jiselle's blog

Sectarian war is an ongoing disaster for workers in Iraq

The upsurge in fighting in Iraq following months of terrorist attacks and an inconclusive election has only worsened the situation for workers in Iraq. Workers have tried to rebuild their organisations since the toppling of Saddam Hussein but have been hampered by repression and restrictive legislation. The latest upsurge in fighting has only put more workers in danger, click here, here and here. The problem for workers stems from the intervention of various imperialist and reactionary forces to gain control of the area and its riches. Only a united fight-back by workers in the region will be able to bring lasting peace.

Indian steel workers battling hunger amid ongoing strike

It is now two weeks that thousands of steel workers of the Wazipur industrial zone near New Delhi have been on strike for better pay and conditions. After attempting to break the spirit of the workers through intimidation, the companies are now resorting to the tried and tested method of starving the workers back to work. The workers are holding strong but have launched an appeal for money and food so that they can continue their strike.

Second global day of action for dismissed NXP

With the fight entering the second month, the 24 unionists sacked by the Filipino subsidiary NXP Semiconductors, are continuing to put pressure on the company. Amid continued protests and organising in the Philippines, a second Global Day of Action has been planned for the 2nd of July in conjunction with unions around the world. Against global companies like NXP, only by organising globally will we be able to resist effectively the onslaught of these companies.

Bangladesh’s garment industry – an article by Colin Long, NTEU

In February of this year, a delegation of unionists from Australia Asia Worker Links (AAWL) and the Victorian branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU), travelled to Bangladesh on a solidarity trip to meet workers and unionists. This visit was spurred by the dual disasters of Tazreen Fashions and Rana Plaza. Colin Long, the Victorian Secretary of the NTEU, in an insightful article, recounts what the delegation saw and analyses the issues facing workers and unions in Bangladesh. Both AAWL and NTEU are currently working on developing solidarity projects with unions in Bangladesh.

Military junta extends its reign of repression throughout Thailand

The repression by the Thai military junta against human rights and labour/trade union activists is not only deepening but is expanding to the regional areas of Thailand like Chiang Mai and Khon Kaen. The mass exodus of close to 200,000 Cambodian and Burmese migrant workers is another example of the nationalist and class nature of the coup. Notwithstanding this repression, resistance to the coup is continuing both inside and outside the country.
No to the military! Free all political prisoners! Organising is not a crime!
 

Bahrain migrant workers defy deportation threats

The working conditions for millions of migrant workers in the oil producing countries in West Asia are notoriously bad.  Bahrain itself has become even more repressive in the last few years as the government has suppressed a popular anti government movement. This week, 2,000 garment workers returned to work after a week-long strike having won some improvements to their pay and conditions. Their heroic stand is very significant considering the prevailing attitudes and laws against migrant workers.

Demonstrations in Australia for World Refugee Day

The last decade has seen successive Australian governments enact more and more repressive laws against asylum seekers and refugees. Earlier this month, a Sri Lankan asylum seeker killed himself as he found his situation in Australia intolerable. The Australian government stopped his family from attending his funeral. Rallies in support of refugee rights were held in many Australian cities this weekend including Melbourne and Sydney.

Indian workers killed at work while others remain on strike

Earlier this week, six workers were killed at the Bhilai Steel Plant in Kolkatha following an explosion at a blast furnace. In another incident, Rakhi Sonkar, a worker at Swiss Auto, took her own life after being dismissed for being a few minutes late. Sonkar was an outspoken labour activist who was active in fighting for workers rights. Her fellow workers protested about her death, while in another area of Wazirpur, near New Delhi, thousands of steel workers are involved in a prolonged strike over low wages and unsafe working conditions.

Thai military junta tighten controls on workers and dissidents

While a small group of unionists employed at KFC Thailand have managed to improve their position, for most workers the situation is getting worse. A new report has just highlighted the slavery-like conditions for migrant workers in Thailand’s fishing industry. Since coming to power the junta has unleashed a nationalist tirade against foreign workers, deporting tens of thousands of workers. At the same time, the crackdown against activists continues with more arrests, click here and here. Workers internationally need to act against the military junta.
 

 

No to the military
Free all political prisoners
Organising is not a crime

 

Korean workers on indefinite strike against ongoing repression

As reported previously, the suicide of Ho-seok Yeom, the chair of the local Samsung Electronics Service union, was a huge shock and highlighted the repressive nature of the giant Samsung Corporation. Samsung unionists have been on an indefinite strike against the company, click here for photos. This year South Korean workers have seen an increase in repression towards unionists and labour activists. South Korean workers have a proud history of organising and fighting back against huge odds.

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