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(en) France, CNT-AIT, Anarchosyndicalisme #179: The nationalist poison and the difficult solidarity between workers across borders (ca, de, it, fr, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Wed, 25 Jan 2023 09:31:12 +0200

War does not abolish the relations of domination within a society, it does not eliminate the differences between the rich and the poor. It even tends to accentuate them by allowing the appearance of the new rich, the war profiteers. In times of war, as in times of peace, the objective of the capitalists, of those who hold economic power, is always the same: to make ever more money. And for that, in times of peace as in times of war, the recipe is always the same: make employees work ever more, by paying them ever less and in ever worse working conditions. The war adds additional stress to the workers in that you risk getting a bomb on your head, or being thrown in prison or sent to the front if you challenge the National Union under the command of the Chief Leader and the national flagsee and its intimidations.

So, is it possible to see a strike and a demonstration of workers, during the war and when street gatherings are prohibited due to martial law? Is it possible to undermine "class peace" with capital, when everyone is obliged to "defend the fatherland" under the wise leadership of the ruling class? Yes, it is possible to answer yes twice, with recent examples in both Russia and Ukraine.

In Russia, after the boss of Delivery Club, the Russian leader in home delivery companies, decided in April without notice to reduce their remuneration by 20% while inflation is exploding in Russia as everywhere, the couriers had went on strike to demand decent wages and simply humane working conditions. Their union spokesman, Kirill Ukraintsev, was arrested by police dispatched by the State Prosecutor for "calling or participating in an unauthorized gathering more than twice in the space of 180 days" and faces up to to five years in prison. While he is still in prison, on October 17, his trial was postponed to April 2023. In the meantime, Kirill remains imprisoned, in total disregard of Russian law, which sets the maximum period of preventive prison at 6 months. The Russian power is also waging an internal war against workers and trade unionists, and all those who dare to demonstrate their freedom of spirit and their refusal to be considered slaves to be worked at will and without rights.

In Ukraine too, couriers have revolted against poor working conditions. Due to the war started by the Russian Federation, delivery men are forced to work in the most risky conditions and for starvation wages. Since the beginning of the war, wages have even been reduced by 60%, while prices are constantly rising! The Ukrainian parliament is currently discussing new Ukrainian laws of ultra-liberal inspiration, taken under the pretext of war, and which aim to annul all rights for workers. In addition, martial law has prohibited all strikes and all demonstrations.

But that doesn't intimidate Bolt's delivery men from kyiv: in early July, they created a chat group to organize and discuss possible forms of protest despite the context of war.
Someone even managed to disable the delivery scooters...
On July 4, the delivery group went on strike. The following day, several dozen people went to the company's offices in the City Zen Park office center at noon to hold a meeting in the company's lobby devoted to "the exorbitant reduction of their income and the payment of unpaid bills. They demand an increase in minimum payments from 0.82 euros to 1.33 euros per order, as well as an increase in the remuneration per kilometer from 0.23 euros to 0.40 euros to compensate for the increase in

That rally brought a spokeswoman for the company's management out of her office, who threatened the protesters with calling the police, who she said would issue a military summons to all of them. As always in countries at war, the masters threaten to send the troublemakers to the front, under the bullets!

However, it seems that the management has finally accepted a salary increase even if it does not completely cover the rampant inflation.

These two examples, in Russia as in Ukraine, show us that capitalism and exploitation have no borders, and neither does autonomous popular resistance. Despite the risks involved, despite the prison or the threats of being sent to the front, both in Russia and in Ukraine, there are courageous workers
who dare to stand up against arbitrariness, who dare to affirm their dignity by refusing to bow before power and its intimidation.

But war on war also means fighting against the nationalist poison that tends to make us believe that all the inhabitants of the other country are enemies. According to the Courrier Syndicate companions, they tried to contact the Bolt strikers to express their solidarity. But the latter would have pushed back their
solidarity on the grounds that as Ukrainians they would not know how to accept anything from Russians. This regrettable attitude illustrates the results of the dissemination in peacetime of ideological discourses on the defense of "peoples" (in the plural, instead of promoting a single Humanity) whose harmful consequences are felt in times of war...

Workers have no country! Peace to the cottages and war to the tyrants!

Companions of the CNT-AIT (France)

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