Time for workers to intervene directly into the wars in Syria and Iraq

Amid rising media hysteria about ‘home grown’ terrorism, the Australian government is pushing ahead with its drive for war in Iraq and Syria. The conflict in Iraq and Syria has been a disaster for workers. Unions fight for a more equitable and just society. Internationally, unions are opposing this new war, click here and here. Workers need to resist all the imperialist, authoritarian and reactionary forces in this conflict. Syrian revolutionary forces oppose this war while there are reports of worker and left wing contingents crossing from Turkey into Syria to fight.

Many workers killed and injured in fireworks factory explosion in China

Earlier this week, a massive explosion ripped through the Nanyang Export Fireworks Factory, located in the city of Liling in southern Hunan province, China, killing 13 workers and injuring over 30. The cause of this explosion is not known but it is suspected to be due to lax work safety standards. While the situation has shown some improvements, tens of thousands of Chinese workers continue to die annually at their workplace. Independent unions are the best safeguard for workers lives.

Connecting the struggles - building a global picket line

Many industries are now globalised. Sometimes it is one company that operates in many different countries, sometimes there are many companies interconnected in a web of sub-contracting arrangements. The situations may be different but the outcome for workers is the same. We face continued attacks on our ability to organise and our wages and conditions. We need to unite and fight together. You are invited to a workshop on the NXP Semiconductors dispute in the Philippines, and the garment workers struggles in Bangladesh and Cambodia, as case studies on how to connect the struggles by building a global picket line.

Wednesday 1st October
6pm Evatt room, Trades Hall
Lygon st, Carlton
Victoria, Melbourne

New report exposes Malaysia’s electronics industry exploitative practices

The super exploitation of migrant workers by capitalists in Malaysia has been well documented over the last few years. A new report by Verite’ details the extent of forced labour that is present in the sub contracting supply chains of a wide cross-section of household electronics brands. The investigation found that labour violations are systemic across the sector and include using debt as a tool for control and the confiscation of the workers passports. Notwithstanding their weak position, workers continually fight to improve their conditions.

Australian Government treatment of asylum seekers reaches new lows

The Australian government this week managed to sink even lower in formulating new repressive laws against asylum seekers. The Australian government agreed to pay the Cambodian government to accept Australian asylum seekers from the Nauru concentration camp.  Cambodia is a known violator of human rights. In a separate move, the government is about to introduce Temporary Protection Visas for asylum seekers who are willing to work in rural and regional areas. Given their vulnerable situation, asylum seekers will then become open to exploitative and dangerous work arrangements. Demonstrations are planned in October.

Turkish pharmaceutical workers continue to battle union busting

As previously reported, workers are under a lot of pressure in Turkey with workers at the pharmaceutical manufacturer Deva Holding facing continual dismissals for being union members. There are now 24 workers who have been sacked. There is an international campaign supporting the rights of these workers. A new report has confirmed initial suspicions that the Soma mine disaster where 301 workers were killed was due to inadequate safety systems and that the explosion was due to gross negligence on the part of the company.

Inequality and repression in Thailand under military rule

As reported previously, while political prisoners like Somyot continue to languish in jail, the wave of repression by the military continues. Amnesty International has released a report card for the human rights abuses for the first 100 days after the military coup. This week, more people were arrested for commemorating the 2006 coup and the military plans to move court cases from civilian to military tribunals. A recent report has underlined some of the economic inequalities that have sustained the social tensions during the last few years.

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

Companies promise to pay Cambodian garment workers more

Following the very successful international day of action by Cambodian workers in their quest to achieve a US$ 177/month minimum wage, eight major fashion brands have stated that they are prepared to pay more for clothes made in Cambodia. While this is a step forward, workers will need to be cautious as no figures were given by the companies and the garment industry structure with many sub contracting companies makes implementation difficult. Cambodian garment unions have stated that their campaign will continue.

Apple removes some toxic chemicals from Chinese supply chain

After pressure from health and safety activists, IT manufacturer Apple has pledged to end the use of benzene and n-hexane in its supplier factories in China. Undercover activists previously got jobs in Apple’s Chinese suppliers, and found they were given little or no protective gear or safety training. Activists are now calling for Apple to compensate victims for chemical poisoning. Chemical poisoning is widespread across the smart phone manufacturing industry, including a spate of industrial cancers at Samsung.

Solidarity with Palestine! Protest against Elbit Industries

Elbit Systems is the biggest suppliers of drones, surveillance equipment and other military supplies to the Israel army. Elbit also supplies the Australian army and Australian Federal Police. Using Elbit’s weapons, the Israeli army killed over 2,000 Palestinians and injured more than 11,000 in the latest war on Gaza. In August 2014 activists temporarily occupied Elbit facilities in Birmingham, UK, and Melbourne, Australia.

Monday 6 October, 6:00am
235 Ingles St Port Melbourne
Syndicate content