aawl mini-news

Repression in Thailand reaches over into Laos

The Thai military junta’s reign of oppression has now spread into neighbouring Laos with the apparent forced abduction of Wutthipong ‘Ko Tee’ Kochathmmakun. Ko Tee was abducted by a group of armed Thai speaking people. Ko Tee had been a fierce critic of the Thai Monarchy and the military for years, fleeing to Laos after the coup in May 2014. Meanwhile, more activists are being targeted inside Thailand, with Watana Muangsook and Pravit Rojanaphruk, both being charged over separate Facebook posts under the draconian anti sedition law.

Free all political prisoners in Thailand!  

Abolish Article 112!  

End the military dictatorship!

India health workers continue strike actions

Thousands of Anganwadi workers, mainly women employed as sexual health, nutrition and child development workers, marched through the streets of New Delhi last Friday in a continuation of their ongoing strike. The workers have been demanding better pay, conditions and an end to insecure working conditions. The strike has now been going for 7 weeks and the workers are as determined as ever to continue until their demands are met. 

Repression of Palestinians continue after Al-Aqsa

While the Israel government’s attempts to hinder Palestinian’s right to pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque were defeated by the force and unity of the protests by Palestinians, the reality on the ground is as repressive as ever. On Sunday July 23, over 40 Palestinians, including Parliamentarian Omar Adbel-Razak, were arrested in mass sweeps in the Occupied Territories. Most Palestinian prisoners are imprisoned over minor charges of resisting the Occupation or simply held on administrative detention for up to 6 months. In the last week a large group of Argentinian Parliamentarians and the South African Government have made formal protests against these ongoing arrests.

Korean activists score another OHS win

The occupational health and safety labour activists of SHARPS had another win in court recently when a judge upheld an earlier decision confirming that a Samsung Electronics worker’s disease was caused by her work. The case centred on Kim Mi-seon, a former worker who assembled LCDs and who developed Multiple Sclerosis from her time at Samsung. This is only one of many cases of disease that workers at Samsung Electronics have endured. In the meantime, the sit in front of Samsung offices has passed 660 days.

Kerala nurses double their pay after huge strike

Tens of thousands of nurses at private hospitals across the southern Indian state of Kerala ended their two month strike after the government agreed to more than double their wages from less than Rs 10,000 to Rs 20,000 (USA $310) per month. This is a great achievement by these workers and the two main unions, the Indian Nurses’ Association (INA) and the United Nurses’ Association (UNA), that co-ordinated these industrial actions. The workers’ determination was fuelled by years of low wages and increasing levels of poverty among nurses.

Four workers killed in a chemical tank

Last Thursday, in the Bin Qasim area of Karachi, Pakistan, four workers died after falling into an underground chemical tank of an industrial unit. A maintenance worker who was repairing the tank fell in first, and then four others became trapped as they tried to rescue him. Only one survived. Such deaths point to the almost complete lack of health and safety standards for workers in Pakistan. These industrial deaths are unfortunately very similar to another tragedy last year at the Korangi factory where five workers were killed.

More workers killed in Kabul bombing

A bomb that targeted buses carrying public servants on the way to work in Kabul, killing 35 and injuring many more, highlights the vulnerability of workers to the ongoing effects of the war in Afghanistan. Indiscriminate bombings and military actions by insurgents, government and imperialist forces are continuing to devastate Afghanistan and kill thousands of workers and peasants. As with the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen, without an international class response against these conflicts, working class communities are the main victims of these ongoing military confrontations.

Iranian workers continue battle on multiple fronts

This week, more than one thousand teachers in Iran issued a public statement calling for the unconditional and immediate release of Mohsen Omrani. Omrani is serving a one year sentence for ‘propaganda against the state’ for organising teachers in the southern port city of Bushehr. In a separate case involving another teacher, Esmail Abdi has now been returned to prison after being released a few months ago on health grounds. In a follow up from last week’s story on the actions by the Haft Tapeh sugarcane dispute, it has been reported that authorities have recently arrested 15 workers in an attempt to break the workers’ determination.

Workers fight against Exxon-Mobil continues

The picket line set up by workers at Longford, a small town in south east Australia, against moves to outsource them is holding strong as the battle is set to enter its third month. While the company was able to get a court order banning the display of a giant inflatable rat, the union replaced it with a giant inflatable ‘greedy cat’. This fight has very serious implications for workers all around Australia as these giant companies are trying to break some of the best organised workers in Australia. A protest rally has been called in Melbourne at Esso’s corporate headquarters.

Say no to Exxon-Mobil wage cutting

Thursday 3 August, 12pm to 2pm

12 Riverside Quay Southbank

Domestic worker incident exposes widespread exploitation

Migrant domestic workers continue to be amongst the most vulnerable workers in the world. In mid July, Zohra Bibi, a domestic worker, complained to her employers about her unpaid wages. In response, the employer-family held her captive within their gated community in Noida, New Delhi. When her husband went to find her the next day, he was barred from entering the complex. He then returned with other workers and Zohra was released. While this was only another example of the exploitation and violence that domestic workers endure, this case has now generated national coverage and discussion. What this furore has done is to have cracked open the deep-seated class and caste discrimination that lies at the heart of Indian society.

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