarity with the victim. Expressing solidarity with a victim of sexual harassment now risks imprisonment in Algeria…
And on January 17 2018 he was sentenced to 3 months’ imprisonment and fined EUR 3,000 in yet another ‘defamation’ lawsuit brought by SONELGAZ. As a consequence of these absurd and arbitrary judicial decisions Raouf Mellal has been forbidden to leave the country.
Please come to Swanage tomorrow 18/11/17 at 12:00, there is going to be a line search of the area.
People are being asked to self-organise as much as possible.
1) Durlston Country Park car park: BH19 2JL (South Swanage)
2) King George’s Playing Field car park (main beach car park): BH19 1PW (Swanage town centre)
3) Day’s Park car park: BH 19 1NN (North Swanage)
From the organisers:
“There will be at least one central organiser at each of these sites. We will have maps with a rough grid system. From there, we will be asking you to form long lines with approximately two feet between each person. We will then comb the area looking for any and every sign, clue, or piece of information we can find.”
We have every hope that Gaia is still with us, for the sake of her family and friends, we need to eliminate the alternatives.
AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL.
Update 29/09/2017: we now have confirmation the regional CNT of Catalonia and Balearic Islands has voted to join the call out for a general strike on Wednesday 3rd October. The other big radical union in the Iberian peninsula – the CGT – has also called out for a general strike, and various smaller alternative unions have joined.
The IWW supports the call out coming from sister unions that we have connections and have been working with. We invite ourmembers in the UK to support the general strike through solidarity actions in your own cities, wherever possible outside embassies and consulates (info below).
Spanish Embassy in the UK (London): location and details here.
Spanish General Consulate in London: info here
Spanish Consulate in Edinburgh: info here
The International Solidarity Department has received and is happy to share this statement from the CNT Catalonia & Balearic Islands:
“The CNT local unions from Catalonia and the Balearic Islands publicly state our support for the self-determination of the Catalan people.
As anarcho-syndicalists, we don’t think that political reforms within a capitalist framework can reflect our desire for social transformation, a change that would place production and consumption means in workers’ hands. Because of this, our daily struggles do not focus on creating new states or backing parliamentary initiatives.
However, we can’t look the other way when regular people are being attacked and repressed by any state. A state that has, in this case, removed its mask and revealed itself as an authoritarian rule, the true heir of the Franco regime. This is something that could be glimpsed before through many instances, such as labour law reforms, bank bail-outs, cuts on health and education, mass evictions of out-of-work families…many of which were implemented by the Catalan government itself.
CNT Catalonia and the Balearic greet this spirit of disobedience against a dictatorial state, a discriminatory and fascist state, and want to assert our strongest denunciation of repression against workers and of those who carry it out.
The men and women in CNT will stand as one to defend their neighbours and townsfolks, as couldn´t be otherwise with an anarcho-syndicalist, and henceforth revolutionary, organisation.”
You can also view the original statement published here in Catalan, Spanish and English.
We have been working closely with the CNT for the last year or so and consider them fellow travellers in the radical unionism’ journey leading to the abolition of the wage system.
More news to follow on how to support the CNT internationally, keep posted.
A conference was held in Frankfurt, Germany, this past weekend to prepare a new international association of anarchosyndicalist and revolutionary unions. This was the third conference of its kind.
At the meeting it was decided to hold a constitutional congress in a year’s time. The long runup is needed to facilitate the grassroots decision-making processes of the unions involved. Over the coming months, every individual member of the unions will have the opportunity to make proposals about the makeup of the international. Afterwards, they will vote on the proposals.
The conference was attended by the unions CNT (Spain), USI (Italy), ESE (Greece), IP (Poland) and FAU (Germany), who have all committed to taking part in this project. The CNT-F (France) as well as the IWW for English- and German-speaking European countries took part as observers. The conference was also joined via a video chat by Rocinante (Greece), IWW (USA and Canada) and FORA (Argentinia). The FORA has also committed to joining the project. Stimulating discussions and a productive working atmosphere meant that contentious issues were dealt with that had prevented these like-minded unions from coming together in the past.
Although there is still a long way to go before the first congress, it was clear at the conference that the unions were already providing each other with solidarity and mutual aid as well as cooperating in their union work. For example, mutual aid in the form of help for earthquake victims in Italy, solidarity in the form of direct action in support of the CNT’s struggle against Ford, and union cooperation in the form of an international campaign for delivery workers. The fact that many of the basics tenets of “syndicalism” are already being practiced across national frontiers bodes well for the nascent international.
Bristol IWW will be holding a
WORKSHOP FOR MIGRANT & REFUGEE WORKERS ON SATURDAY 25TH FEBRUARY AT 10.30-12.30 AT THE STATION, SILVER STREET, BS1 2AG (Triangle Room, 1st floor)
The workshop will consist of a short introduction to basic work rights in the UK with some practical tips on how to deal with issues in the workplace, either individually or with your colleagues. We will be talking about things like types of contracts, pay and national minimum wage, discrimination, how to submit a grievance. You will also have a chance to ask questions.
This workshop is open to anyone from a migrant/refugee background and will be in collaboration with the migrant initiative “One Day Without Us”, which will be taking place on Monday 20th February across the UK. For information on the Bristol event, check their Facebook event.
We have been asked on social media to clarify whether this workshop will be safe for “undocumented” migrants working without permission. The answer is that it will be as safe as it can be for people in that situation to attend a public event open to anyone. We are not going to ask anyone to provide that kind of information.
As difficult as it would be to provide formal workplace support to someone in that situation, we certainly wouldn’t turn people away. So, if you are in that situation it may be best to contact us via email at bristol at iww.org.uk AND/OR you can also fill our online questionnaire “Rate Your Boss“. You can do this anonymously if you wish.
Whatever you decide, please know that you are not alone and forgotten. The IWW IS FOR ALL WORKERS, AND FIGHTS FOR ALL WORKERS. Stay strong.
More than 3989 people are serving IPP (Imprisonment for Public Protection) sentences in British prisons . Five years since the sentence was legally abolished, thousands still languish in jails with no release date. Parole board delays, prison overcrowding and sheer neglect is leading to unprecedented rates of prisoner suicides. IPPs have one of the highest rates of self harm in the prison system in its entirety .. 80% are over tariff and desperate to be free.
Only last year, a prisoner whom Smash IPP supported died in prison. We have worked with IPP families who have lost their kids and their partners. Children have grown up with having a parent stolen by this sentence. A Mother with a son who’s an IPP describes the IPP sentence as a “Death sentence”. One IPP wrote how “Our families are doing the sentence just us much as us, is it right for them to never know if we will ever come home? Sometimes I feel that if I died it would be better for them because they could bury me and move on with their lives and not worry anymore.”
Smash IPP say enough is enough. This is life and death. We will not let any more people die because of prison bureaucracy and neglect. “This year we call for a year of action to free all IPPs.”
“The time is now to escalate and generate unrelenting pressure on the government, prison profiteers and the parole boards who are all complicit in ripping families apart, ruining lives and killing working class young people who have died as a result of the mental strain of being an IPP.”
We want to help build relationships between IPP prisoners and their families and anarchists and others that are experienced in campaigning and anti-state struggle. We want to overcome the brutality and social isolation that prison inflicts on us and come together to fight back.
Smash IPP! Set them Free!
If you are keen to get involved in any way please contact Smash IPP:
We are looking for:
- Groups that can host nights on an upcoming info tour about this horrific sentence. We will be talking about what IPP is, share stories from people who have been affected by it and explore what we can do to fight it!
- Fundraising help & donations
- Individuals that are keen to get involved in the Smash IPP collective to make this year of action a success
- Individuals that can potentially support prisoner families with their campaigns
- Letter writing buddies for IPP prisoners
- Groups to emerge around the UK that can organise actions and get involved with current resistance
. For more information about IPP sentences see: smashipp.noflag.org.uk