The NSW BLF, the most radical and innovative union the world has ever seen
Fifty years ago, a group of dedicated left-wing activists wrested control of the NSW Builders Labourers' Federation (BLF) from the corrupt gangster types who had used it to feather their own nests. The militants, who included Jack Mundey, Joe Owens and Bob Pringle, rebuilt the union into a radically democratic, socially progressive and environmentally-aware organisation the likes of which Australia and the world had never seen.
Today, we live in dark times for trade unionism. Only about 7% of workers in private industry are organised and unionists face ruthless attacks by the bosses and the state. The achievements of the NSW BLF, however, give us a glimpse of the liberating potential of the working class and are a beacon for the future.
Overthrowing Dilma Rousseff: It's class war, and their class is winning
Dilma Rousseff was elected President of Brazil in 2010 and re-elected four years later with a diminished yet convincing majority. Rousseff's second victory sparked a heated panic among the neoliberal and US-aligned opposition.
The fourth consecutive election of a president affiliated to the centre-left Workers' Party (PT) was bad news for the opposition, because it suggested that PT founder Luís Inácio Lula da Silva could return in 2018. Lula had been president between 2003 and 2010, and when he left office his approval ratings hit 90%, making him the most popular leader in Brazil's history. The opposition immediately rejected the outcome of the vote. No credible complaints could be made, but no matter; it was resolved that Dilma Rousseff would be overthrown by any means necessary.
Read more articles at Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal.
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