Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2017-01-31T07:19:39-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox
The best of the political left-wing from around the web.

New Trade Union Federation in South Africa Endorses Energy Democracy, Just Transition

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Apr 27, 2017 11:23 AM
“We’ve got a mix of workers in the private sector, manufacturing, transport, mining and construction. And we’ve got unions in the public sector – the biggest ones are the South African Policing Union and the National Union of Public Servants and Allied Workers.… [SAFTU] is independent but not apolitical. It is truly worker controlled and democratic and not ‘sloganising’ over the issues. SAFTU is truly fighting and militant.” At a TUED strategy meeting in New York in early April, Karl Cloete, NUMSA’s Deputy General Secretary, told union representatives from 12 countries that while the new federation’s campaigning priorities will focus on the many grave and urgent challenges facing South Africa’s highly exploited workers and exceptionally vulnerable poor, SAFTU would also make energy democracy and just transition part of its core agenda.

Declaration of the Launching Congress of the South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU) – Trade Unions for Energy Democracy

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Apr 27, 2017 11:21 AM
At a historic launch event held outside Johannesburg on April 21-23, 2017, almost 1,400 voting delegates from two-dozen unions representing 700,000 workers convened to launch the new “South African Federation of Trade Unions” (SAFTU). In addition to adopting the name, logo and colors — red, black and gold — delegates also endorsed a range of principles adopted at a preparatory “Workers’ Summit” convened by the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) in April 2016, adopted a new constitution, and approved a report from the Steering Committee proposing a range of campaigning priorities for the next period.

New Report Shows Record-Level Student Debt as Significant Part of Canada's Debt Crisis | Canadian Federation of Students

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Apr 26, 2017 03:20 PM
"The high tuition, high debt status quo discriminates against students unable to pay the cost of education up-front. Today, a student who takes out a $30,000 loan from the Canada Student Loans Program will pay an additional $10,318 over 10 years in interest. Students from low-income families continue to be disproportionately affected by the high cost of college and university and end up paying more for their education than their classmates from wealthier families. The report also shows that the impact of student debt is gendered, as a clear majority of Canada Student Loans recipients and users of the Repayment Assistance Program are women."

RCMP allege Vice-Admiral Norman fed cabinet secrets to Quebec shipbuilder | CBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Apr 26, 2017 12:07 PM
"The documents also give an inkling of the ugly, cut-throat corporate, political and bureaucratic battles that have raged over the troubled federal shipbuilding program. ... Irving Shipbuilding may have wanted to kill the deal, but sources tell CBC News the Liberals were also deeply interested in finding out why former prime minister Stephen Harper's government rewrote the procurement regulations and what sort of political landmines might result from it."

In the Shadow of Social Democracy: Right-Wing Challenges and Left Alternatives

by JBB — last modified Apr 25, 2017 06:07 PM
by Ingo Schmidt | Socialist Project | We live in a paradoxical world. Much debate on the radical left revolves around multitudes of discontented groups - sometimes lumped together as the 99%, sometimes rebranded as precariat - struggling against an abstract empire and its 1% rulers. Capitalism and class - once serving as a compass to navigate left politics through the apparently chaotic sees of everyday life - have turned into subjects of theoretical debate with little to no connection to political praxis.
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