jiselle's blog

Free Cambodia’s Juhui shoe factory activists!

Another 5 unionists are in detention in Cambodia. The activists from garment union C.CAWDU were arrested for protesting the sacking of 2,000 unionised workers from the Juhui shoe factory, which supplies WalMart. Workers demonstrated to demand the reinstatement, and were attacked by 200 thugs. 10 activists were detained, and five have been released. This repression of the union at Juhui unfolds against a sustained union campaign to win an increase in Cambodia’s minimum wage, see here and here. Capitalists are trying to dampen union militancy with union busting at factories like Juhui.

Turkish mine workers march to demand unpaid wages

In May 2014, 301 workers were killed in the Eynez Mine in the Turkish town of Soma. The mine has been closed ever since, and workers have not been receiving their wages. On 28 October, dozens of Eynez Mine workers marched from Soma to Ankara to demand their unpaid wages.

Trade unions still heavily repressed in Iraq

Workers organisations will be crucial for building class-based resistance to violent religious extremism in Iraq. However the prohibition on public sector unions still remains. A new report by the US government-funded Solidarity Centre outlines the organising efforts of electrical and oil sector unions, despite government raids on union offices and persecution of union leaders.

Memorial service for Bill Deller

Australian labour movement veteran Bill Deller passed away on 17 October. Bill’s history in trade unionism commenced early on while in Western Australia working in the mining industry.  In the 1990’s he was leader of the State Public Sector Federation (CPSU SPSF), and then an organiser and life member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).  Bill was also a popular voice on Community Radio 3CR, and his community radio activism spanned more than 20 years. 

Bill’s memorial service will be held at 2:00pm Saturday 8 November, in the New Council Chambers at Victorian Trades Hall, Lygon Street, Carlton.

Global Day of Action against trade union repression

On 16 November unionists around the region will rally to oppose violence against trade union activists. The Global Day of Action will involved workers in Australia, Pakistan, India, Cambodia, Mexico, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, the Philippines and the UK. In Melbourne, unionists will rally at 12:30pm outside the 8-hour monument, opposite Trades Hall on Lygon Street.

Click here for leaflet.

The Melbourne rally against trade union repression will march to join the Rally against Abbott, which begins at the State Library at 2:00pm on Saturday 16 November.

Bangladeshi garment factory closes rather than recognise workers’ union

On 13 October Hameem Sports Wear in Dhaka illegally closed its factory, leaving 400 workers unemployed. The 400 workers marched in Dhaka on 28 October to demand that the factory re-open, and that the employer cease opposition to their trade union, photos here. The Hameem Sports Wear workers have submitted an application for trade union registration three times to the Labour Ministry, but it was rejected. Hameem Sports Wears is a supplier of European clothing brand H&M.

Migrant agricultural workers systematically exploited in South Korea

A new report by Amnesty International has documMigrant agricultural workers systematically exploited in South Korea
ented average working hours of 10 hours a day, 28 days a month for migrant workers in South Korea’s agricultural sector, with no extra payment for overtime hours. Some workers were recruited on false pretences, and are unable to leave because of unpaid wages or threats from employers. South Korea’s Employment Permit System traps migrant workers in abusive workplaces by imposing extreme restrictions on changing jobs. The Migrant Trade Union organises migrant workers in South Korea, but the union’s leaders are often deported.

March against the G20 summit

While demonstrations will be taking place in Brisbane throughout the G20 Summit week, we are calling the community to rally together on the first day of the Leaders’ Summit. The Peoples Rally and March will be a colourful celebration of diversity and unity in action. Join us in this united call for global social and ecological justice!

Saturday 15 November at 11am
Roma Street Forum, Brisbane

Drop all charges against Andy Hall!

As previously reported (and here), Andy Hall is a prominent migrant and labour rights activist based in Thailand and Burma. In February 2013 he was charged with defaming a Thai company. Defamation is a criminal charge in Thailand and Andy is facing ten million dollars in fines and 8 years in jail. Andy had written a report titled Cheap has a high price for Finnwatch, an NGO in Finland, about the Thai fruit cannery Natural Fruit Company.  Demonstrations are being held right across the world this week, supported by many international unions, to coincide with trials against Andy Hall.

Another Aboriginal Death in Custody too many

As previously reported, Thursday 23 October was a National Day of Action against Aboriginal Deaths in Custody and in support of the family of Julieka Dhu.  Julieka Dhu was an Aboriginal woman who died in custody when she was detained for unpaid fines of only $1000.  On the same day as the protests, tragically, a 31 year old Aboriginal man died in prison. It is the second death in custody in WA in three months. He was facing the prospect of being released in just three months, but was found hanged and unresponsive.  Recommendation 165 of the 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody is to remove all hanging points from police and prison cells.

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