25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

February 15, 2021

February 19, 1996

A two-day strike of almost half a million miners in Russia highlighted the deepening economic and political crisis there and the growing numbers of workers facing depression conditions. One million Ukrainian miners joined the strike, bringing the total number of miners out to more than a million, to demand payment of hundreds of millions of dollars owed to them in back wages.

To end the stoppage the [Russian] government approved a plan, including $2.2 billion in state funds to the coal industry, and the miners agreed to return to work. In Ukraine, the strikes continued.

The IMF is in negotiations with the Russian government over the terms of a pending $9 billion loan. A New York Times article noted the “worries” of the imperialist lending institutions that “budget-busting promises could undermine the country’s market reforms.”

February 19, 1971

FEB. 9 — As thousands of South Vietnamese troops poured into Laos, carried by hundreds of U.S. planes and preceded by massive U.S. aerial and artillery bombardment, the administration’s claim that it was not widening the war found few takers.

[President Richard] Nixon has no intention of getting out of Indochina this side of being driven out. He is fully determined to carry through the U.S. imperialist aim of crushing the revolution occurring in that part of the world.

However, the antiwar sentiments of the American population have severely limited Nixon’s room for maneuver. Unlike Cambodia 10 months ago, the invasion did not include substantial numbers of U.S. forces. The attempt to placate U.S. opinion is dependent on being able to get the Saigon troops to do a larger share of the fighting — in Vietnam, Cambodia, and now Laos.

February 16, 1946

A gigantic price steal is being engineered behind the scenes in Washington to rob the workers of the benefit of any wage gains won during the present great strike struggles.

The Truman administration last week revealed that it is preparing to settle the steel and other current major strikes on the basis of granting the corporations most of the scandalous price increases they have been demanding.

This policy, it appears, will be wrapped up in some new “wage price stabilization” formula which will leave the door wide open for unrestricted prices while attempting to fix wages at some new frozen level.

Unable to break labor’s strike struggles for higher wages to meet the wartime inflation already imposed on the wage-earning consumers, Big Business aided by the capitalist government is heading for all-out inflation.