Israeliā€™s attack on Gaza intensifies with ground invasion

As reported previously, Israel’s onslaught against the Palestinian population is part of the ongoing crises in the region. With the start of its ground invasion after ten days of bombardments, over 300 Palestinians have already been killed. In conjunction with the assault on Gaza, Israel has stepped up repression in the West Bank arresting hundreds of Palestinians. Global unions have come out against this latest war by Israel, click here and here. Protests are continuing around the world. To keep informed on latest developments, see here and here

Next Melbourne rally here

Australian government kidnaps 150 asylum seekers

Following on from the acts of piracy in the Indian Ocean of the last few weeks, the Australian Government has now effectively kidnapped 153 asylum seekers from Sri Lanka and holding them hostage in an Australian navy ship. The government is refusing to disclose their exact location. Refugee activists in Australia are trying to put pressure on the government to allow these asylum seekers to land in Australia and have their claims heard

Indonesian food workers brutally beaten by police

Since early March, hundreds of workers of PT Indofood CKA, a large integrated food company, have been on strike over their demand to be paid the revised minimum wage of $US39/month. The company has refused to negotiate with its workers or their union, the Federation of Indonesian Metal Workers Union (FSPMI). Earlier this month, Indofood contracted Indonesia’s elite riot police “Brimob” to violently attack the protesting workers. Over 20 workers were seriously injured by this crackdown. Indonesian workers have been very active in the last few years with massive general strikes

Iranian political prisoner Reza Shahabi is transferred to hospital

Earlier this week, Reza Shahabi, the jailed union organiser of the Bus Workers Syndicate of Tehran was transferred to a hospital due to his deteriorating health condition. Reza has been on a hunger strike for well over a month in protest at his continuing detention and harsh jail conditions. Reza is in danger of dying. There is an international campaign calling for his release

Organising is not a crime
Stop union repression
Free Reza Shahabi

Use of Lese Majeste in Thailand increasing under military rule

As reported previously, the Thai military junta is using all its tools at its disposal to stifle dissent and opposition to its rule. A new report details the people who are currently charged and/or convicted by Article 112 - the Lese Majeste law. Arbitrary arrests of human and labour activists are also continuing. In addition, the military junta is increasingly using nationalist ideology and targeting neighbouring Cambodia.

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

Turkish glass workers banned from going on strike

About a month ago, almost 6,000 workers at ten factories belonging to Turkey’s largest glass producer, Sisecam, went on strike. They are all members of the Kristal-Is union. The Turkish Government then passed legislation to ban this strike. This is a blatant attempt to stop workers from organising and to drive down wages and conditions. In 2005, Kristal-Is won a long and bitter dispute for the right to represent workers. This action by the Turkish government is part of a wave of repression that is hitting Turkish workers over the last few years. Action by workers employed in other countries by Sisecam will be the best way to win this dispute

Cambodian garment workers continue to fight for their rights

Following the killings and arrests in early January of their fellow strikers and demonstrators, garment workers are starting to come out again to re assert their rights. While the crackdown intimidated many workers, the grinding conditions of their employment that consists of long days, gruelling work loads and unsafe workplaces leave them no option but to go out on the streets to protest. This week, we saw hundreds of garment workers blockading streets in protest over unpaid wages

Second Global Day of Action for NXP workers held last week

The fight by the dismissed unionists at NXP semiconductors is continuing amid more attempts by the company to stop the workers from organising again. In a recent move, NXP semiconductors has declared that it wants to pay compensation to the illegally sacked workers, effectively removing the trade union leadership from the plant. The union has rejected this blatant anti union move. At the same time, the company has also increased the number of security guards at its plant in an attempt to intimidate the remaining workforce. For latest updates, click here

Workers in Iraq need to organise their own side against the war

As previously reported, both Iraqi and migrant workers are the losers in the present reactionary war in Iraq. Latest reports suggest that sectarian killings are increasing, see here and here. With the number of reactionary and imperialist actors involved in this fight, alliances are very fluid and subject to change very quickly, see here and here. In response, a number of progressive organisations have put out statements condemning the current war, and the Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq had also come out strongly in support of workers demands and peace, see their statement.

Indian steel workers finally secure a hard fought win

As reported previously, the strike by thousands of steel workers in Warzipur in northern India has been fraught with many difficulties. This week, after remaining on strike for over a month, management finally agreed to implement the workers demands. This is a great victory for workers and an example to the other many thousands of workers that live and work in the New Delhi industrial belts.

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