schools

Unrest in Panama

Born into a rich family in Panama, Juan Carlos Varela is an entrepreneur who is fiercely in favour of the free market. He led his conservative Panamenista Party into the elections in 2009, but was then bought off by his rival Ricardo Martinelli, who offered him the vice-presidency if he stopped running against him. In 2014 he won the presidential election, coming in on promises to develop the economic infrastructure of Panama and to proceed with urban renovation in the free trade zone city of Colon.

USA: The Role of the Union in the Teachers Strikes

It should be common sense that workers can only use their collective strength if united in some body which includes them all. But that assumes that the unions today are representative of the workers. Under modern capitalist conditions the union exists to mediate wage labour on behalf of the state. The unions’ existence as permanent bodies means they have to comply with the rules of the capitalist game. They have become another layer of management within the system.

Tragic events in Russia

Exactly a week after Putin’s “landslide” victory in the Russian Presidential election (March 18) a terrible fire broke out in the “Winter Cherry” shopping and entertainment centre of the Siberian city of Kemerovo. It killed more than 80 people, at least 40 of whom are children. Some are still missing. Appalling though Kemerovo was, it was not an isolated incident.

Education Strikes from West Virginia and Kenya to the UK

On Sunday March 25 the CWO held a meeting in Newcastle focussing on the recent educational strikes across the world. It was attended by students, academics and other university workers (some in the CWO, some not) who had participated in the recent pickets of Newcastle, York and Durham universities. A CWO comrade gave the following introduction.