pier's blog

GM car workers in India on strike

Workers at General Motors India plant in the state of Gujarat have entered the second month of strike action.

The workers are protesting against the intensive workloads, better OH&S standards and an end to wage related discrepancies.

Half of the workforce is casual. They are only paid half of the wages of permanent workers: 47cents versus 92 cents an hour.

Click here for solidarity actions

Urgent solidarity with Bahraini workers

A massive campaign of sackings, imprisonment and violence against workers, and their trade union representatives, has been unleashed by the Bahraini government.

This is in reprisal for workers participating in strike and protest actions for greater democracy in the country.

Join an international solidarity campaign to stop the repression.

Asia Pacific Currents podcasts for November 2010

Asia Pacific Currents 6/11/10
Asia Pacific news, current affairs and labour rights from the region.
Interview with AK Padmanavan, President of regional chapter of the Centre of India Trade Unions on the latest industrial disputes in Tamil Nadu – India.
File Download (28:25 min / 26 MB)

Asia Pacific Currents 13/11/10
Asia Pacific news, including stories from Indonesia, China, Jordan, Cambodia and South Korea.
Special awarding of 1st ever Red Star Award to excellent example of struggle and solidarity.
File Download (22:01 min / 10 MB)

Asia Pacific Currents 20/11/10
Asia Pacific news from Turkey, Pakistan, India, China, South Korea, Philippines and Australia.
Interview with Christine Torafing, KMU organiser, about the labour situation in the Philippines and the work of the KMU, the progressive trade union confederation.
File Download (30:04 min / 14 MB)

Asia Pacific Currents 27/11/10
Asia Pacific news, current affairs and labour rights stories from Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, South Korea and India/Pakistan.
Interview with Farooq Tariq of the Labour Party of Pakistan about the aftermath of the Pakistan floods and labour updates.
File Download (28:08 min / 13 MB)

The fight for indigenous rights in Australia continues

The Northern Territory intervention is being met with increasing resistance.

Enacted by the previous Conservative Federal Government and maintained by the current Labor Government, the intervention was supposedly enacted to "resolve" Indigenous Australians' social issues.

The reality is that these policies are further dispossessing indigenous communities through the use of military intervention and greater government control.

Public meetings are occurring all over Australia, while trade unions are also becoming more vocal in condemning the Intervention.

Korean women workers win landmark dispute

After a strike that had lasted over five years, 10 sacked women workers, all members of the Korean Metal Workers Union, finally won their fight to become permanent workers.

The workers were originally sacked by Kiryung Electronics as the company claimed they were not direct employees but sub contractors.

The agreement is particularly significant as it is the first time in Korea that an employer has agreed to directly hire dismissed irregular workers into permanent positions.

Oldest union in the Philippines under threat

A recent decision by the Filipino Labour Secretary, Ms Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz, will allow Philippine Airlines (PAL) to outsource its airport services, in-flight catering and call centre reservations. It will also mean the laying off of more than half of its workforce, possibly up to 3,000 workers.

PAL is owned by a prominent Filipino capitalist, Lucio Tan, and this restructure is viewed as a plan not only to cut workers' conditions, but also to destroy the Philippine Airlines Employees Association (PALEA).

For more information and solidarity.

Asia Pacific Currents podcasts for October 2010

Asia Pacific Currents 30.10.10
Asia Pacific news, current affairs and labour rights from the region.
Interview with Diana Beaumont on the state of labour rights in China.
File Download (29:01 min / 27 MB)

Asia Pacific Currents 23.10.10
Asia Pacific news, current affairs and labour rights stories from India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, New Zealand.
Interview with Rajeev Sharma, BWI Project Manager, about construction workers involved with the building of stadiums for Commonwealth Games, child labour in India and economic growth and inequality.
File Download (27:57 min / 13 MB)

Asia Pacific Currents 16.10.10
Asia Pacific news, current affairs and labour rights from the region.
Interview with Michel See from the Migrant Trade Union in Korea, about the upcoming G20 Summit in Seoul, and the demonstrations that are being organised against the crackdown on civil and political rights in the lead up to that meeting.
File Download (28:28 min / 13 MB)

Asia Pacific Currents 09.10.10
Asia Pacific news, current affairs and labour rights from the region.
Interview with Manrico Moro, Australia Asia Worker Links’ Co-ordinator, about the Labour Movement Charter and international organising.
File Download (29:35 min / 14 MB)

Asia Pacific Currents 02.10.10
Asia Pacific news, current affairs and labour rights from the region.
Interview with Christine Hill from Oxfam, about mining in Papua New Guinea. 
File Download (30:49 min / 14 MB)


Foxconn workers under attack in India

The class conflict in Tamil Nadu, India, has sharpened recently with the mass dismissals of workers at the Foxconn factory in October, now followed by an even greater number of workers dismissed from BYD Electronics, a Nokia supplier.

On the first of November, BYD Electonics terminated the services of 2,500 contract workers, sacked 37 permanent workers, suspended 23 more and ordered 437 others to sign a letter of apology. This vicious attack by management was in response to workers holding a four day strike over appalling working conditions and demands for union recognition. There is an international campaign to support these workers.

KEC occupation in Korea takes a deadly turn

Two hundred workers at the KEC electronics factory in Gumi have resorted to occupying the factory in order to force the company to negotiate with them.
The industrial dispute started over four months ago in June.
In the last week, management agreed to meet the workers, but used the meeting to allow the police to ambush the workers representatives.
In an act of resistance, Kim Jun-il, the local
Korean Metal Workers Union (KMWU) branch chief, doused himself with thinner and set himself alight.
Kim Jun-il is now in a critical condition in hospital.
The strike and occupation are continuing.

Filipino unionist wins freedom after 3 years in jail

It has taken more than three years for the Philippines military's frame up of Vincent 'Ka Bebot' Borja, KMU National Council member representing Eastern Visayas, to finally collapse. Ka Bebot was arrested on the 7th of May, 2007, and charged with murder by the military.

On the 13th of October of this year, the military's star witness admitted in court that Ka Bebot was not involved in the murder. While rejoicing about this case, trade unionists in the Philippines are scared that repression will continue under the country's Human Security Act.

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