jiselle's blog

Remember Hiroshima and Nagasaki - Stop the nuclear cycle

The union movement has a long history of being a part of the peace movement because war primarily kills and affects workers and their families. On the 6th and 9th of August 1945, the USA military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Around 130,000 people perished immediately with another 90,000 dying by the end of the year due to radiation injuries. In Melbourne, the International Campaign against Nuclear Weapons will be holding a peace concert as well as a conference on Australia’s involvement in the nuclear cycle.

Israel continues its deadly assault on Palestinians in Gaza

The military assault by Israel against Palestinians in Gaza is in its fourth week. The numbers of Palestinians killed in this war is fast approaching 2,000 while there are almost 10,000 Palestinians who have been injured. Most of these have been civilians. The Israeli army has created a military buffer zone around Gaza which has produced an even greater humanitarian disaster. While many Western governments back Israel’s war, the reality is that the Palestinians have a right to defend themselves. Protests against the war continue all around the world - see here for next Melbourne rally. Many trade unions, like South Africa’s COSATU, have come out strongly against Israeli aggression.

Stop the war - Lift the siege on Gaza - Free all Palestinian prisoners

Thousands of workers in Bangladesh on strike over unpaid wages

Around 2,000 workers from the Tuba group of companies began an indefinite strike last week, with a number also starting a mass hunger strike in an occupied factory. The workers are angry that they could not go home during the Eid holiday and for being left without three months' pay and festival bonus. The Tuba group of companies includes the Tazreen owners. Workers are also protesting over the Tazreen lack of compensation and prosecutions, and are calling for the cancellation of bail for Delwar Hossain, Tasreen’s owner. The garment industry in Bangladesh is renowned for its exploitative practices and only independent and active unions will be able to improve workers conditions. Support the solidarity rally in Melbourne. Publicity leaflet here. Read Australian solidarity message here.

Stop Union Repression & Free our Comrades - Public meeting August 6

Globally workers are prevented from organising by capitalists and governments. 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.

In early July, AAWL hosted an online meeting with international union representatives. This meeting decided to have a Global Day/Week to ‘Free our comrades and stop trade union repression’ centred on the 16th of November. We are now hosting another international meeting to discuss how to build actions for this date.

For leaflet on meeting click here, for more information contact Pier at piergiorgio@aawl.org.au

Wednesday 6 August
6pm Evatt Rm
Trades Hall, Sth Carlton


Exploitation of migrant workers in Qatar again in the spotlight

Since being awarded the 2022 Football World Cup, the West Asian country of Qatar has been in the spotlight over its treatment of migrant workers. This month, the government of Qatar did not support an international agreement against forced labour, with some other neighbouring countries also voting against the treaty. New reports coming out from Qatar expose the vulnerable living conditions for workers which leave some of them homeless. The issue is that companies are making huge profits via the super exploitation of these migrant workers.

More workers in the Philippines facing union busting

Over the last couple of months, we have reported on the hard struggle that the NXP semiconductor workers are waging against this global company’s union busting tactics. The workers are still strong and are determined to win. At another global company, this time the seafood producer Citra Mina, workers that have been able to form a union to combat poor Occupational Health and Safety conditions and low pay, have been systematically fired by the company. The campaign to get justice for the Citra Mina workers continues.

Chinese workers continue to push for better rights and conditions

The coal mining industry is one of the most dangerous industries in China for workers, with thousands killed each year. In conjunction with a downturn in the industry, workers in coal mines all around China have started to take more industrial action in support of better conditions and wages. Industrial struggles by Chinese workers have become bigger and more organised recently. A recent incident where Zhou Jianrong, killed herself due to unbearable working conditions, led to a series of protests that highlighted workers willingness to act against weak official union and local government collusion.

Occupational Health and Safety mapped at a global level

In the profit based system of capitalism workers are made to work too hard and in unsafe conditions, resulting in the death and injury of hundreds of thousands of workers a year. The Rana Plaza collapse of just over a year was one of the disasters that spurred activists and researchers to try and map the state of Occupational Health and Safety for workers around the world. The research is ongoing and the Global Worker Watch is the result of this ongoing mapping exercise to highlight the brutality of our economic system.

Turkish workers still awaiting justice while union busting continues

The explosion at the Soma coal mine in May of this year that killed 301 workers, highlighted the conditions that many Turkish workers find themselves in. The fight for compensation and justice is an ongoing battle that is being pursued by surviving workers and other unionists. In an ongoing dispute, workers that were dismissed for joining a union at the pharmaceutical company Deva Holding, are continuing with their struggle and receiving international support. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case in Turkey.

Israeli massacres in Palestine

The Israeli military continues its massacre of civilians in Gaza and the West Bank. Solidarity rallies were held throughout the world. Workers went on a general strike in the Occupied West Bank. Protesters in Egypt demanded the opening of the Rafah crossing to Gaza and the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador. Protesters in Jordan attempted to protest outside the Israeli embassy. The International Alliance In Support of Workers in Iran issued a statement against the Israeli attacks as did those in the rebel held areas of Aleppo in Syria. There have been many union actions and statements of support, including this strong statement from Australian unions. More rallies and solidarity actions have been announced.

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