Vale Bill Deller

The Australian labour movement farewelled comrade Bill Deller this week.  He passed away peacefully in the early hours of Friday 17 October.  Bill’s history in trade unionism commenced early on while in WA 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.  Our thoughts are with Bill’s family and close friends at this time.  A memorial service will be held at Trades Hall, and details will be announced soon.

Red Salute. Vale Bill.

Situation in Kobane critical

As reported last week, Kurdish forces from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have been resisting both an offensive by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces to seize the strategic border town of Kobane, as well as a blockade imposed by Turkey.  Against this background, a Kurdish newspaper seller, Kadri Bagdu, 46, was killed by two men on a motorcycle, who shot him five times.  Another worker at the same newspaper was stabbed eight times.

In Melbourne, Australia, a rally in support of Kobane has been called.

• Arm the defenders of Kobanê!
• Open border & aid corridor for Kurds!
• End Turkish support for ISIS!
• Remove the PKK from Australian terror list

Repression against Bosch workers in India

Workers at Bosch, a vehicle industry components manufacturing company, have been on strike since September 26. They are demanding more pay and better benefits like medical facilities and hospital expenses. On October 10, the Karnataka government declared the strike illegal, and then on October 14, 150 striking workers were arrested.  They have all been released on bail.  Bosch also has a major plant in Clayton, which saw sackings and short hours in 2009 which management blamed on falling demand.  More sackings in 2011 as production was relocated, sparking union criticism and a rally.

Stop the Repression Against Trade Unionists!

Aboriginal people in Australia still dying in jail

It has been over 20 years since the Royal Commission into the horrific death rate of Aboriginal people in Australian jails. While there were over 300 recommendations from that investigation, very few have been implemented and Aboriginal people are still dying in jail. No one has ever been found guilty for any of these deaths. The fight for justice continues. The latest high profile death is that of Julieka Dhu, a young Yamatji woman from Western Australia. A National protest day in Support for Ms Dhu and to Stop Aboriginal Deaths in Custody has been called for the 23 of October. For information about demonstrations across Australia, click here.

Protesters re-take streets in Hong Kong

The situation has intensified once again in Hong Kong after protesters re-took the streets in protest against new guidelines for the 2017 elections, which state that only Beijing-approved candidates will appear on the ballot paper.  The Hong Kong Social Workers Union marched on to the steps of police headquarters to protest against the bashing of an activist social worker during the demonstrations.  Video footage of the bashing has gone viral on social media.  These demonstrations commenced in late September, but momentum had been building from the annual 1 July commemorations.

Week of Action to Free Palestinian Prisoners

October 17-25 is a week of action to free Ahmad Sa’adat, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah and all Palestinian Prisoners.  As previously reported, thousands of Palestinian prisoners are languishing in Israeli prisoners.  Many have been on hunger strikes in the past, and many continue to be.
Free Our Comrades
Free all Palestinian Prisoners

Repression in Thailand continues

Patiwat and Pornthip are the two latest victims of Thailand’s repressive Lese Majeste Laws.  They’ve been charged with participated in the play, "The Wolf Bride" on the fortieth anniversary of the 14 October 1973 people's uprising in 2013.  Another activist, Jaran Ditapichai has also been charged with Lese Majeste in association with this play. In addition to the increased use of article 112 to prevent activists from organising, the ruling military junta is also proposing special legislation to regulate public gatherings.  General Prayuth Chan-ocha, the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Thai Army who conducted the military coup is currently in Milan, Italy, attending the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting.  His presence was met with protests.

Strikes increase in China

There has been a marked increase in the number of strike actions taken by workers in China.  The manufacturing industry still accounts for most of these strikes, but there has been a noticeable increase across the construction industry.  In China’s slumping property market, property developers are faced with increased creditors and workers are the last to be paid.  Another area where workers have been taking strike action relates to demands for social security payments.

Malaysia’s use of the Sedition Act creates a climate of fear

The Sedition Act in Malaysia was created in 1948 by the British colonial government to stifle pro-independence activities. After independence, use of this Act by the Malaysian government was not widespread because the Internal Security Act (ISA) was the preferred method of silencing critics. After much community pressure, the ISA was scrapped. In response, the government has resorted to the use of the Sedition Act in an increasingly desperate attempt to silence critics and stop anti government organising. This targets workers directly. A march by lawyers against the act is planned for October 16. For more information on the campaign against the Sedition Act, click here.

Women workers in Indonesia fight back against sexual violence

All over the world, one of the ways that employers and the State keep women un-organised is through the use of sexual violence against them. A group of women workers in the industrial area of KBN Cakung in Jakarta are making a film, see trailer, as the next step in addressing the issue of female workers in Indonesia. The film is called Female Workers Break Open the Sexual Violence Cases. The local community radio, Radio Marsinah, is co-ordinating the project and is looking for funds for the film project. Radio Marsinah is named after the worker activist that was murdered in 1993.

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