Occupy Now! Nationalise British Steel under workers control!

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02/04/2016 by socialistfight

 

Port Talbot, the Songting Steel factory in China or the two electric arc furnaces (EAF) at Sestao complex near Bilbao are closed or closing because of the global crisis of capitalism, not because of “Chinese Dumping or overcapacity”.

Solidarity with Chinese steel workers against the common enemy, global imperialist capitalism! Socialist Fight Statement 2/4/2016

 “A Dow Jones Business Report online article quotes the Monday, Jan 25, 2016, ArcelorMittal email as saying, “Our operations in Sestao are facing such challenging market conditions—caused by a significant increase in cheap steel imports from China and a heavy fall in prices—that keeping the plant open in the current economic environment is not viable.”  The announced closure adds it to a roster of mills in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States that have been closed in the previous six months, with the accompanying announcements all pointing to overcapacity in China as an underlying reason.” [1]

Of course the “overcapacity in China” is not the “underlying reason” for these closures but the current crisis of the capitalist global economy that began in 2008 and is now reasserting itself with renewed force.  But all bourgeois economists and scribes take as read that absolutely nothing should or can be done about this global crisis caused by falling profit rates globally. Past attempts to overcome by enormously expanding debt, particularly the quantitative easing tactic in the USA and now Europe since the 2008 crisis have now reached their limits; unserviceable debts are now an additional crisis in themselves.

Therefore the demands placed on the Tory government for nationalisation of the steel industry are only correct as far as they go. They are insufficient and self-defeating if they are not accompanied by occupation to demand nationalisation under workers’ control and pan European and global solidarity with all workers in struggle in Britain and internationally.

The Chinese steel factories are now beginning to close. China posts slowest economic growth in 25 years. China produces half the world’s steel now and ‘restructuring’ will mean the loss of up to half a million jobs according the Chinese government sources but others say up to 2 million jobs will have to go. Chinese ‘dumping’ is in the context of US tariffs against Chinese steel and the real threat of massive industrial struggles in the whole of China if job losses on this scale occur here and in other related industries.

“Good if China reduces capacity and suffer huge job losses, but it may be too late to help the Port Talbot workers unless we move instantly to prevent ‘dumping’ of Chinese steel” say all the bourgeois commentators.

Former Tory cabinet minister Ken Clarke pointed out the obvious implications that the Chinese would take retaliatory measures to prevent the ‘dumping’ of British and European products if Britain and Europe did that. “But they are unfairly subsidising their steel to dump it” explain all those who demand the Tories do just that now to save Port Talbot. The latest noises from the Financial Times are that a global trade war has already begun with all its dreadful implication for world peace.

And the trade union leaders and many on the reformist and centrist left hum from the same hymn sheet. The arguments for the global planned economy and international class struggle were never more necessary than now.

Reject all narrow nationalist solutions of import controls and immigration controls.  Port Talbot steel workers, Chinese steel workers, one struggle, one fight, one central enemy, global imperialist capitalism.

If we want to find the Chinese and Spanish equivalents of Port Talbot we might pick the privately run Songting Steel factory in China was closed last November, resulting in about 7,000 jobs losses and the two electric arc furnaces (EAF) at Sestao complex near Bilbao, Spain reported on above.

Start to think the unthinkable again; we need a world revolution to solve this world crisis of capitalism. We know that the objective fact that only WWIII will restore the falling rate of profit of global capitalism will more and more assert itself in the minds of the leaders of world imperialism.

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have reached this conclusion, with Trump out trumpeting Clinton by a hair’s breath. But even an ideological struggle for the global working class is not now apparent except from isolated individuals. Never was the need to reconstruct and rebuild the Fourth International more necessary objectively. Revolutionary optimism and boldness in ideology and actions to accomplish this are now demanded of all who set ourselves that goal.

Port Talbot steel mill threatened with closure – Occupy it now!

Notes

[1] ArcelorMittal to idle Spanish mill Steelmaker will reportedly idle two EAF furnaces at Sestao complex near Bilbao, Spain. http://article.wn.com/view/2016/01/27/ArcelorMittal_to_idle_Spanish_mill/

 

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