Australian government manufacturers terrorist threats to support war agenda

Hundreds of police launched theatrical raids on Muslim homes in Brisbane and Sydney, see here and here, on the pretext of preventing terroristic attacks. One person has been charged on dubious evidence. The raids are intended to generate public fear, quash criticism for Australia’s renewed war on Iraq and justify increased powers for the security forces. The Australian government is also deflecting attention away from its unpopular cuts to social security. Hysterical media coverage of the police raids has resulted in increased racial tension.

Mass day of action for increased wages in Cambodia

Up to 100,000 Cambodian workers held rallies to demand an increase in the minimum wage from US$100 to US$177 a month. Five workers were killed at demonstrations in January 2014 in Phnom Penh. Cambodian activists are preparing for another day of action on 12 October. Eight major fashion brands have paid lip service to the campaign, promising to pay more for clothes sourced from Cambodia.

Victory for Turkish glass workers after long battle

Nearly 6,000 workers from 10 glass factories in Turkey have finally reached an agreement with their employer Sisecam after first beginning strike action in June. The Turkish government supported the employer, by ordering that the workers’ strike be “postponed” (tantamount to a strike ban). Despite state repression, the union signed an agreement for an average 14% wage increase and 10% to 49% increase in benefits. This case demonstrates the difficulty that Turkish workers face when the state uses legalistic means to criminalise strikes.

Pakistani union leader survives second shooting

Last week the Central Chairman of the Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign, Riaz Lund, was shot by unknown assassins in Karachi, but miraculously survived. He survived an earlier shooting by attackers from the fascistic political party the Muhajir Qaumi Movement. Violence against labour leaders and social movement activists is widespread in Pakistan. The Pakistan Trade Union Defence Campaign invites supporters to send messages of solidarity to Comrade Lund via editor@struggle.com.pk

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

Thai labour activist marks his 53rd birthday in jail

The campaign to free Somyot Prueksakasemsuk continues in Thailand against the backdrop of increasing repression by the military government. The military junta has recently arrested the relatives of those who were killed by the Thailand military in the violent crackdown of 2010, as they have been fighting for justice all these years. On top of an increasing number of cases of torture being recorded, the government has just announced that it will use all technological means at its disposal to protect the monarchy and crackdown on dissent. In the meantime, the case against labour activist Andy Hall is coming to an initial finding.

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

Ten Turkish workers killed due to poor workplace safety

Earlier this month, 10 constructions workers plunged to their death on a building site in Istanbul when the lift they were travelling in dropped 34 stories in free fall. This major accident comes only a few months after the Soma mine disaster were 301 miners were killed. Over a 1,000 workers came out to protest this latest workplace murders, but were met with tear gas and water cannons. Turkey is one of the worst ten countries in the world for its OHS record.

New USA military intervention in Iraq will only worsen the situation

Workers and their families in Iraq have endured incredible hardships and suffering in the last decades as repression, wars and invasions have destroyed one of the most industrialised countries in the region. The rise of the Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq is a product of these years of injustices that have created widespread anger, desperation and violence. The recent announcement that the USA will lead a new ‘Coalition of the Willing’ to fight terrorism by bombing Iraq and Syria will only lead to greater destruction. These countries are intervening for their own political and economic advantage and not to save lives. Worker organisations and left groups in the region are taking the lead in opposing this renewed onslaught.

Israel repression against Palestinians continues

The bombing of the Gaza strip by Israel might have finished, but the repression of Palestinian people in the occupied territories continues. Israel has increased its settlement budget by 600% this year, money that is mostly spent on expanding illegal settlements inside the occupied West Bank. Meanwhile, Palestinian parlamentarian Khalida Jarrar is continuing her protests against an attempt by Israel to deport and isolate her. A day long hunger strike was declared by Palestinian prisoners to mourn the death in custody of Raed al-Jabari. A protest and picket of a Melbourne based Israeli arm supplier is planned for early October.

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