November 7 National Workers’ All-Out Rally
|Japanes Home page|
Let’s set up a nation-wide network of militant labor unions!
Withdraw the dismissal of 1047 national railway workers! Organize a
“Nation-wide Movement of National Railway Struggle” in workplaces
and communities! For International Solidarity against Constitutional
Revision, War, Privatization and Union Busting!
On April 9 this year, Kokuro (National Raiway Workers’ Union) and Zendoro (All National Raiway Locomotive Workers’ Union) accepted the government’s “settlement” plan concerning the issue of dismissal caused by the Division and Privatizaton of National Railway and received “settlement package” in exchange for dropping once and for all the issue of the unfair labor practice committed by the state on the occasion of the Division and Privatizaton of National Railway, represented by mass unjust dismissal of railway workers. The government is now boasting that “the reform of national railway has brought a great benefit to the Japanese people”. I must tell you that this is not what we have fought 24 years’ struggle for. We shall never forget 200,000 national railway workers who were thrown out of job and 200 fellow workers who were forced to commit suicide. Bearing all these in mind, we have decided to launch a new struggle for the revival of labor movement in workplace and community. The future of this struggle is to be decided. We are determined to carry out this struggle in a firm conviction that tomorrow of working class and labor movement depends on this nationwide movement.
The Division and Privatizaton of National Railway was the major attack
of destroying labor movement in the postwar period. The neo-liberal
offensicve in Japan was set in motion by the brutal assualt on national
railway labor movement. The result was a landslide surrender of Kokuro,
that used to be a proud champion of Japanese labor movement. It was
followed by the dissolution of Sohyo (General Council of Japanese Trade
Unions) and the Socialist Party. The social power balance drastically
shifted to the disadvantage of working class. The ultimate outcome was
irregularization of employment and emergence of working poor, which
affected 10 million workers.
Chauvinistic natinalism is being instigated over the issue of Diauyu
(Senkaku) islands. The competition among world powers over resources,
market and sphere of influence is rapidly developing into the rivaltry
over the teritory and is giving impetus to the drive of Japanese imperialism
for constitutional revision, militarization and strehgthening of Japan-US
Security Alliance and US bases in Okinawa.
Doro-Chiba is rising up for a fresh struggle, struggle to stop outsourcing,
which attempts to transfer railway business of JR (Japan Railway) companies
to several hundreds sub-contractors and throw away railway workers from
JR to those companies. Thus employment and rail safety are threaten
to be destroyed.
JR launched a full-scale outsourcing in 1999. We are very proud of having blocked completely the outsourcing attempts of JR in our workplace for the past 10 years by severe struggle. As counter-measures, JR launched in last October a fresh attack of whole-sale outsourcing of several workplaces. To crush this attempt, Doro-Chiba waged five waves of strike from last autumn to this spring and succeeded again to stop the outsourcing not only in Chiba but also the whole area of JR East this time.
After all these development, we are now faced with a decisive moment
of the struggle. Doro-Chiba is preparing for strike from this autumn
to next spring to fight outsorucing. This struggle is closely united
with the struggle for reinstatement of dismissed national railway workers.
Without figiting privatization and outsourcing, “reconstruction
of labor movement” makes no sense at all. We pledge to carry out
the struggle with all our force for the future of working class and
We see before us a lot of difficulties. The reality is, however, the
whole society is filled with angry voices of people and a vast number
of workers are seeking change. But it is also a fact that those indignat
workers, who feel betrayed by politicians and labor bosses, are not
yet aware of thier own powe to change everything. Therefore, it is our
duty to tell them that individual workers and thier united struggle
are the only power to change the whole society and to organize numerous
angry voices into a struggle with definite policy and orientation for
the rivival of labor movement.
Let’me thank all international delegates from Korea, US, Germany
and other contries for your participation in this rally. Next year we
shall surely mobilize twofold number of working people to the rally.
KCTU Seoul Regional Council
Roh Myung Woo, First Vice-President
Let's go on to the alternative society through the international solidarity of workers and masses, overcoming the crisis of capital!
I, Roh Myung Woo, First Vice-President of KCTU Seoul Regional Counsel want to send a heartfelt solidarity greeting to you, the participants of this rally, who are fighting to realize withdrawal of dismissal of 1047 National Railway Workers, to expand Nation-wide Movement of National Railway Struggle, to confront constitutional revision, war, privatization and union busting, and to intensify the international unity of the working class. Tujaeng!
The capital and its state powers also acknowledge themselves that the world system of capitalism is faced with a collapse. The neoliberal policies, the last means for capitalism to prolong its life, can’t stop the impending catastrophe. The capital is inflicting large-scale dismissals and wage cuts on lots of workers. The minimal public and social functions heretofore remained in Korea have been rapidly dismantled. The capital and its administrations, responsible for the present economic crisis, are shifting their responsibilities on the shoulders of workers and masses without taking any consequences.
Under the current economic crisis the workers who are indirectly employed are suffering every kind of disdain and discrimination. Recently there is the move going on in South Korea to increase categories of dispatch labor and to universalize such form of employment. A short time ago we experienced a court judgment to illegalize the dispatch of workers of big manufacturing industries. Nevertheless nothing has happened as yet. Dispatch labor is rather generalized in industrial areas in Seoul (Guro for instance) as well as in Incheon. But Subcontracted and indirectly employed workers have been waging powerful struggles against dispatch labor, the slavery of today. The dispatched workers in Japan and South Korea are requested to fight together for abolishment of the dispatch laws and for securement of right to live as well as right to work.
In the morning of May Day this year, Lee Myeong Bak administration
made the “Time-off System” that prohibits employers to pay
wages to full-time union officials. The government is also scheming
to obstruct solidarity actions among labor unions, to undermine three
primary rights of labor unions, and to strangulate democratic labor
movement. It threatens workers’ employment and deprive them of
the right to live. Under the pretext of G20 Summit Talks, which take
place on November 11 and 12 in Seoul, Korea, the government are also
rolling back democracy: roadside stands and homeless people have been
expelled from the city. Immigrant workers have been deported. Indiscriminate
search at checkpoints and oppression of rallies and demonstrations by
military forces are justified invoking the Special Police Act.
Comrades! In face of outrageous activities of the capital we have no choice but to fight. We must put an end to capitalism in its deep crisis through unity and solidarity of workers. Today’ rally is a new starting point. Let’s get to know all kinds of workers’ struggles all over the world! Let’s realize workers’ internationalism! We are one and the same class. On behalf of 160,000 members of KCTU, I once again want to send messages of respect and appreciation to you, the Japanese comrades. Thank you very much!
Get away with the dispatch system, the slavery of today! Abolish indirect employment!
Stop privatization and union busting! Intensify unity of the working class!
Let’s confront the economic crisis through the Japanese- Korean workers’ solidarity! Let’s defend the right to live of workers and masses at all cost!
Let's go on to the alternative society through the international solidarity of workers, overcoming the crisis of capital!
KCTU Special Committee to Fight for the Reinstatement of Dismissed Workers
We appreciate deeply that you let us join in the Doro-Chiba struggle for the sake of the international solidarity of dismissed workers of Doro-Chiba.
We are very glad to form the international solidarity with the workers and comrades of Doro-Chiba that has been fighting self-devotedly against neoliberalism and its repressions on workers for several decades. We promise firmly that we build up this solidarity on behalf of the dismissed workers in South Korea.
Capitalism in its crisis of very collapse, neoliberalism, carries out one repression after another to shift its responsibilities on the shoulders of workers.
Speculative capitals of neoliberalism have been making cross-border corporate activities and have been exploiting low-wage workers. Neoliberalism is on the same time carrying on with large-scale privatization, transforming even the basic industries of the state to the means of moneymaking, advocating management efficiency.
We saw the DVD of Doro-Chiba that shows its history concerning struggle against the neoliberal privatization and dismissal for restructuring purpose.
The symbol of Japanese neoliberalism is the division and privatization of JNR. Contrariwise the symbol of the fight against neoliberalism, privatization and dismissal is the fierce struggle of the workers of Doro-Chiba. We are sure of that.
We have learned many things from your struggle.
Compared with Japan, the scale of capital is small in South Korea. And neoliberalism began relatively later. So the situation is as follows. Speculative capitals have been exploiting workers and now getting away from South Korea, leaving ghost factories: Lots of workers there are now fighting desperately for their right to life. In spite of intimidation of police, mobilizing helicopters, hundreds of female workers of KEC are fighting overall sit-in strikes in their factory for dear life. The workers of Ssangyong Motor, GM Daewoo, Donghui Auto, Kiryung Electoronics, and JEI (Workbooks) are waging bitter struggles, calling for “Abolish irregular workers!”
Lee Myung-bak administration is stepping up crackdowns on unions of public sectors, teachers, railways, power generation and so on, saying "Dismissed workers are no longer the members of unions. Kick them out!" Despite impending collapse of neoliberalism, this administration doesn't abandon the scheme of privatization of public sectors and is keeping on attacking unions and dismissed workers of the public sectors that form obstacles to his privatization plan.
In face of such repressions by Lee Myung-bak administration and the capital there begins the struggle of dismissed workers in front of the Diet, spearheaded by public sectors, urban railways, teachers and so on. The fight is still sporadic but is expanding gradually: Its slogans are "Smash neoliberalism!" "Withdraw dismissal!" and "Defend KCTU to the death!"
Our organization will hold a national workers' all-out rally for the dismissed workers in this December to combine the struggles of dismissed workers in our country and to intensify our fight.
To make preparations for that I can't participate in your National Workers' All-out Rally also in this year, for which we must deeply apologize to the comrades of Doro-Chiba.
I hope I will take part in your November rally next year. We swear
that we will fight together with the workers of Doro-Chiba till the
day where the labor emancipation will be realized. Let's fight back
repressions from the side of the capital! Let's go on strong offensives
as huge waves in the Pacific! And finally: Let's put an end to the rule
of the capital!
Speech of Ingrid Gunnell (UTLA) on Nov. 7 National
Good afternoon! My name is Ingrid Gunnell and I am an Elementary School Teacher from Los Angeles. I am also a mother. I have 2 sons, a 4 year-old named Gianni, and a 5 year-old named Frankie. My 5 year-old started Kindergarten this year in a public school and my 4 year-old will be in Kindergarten next year. I have always been a strong advocate for public education, but becoming a mother has given me a new perspective. I have kept social justice at the forefront of all of my professional decisions.
The right-wing has done a very good job of turning the public against
public education. In the last 10 years there has been a well-orchestrated
attack against public education, teachers, and teachers unions in America.
They have taken education and put a price on it. The price is profits
for corporations and billionaires, while continually underfunding public
schools from preschool through college. We have increased class size,
programs such as arts, science, libraries, and athletics have been minimized
or cut completely, and supplies and technology often have to be paid
for by teachers. Yet the academic standards continue to be raised and
expectations for student achievement are higher than ever.
The Los Angeles Times Newspaper put a database on the internet to rate
teachers’ effectiveness, based on a formula with many errors called
Value Added Measure, from least effective to most effective. One of
our colleagues, Rigoberto Ruelas, could not take the public humiliation
of a flawed analysis of his teaching by the Los Angeles Time. After
his name and the inaccurate evaluation of his teaching ability were
published on the internet, he committed suicide. I know there have been
teachers here in Japan that has committed suicide because of the pressures
they face. I want you to know that your colleagues in Los Angeles support
< ILWU-TWSC Speech >
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Millions of working people in the United States are in dire straits. They have been dispossessed of their homes, jobs and healthcare. Transit and public workers are also under a frontal attack by both Republican and Democratic party politicians who are attacking their pensions and making cutbacks on their conditions and benefits.
Many capitalist politicians supported by the US union leadership have
sought to pit public transit workers against seniors, youth and disabled
by blaming fare increases or cutbacks in services on the drivers and
Instead of jobs and education millions of youth face repression and
prisons or going into the military to fight the rich man’s war.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to terrorize and murder people
in these countries and the US has backed the growing confrontation and
militarization of Asia.
In the Bay Area the TWSC helped support action in solidarity with Palestinian workers when ILWU longshore workers boycotted the Israeli Zim shipping line because of its support for the apartheid regime in Israel. This was the first workers action in the US to provide direct working class support for Palestinian workers.
The working people in the United States have been told by most union
leaders that Obama and the Democrats will solve this crisis yet this
crisis cannot be solved by politicians whether they are Democrats or
Republicans. It can only be solved by the working class building independent
organizations and using its power at the point of production to fight
for justice and against imperial war.
Appeal from Kan-Nama (Solidarity
Union of Japan Construction and Transport Workers Kansai Area Branch)
Four months’ strike in ready-mixed concrete industry in Kansai
Area is going to achieve a victory by the joint struggle of medium and
small companies and the workers of these companies.
It should be noted that repeated attempts were made from the outset of the strike by the major general contractors and major trading companies (three companies) to bring in confusion and split in the Cooperatives by offering interest or intimidation to put in litigation over damages, etc. Actually scabs made several attempts to destroy the striking picket in the early stage of the struggle.
Even within the rank of labor unions belonging to the coordinating organization, Ready-Mixed Concrete Industrial Policy Conference (Ready-Mixed Concrete Industry Labor Union, All Japan Dockworkers’ Union, and Kan-Nama), there have been organizational difficulties, which caused temporary dropout of some of the unions from the rank of strike.
After achieving a lot of success, strike is still continuing to confirm and put in practice the content of the agreement reached at the collective bargaining. Some of the companies and distributors are reluctant to answer to the demand for payment of the Cooperative in spite of the agreement by document on the new higher price of ready-mixed concrete by the major general contractors, major trading companies and distributors. They are trying to undermine little by little the agreement of the new higher price through partial sabotage of payment.
In spite of these fierce attacks, strike has been carried out for four months owing to the leadership of the Kan-Nama, which has been demonstrated in the following points: (1) correctness of the analysis of the situation before us, (2) correct policy of the struggle and unflinching spirit to materialize it, (3) confidence of rank and file union members in the struggle for pay raise upon the demand of the workplaces and their tenacious actions to continue strike and picket line, watching the attack by scabs against wage cut and heat wave.
Meanwhile, the change of tactics (selective shipping of ready-mixed concrete) succeeded to bring a split among the contractors from July 23. A part of general contractors who could no longer suffer the stoppage of ready-mixed concrete shipping began to tell us secretly through the sub-contractors that they accepted the raise of the price in spite of their official refusal.
The present ruling structure of Japan is barely sustained by the division and discrimination policy of a small number of monopoly capital over medium and small enterprises and their workers. The present industrial strike of ready-mix industry in Kansai area has shown us that even gigantic monopoly capital has no counter-measures in face of united power of the majority, that is, workers and medium and small enterprises, when they overcome division and discrimination and join the power in demanding monopoly capital bargaining on an equal bases.
This fact testifies that a large number of unorganized workers and medium and small enterprises have found their own interest in the demands of the strikers, or the Ready-Mixed Concrete Industrial Policy Conference, and supported the strike in various ways.
Thus the superiority of industrial labor movement is fully proved.
(3)The end of the present struggle means the beginning of a new struggle
Now ready-mixed concrete industry in Kansai area is going to gain a great achievement by the strike carried out with Kan-Nama as its head. But problem remains how to make partition of the sum of money gained by the struggle among higher transportation fare of cement as well as of concrete mixer and a large-scale pay raise. Workers are now faced with the beginning of negotiation over pay raise, a fundamental demand of Spring Labor Offensive.
The financial crisis triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers
has developed into a global economic crisis, driving the capitalist
system into catastrophe. Intensification of competition among monopoly
capitals forces them to resort to desperate attempts.
They have already launched attacks: a part of general contractors is
moving to refuse purchase of ready-mixed concrete from the Cooperative
and a part of affiliate enterprises are beginning to withdraw from the
Cooperative. The major general contractors and companies are trying
to drive a wedge into the “joint struggle and unity of medium
and small enterprises and workers”.
We must be also prepared for the possible political repression (every sort of frame-ups) on Kan-Nama that played an essential role in the recent struggle, to destroy union organization. Though the four-months’ long strike is going to end, we must realize the fact that 40 companies are still out of the Cooperative in the ready-mixed concrete industry in Kansai and a large number of workers are not yet organized. When the situation is left as it is now, it will enable the enemy to drive a wedge.
DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA