Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, and elsewhere

Workers rise in strike struggles

by Tim Hall
(CV #40, August 2007)

The strike wave in Egypt
General strike in Nigeria
South African workers wage a lengthy general strike
Iraqi workers fight for better conditions and against the sell-out of Iraq's oil
Canadian workers maintain a high level of strike struggle

. In the past nine months or so, in a number of countries, the working class has been waging a series of vigorous strikes. Egyptian workers have mounted the largest wave of strikes seen in their country since World War II. They carried out their actions despite the opposition of the sold-out union leaders. Women workers have come to the forefront of some Egyptian strikes. In Nigeria most of the country was shut down by a huge general strike, which lasted a number of days. The South African workers waged a three-week general strike, which ended only days ago. General strikes have rocked Guinea, Mali and Chad. Korean auto workers are waging a series of illegal political strikes against a proposed U. S. -Korea trade agreement which will endanger their jobs. In war-torn Iraq the workers of the southern oil fields have struck for better conditions and against the sell-out of the oil of their country to the bloodsucking international oil monopolies. Canadian workers have been involved in a long period of intense strike activity. There are bound to be setbacks and periods of lull in these movements, but valuable experience has been gained.

. In these strikes the workers counter-attacked against the rapacious neo-liberal program that world capitalism has been imposing on the workers and the poor everywhere. This program, imposed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund with the cooperation of the exploiting capitalists in every country, involves severe wage-cutting, union-busting, slashing of social programs, privatization of government enterprises and rampant out-sourcing of jobs to the locations of the lowest wages. An example of this neo-liberal program can be seen domestically at the Delphi corporation, which has declared bankruptcy, closed many plants, out-sourced many production units and slashed the wages of its work force almost in half, with the collaboration of the sold-out UAW union chiefs. The same reactionary economic policy is being carried out in Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa, Iraq and throughout the world, but in the recent actions the workers won some victories against neo-liberalism, including wage increases that are substantial when compared to the conditions under which they had been living.

. Notable in most of these strikes has been the nefarious role of the top union leaderships, the official union federations heads, who tried to prevent strikes called by the workers themselves (in Egypt), or cancelled the strikes before victory, even though the workers were in motion (in Nigeria), or promoted ideas of unity with the government against which the workers were striking (in South Africa). It is clear that in these countries, just as in the big imperialist countries, the top union leaderships are in bed with the governments and the capitalist bosses. Against this united front of bosses, government and union hacks, the workers nevertheless fought with daring and enthusiasm.

. Let us discuss several of the strike actions one by one.

The strike wave in Egypt

. The strike wave in Egypt has involved a very large number of strikes in different enterprises, each encouraging the others, and these strikes have rocked the Egyptian capitalists and the government that does their bidding. 222 sit-in strikes, work stoppages, hunger strikes and demonstrations occurred during 2006. In the first five months of 2007, there was a new labor action nearly every day, including 56 incidents during the month of April, and another 15 during the first week of May alone. This level of activity has continued to the present, at the beginning of July.

. The Egyptian workers carried out their strikes in defiance of the leaders of the official, government-recognized trade union federation, the General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions. The Federation is the only legally permitted trade union. Under the tight control of the Mubarak regime, it has tried its best to oppose the strikes and destroy the movement. Strikes are "legal" in the state sector but illegal in practice, since they must be approved by the Federation, the official union, which consistently refuses to approve them. In the private sector strikes are officially illegal. The workers have defied both of these forms of illegality.

. The majority of Egyptian industry was nationalized by the Nasser regime in the 1960s (his bourgeois regime savagely suppressed strikes in these industries) and remained so until the Sadat and especially the present Mubarak regime began privatizing enterprises wholesale. The 1991 Gulf War created the conditions for Egypt to sign a so-called "structural adjustment" agreement with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, opening the way to privatizing the public sector. After resisting privatization since 1974, the General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions endorsed it, a major betrayal of the workers. By 1999, 137 of the 314 public-sector firms declared eligible in 1991 had been privatized.

. Egyptian workers toil long hours for very low wages, often barely able to support their families. Some have not seen a wage raise in 25 years. Wages of Egyptian textile workers are among the lowest in the world, amounting to only 85 percent of wages in Pakistan and 60 percent of wages in India. Workers in state-owned enterprises receive pensions and medical care, but even so their lives are very difficult. Inflation has continued to rise steadily ever since a major currency devaluation in 2003, resulting in a steadily rising cost of living. And even these miserable conditions are threatened by neo-liberal privatization, as experience has proven that the new private owners will not respect even the meager conditions of the past, no matter how much they promise to do so. These conditions provoked the present strike wave.

. Some of the recent worker actions originated in enterprises that have long histories of militancy, going back to the 1930s. But the actions rapidly spread to all sorts of occupations, and for the first time included private enterprises, where unions are strictly illegal. The workers have carried out large-scale militant actions, including sit-ins to occupy their factories and massive marches, and threatened a general strike. Notable has been a strong participation by women, which is especially significant in a mostly Muslim country as it conflicts with the fundamentalist interpretation of Islam being widely pushed by the jihadists. Since December, in almost every confrontation between workers and the state, the government has backed down and accepted the workers' demands.

. Workers at the al-Mahalla Textile Company in the country's northwest demonstrated for five days and occupied several factories to protest a decision by the company's chairman to withhold bonus payments, promised earlier by the government, and to prevent threatened privatization. Nearly a quarter of the strikers were women. During the rallies, thousands of workers carried mock coffins with the chairman's name written on them. Here is an account of that strike:

. "The 24,000 workers at Mahalla al-Kubra's Misr Spinning and Weaving complex were thrilled to receive news on March 3, 2006 that Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif had decreed an increase in the annual bonus given, to all public-sector manufacturing workers, from a constant 100 Egyptian pounds ($17) to a two-month salary bonus. The last time annual bonuses were raised was in 1984 -- from 75 to 100 pounds. 'We read the decree, and started spreading awareness about it in the factory,' said 'Attar (a worker leader). 'Ironically, even the pro-government labor union officials were also publicizing the news as one of their achievements. ' He continued: 'December (when annual bonuses are paid) came, and everyone was anxious. We discovered we'd been ripped off. They only offered us the same old 100 pounds. Actually, 89 pounds, to be more precise, since there are deductions (for taxes). '
. "A fighting spirit was in the air. Over the following two days, groups of workers refused to accept their salaries in protest. Then, on December 7, thousands of workers from the morning shift started assembling in Mahalla's Tal'at Harb Square, facing the entrance to the mill. The pace of factory work was already slowing, but production ground to a halt when around 3,000 female garment workers left their stations, and marched over to the spinning and weaving sections, where their male colleagues had not yet stopped their machines. The female workers stormed in chanting: 'Where are the men? Here are the women!' Ashamed, the men joined the strike.
. "Around 10,000 workers gathered in the square, shouting, 'Two months! Two months!' to assert their claim to the bonuses they had been promised. Black-clad riot police were quickly deployed around the factory and throughout the town, but they did not act to quell the protest. 'They were shocked by our numbers,' 'Attar said. 'They were hoping we'd fizzle out by the night or the following day. ' With the encouragement of state security, management offered a bonus of 21 days' pay. But, as 'Attar laughingly recalled, 'The women (workers) almost tore apart every representative from the management who came to negotiate.'
. "As night fell, said Sayyid Habib, the men found it 'very difficult to convince the women to go home. They wanted to stay and sleep over. It took us hours to convince them to go home to their families, and return the following day. ' Grinning broadly, 'Attar added, 'The women were more militant than the men. They were subject to security intimidation and threats, but they held out.'
. "Before dawn prayers, riot police rushed in the mill compound's gates. Seventy workers, including 'Attar and Habib, were sleeping inside the mill, where they had locked themselves in. 'The state security officers told us we were few, and had better get out,' said 'Attar. 'But they did not know how many of us were inside. We lied and told them we were thousands. ' 'Attar and Habib hastily wakened their comrades and together the workers began banging loudly on iron barrels. 'We woke up everyone in the company and town. Our mobile phones ran out of credit as we were calling our families and friends outside, asking them to open their windows and let security know they were watching. We called all the workers we knew to tell them to hurry up to the factory.'
. "By then, police had cut off water and power to the mill. State agents scurried to the train stations to tell workers coming from out of town that the factory had been closed down due to an electrical malfunction. The ruse failed. 'More than 20,000 workers showed up,' said 'Attar. 'We had a massive demonstration and staged mock funerals for our bosses. The women brought us food and cigarettes and joined the march. Security did not dare to step in. Elementary school pupils and students from the nearby high schools took to the streets in support of the strikers.' On the fourth day of the mill occupation, panicking government officials offered a 45-day bonus and gave assurances the company would not be privatized. The strike was suspended, with the government-controlled trade union federation humiliated by the success of the Misr Spinning and Weaving workers' unauthorized action.
. "Soon thereafter . . . the strike leaders launched a campaign to impeach local union officials, who had opposed the strike and who, according to activists, enjoy close ties with the security services. By the end of January, around 12,800 workers had signed a petition addressed to the General Union of Textile Workers, demanding impeachment of the Mahalla local union committee and the holding of new elections. The Misr workers gave the General Union a February 15 deadline, by which they would need to sack the local union officials or face mass resignations from the General Federation, the workers' first step toward building an independent labor union."(1)

. It is not clear what resulted from the demands for impeachment of the union leadership, but ferment has developed at Mahalla and elsewhere for a trade union federation independent of the government-sponsored federation. The sellout leaders of the Federation remain powerful, and the workers face a difficult struggle ahead to develop their organization and movement.

. The strike account above illustrates the power and creativity of the workers in mass action in their own class interests. And here is a clear example of the women workers pressing themselves to the forefront of the struggle, as well as the beginnings of a recognition of the necessity of such worker unity by the men. Even the men have to acknowledge that the women are the cutting edge of the militancy. And when night falls, the male workers still cling to some of the old ways and want the women to leave the factory and go home for the night. The women, all wearing hijabs (Muslim scarves), know that the old ways weaken the strike; they argue for four hours that they should stay. Finally, the women do leave and this does, in fact, weaken and almost defeat the occupation, but the workers rally and carry the day anyway. Here we see the workers learning the necessity of casting off reactionary habits, in this case the subordination of women practiced by fundamentalist Islam.

. During the Mahalla strike workers occupied not only the factory but also adjacent streets, a tactic that inspired textile workers elsewhere. In the three months following the Mahalla strike, about 30,000 workers in more than ten textile mills in the Nile Delta and Alexandria participated in protests ranging from strikes and slowdowns to threats of collective action if they did not get what the Mahalla strikers won. In virtually all cases, the government succumbed. The Mahalla strike also inspired worker actions outside the textile industry, including railway engineers, Cairo subway drivers, who carried out a slowdown, cement workers, truck and microbus drivers, flour mill workers, poultry farmers, garbage collectors, and public gardeners and sanitation workers. And the most recent reports indicate that the Mahalla workers have struck yet again.

. On June 21 the largely female work force at the Mansour-España garment factory emerged victorious from their lengthy factory occupation. They won back pay, wage increases and defeated the attempts of the owners to close the factory. An Egyptian web commentator sent them the following inspiring message:

. "MABROUK (congratulations) for the Man soura-España workers! Mabrouk for the women workers who were braver and more militant than their male colleagues throughout those two months. Mabrouk for those who want to see the women of our country empowered in the social and economic spheres. . . . The women's struggle at that factory was a clear proof that the fight for the liberation of women is not a fight to take away the veil or the niqab. . . . . Virtually all the women in the Talkha factory were veiled and few were in niqab, but they left their families and slept outside their homes, sharing one roof with their male colleagues, which is a bloody TABOO for women in Egypt, even those upper-class secular feminists in Cairo. . . . It's not about that bloody piece of cloth (though I support neither of the veil nor the niqab), but I'm not gonna waist my time debating those liberal feminists over that question . . . they can go to Farouk Honsi instead and he'll be all ears. . . . Ya Farouk, you who equated the veil with backwardness, can you see what the veiled women in Mansoura-España did? Was that backwardness? Wera met abouya, the source of backwardness in this country are people like you, Suzan and the National Council of Women who have reduced women's liberation to the Rotary and the Cairo Capital Club meetings. . . . Shame on you! The workers in the Mansoura-España factory would like to send their warmest regards to all the journalists and activists who stood by them. . . . And they ask you to keep an eye on the factory, lest the United Bank betrays the agreement. . . . Now those women can go back to their homes, with their heads up high, they have gone through so much hardship, but they won. . . . Can we expect women who were definitely toughened by that experience to accept abuse when they go back to their husbands and families? Will they, let's say, get slapped on the face now, and stay silent?! I'm willing to bet on anything that those women's lives have changed by 180 degrees, thanks to their struggle at the factory . . . If a woman managed to stay in a factory for that long, resisting intimidation from the government, the management, the police, and social stigmas, would she just go back home to the same old shit!? Hell no! The only way to empower our country's women are these joint struggles from below . . . Mabrouk! Mabrouk! Mabrouk! (2)

. The pro-democracy demonstrations in Egypt in 2005, which opposed the election of Mubarak, encouraged the current worker militancy, but provided it no direct help. The Muslim Brotherhood, whose parliamentary bloc rose significantly in recent elections, gave virtually no support to the strikers. Its leaders are affluent businessmen and may be factory owners themselves; the Brotherhood has in the past helped employers break strikes. The falsely named Communist Party of Egypt, which supports the Mubarak regime against the Islamists, is in bed with the government's union federation, the target of worker protest. Various Trotskyists and non-governmental organizations are active but do not seem to have major influence.

. The Egyptian workers face difficult conditions, from the repressive Mubarak government to the sell-out leaders of the Federation. But the strength and resiliency they have shown recently is very encouraging.

General Strike in Nigeria

. A four-day general strike broke out in Nigeria on June 20th. There have been several general strikes in Nigeria in recent years, but this one had wide public support, wide participation and effectiveness, and managed to achieve some advances for the workers despite the fact that it was led by the established trade union federations, which hastily called the strike off before it could affect the capitalists more deeply and win greater progress for the workers. As in Egypt, the Nigerian capitalist ruling class has been carrying out the neo-liberal policy of the IMF and the World Bank over the years, and the Nigerian workers have paid dearly for this, with over 78% of Nigerians living on less than $1 dollar a day.

. Just before the hated regime of Obasanjo left office on May 29 of this year, it launched an offensive against the Nigerian working class, with measures that featured: 1) An increase of the pump price of gasoline from 65 naira to 75 naira, 2) the privatization of two refineries and a thermal station, 3) cancellation of a promised 15% pay raise for civil servants, and 4) an increase of the national sales tax from 5% to 10%. The working class was outraged and its anger forced the labor federations to demand the cancellation of all these attacks and threaten a general strike. Within days, the new government granted some of the demands of labor. It reduced the pump price of gas from 75 naira to 70 naira (instead of the 65 naira demanded), cancelled the sales tax increase and granted the 15% wage increase for civil servants. Nevertheless, the workers' anger was not mollified and on June 20th the general strike began.

. Very wide support from the public was reported as workers shut down general cargo shipments at the ports, airlines, public transport, government offices, schools, banks in major cities and throughout most of te country. An ongoing strike by oil transport truck drivers further closed things down. There were reports of mass marches by the workers in various areas. The strike was also effective in the mostly Muslim north of the country, but not quite so thoroughly. Organizations of small businessmen there managed to keep some activity going, but there were also statements from Muslim leaders in support of the strike. All the bourgeois media accounts said that oil exports, the mainstay of the Nigerian economy, were not shut down, but one report stated that the oil workers did strike but that management personnel kept the oil flowing. By the second day, workers began to barricade sections of Lagos to further enforce the strike. Police attacked them with tear gas and arrested workers and a number of union leaders.

. On the strike's third day, union leaders threatened to extend the strike to shut down electricity and water supplies and also oil exports. But suddenly, on the strike's fourth day, the union federations suddenly called it off after receiving a letter from the new President Yar'Adua pledging not to raise petrol prices at the pump for one year. The price will remain at 70 naira per liter. The government also agreed to scrap plans to double the consumer sales tax from 5% to 10%, agreed to a 15% salary increase for civil servants and to order a review of the Obasanjo-approved sale of two oil refineries to a consortium led by a close associate of the former president. Other than the promise to review the proposed refinery sale, this agreement was almost identical to the concessions made by the government when under threat of the strike before it started. So the sellout leadership ended the strike having only achieved a promise through the strike itself.

. It seems that the union leadership called off the strike at the moment that the worker masses were threatening to go into further action to intensify the strike and that the strike still enjoyed extensive public support. The Trotskyists of Workers' Alternative wrote, at the outset of the strike, that "the only consistent opposition in Nigeria remains the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the two main trade union federations.  . . . " So much for the Trotskyists' daydreams about this leadership! But that's all right ­ rather than criticize themselves, the Trotskyists simply switched their position and now say: "Whenever the struggle reaches a stage where the question of power is posed, the leadership of the Nigerian working class always surrenders." Now they create illusions in a section of the union bureaucracy: "A left-wing current is already developing within the ranks of the labour leadership and this left-wing current is now in a more favourable position to grow and check the influence of the compromiser-wing."(3)

. Notwithstanding the sell-out by the union leadership, the workers showed a powerful, widespread militancy and gained a few important improvements. The Nigerian workers, too, face a difficult struggle against the sell-out union leaders as well as the capitalist government.

South African workers wage a lengthy general strike

. This June the South African working class waged a three-week-long general strike, shutting down most of the public sector and some private enterprises. The workers also carried out large protest marches, 43 in number, thronging major cities including Cape Town where the Mbeki government was participating in an economic forum discussing with leaders of other bourgeois governments how best to fleece the working class. The estimated 600,000 marchers nationwide and an estimated million strikers were reflecting anger over economic policies that have left South Africa's poor majority behind as they enriched the established white capitalists and the black post-apartheid government as well. The government's opposition to the workers' demands was a new illustration of its bourgeois, anti-worker nature.

. The strike shut down the port of Durban and much of the public sector nationwide, but the commercial capital of Johannesburg was not heavily affected. The miners' union, the most important union in the private sector, did not go out.

. Initially the government offered a general wage raise of 6. 5%, while the unions demanded 12%. The strike forced the government to raise its offer to 7. 5% plus some other benefit increases. The very length of the strike showed the anger and determination of the workers to fight back. But toward the end, dissension among the various union leaderships led to the calling off of the strike with only a few results.

. The strike was called by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), which emerged during the fall of apartheid in the 1990s as the trade union center of the South African working class. Its background in the anti-apartheid struggle has lent it a somewhat militant appearance. The failure of the black government to significantly improve the economic lot of the black and colored workers and poor has resulted in a rising mood of militancy within the working class. At the same time, the COSATU leadership is mired in illusions that the African National Congress government stands above classes and hasn't made a deal with the white capitalists and isn't fostering black capitalists. But its every policy demonstrates its capitalist nature. The anti-strike comments from the ANC government leaders during the strike could have been scripted by any capitalist government in the world when faced by a major strike. The ANC leaders claimed that the strike had minimal participation and little effect, while simultaneously moaning about the damage the supposedly irresponsible striking workers were doing. Liars incriminate themselves. During the strike, COSATU leader Vavi gave a speech stating that the ANC had to be rooted in the overwhelming majority of the people rather than just in the hands of the few. "Those hoping that we shall give up the ANC because of our frustration better think again. We shall not give away the ANC without a fight," he said. But the ANC leadership is already part of the capitalist ruling class. Such illusions only cripple the South African workers' struggle.

. The workers fight on, impressively, but they too face a difficult fight against opportunism in the labor movement.

Iraqi workers fight for better conditions and against the sell-out of Iraq's oil

. In June 26,000 Iraqi oil workers, members of the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions, waged a three-day partial strike which shut down oil exports and threatened to shut down all domestic oil use. The workers persisted in the strike in spite of being buzzed by U. S. war planes and menaced by troops of the reactionary Iraqi government. The workers were demanding payment of delayed bonuses, permanent status for temporary employees and other benefits, including that the government make available to them plots of land on which to build houses. At the same time the workers raised the political demand that the national oil distribution law currently being considered in parliament be amended to eliminate its projected provisions which hand over a major part of the country's oil wealth to foreign capitalist monopolies. Since a principal motivation of the U.S. imperialist invasion and occupation of Iraq is the plundering of its oil wealth, the oil workers' demand is hotly opposed by the U.S. and its client Maliki government, which together sent the warplanes and troops to intimidate the workers. After gaining a promise from Maliki to form a committee to look into the issues, the workers suspended their strike. However, as a similar promise had been exacted in May, it is likely that the workers will have to go into action again.

. Maintaining worker organization and militancy under the deadly conditions of the U.S. occupation and sectarian violence is an almost superhuman feat. Nevertheless, since 2003 the oil workers have managed to build organization and have struck three times. During one strike in Basra against the oil privatization promoted by the occupiers and the government, Maliki ordered the army to surround and attack the workers, but the army sympathized with the workers' defense of Iraqi national resources and refused to arrest any workers. In 2003 the U.S. Halliburton corporation attempted to seize control of the oil wells and rigs, withholding reconstruction aid in order to force the workers to submit, but the workers struck for three days, stopping exports and cutting off government revenue, and Halliburton was forced to leave. The oil and port unions then forced foreign corporations, which had sweetheart agreements similar to Halliburton's, to give up these agreements at Iraq's deepwater shipping facilities.

. The Iraq war is simply the most violent expression of world capitalism's neo-liberal program to crush the workers and the poor and hand all resources to the monopoly corporations. Thus the fight of the Iraqi workers is part of the recent of working-class struggle against neo-liberalism.

Canadian workers maintain a high level of strike struggle

. Among highly developed industrialized countries, Canada has sustained the highest level of strike activity over the past ten years. According the UK Office for National Statistics, next to Iceland, Canada was the country among those in the European Union and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development that had highest proportion of working days not worked due to strikes or lockouts. These statistics show that the workers' strike struggle continues to percolate in some developed countries in Western Europe and North America. In Canada, over the last decade an average of 208 working days per year were spent on a picket line for every 1000 workers. (4) During this period there has been a general strike movement in British Columbia, a similar movement in Québec, the largest strike in Newfoundland's history, lockouts at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the telecommunications giant Telus, a wildcat at Toronto Transit Commission and a Canada-wide strike of the Federal public service. In recent months workers have struck at Greyhound bus in the West, construction in Ontario, Montreal transit and Teamsters on CP Rail. Thee have been several small factory occupations.

. Canadian workers, too, are being savagely attacked by the capitalists through their neo-liberal policy of plant closings and slashing of social programs, attacks carried out by both the Conservative and the Liberal parties. Over the last four years, almost 300,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost the province of Ontario alone, and more layoffs come every day. In late March the workers at Collins & Aikman auto parts plant in Scarborough, Ontario occupied their workplace. C&A had recently announced that it was shutting down production at the plant, firing its workforce and refusing to pay severance packages or to honor previous contracts. The workers occupied the plant. Workers at two other parts plants struck in sympathy and postal workers refused to walk their routes. The company capitulated to the workers' demands. Within weeks, workers at a steel smelter in Hamilton, facing similar conditions, occupied their plant and won their demands. Then workers at the Masonite Manufacturing plant in Mississauga occupied their factory to protest its announced closing. Workers from other cities held a support rally at the Masonite plant. The Masonite strikers gained increased severance pay and some other benefits.

. In response to the militancy of the workers, the sold-out leadership of the Ontario Federation of Labor and the Canadian Auto Workers union sponsored rallies attended by thousands of workers in the industrial cities of Windsor, Oshawa, eight other cities and later outside the Parliament buildings in the capital Ottawa. At the Ottawa rally the workers loudly booed Liberal leader Stephane Dion, darling of the CAW leaders and other union hacks.

* * * * * *

. These strikes, largely talking place in what might be called the semi-developed countries, encourage workers throughout the world who are facing the bloodthirsty no-liberal program of the capitalist exploiters and the betrayal of the workers by the sold-out union leaderships.


(1) This account is quoted from the following article: "Egyptian Textile Workers Confront the New Economic Order" by Joel Beinin and Hossam el-Hamalawy, available at The authors interviewed Muhammad 'Attar and Sayyid Habib in Mahalla al-Kubra on March 9, 2007, and add that they are deeply grateful for their willingness to share their experiences and insights. (Return to text)

(2) Comment by Hossam el-Hamalawy, an Egyptian journalist. Go to http://arabist. net/arabawy/ and enter Victory for the Mansoura-España Workers in the archive search box. (Text)

(3) The Workers' Alternative quotes are from and (Text)

(4) See "International Comparisons of Labour Disputes in 2005" at UK National Statistics Online at (Text)

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September 10, 2007.