25, 50 and 75 Years Ago

December 13, 2021

December 16, 1996

On December 3 hundreds of thousands of coal miners throughout Russia went on strike to demand back wages, which have not been paid for months. Union leaders estimate more than two-thirds of the country’s 560,000 miners went out. According to one Associated Press report, the strike reached from the “Far East to central Russia … idling at least 180 mines,” and leaving Russian president Boris Yeltsin “concerned.” Coal makes up 80 percent of Russia’s heating fuel, and half the fuel used in electrical plants.

In St. Petersburg, 150 nuclear plant workers waged a day-long warning strike, coinciding with the miners’ action. Retired workers, who haven’t received their pension checks, blocked the Moscow-St. Petersburg railway near Tver. Government figures estimate some $8 billion is owed in back wages to public and private sector workers.

December 17, 1971

On Dec. 3 the conflict between India and Pakistan exploded into a full-scale war, with ground combat and air raids taking place along India’s borders with Pakistan in the west and Bangla Desh in the east. On the diplomatic front, India announced Dec. 6 its recognition of the government of Bangla Desh.

The United States government has clearly taken the side of Pakistan. A State Department official was quoted in the Dec. 6 Wall Street Journal as saying, “We would like a united Pakistan because we consider this better than an exposed, undernourished East Pakistan trying to go it alone.”

The people of Bangla Desh alone have the right to decide the destiny of their country. No other country has any right to intervene against the Bangla Desh independence struggle, or to place conditions on its right to self-determination.

December 14, 1946

OAKLAND —The tremendous power in action of the working class, shown here in a mighty general strike of more than 100,000 AFL workers, forced the strikebreaking city administration to agree to the conditions demanded by the union steering committee Dec. 5.

Militant pickets this afternoon still swarmed around the entrances of Kahns and Hastings, the two strike-bound department stores where the use of police last Sunday to escort strikebreaker-driven merchandise trucks had set off the explosive force of the general strike. Last Saturday, Nov. 30, the unions received word that plans were afoot to bring in scabs to move merchandise.

The magnificent solidarity of labor triumphed. The agreement not to use police to escort strikebreakers and for the city officials to remain neutral in labor disputes was announced this morning.