March for international workers rights and solidarity on May Day

May Day has been celebrated internationally since 1886 as the day for workers to unite as a class. Workers need to stop the politics of austerity and war.

 

Capitalists are killing us, in our workplaces and in our communities.

 

March in solidarity with workers in struggle everywhere.

 

In Australia, this May Day will again be a major day of struggle for Aboriginal rights.

 

In Melbourne, there will be a May Day solidarity rally in the evening (download leaflet here). There will also be a rally and festival in the afternoon of Sunday the 3rd of May, starting at Trades Hall

Korean workers gear up for week of struggle leading up to May Day

The situation for Korean workers in the last few years has been one of almost continual mobilisations and struggles as workers and unions battle against the effects of contracting out, casualisation and flexible labour employment. The present conservative government is trying to exploit the ongoing capitalist economic crises by enacting new laws that will weaken workers rights. In response, the Confederation of Korean Trade Unions has called for strikes and demonstrations in the last week of April, culminating with the annual May Day rally. The more conservative Federation of Korean Trade Unions has now also said they will join the strike actions.

Anniversary of Rana Plaza

It is almost two years ago that the single greatest industrial massacre in the world occurred in Dhaka, Bangladesh when the Rana Plaza building collapsed. The building housed a number of textile factories and over 1,100 garment workers were killed in the collapse. Hundreds more were injured. Compensation payments to the relatives of the dead and the survivors have been slow in coming while the factory owners and the builders of Rana Plana are yet to face trial for their crimes. Events will be held around the world, including Melbourne and Sydney to remember the dead and to demand justice.

International workers memorial day

Each and every day of the year workplace accidents kill more than 1,000 workers.  And diseases related to working conditions add more than 5,330 to this death toll every day. In Victoria alone, 19 workers have been killed in just 12 months. 

Workers Memorial Day is our day to Remember the Dead, & Fight for the Living.

Remember the dead: In recognition of the lives lost at Victorian workplaces, and in solidarity with workers around the world, we ask you to put out a pair of work shoes at your home or workplace, and share a photo online tagged #standforsafety

Fight for the living: This is an important opportunity to talk to your colleagues about workplace safety. So join together to discuss how to improve safety at your workplace. 

Melbourne vigil: 10:30am Tuesday April 28, Trades Hall Lygon Street Carlton

Workers continue to be killed in Turkey’s expanding economy

With the approaching first anniversary of the Soma mine disaster where 301 miners were killed, the Occupational Health and Safety situation remains as bad as ever. Earlier this year a report detailed that in 2014, 1,886 workers in Turkey were killed at their workplaces. This year’s toll is heading to be just as bad with 351 workers killed in just the first 3 months of 2015. For labour activists, the reasons for these massacres of workers are to be found at the highest level of government. The current trial over the Soma mine disaster is symptomatic of this issue.

EU proposed shipbreaking legislation will not protect workers

The inhumane conditions that workers in the ship breaking industry in South Asia face, have been reported on before. Ships from the European Union make up a majority of these ships. The European Union is proposing new legislation that is intended to clean up this industry. Unfortunately, the current version does nothing to address the flag of convenience issue which is the way that companies evade regulations by outsourcing their ships to third parties outside of these laws jurisdiction.

Child labour and exploitation another symptom of Israeli occupation

The effects and repression of the continued occupation and colonisation of Palestine by the Israeli settler state has been reported many times, click here, here, and here. A new report by human rights watch details how Israeli farms based in the occupied West Bank are able to exploit the misery and marginalisation of Palestinians.
Children as young as eleven are routinely found working in these farms for low pay, long hours and hazardous conditions. Not surprisingly, Palestinian trade unions are not allowed.

Ex-journalist the latest political murder in the Philippines

On Monday the 13th of April Melinda “Mei” Magsino was walking home when a single assailant came up behind her and shot her in the head at point blank range. Mei had stopped working formally as a journalist a few years ago but in her time as a journalist she had a reputation of exposing the corrupt political and economic links in the Philippines. Unfortunately this is only the latest of a long line of journalists being killed in the Philippines, with human and labour rights activists also heavily targeted by these deaths squads.

Labour unrest in China continuing to increase

As reported previously, while trade unions are strictly controlled in China, activism and independent organising in is increasing as more and more workers protest against low pay, unsafe work conditions and long working hours. Recently there have been high profile strikes at the Cuiheng bag factory in Zhongshan and at the Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings shoe factory in Shenzhen. Due to the increasing use of social media, news of strike actions is now more readily publicised. This greater willingness to stand up for their rights is extending to civil society as the recent mass protests in Luoding city have shown.

Palestinians in Yarmouk refugee camp in danger of annihilation

The dire situation of Palestinians living in the Yarmouk camp in the outskirts of Damascus has previously been reported. While only around 18,000 people remain in the bombed-out camp, the situation in the last couple of weeks has deteriorated further with the entry of Islamic State fighters into the camp. Yarmouk camp has now become a microcosm of the wider Syrian conflict with multiple sides involved in the fighting. Unfortunately for the people, reactionary and authoritarian groups are currently the strongest.

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