aawl mini-news

Asian Workers Organising - September 2009

Precarious Work Affects Us All

International Metalworkers' Federation global campaign
3 October to 10 October

Globalisation is not just about how things are made, bought and sold. It's also about people. Transnational companies want cheap and flexible workers. So they have shifted from secure to insecure employment - making all jobs more "precarious".

Precarious work is bad for all workers. It creates cut-price labour that drives down wages for all. It increases the gap between the rich and poor and amplifies the unfair practices that already disadvantage women, young and migrant workers.

Good jobs are what trade unions bargain for. Around the world, unions are mobilising, organising and bargaining for better, more secure work. That means challenging the legal and political ruses that allow precarious work to flourish. It means mobilising globally and taking union action against precarious work.

Read more at the International Metalworkers' Federation ...  

Asia Floor Wage Campaign Launched

The Asia Floor Wage (AFW) Campaign, launched October 7, is calling upon companies sourcing garment production in Asia to implement an Asia Floor Wage.

Currently the poverty wages garment workers earn do not cover basic needs and fall far short of a living wage. The AFW, calculated using the World Bank’s Purchasing Power Parity, puts forth a wage that would allow workers to purchase the same set of goods and services across key garment-producing countries in Asia.

Read more on Asian Floor Wage
Read the statement of the Asian Floor Wage Alliance

Refugee Camp In Your City


3 to 15 October
Médecins Sans Frontières

Treasury Gardens, Melbourne
9 am to 5 pm

Refugee Camp In Your City is a 1000 square-metre replica camp will give people the chance to walk into a camp site modelled on refugee camps in countries such as Chad and Sudan.

Experienced field staff will be on-hand to lead the guided tours and tell their stories about camp life - discussing a range of issues affecting refugees, such as malnutrition, disease and women’s health.

The camp will also offer information about Medecins Sans Frontieres – an international medical humanitarian organisation that assists victims of armed conflict, epidemics and natural disasters.

Staff will be available to talk to people interested in working for Medecins Sans Frontieres at an information night held in Melbourne on Thursday 15 October.

Click here for more details.

End the War on Afghanistan

End the War
on Afghanistan

Rally 12 noon
Saturday 10 October

City Square
Swanston & Collins Streets




Followed by a march to the Victoria Army Barracks where photos of the real victims of the war on Afghanistan will be displayed.


Bring the troops home!

*Refugee status for asylum seekers fleeing the war
*Genuine civilian based reconstruction aid
*Fund independent women's rights groups in Afghanistan

World Day for Decent Work

World Day for Decent Work
7 October 2009

ITUC global day of action

The economic crisis threatens the jobs and futures of people everywhere.

Decades of deregulation, and the greed and excess of a tiny minority, have pushed the world into the deepest recession since the 1930s.

Decent work must be at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first.

Read more at WDDW site ...

AAWL Public Meeting 7 October 2009

Report on target companies:
Toyota, Nestlé, Posco, Unilever

Wednesday 7 October 6 pm in the Evatt Room
Trades Hall, Lygon Street, Carlton South, Victoria, Australia

Download leaflet

Unilever: Solidarity rallies in Philippines and South Africa

Solidarity rallies in
Philippines and South Africa

IUF Global campaign

More than 70 activists from the Philippines Alliance of Progressive Labour, including leaders of the IUF-affiliated NUWHRAIN, demonstrated their solidarity with the struggle against disposable jobs at Unilever's Pakistan tea operations at Unilever headquarters in Manila on 15 September...

The program included a symbolic "die-in" the scorching heat, with media reporters and photographers covering the action. NUWHRAIN's Edwin Bustillos, who is also APL deputy secretary general, said that the APL picket signified Filipino workers’ solidarity with the struggle of the Lipton/Brooke Bond tea workers in Pakistan as well as their resolve to fight casualization at home and around the world.

On 11 September, despite strong management pressure to prevent union action, more than 70 members of CEPPWAWU, an affiliate of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) demonstrated outside the Unilever Maydon Whaft plant in Durban to demand a halt to management violence against the Khanewal workers.

Read more on Unilever at IUF...

Nestlé: 'Pattern of Systematic Human Rights Abuses'

'Pattern of Systematic
Human Rights Abuses'

IUF Global campaign

Fellesforbundet and the NNN, the IUF's Norwegian affiliates with membership in the food sector, together with the national trade union center LO, have publicly called on the Finance Ministry to conduct an evaluation to determine whether the State Pension Fund's investment in Nestlé is compatible with the Fund's ethical investment guidelines. The letter, co-signed by IUF General Secretary Ron Oswald, draws attention to a "pattern of systematic human rights abuses" by Nestlé, including the company's insistence on excluding the negotiation of wages from collective bargaining (most recently in Indonesia and India). The Fellesforbundet press release announcing the letter describes this as "a clear violation of ILO Conventions on the right to organize and bargain collectively and also a clear violation of the ethical guidelines of the State Pension Fund."

Read more on Nestlé at IUF... 

Indian government urged to ban asbestos

Indian government urged to take lesson from South Africa and ban asbestos

Pointing out that South Africa has joined some 50 countries in banning the use of asbestos, the Ban Asbestos Network of India (BANI) has urged the Indian government to follow suit.

South Africa used to be the fifth largest supplier of chrysotile asbestos.

India is now one of the largest consumers of chrysotile asbestos. In February 2008 the Confederation of Indian Industry rated asbestos cement in the high growth category in industry.

"What is not being recorded is the high growth rate of asbestos victims in the country."

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