Bangladesh labour activists facing criminal charges

Thousands of workers at the Azim Group’s Orchid and Savar factories in Chittagong have continued to face intimidation, violence and brutality from their employers in their quest to form a union. This week, 61 of the main labour organisers have had criminal charges filed against them, with 22 workers still remaining locked up. Unfortunately such repression and brutality are not uncommon in Bangladesh where employers and governments actively stop workers organising so as to keep wages below poverty levels (see here and here).

Turkish workers win amid continuing repression

Around 6,000 glass workers employed by the Şişecam group have won significant concessions on shift bonuses for night work, holiday, travel and clothing allowance, and a wage increases across the board. This agreement came after two weeks of militant industrial action which included workers occupying their factories. While this is a great win, the Turkish government is continuing to clamp down on any opposition with the recent arrest of Taner Kilic, the Chairman of Amnesty International in Turkey, and the sentencing of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, a leading opposition parliamentarian, to 24 years in jail.

Australian workers to rally against attacks

On Tuesday the 20 June, the powerful CFMEU has organised co-ordinated demonstrations  around Australia to protest against the ongoing attacks against workers (see here for Melbourne rally details). In particular, the focus will be on the special anti-union powers of the ABCC, the cutting of wages for workers in the retail and hospitality industries, the underpaying of workers across industries and the continued widespread exploitation of migrant workers.
Stand up, Fight Back, Stop the Attacks on Workers
10.30am, Tuesday June 20, Victorian Trades Hall, Cnr. Lygon & Victoria sts, Carlton, Victoria 

Court overturns dismissals for Korean workers

Hundreds of dismissed workers from an electronics factory owned by operators in Taiwan, received fantastic news this week when a Korean court ruled in their favour. The decision not only declared that their dismissals were invalid, but also ordered the company to pay back wages. The workers have kept up an unrelenting struggle against the company for the last two years, including travelling to Taiwan, hunger striking and setting up protest camps. It is to be seen whether the company will abide by the Court’s decision.

Journalists in Myanmar continue to face pressure

Late last week, satirical columnist Ko Kyaw Zwa Naing was released without charge after being detained for two weeks for alleged defamation under the sweeping powers of Article 66 of the Telecommunications Law. His paper’s chief editor, U Kyaw Min Swe, is still in jail and will be tried under the same law. Article 66 is a very wide ranging but ambiguous law that has been increasingly used against journalists and other media commentators to stifle criticisms of the government. International Federation of Journalists has also strongly condemned this law saying that it’s a way for governments to criminalise dissent.

No pride in hate – Melbourne counter rally

The last couple of years has seen a marked increase in mobilisations by a number of racist, far right and fascist organisations throughout Australia (see here and here). This coming Sunday, 25 June, in Melbourne, Australia far right groups will try to use nationalism to divide and weaken working class communities. To fight against this ongoing threat, a counter mobilisation has been called by a coalition of number of labour, anti-racist and anti-fascist activists.
No Pride in Hate
Assemble 10.30am, Sunday June 25, Cnr Nicholson & Gertrude Sts Fitzroy, Victoria

Workers organising against repression in Kashmir

The situation for workers and their communities in Kashmir has deteriorated sharply over the last couple of years. Working class communities have been the hardest hit with disruption to basic services, repression by paramilitary and police forces and loss of employment. A major meeting was recently held by a number of trade unions and labour organisation to understand the Kashmiri situation better and the need for the working class to get involved in the fight against repression and for justice.

Nationwide Australian refugee rallies

Labour and human rights activists will once again stage a number of events and co-ordinated rallies in support of the rights of refugees this Tuesday, the 20 June (see here for Melbourne rally). Refugees are the victims of an economic and political system that creates war and oppression. Australian government repression of refugees and asylum seekers has been well documented before (see here and here). This week, the Australian Government agreed to settle out of court a multi-million dollar compensation package to hundreds of refugees rather than have the evidence of its barbarity exposed in court.
Bring them Here, Close the Camps, Sack Dutton 6pm, Tuesday June 20, State Library of Victoria

Qatar crisis spells more dangers for workers

The new unfolding crisis in West Asia that centres on Qatar can be traced back to the political shockwaves that the Arab Spring has produced since 2011. In particular, it is the current and developing situations in the wars in Iraq and Syria that are leading various ruling elites such as Saudi Arabia, to reassess their alliances and which sides to back in these various conflicts. This has had a snowballing effect with other governments also re-evaluating their positions and alliances, including  Russia and the USA. Obviously with these heightened tensions and threat of more military conflicts, the immediate losers are going to be workers, their families and communities, whether local or part of the huge migrant workforce of the region.

3CR Radiothon: Support Workers' Radio

For 41years 3CR Community Radio in Melbourne, Australia has featured union, worker, indigenous, women’s, ethnic, environmental, music and other community programs that are not heard elsewhere. As a community radio station, 3CR Radio funding comes from its listeners. Every year, a Radiothon is held to raise funds for the radio station. Asia Pacific Currents is AAWL’s weekly radio program on 3CR Community Radio. Support labour struggles, support 3CR Radio.

Radio For Change
3CR Radiothon
5th - 18th June 2017
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