aawl mini-news

PSI campaign for migrant workers' rights

Low and unequal pay, heavy workloads, poor working conditions and a lack of opportunities have pressured many health workers, a majority of them women, to leave their jobs in the health care sector to find other employment opportunities or to migrate abroad. The situation is true in both developing and industrialized countries. What is most alarming is the massive migration of health workers from developing countries where the public health situation is already critical. Often, such migration is driven by the desperation of health workers seeking to escape poverty and by active recruitment policies that do not take into account the situation of poorer countries and further exacerbated by illegal practices of private recruitment agencies that victimise migrant workers. Find out more about the campaign here.

Union news from Iran

The IUF and ITUC have together lodged a formal complaint against the government of Iran with the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association in response to the recent imprisonment of 5 leaders of the independent Haft Tapeh Sugar Workers Union, an IUF affiliate.

The complaint reviews the serial violations of basic rights at Haft Tapeh, where worker efforts to take collective action in response to non-payment of wages and other abuses have repeatedly met with repression, in the light of ILO Conventions setting out the rights of workers to freedom of association, the right to organize and to the right to collective bargaining. The complaint calls on the government of Iran to release the jailed leaders, to reinstate them at their jobs (all were officially fired on December 1 for "failure to report to work" while in prison) and to revoke the bans prohibiting them from trade union work. Send a message to the Iranian state and judicial authorities.


 Mansour Osanloo, the leader of the Steering Committee of the Trade Union of the Vahed Bus Company of Tehran and Suburbs, has been sacked from work.

Mr Osanloo, who is currently serving his jail sentence in Evin prison, was sentenced by Branch 14 of the Revolutionary Court to five years in custody and had earlier been sacked by a lower court. Now his appeal to the Court of Administrative Justice has failed after this court upheld the ruling of the lower court made on October 21, 2009. Branch 21 of the Court of Administrative Justice has approved the decision that is one of the government’s methods of putting pressure on labour activists and their families. Read more here.


 On Monday December 7 Pedram Nasrollahi, a labour movement and women’s movement activist, was released on 30 million tomans ($30,369) bail. Pedram Nasrollahi was arrested by the security force on Thursday, November 12, 2009 while returning from work. Read more here.

And on Tuesday December 1 Farzad Ahmadi, a labour activist and tailor, was released from Sanandaj prison on a bail of 30 million tomans ($30,369).  Read more here.



Pedram Nasrollahi

Australian postal workers industrial action

Postal workers are ready to halt all industrial action planned for Friday 18 December through to Monday evening if Australia Post senior management agrees to meet to resolve outstanding issues in the postal dispute.

“We’ve been asking for a meeting with senior management for some time. Chief Operating Officer Jim Marshall has said he is now willing to meet us on the enterprise bargaining agreement (EBA7)”, said CEPU National President Ed Husic.

“What is at stake for postal workers is security in full-time jobs, protection of penalty shifts and rosters, an end to Facility Nominated Doctors (company doctors) who force employees back to work even when they are sick or injured, and access to an independent umpire in any future disputes," said Mr Husic. Read more here.

Unions fight against Triumph dismissals

In the weeks before Christmas, Triumph International keeps its doors shut for representatives of Thai and Philippine unions that are fighting against mass-dismissals at three Triumph subsidiaries. The unions have come to Europe to put pressure on Triumph International to stop their global restructuring plan at the cost of union jobs. Send a protest Christmas card from here.

Since July this year, when Triumph announced the retrenchments of 1935 workers in Thailand and 1660 workers in the Philippines, more than a thousand workers in both countries have been picketing the factories and the Ministry of Labour in Thailand. Read more here.

Indonesia factory occupation

Textile workers from the Istana Magnoliatama factory in north Jakarta have been occupying their workplace for more than 2 years. Kiswoyo, a member of KASBI and the union Chairman at the plant, says that in July 2007 the management of the factory told the workers that they wanted to close the business.

“The union believed that this was an attempt by the company to get rid of all of the permanent staff and replace them with contract workers. Currently it is forbidden by law for companies to employ contract workers to replace permanent staff. We saw this as an attempt to get around the laws.”

“The union was not about to see hundreds of permanent jobs be thrown away. It was clear that the company was just trying to increase its profits and put the workforce in an even more precarious position. We refused to let the management get away with this so when they closed the factory we decided to stay and occupy the plant.” Read more of this interview here.

Indigenous Rights in the news

ANTaR Qld has produced a "Year in Review via the Headlines" which collates a year's worth of interesting news stories from 2009.

Asian Workers Organising - December 2009

Call for International Solidarity and Support

Public Sector Workers' Struggle and Government Repression

The Korean Federation of Public Services and Transportation Workers’ Unions (KPTU), an affiliate of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), recently began a struggle against the government plan for privatization of public enterprises and so called 'business rationalization' of public institutions—in other words, the merging of public enterprises and utilities, layoffs and the imposition of productivity and efficiency on public services. Three affiliates of KPTU, the Korean Railway Workers' Union, the Korean Public & Social Service Workers' Union (KPSU)-KoGas Branch, and the Korean Powerplant Workers Union set up a headquarters for coordinated struggle. On October 10th, November 6 and November 28th they held mass rallies denouncing the government’s repression of the public sector.

Call for International Solidarity and Support

We are asking for your continued attention to the relentless government crackdown on trade union rights in the South Korean public sector. Any solidarity action is welcome including sending protest letters to the Korean government or visiting the Korean embassy in your own country.

Sri Lanka: Release illegally detained civilians

Amnesty International is calling on the Sri Lankan government to permanently release civilians who have been illegally detained in camps since the end of the civil war six months ago.

"The authorities must make good on their declared intentions to free some 120,000 people and must do so unconditionally," said Yolanda Foster, Amnesty International's expert on Sri Lanka.

A permanent release from camps must be accompanied by assurances that people are not subjected to further questioning or re-arrest in new locations," said Foster. "It is also critical that the government maintain its responsibility to care for displaced people wherever they choose to go."

Read more here.

The Conch Latin Fiesta

Let the Refugees in!
7pm, Saturday, December 12
MUA Hall 46 - 54 Ireland St West Melbourne

Join THE CONCH & friends to support the struggle to let refugees into Australia, to celebrate another year of solidarity and activism, another year of revolution in Latin America & another year of comradeship in Melbourne! go to www.theconch.org ...

Info ph Jo 0435 519 610 or Roberto 0425 182 994.
Bar & food available. Entry $10/5.
Proceeds to the Refugee Action Collective (RAC-Vic), Centre for Latin America Studies & Solidarity (CLASS) & Direct Action Activist Centre.

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