Perspectives and Questions
These perspectives and issues will be discussed at a public meeting between workers and trade unionists in Varna on 1 July.
*The world today stumbles from economic crisis to economic crisis, each worse than the last. While we are told that a better future is around the corner, the truth is that since 1974, the light at the end of the tunnel has been receding, and the next economic disaster approaching more rapidly.
*Before Covid 19, most economists saw another crisis as imminent. The pandemic forced governments to pump vast sums of money into saving businesses. While ordinary workers suffered big companies were bailed out by worried governments. Of course today profits must be maintained and the working class must pay the cost of this.
*The war in Ukraine has placed additional stress upon the system. Even before the war, inflation has started to run wild. Now the costs of the war, Ukraine needs over $5bn per month just to keep going. The strain this places upon the economy must be paid for. As inflation eats away at salaries, most workers are experience pay cuts in real terms.
*The war will be a long one, with no solution in sight, there is no end to the current crisis in view, western governments are openly talking about the need for workers to tighten their belts. This will only continue.
*in economically weaker countries such as ours this is causing political crisis. However much political parties talk of finding a solution to the political crisis, there is none. Any new government, whatever it promises, will be pro-war, pro-austerity, and pro-wage cuts. The World Bank expects the coming decade to be of instability and social upheaval.
*This situation is already causing working class anger. Perhaps this is most clearly seen in Britain, where the situation is made worse by the chaos cause by Brexit. Workers in the UK are in the middle of the biggest strike wave for thirty years with many workers already involved in strike action, and many more currently voting on it.
*Its not just the UK though. There seems to be a growing international tendency towards a return to workers’ struggle. America is another country that’s noticeable in this regard, but even here in Bulgaria, a country with a very low level of workers struggle, strike action seems to threaten a return. In a country with virtually no strikes two recent struggles have caught the eye; the strike at the chemical factory in Plovdiv, and the strike at the health insurance place.
*Is class struggle still relevant today?
*Is there a willingness to fight amongst workers in Bulgaria?
*Will the trade unions organise these struggles?
If these struggles happen outside of the trade unions how will they react?
What can the left do to intervene in these struggles?