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imperialism & war | labor

Guinea: how the Unions Liquidated the Strike

After discussions with the authorities, religious leaders and a delegation of the CEDEAO (economic community of the States of the area) directed by the former President-general of Nigeria, the gangster Babangida, the trade-union leaders decreed the "suspension" of the general strike which had lasted for 2 weeks, as of Sunday midnight (02/25/07).
For his part, President Lansana Conté promised to name a new Prime Minister from a list of 5 names indicated by the trade unions and the opposition parties. The trade-union leaders speak about a great victory (while evoking a possible resumption of the strike), but it looks more like a capitulation!
The news service AFP reports that this agreement "did not cause any particular demonstration of joy" in the country.
Let us recall that the chief of staff of the Army "had ordered" the end of the strike for Monday and had ordered the requisitioning of all workers, after the deputies had on Friday refused to prolong the state of siege as Conté had asked them to.

So as not to appear to yield too much, the trade-union leaders stated that, if the strike were finished as of Sunday evening, Monday would actually be... a day of prayers for the victims (several dozen killed in the last 15 days, more than one hundred twenty since the beginning of the year)! They were also content "to request" the release of the hundreds of people arrested and tortured since the resumption of the strike.

The trade-union leaders had already halted the first general strike at the end of January on the simple promises of Conté, among other things to name a Prime Minister of "consensus" (a claim puffed up by the imperialist powers which especially do not want a government overthrown by a single strike!).

Faced with assurances which went unrespected, the movement spontaneously recommenced 2 weeks ago, taking insurrectionary forms against the regime (destruction of villas and buildings belonging to the ministers, attacks on public buildings, prisons, and police arsenals to seize weapons...). The trade-union leaders had then been constrained to radicalize their speech so as not to be completely overwhelmed: they were resigned to also demand the departure of Conté and the end of his criminal regime (which they refused to do before under the pretext that they "did not make of policy"!) ...before going to negotiate with him after a few days.

Nothing has been solved in Guinea.

A simple change of Prime Minister will not mean an end to the clique in power, and even less so the end of the exploitation, oppression and misery in this country which abounds in natural resources of all kinds. Against the criminals who are in power, against capitalism which is the cause of their misery, the youth, the disinherited masses, the proletarians of Guinea will have to continue to fight as they have with courage and exemplary determination for weeks in the teeth of unleashed repression. But to carry out this struggle, they cannot identify with those which once again have just sold out their struggle against empty promises: they will have to organize themselves economically and politically on a firm class basis and with openly anti-capitalist and revolutionary objectives.

Long Live the Struggle of the workers of Guinea!


International Communist Party, 26/2/07

Correspondence :
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