jiselle's blog

South Korea – Han Sang Gyun on hunger strike

Former KCTU president HAN Sang-gyun is on  a hunger strike, begun in Hwasung Prison on March 28th to support the calls of the KMWU Ssangyong Motor Branch fighting for justice.

Former president HAN wrote that he will continue Brother KIM's hunger strike from prison and requests Ssangyong Motor Branch Chair to stop the hunger strike, now on the 30th day.

  • Reinstate the 120 dismissed Ssangyong Motor workers!
  • Drop the damages claims suits against the union and workers!
  • Uncover the truth behind the State-sponsored violence against the Ssangyong
  • Motor workers during the 2009 strike and ensure redress for workers whose human rights were violated and punishment of those responsible for the state-sponsored violence!

 

5 million Muslim Indians to be displaced

India continues its persecution of Muslims with the most recent attack in the form of a Rohingya crisis in the making.  The state of Assam is updating its citizenship records in an effort to weed out “illegal” citizens, mostly Muslims of Bengali origin, that have lived in India for over 6 decades.  Residents have until the 31 May to update their papers with the National Register of Citizens, and the Supreme Court has ruled that it will not extend this deadline.  The move could see some 5 million Indians disenfranchised.  President Nahendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is deeply Hindu chauvinistic.  Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat during the infamous 2002 riots that saw more than 1000 Muslims murdered and countless others raped and abused in the streets. Divisions on the basis of ethnicity, religion or citizenship status only serve war mongering capitalists.  Workers must resist communalism and build unity in struggle for our common demands.

 

Israeli Defence Force murders Palestinians in border protest

Israeli troops killed at least 15 Palestinians and injured more than 1,400 during demonstrations along Gaza’s border with Israel and in cities throughout the Palestinian enclave. The demonstrations were scheduled to take place for six weeks along the border of Gaza, and have been called the “Great Return March”.  This area has been subject to an 11 year illegal blockade by Israel and Egypt. The demonstrations are set to continue until May 15, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel, al Nakba (Catastrophe) Day.

 

Touch One Touch All: Refugees, Migrants & Workers Crossing Borders

Australia Asia Worker Links is hosting a Public Meeting to discuss the various ways that racism divides the labour movement. Capitalists have many weapons in their arsenal to use against workers’ organising – they import workers that are desperate to migrate, and pay them lesser wages because of this desperation; they hire transient holidaying workers that have limited investment in proper wages and conditions in the country they’re visiting; they invest and participate in wars that create refugees that are unable to be resettled anywhere. So how do we fight back? And how do we combat racism in a period where so many wars are raging across the world?  This AAWL seeks to build a strategy for international workers’ solidarity for workers everywhere, with a focus on refugees, migrants and workers crossing borders.

Wednesday 4 April at 6pm at the AMIEU, Level 2, 62 Lygon Street, Carlton

 

The meeting will be in Melbourne, with a skype link to include comrades from Bangladesh, Malaysia and the Philippines.  If you’re interested in participating via skype, contact jiselle@aawl.org.au

 

Many foreign workers in Thailand killed in bus accident

Last Friday, a double-decker bus carrying nearly 50 registered Myanmar workers was engulfed in flames, trapping the passengers inside and immediately killing 20. The workers had been picked up at the Thai/Myanmar border and was en route to Pathum Thani province. While the cause of this disaster is not known, it highlights the precarious and unsafe conditions that many migrant workers from Myanmar face in Thailand. Thailand’s light industrial, farming and aquaculture sectors rely on the super exploitation of millions of migrant workers, the majority of whom come from Myanmar.

 

Manufacturing workers win in Melbourne

Workers employed by the global company Yakult in Melbourne, Australia, had a good win after a 10 day long strike. The workers were involved in an enterprise bargaining period and were looking to get wage rises to keep up with cost of living expenses. Their determination was helped by the support their union, the National Union of Workers, and other workplaces gave them.

 

Thais demonstrate against continuing dictatorship

Last weekend, up to a 1,000 demonstrators marched in central Bangkok calling on the army to withdraw support to the ruling military Junta. Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, who is also Deputy Junta leader, immediately responded that the military is united in its support for the Junta. The march was organised by a new group called the “Democracy Restoration Group” and is a sign that public opposition to the military Junta is increasing. On the following day on Monday, prosecutors charged nine Red Shirt leaders with insurrection for leading an anti-government protest in April 2009.

 

Tyre workers continue fight in southern India

Over 700 young workers employed by JK Tyres in Kachipuram district, Tamil Nadu, have been on strike since 23 March over a new collective wage agreement. Last year a successful strike by these workers forced the management to recognise their union and reinstate workers who had been suspended by management in the preceding period. Since then, management has been unwilling to negotiate on the workers’ wage demands and has instead kept pressuring the workforce by setting impossible production targets. The workers are determined to continue their fight against management until all their demands are met.

 

Chemical fire near Mumbai kills three

A fire that broke out on Friday March 9 in a chemical factory in Boisar, near Mumbai, India, has killed at least three workers and injured many more. The fire was so fierce that it affected five other nearby chemical factories and the sound of exploding chemicals could be heard up to 12 kms away. The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage, but unfortunately deadly workplace incidents are common in India due to lax OHS regulations and enforcement.

 

Marching on International Women Day 2018

International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated all around the world on 8 March. While much of the commentary in certain countries is about the ‘glass ceiling’ and women’s representation on major company boards, the reality for most women in the world is that IWD is a fight against exploitation and is a class issue. Major demonstrations were held in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Australia, Philippines, South Korea, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. Additional reports can be read here and here.

 

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