Construction workers in Bangladesh killed by roof collapse

Eight workers were killed and about 100 injured last week when the roof of a newly-constructed building of the Mongla Cement Factory collapsed in the port town of Mongla. Most of the workforce was composed of migrant workers from surrounding areas. This latest disaster is another example of the criminal nature of capitalism where workers lives are sacrificed in the drive for profits.

 

The photo exhibition for the Rana Plaza workers continues in Melbourne.

Australian governments step up attacks on indigenous people

Over the last few weeks, the state government of Western Australia and the Australian Federal Government have mounted brutal attacks on Australia’s indigenous people. In what can only be described as a return to the genocidal policies of the past, these governments have described the Aboriginal spiritual link to the land as a ‘lifestyle’ choice and want to force remote communities to bigger towns. The closure of remote Aboriginal communities would have a devastating impact on these populations. Protests against these initiatives have occurred in cities around Australia as resistance increases.

Four years of civil war has destroyed Syria’s working class

This month marks four years since the start of the popular uprising in Syria. The resultant repression and intervention by reactionary forces have led to the creation of 9 million refugees. It has also pushed 80% of the population into poverty, while life expectancy has dropped by over 20 years. In contrast, much of the Syrian capitalist class has managed to escape the ravages of war and shift its capital to neighbouring countries, waiting for better times. Nevertheless, working class resistance against the counter revolutionaries continues, giving hope for the future.

Nationwide rallies planned in support of asylum seekers in Australia

As previously reported, the situation for asylum seekers and refugees is deteriorating almost daily with the Australian government continually restricting the rights and access to services for prospective refugees. These inhumane policies have generated a big human rights movement in Australia that is seeking to overturn these policies and racist scapegoating. Demonstrations are planned in all major Australian cities on the 29th of March

Workers in the expanding Indian car industry pay a high price

The automotive industry in India has recently underwent a massive boom with many new vehicle manufacturing plants established in India’s industrial hubs. While big industrial actions such as those at the Maruti Suzuki factory near Delhi managed to hit the world’s headlines, the day to day reality for auto workers is very grim. A recent investigative report has detailed the stories and realities that workers face at the assembly line and the high injury toll that these jobs inflict. Health and safety conditions for Indian workers will only improve when strong unions are able to enforce safety guidelines.

Women activists arrested in China a day before IWD

The day before International Women’s Day, ten women activists were arrested in a co-ordinated operation in three Chinese cities. Five of the women activists - Li Maizi, Wei Tingting, Wang Man, Da Tu and Wu Rongrong - are still being held in detention in Bejing. It is unclear whether they have been charged with any crime as yet. While focusing on sexual harassment issues, these activists were also very involved in supporting women workers, and workers in general, to organise and stand up for their rights. For updates on their situation, click here.

Four years after the nuclear disaster, Fukushima is still not safe

The ongoing problems with radiation from the ruined Fukushima reaction that had previously been identified, are still causing major problems in Japan. Over 100,000 people still cannot return to their homes and many are increasingly worried about their long term health due to radiation exposure. In addition, the costs and the scale of the clean up that is needed are so massive that many people are now wondering if the area around Fukushima will ever be safe again for humans.

Anti racist rallies in Australian cities to stop racists from organising

With the continuation of the economic crisis around the world, the social and economic burden of this crisis is being felt by more and more workers and their communities. Reactionary elements are trying to use this hardship to divide workers along racial, ethnic or religious lines. In Australia, a new reactionary group ‘Reclaim Australia’ has organised rallies promoting Islamophobia. Counter rallies have been organised to stop them from organising. Only by uniting all our class can we effectively fight against increasing inequalities, loss of jobs and conditions, and a degradation of our social services.

Melbourne demonstration

12 noon Saturday April 4

Federation Square

Melbourne, Victoria

 

EVENT: Bangladesh garment photo exhibition

‘Murder not Tragedy’ is the title of an upcoming photo exhibition.  It records the sights, observations and feelings of workers and activists of the mass murder of over 1,100 garment workers in the collapse of Rana Plaza two years ago. Meanwhile, a new report has again found appalling workplace practices at garment factories in Bangladesh where overwork, violence and harassment are routine.
Photo Exhibition opening:
7pm on Thursday 19th March
Steps Gallery
62 Lygon Street, Carlton South,
Victoria, Australia 

Australian government increases repression of asylum seekers

A new report prepared by the UN's special rapporteur on torture for its Human Rights Council, has found that some of Australia's border protection policies have breached the international convention against torture. This report follows the Australian’s Human Rights Commissioner report on the abuse of children in detention. On top of recent crackdowns on Manus Island and Nauru, it has now been revealed that the government confiscated thousands of letters that had been sent to asylum seekers in Nauru. Refugee activists are now beginning to be banned from Australian airlines. Protests are planned around Australia at the end of March.

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