jiselle's blog

Another warehouse explosion in Tianjin highlights China’s unsafe workplaces

About two months ago, a massive explosion at a chemical warehouse in China’s northern port city of Tianjin killed over 170 workers and residents. While this mass murder generated a lot of talk in China about improving its OHS record, the reality is that working conditions remain toxic for millions of Chinese workers. Just earlier this week, Tianjin was the site of another massive warehouse explosion that miraculously did not kill anyone. Since the August Tianjin disaster, it is estimated that more than 130 workers have been directly killed in China because of workplace incidents.

Turkish workers respond to bombing with widespread strikes

The bombing on Saturday the 10th of October of a peace rally in Turkey’s capital Ankara that claimed the lives of over 120 demonstrators continues to reverberate in Turkey. This week, there were massive strikes and demonstration in Ankara, Istanbul and many other cities in Turkey to remember the dead and to protest against this mass murder. Now that the dead have been buried, the question of who is responsible for the bombing has become the primary concern for people. While initial leads point to the Islamic State being responsible, there are also questions on the level of involvement by the Turkish state.

Numerous Pakistani workers killed in workplace explosion

Last month 8 Pakistani workers in the industrial city of Gujranwala, in Punjab province near the Indian border, were killed when a boiler they were working with exploded. Many others were injured. While reports indicate that some managers of the factory have been arrested over this disaster, the reality in Pakistan is that conviction rates for workplace OHS crimes are very low. Workplaces in Pakistan remain a death trap for countless workers and unions are heavily repressed, while safety rules are not adhered to (see here, here, here and here).

Protests continue in Palestine

As reported last week, the pace of demonstrations and clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli state, whether its military or its armed settler wing, has continued to escalate. In what is beginning to feel like a Third Intifada, these protests are widespread, often desperate actions by individuals, and seem not to be organised by the older more established Palestinian groups. It’s been 20 years since the end of the last Intifada, and a new Palestinian generation has grown up under the repressive hand of Israeli occupation. The scale of these protests, are also an indictment on the Palestinian Authority that has become mired in collaboration and corruption. Solidarity actions are also increasing globally.

Arrest of Khalid Ishmath is an attempt by Malaysian government to silence critics

As reported recently, Malaysia has seen huge anti government protests with a corruption scandal engulfing the Prime Minister, Najib Razak, and threatening to bring down the government. Khalid Ishmath is a human rights activist and a member of the Socialist Party of Malaysia. He was arrested in early October under Malaysia’s Multimedia and Communications Act for political posts on social media. Subsequently, further charges were filed against him under the repressive Sedition Act. He has been denied bail. This arrest and Khalid’s continuing detention are a clear attempt by the Malaysian government to intimidate political opponents. There is a campaign calling for his freedom and the dropping of all charges against Khalid.

Thai Lese Majeste prisoner in danger of dying in prison

The military coup of mid 2014 has seen hundreds of Thai labour and human rights activists flee the country while many have been arrested or facing restrictions in their movements. The military junta has recently stepped up the use of the Lese Majeste law handing out sentences as long as 30 years. Currently, ‘Uncle Opas’ is a 68 year political prisoner under Lese Majeste for allegedly writing anti government graffiti on a toilet wall. Uncle Opas is very sick, and if he is not released, he will become another prisoner who will have died in Thailand’s prisons because of the repressive Lese Majeste law.
No to the military!
Free all political prisoners! 

Major OHS conference planned for workers in Victoria, Australia

Workers all over the world share a common demand for safety in the workplace. Millions of workers die, get injured or suffer major illnesses every year due to unsafe workplaces. Just this week, in Melbourne, workers remembered the city’s worst industrial accident when a collapsing bridge killed 35 workers and injured many more. At the end of this month, on Tuesday 27 October, health and safety representatives will attend a whole day conference to discuss how to make workplaces safer for all workers.

Global Day of Action against Trade Union Repression

Workers are prevented from organising by capitalists and governments globally. By keeping us unorganised, they can pay us less, make us work harder, and make more profits for themselves. We face fines, dismissals, beatings, rapes and even murder. Many labour activists end up in jail because of their organising activities. By keeping us weak, they can increase casualisation and contracting out. That is why we fight against precarious work. That is why we fight against trade union repression. Join in the global day against trade union repression on Monday 16 of November.

General strike announced in Turkey in wake of peace protest bombing

A number of labour unions and federations in Turkey have called for 3 days of mourning followed by two days of strike action following the bombing of a peace march in Ankara, the nation’s capital.  The International Trade Union Confederation has put out a statement condemning the terrorist attack, which occurred on October 10 and has killed more than 90 people, with others injured.  The peace rally was calling for an end to the renewed conflict between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish government.  Thousands rallied on Sunday 12 October to remember those that died in the bombings.

Resistance groups in Syria oppose renewed imperialist intervention

As previously reported, Russia and Iran have increased their suport to the government of Syria because of geopolitical interests and not to fight supposed terrorists. The reality is that this military activity will only increase the suffering of working class people in Syria who have to contend with constant bombings (see video). A number of resistance groups within Syria have recently put out a statement condemning imperialist interventions which work against the popular uprisings. In the north of Syria there is increasing co-operation between Kurdish and Syrian resistance forces. In Melbourne Australia a demonstration will be held on Saturday October 18 calling for the end of all imperialist bombings in Syria.

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