via Business Wire (press release)
CALL FOR A WORLDWIDE GENERAL LOCKOUT
As a rising tide of austerity sweeps the globe, we, as bosses, refuse to be left behind. Never again will we make the mistake of negotiating contracts that raise wages, protect pensions, or provide adequate health insurance for workers and their families. We will no longer be bullied into reducing our massive profits for the sake of workers’ livelihoods. Direct action must be taken to protect our freedoms. We call upon our colleagues to lock out all workers in all industries until we get what we want.
While we’ve been making big gains in our campaign to de-unionize all workplaces, it’s no longer enough to kill the union; we must also kill the solidarity. Sympathy strikes will be met with sympathy lockouts. Work slowdowns will be punished with benefit slowdowns. Are you plagued by employees who engage in workplace sabotage? Wait until they feel the effects of what we call “homeplace sabotage.” We’ll keep their wages stagnant and cut their benefits, forcing them to take up second and third jobs just to make ends meet. We’ll make sure that they’re so worried about paying their rent, their bills, their mortgages, that their free time will be anything but. We will sabotage workers’ very ability to live.
We have the momentum. At long last, we’ve finally got the public’s attention. We’ve leaped into the popular imagination and seized the headlines in an unprecedented way. We must now make our voices heard with a global show of force that won’t be soon forgotten. Now is the time for bold action. Now is the time for a worldwide general lockout.
Ride the wave of austerity!
—BUMMer (Bosses United by Mergers & Merchandising)
On March 22nd the second general strike in four months took place in Portugal, ending in confrontations with the police in Lisbon, and once again illustrating the shifting landscape of resistance to the IMF-imposed austerity measures, and capitalism in general. The strike was called by the largest union, CGTP, closely connected to PCP, the communist party, one of the few in Europe who reclaim the ideological heritage of the USSR. Although still a powerful union, the CGTP has lost a lot of influence in the past decades, both because of the historical changes going on in the workplace, but also due to its almost anachronistic methodology and discourse, which alienates a lot of the work force, as well as a lot of the energy dedicated to anti-capitalist struggle. More interesting is the way in which a rising current of new social movements have found in this and previous general strikes opportunities for mass mobilizations, taking the stoppage and interruption of the economy to new spheres, outside of the factories and public services in which the unions still have some power.