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.

Unity between Australian and New Zealand print workers

Australian print workers have been in dispute with packaging printer Colorpak, over a two year wage freeze.  The company has resorted to seeking outside contractors to make up for shortfalls in work but members of the AMWU’s New Zealand sister print union the EPMU voted not to do any extra work re-directed from Australia.  This is an inspiring display of international industrial action and solidarity.  Only through our unity can we defeat the bosses.  Workers change the world.

Rio Tinto unions across the world fight together against mining giant

Mining unions around the world joined together in an International Day of Action against Rio Tinto, mining giant known for its anti-union practices. October 7 saw protests around the world held to raise awareness about the abusive and abhorrent working conditions for workers on Rio Tinto sites, which were co-ordinated by global union group Industriall. The day of action included rallies, stop work meetings and other worksite actions. The CFMEU also launched a report entitled ‘Rio Tinto and Direct Engagement’, examining the anti-union practices of the mining giant. For a CFMEU’s video about the IDA, click here.  Joint actions such as these show that workers have more in common with each other than and it is through our unity that we can win.

Eighty two year old faces Lese Majeste Laws

Following on from last week’s report of further charges under Lese Majeste, Sulak Sivaraksa, 82 year old Thai intellectual has been charged for comments he made about a Thai king who died more than 400 years ago.  At the same time, the Thai military junta is seeking admission to the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, claiming it attaches the utmost importance to the rights of its citizens.

Abolition article 112! Release all political prisoners in Thailand! Free Somyot!

A win for electronics workers in Malaysia

Workers in Malaysia have voted for union representation at electronics manufacturer Infineon Technologies, despite strong pressure and union busting tactics by management.  The company tried to argue that they weren’t producing electronics, in an effort to avoid unionisation, but eventually agreed to a secret ballot.  Congratulations to all the workers at Infineon Technologies for the courage and resolve to fight for a union.

What do the Indonesian elections tell us about trade unionism in Indonesia?

The Indonesian elections were held on July 9 electing a new president, and on 20 October, Joko Widodo was sworn in as Indonesia’s seventh president.  Many have taken this opportunity to analyse the situation for the Left in Indonesia and to comment on the divide in the trade union movement.  The latest organisation to make such comments is the International Food Workers Union.

Rally Against Abbott – Saturday 16 November

Workers in Australia continue to be impacted by the conservative, anti-worker, anti-union policies of the Abbott government.  While one of the most regressive budgets of all time is yet to be passed by the senate Tony Abbott is committed to spending millions of dollars on an anti-union royal commission

Rally against Abbott
Saturday 16 November at 2pm
State Library, Melbourne

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.

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
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