25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

March 11, 2019

March 14, 1994

SYDNEY, Australia — Five hundred dock workers, members of the Maritime Union of Australia, walked off the job February 10 at the two Sydney port operations of Australian Stevedores. They struck to oppose the forced redundancies (permanent layoffs) meted out that day to 55 dock workers in Sydney.

That same day 900 workers at 13 other Australian Stevedores terminals around the country walked out in solidarity. They returned to work the next day but imposed bans on overtime, double shifts, and use of casual labor.

Strikers report that MUA members on tugs and stranded ships have given their “total support” to the strike.

The company is the larger of two that virtually control the wharves throughout Australia. Some 30-40 ships were stranded, tying up tens of millions of dollars of cargo.

March 14, 1969

President Nixon’s declaration that “we will not tolerate attacks which result in heavier casualties to our men at a time that we are honestly trying to seek peace at the conference table” has the sickening ring of the big-lie technique.

With U.S. bombs raining down on South Vietnam to an extent never before known in war; with more than half a million American men stationed in that country to carry on a genocidal war for the petty dictators in Saigon; it is clear who bears the blame for American and other casualties in that country.

The administration’s hypocritical outrage over the NLF response to their continuing warfare shows that now, as when Washington first launched its invasion, the purpose is to crush a national liberation struggle. Nixon is apparently indignant because the Vietnamese refuse to yield despite Washington’s bombs.

March 11, 1944

The struggles of the North Italian workers, which have been raging ever since the Nazi occupation, and have led to greater and ever more frequent strikes, came to a head this week in a general strike of 6 million workers. Industrial production in North Italy is virtually at a standstill. The general strike has already acquired a scope and revolutionary intensity which equals and possibly surpasses the titanic struggles that followed immediately upon Mussolini’s downfall.

The revolutionary indignation has been smoldering for months. Railroad workers in the Milan area were paid in January with requisition certificates for food, which many local stores would not honor. Workers in a motor factory received 25 percent of their salaries in money, 50 percent in war loan certificates “redeemable immediately on the reconquest of the Italian Mainland.”