jiselle's blog

Hyundai workers fight illegal subcontracting in court

There has been yet another delay in the ruling on a landmark court case, challenging the use of subcontracting by Korean auto company Hyundai. This court case, lodged in 2010 by 1,569 Hyundai subcontractors, is part of an 11-year struggle to force Hyundai to convert its subcontractors to full, permanent employees. Employing workers as sub-contractors is a common strategy to avoid paying full wages and benefits. Hyundai has also had disputes with its workers in India in recent years.

Iranian security forces arrest striking mine workers

5,000 workers at an ore mine in Iran's Bafgh region, went on strike to demand the release of two workers arrested by the State Security Forces because of a strike against privatisation in May this year. The security forces responded to this latest strike by arresting five more worker activists. Many other Iranian workers are suffering repression and imprisonment for their organising work, see here and here.

Sri Lankan Ansell unionists denied visa to visit Australia

Australian unions rallied outside the headquarters of latex manufacturer Ansell, after the Australian government denied visas to visiting Sri Lankan comrades. The Sri Lankan unionists are in dispute with Ansell in Sri Lanka, after the company fired nearly 300 workers who went on strike in support of 11 sacked colleagues and trade union representatives in October 2013. The dispute at Ansell in Sri Lanka continues, and international solidarity will be crucial for victory.

Up to 10,000 truck drivers block Ningbo port, China

The world’s sixth busiest port was blocked by striking truck drivers, demanding an increase in their wages and haulage rates. The strike was violently broken up by riot police. A very similar strike happened at the Shanghai port in 2011. Chinese workers often use social media to generate very large scale, spontaneous strikes, but without independent union organizations these mobilisations tend dissipate quickly.

More Chinese workers die in two coal mine accidents

The last week has seen more Chinese workers die in coal mines due to accidents caused by unsafe working conditions. In the first case, at least three workers were killed in Jixi City when the mine flooded, with others still missing. Later in the week, an explosion at another coal mine in Huainan city killed two miners, with many others trapped underground. Despite the government’s stated intentions to increase the health and safety of Chinese coal mines, these remain the worlds’ deadliest mining workplaces.

Humanitarian reasons not behind USA bombing in Iraq

While the recent bombings in northern Iraq by the USA military have been publicised as a ‘humanitarian’ gesture, the reality is that they are primarily to protect USA assets in Erbil, including a CIA base, safeguard US oil companies, and prop up the Iraqi government. Meanwhile, most of the on the ground fighting has been done by a coalition of Kurdish forces. The new situation in Iraq has brought together quite different Kurdish political organisations, from conservative to radical, and it is unknown how this new situation will develop.

War continues in Gaza amid further repression in the West Bank

Amid off and on peace talks, the military aggression by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza is now well into its second month. The Palestinians are determined this time that without justice, there cannot be peace as they strive for the ending of the economic and political blockade of the Gaza strip. Repression is also increasing for Palestinians in the West Bank with continuing arrests, travel restrictions, and violence against Palestinian prisoners. For updates and solidarity protests, click here.
Stop the bombardment
Lift the siege and blockade of Gaza
Free all Palestinian prisoners

 

Thailand coup leader declares himself new Prime Minister

In a sham election process, the leader of the military coup, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, has been elected by a hand picked legislature to be the new Prime Minister of Thailand. This attempt to legitimise the military coup is undermined by the repression that the army continues to wield, click here and here. Just this week, the junta published a ‘most wanted’ list of people under the infamous and repressive A112 - Lese Majeste.
No to the military!
Free all political prisoners!
Organising is not a crime!

 

American journalist killed in Iraq not an isolated case

The news this week that James Foley, a journalist from the United States of America, was murdered in Iraq, has once again thrown the spotlight on the fact that hundreds of journalists are killed while doing their job. The International Federation of Journalists (IJF) has condemned this killing as well as that of the other 66 journalists and media workers that have already been killed this year. The IJF has initiated a campaign in defence of journalist, focusing initially on Iraq, Pakistan and Russia. The IJF has also produced a campaign video called ‘End Impunity’.

Industrial action by other NXP workers needed to win Philippine dispute

It has been over three months since 24 union members at NXP semiconductors in the Philippines were sacked for trying to negotiate a new contract. The workers, their communities and their union have remained strong against this global company’s attempt to smash the union and decrease wages and conditions. Solidarity for these sacked workers has come from all around the world. What is needed now is industrial action to be taken by NXP workers in other countries such as The Netherlands.

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