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We Asked about Organized Labor and May 1 in Eastern Europe

We Need to Redefine the Workers’ Struggle… and Then We Can Celebrate! What is the meaning and importance of May 1 for organized labor in Eastern Europe? Trade unions and labor organizers increasingly recognize that the meaning of and reasons for celebrating International Labor Day are not only self-evident, but also increasingly problematic. There are […]

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Croatia – the online activities of a trade-union federation

Last year the strongest and most-organized umbrella organization for unions, the Federation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia (Savez samostalnih sindikata Hrvatske, SSSH) organized its very first e-protest in Croatia, titled “A thank you is fine, but workers’ rights come first!” (Radnicima hvala ali prvo prava!) The demands of the SSSH formulated in 2020 were […]

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Hungary – the overlap with Workers’ Memorial Day. A foundation on which to stand up and organize?

Whereas most trade unions in Eastern Europe also commemorated 28 April because of the uneven effects and implications of Covid-19 on the loss of workers’ lives, in Hungary this was even more emphatic. In 2020, 1 May in Hungary seemed to especially overlap with events and statements made around Workers’ Memorial Day – a day […]

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Serbia – in the shadow of exploitation; recognizing the need for redefinition

In Serbia, May 1 was overshadowed by Orthodox Easter and by a moment of realization that many had to work on this day too, as the number of working poor increased, low, insufficient wages under subsistence level had become the new norm and reality in the country. Unlike in pre-Covid times, when Serbian trade unions […]

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Romania – novel initiatives gaining ground

Trade unions have been organizing protests since the start of 2021 against the newly adopted austerity measures of the Romanian government, which, among other things, froze the minimum wage despite rising living costs continued blocking collective labor negotiations and the social dialogue legislation. Thus, protesters have been demanding social policies from and a dialogue with […]

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Slovenia – new voices, new strength?

In Slovenia, trade unions seemed to weather the storm of the transformation crisis well, albeit the 2008 financial crisis much less so. Over the last decade, the most noteworthy developments have been new initiatives in which unions, self-help initiatives, educational initiatives and workers have aimed to redefine the struggle. Channelling this spirit, an organisation named […]

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Left perspectives on the protests in Russia and Navalny

Note from LeftEast editors: We publish a range of commentaries on the recent protests in Russia and Navalny. They include views from within but also from outside of Russia. Further comments are encouraged and will be considered for publication as part of the ongoing WeAsked series on this topic. Liza Smirnova Georgiy Komarov Katya Kazbek […]

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We Asked about the Bernie Sanders 2020 Campaign

Bernie Sanders’ second presidential campaign brought a ray of hope to what had been a dismal political news cycle in the United States dominated by Trump’s odious figure and the Democrats’ ineffectual, “back to normal” opposition to him. To be sure, the broader resistance to Trump has also galvanized genuine movements devoted to protecting the […]

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We Asked: the Legacy of Corbynism

Under the radical leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, the UK Labour Party has been seen as a ray of hope and a model for progressive revival by many – though by no means all – leftists across Europe and the Atlantic world. Labour’s painful defeat in the recent general election is an occasion for thinking about […]

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WeAsked: Left Perspectives on Venezuela from the (Semi)Periphery

Venezuela has been at the center of heated left-wing polemics for some time now. As tensions rise in the border regions of the country and self-appointed “interim president” Juan Guaido calls for ever more militant action, including even armed rebellion, concerns grow over the possibility of a foreign intervention. As with previous such interventions, legitimacy […]