From the TUC

#Oct20 – global solidarity: sister marches and Structural Adjustment Plans

19 Oct 2012, By

We’ve been receiving messages of solidarity from around the world for tomorrow’s march for a future that works. They’ve come from trade unionists and progressive organisations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, and they often draw on their own experience of austerity.

In particular, it’s fantastic that our colleagues in the Bangladesh National Garment Workers Federation will be staging a solidarity march in Dhaka, kicking off at 6am (London time) Saturday morning (see below). And there’s food for thought in the reflections of the Zambian National Union of Plantation, Agriculture and Allied Workers, whose message recalls the Structural Adjustment Plans that were imposed across the developing world by the ideologues of the Washington Consensus.

Godwin Mungala’s absolutely right that the warped logic that underpinned SAPs is exactly the austerity fetishism of the current British government. He says:

“The austerity plans being imposed in the UK and across Europe follow a similar agenda to the measures that Zambian workers and people faced as a result of the imposition of Structural Adjustment Programmes back in the 1990s. These programmes, based on privatisation of basic services and free trade meant that thousands of public sector workers lost their jobs… The negative impact of these policies are still being felt today and thousands of people are poorer than before.

“We wish you all the best in this day of action and we hope that your government does not commit the same mistakes as ours did!”

Meanwhile, Amirul Haque Amin – President, National Garment Workers’ Federation, Bangladesh – will be leading his members in their demonstration in Dhaka. He says:

“We will stand with workers in the UK on 20 October in your fight against the attacks on the working class and the cuts that your government has imposed. We reject attempts by governments to balance budgets at the expense of working people.”

There are also messages from

  • Fako Agricultural Workers’ Union (FAWU), Cameroon;
  • Honduran Women’s Collective (CODEMUH); and
  • Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM), Hong Kong.

2 Responses to #Oct20 – global solidarity: sister marches and Structural Adjustment Plans

  1. Hugo Gomes
    Oct 20th 2012, 5:28 pm

    There are many people in academia who dispute the existence of a concerted race-to-the-bottom strategy on the part of multinational businesses – but no one can deny that it has been used to justify the present and future deterioration of work & pay conditions in many Western nations (a recent speech by the British PM comes to mind).

    Unions and workers in those nations have several options: to buy into the race; to attempt to limit the power of international capital by limiting its mobility; to beat multinationals at their own game and counteract the internationalisation of capital with the internationalisation of worker organisation.

    Sister marches are an example of the latter, but there is still a long way to go.

  2. How union rights in Bangladesh could have saved lives | STRONGER UNIONS
    Nov 30th 2012, 3:24 pm

    […] Dhaka Press Club and at Chittagong station road. Bangladeshi garment workers’ unions even stood up to be counted in solidarity with us on 20 October. But we need to support their right to organise […]