Group Title: Struggle (Kingston, Jamaica)
Title: Struggle
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Struggle official organ of the Workers Liberation League
Uniform Title: Struggle (Kingston, Jamaica)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 41 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Workers' Liberation League (Jamaica)
Workers' Liberation League (Jamaica)
Workers Party of Jamaica
Publisher: The League
Place of Publication: Kingston
Publication Date: June 30, 1977
Frequency: bimonthly[mar.-apr. 1986-]
biweekly[ former -july 13, 1984]
monthly[ former aug. 1984-feb. 1986]
Subject: Labor movement -- Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Jamaica   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Jamaica
Summary: Struggle was published first as a mimeographed newsletter in 1974 when the Workers Liberation League was formed. It was edited by Rupert Lewis and he continued as editor when Struggle became the organ of the Workers Party of Jamaica in 1978. In the 1980s editors included Elean Thomas, Elaine Wallace and Ben Brodie. The Workers Liberation League grew out of the political initiative of academics - Trevor Munroe, Rupert Lewis as well as Don Robotham, Derek Gordon who studied in the University of Chicago in the early 1970s and were connected to activists in the Black Panther Movement and African-American radicals in the Communist Party of the United States. The latter group formed the Paul Bogle League which brought together academics, working class and community activists who read and discussed Karl Marx’s Capital and Lenin’s political writings and sought to build on Jamaica’s radical traditions in the trade union movement and in the People’s National Party from the 1930s to the 1960s. The Paul Bogle League was also involved with the formation of the University and Allied Workers Union in the early 1970s and worked with the Independent Trade Union Action Council. Politically the Workers Liberation League gave critical support to Michael Manley’s democratic socialist program in the 1970s.
Issuing Body: Vols. for -1978 issued by Workers' Liberation League; 1979- by Workers' Party of Jamaica.
General Note: Description based on surrogate of: Issue no. 28 (June 16, 1977); title from caption.
General Note: Latest issue consulted: Apr.-May 1986 (surrogate).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00100337
Volume ID: VID00029
Source Institution: Florida International University: Digital Library of the Caribbean
Holding Location: Florida International University: Digital Library of the Caribbean
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 05378247
lccn - sn 91021299
oclc - 5378247

Full Text



30, 6, 1977



m m -


hose side is the, WOI

overnment on? BIG

E government is definitely not now ac-
ng to defend the poor man against the
perialists and the big capitalists. THE industrial rel-
The merchants are hoarding food and ations front was
ther basic goods so that poor people dominated by two
't get milk, rice, oil and other nec- struggles over the
ssities to buy. past three weeks.
Foreign capitalists like Barclays and One was the strike
so can do as they like even up to of Esso Refinery
eaking the Industrial Relations Laws technicians and the
f Jamaica and causing serious hardship other was the stri-
Spoor people all over the island. When ke by the entire
e capitalists break the law nothing clerical and manag-
appens but when the workers strike for erial staff of Bar-
eir rights as at Esso and Tia Maria clays Bank.
e soldiers are brought in as strike- Although the two
eakers. Have you ever seen soldiers strike actions were
ing used to defend workers? taken by workers in
Local capitalists like The Gleaner two different sec-
Company threaten to lay off workers whi-
le other companies lay off thousands of
Workers when their accounts show that
they are making money.
SYet the government is doing nothing to
clamp down on the oppressors. The reas-
on for this is that within the govern-
rent- itself, in too many Ministries and
actions, it is the big man and his
friends who are now having the upper
hand. These people can't afford to bre-
bk away from imperialism or to defend
he poor against the capitalists because
hey themselves are capitalists with a
ot to lose.
On the other hand, the working people
re no longer afraid of the big man as
n days ISAACS moved in sol
This is why more and more ordinary break the workers
ople are criticising government's fai- o
ure to act against the big man and to tions of the econo-
eep down capitalist ministers like Bel- my, there are some
fanti, Blake and Williams. More and important similari-
ore working people are ready to take ties between the
ction against the supermarket hoarders two struggles.
Both sections of
fd the multi-national corporations who workers took strike
e only interested in making profit out ion against two
;f Jamaica.
The progressive forces at each place the al -
cf work, in each community, in each org- i o, er ia
ism operating in
anisation must do everything to get the Jamaica and the
working people to talk out against the
capitalist politicians and the local
henchmen who are holding up progress and
to take action to strengthen the positi-
n of genuine socialists within the gov-
Prime Minister Manley and the rest of
he progressive movement must realise
hat as long as the capitalist ministers,
fficials and henchmen remain on top, no
irm action will be taken to defend the
oor against the rich; so long the fail-
ie to act will cause more and more fru-
ration; the government will lose the
espect of the working people; the stru-
gle against imperialism will be turned



world Barclays
Bank International
and Esso Oil. Both
disputes are also
over wages and wor-
king conditions,
and in both cases
the. multinational
companies stubborn-
ly refused to meet
the demands, despi-
te several years of
profitable operati-
on and exploitation
of workers.

In the case of Esso,
the dispute is over

iers and poZice to
a claim for double
time pay for work
done on Sundays by
the 60 refinery
technicians repre-
sented by the NWU.
The double time on
Sundays had been
granted to the wor-
kers earlier this
year by the Lynch

Tribunal, but the
Company rejected
this by twisting
the interpretation
of the award. They
went back to the
Tribunal for clari-
fication on three
separate occasions,
but each time Basil
Lynch ruled that
the double time pay
is to be granted
even if the Sunday
fell in the regular
working shift.
Esso still refus-
ed to grant the

award. But the La-
bour Minister did
not intervene or
force them to pay.
To stall for time,
the Company took
the matter to the
Supreme Court, whe-
re it is still awa-
iting a hearing.
In the meantime,
the existing con-

tract between Esso
and the NWU expired
and the Lynch award
was included in the
new contract, which
Esso refused to
sign. The workers
therefore went on
strike on Monday,
June 13. The work-
ers say company ma-
nager Poin Dexter
told them he would
prefer to close
down the refinery
than pay out the
five thousand dol-
lars a year the aw-
ard would cost.

After the strike
the supervisors ran
the refinery, but
one week later the
tanker drivers said
they would refuse
to break the picket
line to haul gasol-
It was then that
the Minister of La-
bour stepped in to
order the technici-
ans back to work.
The workers reject-
ed the order and on
Friday when suppli-
es ran out in most
places, the workers
agreed for gas to
be delivered to es-
sential services -
hospitals, fire
brigade, etc. But
the Minister acted
in a manner exactly
opposed to the wor-
kers' interest. He
Please see P.4

workers listen to a
report on the
negotiations from their
staff Association leader-
ship at one of their
meeting last week.


Worker exposes

Frome merchant

Williams, general
merchant and owner
of the Frome Whole-
sale, has finally
closed down his bu-
siness place. He
has laid off some
35 to 40 workers
without compensa-
tion for their
years of service.
Both the small sho-
pkeepers and hund-
reds of consumers
are facing severe
hardships because
of the shutdown.

The wholesale used
to be open 6 days a
week, but after Se-
ptember '76, it was
open only four days
a week. By the
start of this year,
it was open only 3
days a week. Basic
'%Qdm -m

foodstuff like
flour, rice, oil,
salt, corn beef,
soap powder, bath
soap, milk, sugar,
tin fish all of
these items were in
short supply.

These shortages
made the people in
the community start
to worry. The who-
lesale was their
source of supply
for many years. The
wholesale owner
stopped taking
stocks. When his
weekly supplies
care from Kingston,
he turned them

When his customers
asked what is caus-
ing the shortages,
he told ther, it is

H !

the government.

"Is oono government
a mash up the coun-
try. We can't get
to import any food
at all and it is
better me close
down the business",
Williams told the

During this time
that he is bawling
for hardship, his
wife is travelling
often between Jam-
aica and Miami and
he has a child in
school abroad. Wil-
liams himself went
abroad at the end
of January, leaving
his workers without
pay. He and his
wife returned in
February. She left
shortly after for

;:- --L

OPPFESEEi. A-X.. -D 7:f"L ; c fat v a' fy: i. ..:
lmaeliy su2 rii.. Ca n they -T '.*~ ; S les food?


Protest against hoarding

VIGILANT consumers So n saturday, gathered outside of
in Sav-la-mar re- June 11, over two the supermarket and
gently staged a de- hundred consumers, demonstrated agai-
monstration outside after experiencing
the same orohlem. PM $a P.4

a in
the townT, against
hoarding of basic
food items.
Reports from people
in the demonstra-
tion say they had
been noticing that
only some people
who can buy a trol-
ley full of goods
were getting items
like rice, milk,
oil and a number of
other items which
the supermarket ow-
nar claimed were in
short supply.

**-~~~~~ k~ ^ ~~ r o u
need production
plan by the govern-
ment raised hope
for us as small
farmers in Mount
Providence, Claren-
Quite recently tho-
ugh this hope has
turned into sorrow
as many problems
are plaguing us,
acausee -ost of the

lano in our area is
controlled by the
big planters and
the bauxite compa-
ny, the small crop
farmers have to
plant most of their
crops by the river
banks and on rocky
hillside land plus
lands leas-d from
the bauxite opera-
tcre inp our aea.'
With thOp euounOM -

the US and in April
he closed up the
wholesale to join
his wife overseas.

The closure has
created the oppor-
tunity for shopkee-
pers to cheat the
consumers by rais-
ing the price of
every item.

The government say
people going over-
seas can only take
$50 with them. But
this seems to be a
joke. It is no
wonder these owners

Support the

workers' struggb

by EmSFbert Siva'
EVERY DAY the radio and newspaper are
full of news about workers involved in
strikes, go-slows, demonstration, etc.
Not a day can pass without the Mini
of Labour being kept busy with meet
between unions and the capitalists,

The workers are fighting for more wage
rights and justice and some of the woa
ers' action have affected important as
tions of the economy. Previously same
people would be quick to condemn the
workers. This time very few people ca
come out against the workers. The wao
ers' cause is just and must be suppor


uOr usiness places ; The capitalists, strengthened by the a
are closing down a tivities of the rightwing in the govex
and going abroad. ent, have started again to squeeze t
t is b e workers and to make the workers alone
It is because itmu bear the sacrifice of the present capi
so easy to smuggle a .
talist crisis.
-oney out of the a
country. The gov- The capitalists and their rightwing fi
ernment must do ends in the government are pushing for
something drastica- the government to accept the imperial
lvl to punish these LM solution to the crisis. They want
people. They can't workers' wages to be frozen or further
be allowed to con- U restricted below the present maximum i
tinue sabotaging v crease of 310. They want rore of the
and destabilizing devaluation so that they will make mor
the government and U profit. They want no restriction on
people of this cou- prices. They want to continue making
ntry. big money like Preston at t7.I who enj
S53,000 in salary, housing, travel, s
THE GOVERNMENT MUS sistence and entertainment oer year,
MOVE INTO ACTION' while workers get $20 and $30 per week
NOW AND TAKE OVER They want laws against the workers lii
THE IMPORTING OF the LRIDA. They do not want rt give
ESSENTIAL F;O3D. workers Lustic.
DISTRI:BL"TIOC O:JT- Til K-- ciini sc w, I wI :
LETS ALL OVER THE r- ar .a', 1:_'-_az a- .'
COUNTRY. -BUz:ZS r-3!v .,
Yi:E LIY- C.B. WIL- In al a 7 en: z- worers. r wrkers
LIAMS MUST BE BROU- w nt a foolishnes auout wn
GHT BACK ND YALE freeze and sacrifice by workers alone.
TO ACCOUNT FOR THE- The workers by their present militancy
IR ACTIONS. and action are sounding a warning. T!
Share prepared to sacrifice but not on t
ALL OF US FARMERS basis of any wage freeze q* any other
AND WORKING PEOPLE rightwing capitalist solution.
INTO A ONITED FRONT : The workrs'. struggle deseves SAd s
TO FIGHT SABOTAGE. get our support. It must be part o-
Sstruggle to put thq prpg e"qive fataeS
aon top once again.
uuueupuumumummuuU I

THE rece tl

mIsen or te plan,
everyone started
planting something
in the earth and
eagerly awaited the
rains to fall. The
rain came in great
force and overflow-
ed the bajka of the
river, washiy away
the crops apd gaus-
ing damage of rov
To )H, W

worse there is a
food shortage $i
our area. caused to
a great extet ,y)
the massive hgArA-r
.ng practised by
the ukerChant class
in May Pen, whicv
in turn cause spa-
ulaton in prices.,
eA poor is sutfer-
IJE sevrely iL ouw
pwunry, 'We cannt
r2W '9

as w nave no flpp
w1t4tive as the
10 the aree is
a i ,w an4 be ,
sl otn make ap
Sr eisention La
asm ba Ov t
perinwo4 $n tin
past. Owr tyJ

an&d ea re ol o !
writing lett "V
the ww gM1=,og
g91 agencie

--- ~ ~--~--~----- ------~~-~ I~-----~~--- -~ -~-~-II~-~-~---`



tal, and all major cities protesting the
turn to the IMF path which brought more
hardships on the people.

Although the government of President
Francisco Morales Bermudez did not have
to accept the full terms of the IMF
then and was able to borrow $400 million
from a group of foreign banks, this time
the foreign banks refuse to lend any
more money until the IMF measures are
agreed upon.

When the new IMF demands were made, Cen-
tral Bank officials negotiating with the
IMF asked the government to resist the
demands as these measures would mean
great suffering for the poor majority.


THE WLL condemns After several roun- Bernard Coard MP, the Prime Minister,
the brutal shooting ds of firing the who recently visit- specific policemen
at peaceful marche- soldiers baton- ed Jamaica, told and soldiers for
rs by Eric Gairy's charged the people, STRUGGLE that the murder, conspiracy
soldiers in Grenada including old men, People's Alliance to murder and to
on June 19. Sever- women and children, has filed charges riot, etc.
al thousand people beating and injur- against the Commis-
were protesting the ing well over 100. sioner of Police,
refusal of the Com-
missioner of Police I s T
to let the opposi- BTH
tion People's Alli- HET
ance use a microph-
one at a public me- S ,

Human Rights in
One of the marchers
Alister Strachan of
the New Jewel Move-
ment who jumped in
the sea to escape
the firing, was
fired on by police -
each time he came
up for air or tried
to swim back to
shore. Eventually
he died of drowning. _

Independence City area on Sunday, June
19, unanimously passed a Resolution
congratulating the Government for estab-
lishing diplomatic relations with the
Soviet Union. The Conference decided to
send a message of welcome to the USSR
diplomatic mission and also urged our
Government to continue this progressive
trend in its foreign policy.

Over 250 citizens from Passage Fort,
Waterford, Independence City, Meadowvale
and Portmore Gardens, St Catherine, at-
tended the Conference, which was chaired
by Councillor Franklyn Williams. Guest
speaker was Mr Tony Spauldings, Housing
Minister and PNP Vice-President.

The Divisional Conference marked an im-
portant milestone in the struggle of
progressive forces in those areas to
build a strong community organisation
which would represent the interests of
Sthe majority of the people in their cqm-
Smunities and help in the struggle for
Progress in the country. Included in
those attending the Conference were re-

presentatives from the 8 PNP groups for-
med in the area since the general elec-
tions last year.

The Conference noted that West Indies
Home Contractors (Matalon) planned to
build 1300 houses in front of Passage
Fort on land set aside for a "tpwn cen-
tre" hospital, shops, community cen-
tre. A Resolution said that there shou-
ld be no new housing development in the
area until certain vital social necessi-
ties were put in the community. These
include a hospital or clinics, schools,
proper roads; water, street lights and a
proper sewage disposal system.

Well over 10,000 live in that area and
are now suffering from lack of these
things. The Conference said that in the
past, houses had just been built by pri-
vate developer Matalon without any cons-
ideration of these needs and so the pre-
sent residents were the ones to suffer.

Coming out of the Conference, a Divisio-
nal Organisation has been formed.

IN yet another developing country the
IMF is trying to increase the control of
imperialism over the economy and to pre-
vent development along a socialist path.

In Peru the IMF is demanding a devalua-
tion of 35%, a tighter control over wag-
es, an increase in taxes on the poor and
a reduction in subsidies on basic foods
such as milk.

It is only one year ago, in June 1976,
that the government of Peru gave in to
the pressures of the IMF and internatio-
nal finance capital, and devalued by

Then there were riots in Lima, the capi-

THE entire unionis-
ed workforce at the
Gleaner Company has
sent a letter to
the Gleaner's Board,
demanding that the
backward and vindi-
ctive way in which
the news is being
written be stopped,
In the letter, the
workers say that
this reactionary
trend in editorial
policy was the cau-
se of the many ver-
bal attacks on the
Gleaner, and that
it was also threat-
ening their person-
*al safety and job
The letter was
signed by the chief
delegates from the
3 unions at the
company the BITU,
the Onion of Journ-
alists and Allied
Employees (UJAE)
and the Union of
Technical and Sup-
ervisory Personnel.
And on Sunday,
June 26, the Glean-

er's editorial wor-
kers, organised in
the UJAE, totally
rejected the atte-
mpts by the Company
to lay off 120 wor-
kers. At the 3rd
Annual Conference,
UJAE President Ben
Brodie showed that
the Gleaner has
made a profit of
over $328,000 in
its operational co-
sts for last year.
On the other hand,
the percentage of
wages to total cos-
ts had gone down.
"We will therefore
not allow not even
one worker to be
laid off" the
UJAE President
Main speaker at
the Conference, Mi-
nister of Culture,
Arnold Bertram,
said the government
knew that the main
body of Gleaner
workers did not
support the anti-

Ph. m P.4


Since then, President Morales has shown
signs of resisting. However, compromis-
es have already been made in the hope
that the IMF will step down from its
present position. The price of milk has
been increased by 20% and there are ind-
ications that job security legislation
is to be repealed. The Minister of Lab-
our is said to have resigned over this

Right-wing forces in the government have
grown stronger in the face of these con-
cessions to imperialism, and rioting ag-
ain broke out in all major cities last

Peru, like Jamaica, is deeply in the
grip of the imperialist system. The
country owes the foreign finance capita-
lists $3.5 billion, and its repayments
to these international parasites comes
to $700 million this year money which
could have gone to improving the produc-
tion and wellbeing of its people-.


a 1200/5:30
saturday Z vOcV:OO

2b Marescaux Road

(ppWlmers Girl Scmo)


supermarket very often the amount of All local food manufacturers mu
THEE have bn rice, milk, flour, etc, he gets is det- ce for the national need. If t
THEsm e s er s shot- ermined by how much money he can spend. that the company must work arou
ages of many basic Sometimes we get little or nothing bec- clock this will also create mor
ages of many basic
food items that the ause we haven't the money to spend." ment.
poor people need to "The big owner of the supermarket has All the rajor distribution outl
survive. People his oocds delivered by the big distribu- manufacturers of food and other
who are lucky to tcrc like Grace Kennedy, Facey Commodity items must be investigated to s
find a little pit- Lt:; a;i other local focod distributors. at extent there is boarding of
tance in times like hile we the small shopkeepers who the put pressure on the people and
these when the big masses look to for these basic items ha- government.
men are pushing out ve tc o and sper3 a day at 3 ash 'n Car- We need to have Cash 'N' Carry
thousands of work- ry an a rasport to carry food into
g people on the by Ruprt Watrs r a pay transport to array food into in the main country towns to cu
*te poor com-unities. This has forced on the transport cost of the sa
street cannot even find food to buy. us sometimes to sell over the cor.trolled
price." Food is the most essential thin
country. Wny should a few priv
The masses are saying that today we can-
The masses aoure aying tat today we an- In the case of the rural shopkeeper ers control the distribution of
not get flour and rice and tomorrow it things are even worse. He has to travel basic food items to over 2 mill
is milk and sugar and these are the thi- are even orse. He has to travel basic fod items to over 2 mill
ngs we need to stretch for the many kids many more miles to come into the city to ple. The statt should control
ngs we need to stretch for the many kids ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ :^ ^ J^ oo11 n
we have to feed. uet these basic items. Sometimes he has tribution of food.
to return home with empty or half-empty
When STRUGGLE contacted several small truck without getting the goods that the The small shopkeeper must under
shopkeepers in local communities these rural puer need. that every worker and unemploye
both PNP and JLP is now feeling
were some of the things they had to say. GGTI sure from imperialism and the
"The big man at the supermarket get These are sore of the suggestions from man like Alexander at Grace Ken
the basic food items first and as one the small shopkeepers we spoke to: Matalon at Facey Commodity Ltd.

Workers Battle...

From P.1

[ headed the public
interest, and call-
ed out the army and
clice to break the
strike and deliver
euaplics to the ge-
ieral public.
*. ^'

It is then that
many saw what Will-
iam Isaacs and the
Labour Relations
and Industrial Dis-
,utes Act (LRIDA)
were beth defend-
lag: nultinatioial like E5 o

the Etso technicia-
ns, but the arry
moved into serving
gas as well. The
UAWU issued a soli-
darit- statement
with the Esso work-
ers. Jamintel and
Telephone Company

$40 and $50 a week
gross; the women,
forring 75% of the
workforce, are not
paid if they go on
maternity leave and
the women are furt-
her exploited as
they do not get the

workers supported same Dener is as
the Esso workers, the men even if
And the WLL called they do the same
on the government work. It is again-
to prosecute the st these deplorable
Esse management for conditions that the
defying the trlhur.- barn workers decid-
al wward. ed to abandon pride
ad pretense and

inst t.he ver, In rt!e case of 5ar- ,ilitantly struggle
-lass : ;ece clays l:.e 864 work- for their rights.
.:in t: L. ~h l. .e ers w"n", run the At a meeting at
-rcte-tL:- tank. over forty te i:, becfre the
In a tf-aterna bra n-es an head nike, the Batcla-
v-e tih- ckers offiC f ent ao stw yManager, David
and Marinae .rkerY- ie l F'y ta Longmire, said it
Union D'-'U) repre- back their Clai--s is unthinkable that
sentinrg as statipn r better ,ages bank workers s p go"
t t and working cond on stke t
attendar-ts, then i n n strike.e ut, te
called off the wor- t Manns y bank .orke;g Rw ;a
kers in support of wokes geat only that thai ecom ,c

and political inte-
rests are tightly
bound up with the
rest of the working
people in the coun-
Barclays Interna-
tional, and their
local agent Long-
mire knows that go-
vernment is negoti-
ating for the full
takeover of the
bank, and that the
negotiations would
end in a matter of
weeks. So they tr-
ied to delay the
claims to escape
paying them.

The Staff Associa-
tion President Dun-
bar McFarlane says
they have nothing
against the Manley
government. He sa-
ys, however, that
the workers want
participation both
in ownership and in
when it comes under
state control.
And on SOnday,
June 26, the work-
ers began to see
the fruits of their
struggle. The man-
acerent of the bank
had to agree to
wage increases re-
troactive to 1976.
Ten weeks maternity
,leave with pay for
all female workers.
Equal pay and bene'
fits for Wamen wor-
kers. '
The struggle con-'

a system
are dis-
st produ-
his means
nd the
e employ-

ets and
ee to wh-
goods to
on the

It down
,all man.
g in any
ate own-
ion peo-
the dis-

d person
* the pre-
local big
nedy and

are very nard and for anyone to sell any-
thing over the control price and hoard
goods is putting more hardship on the
masses. Organisations in the communiti-
es such as Citizens Associations, Commu-
nity Councils, Youth Organisations must
struggle to see to it that control pric-
es are maintained.

Gleaner Struggles

Policy ... Of the
Fr".. ps Jamaican
people policy of DP o
the Gleaner. He PI JJpl
told the workers
that they should
let the Jamaican
people know what
they were struggli-
ng for at the Glea-
ner as theirs was
part of the strug-
gle for progress in
the country.
The Conference
passed a resolution
calling on govern-
ment to bring about
the long-awaited
law against lay-


nst the practice ofr
hoarding and selec-
tive sales. How-
ever, their peace-
ful protest was -r-
oxen up after an
nour by the police.



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