Global Day of Action against trade union repression

Global Day of Action against trade union repression

Download the leaflet here

The 16th of November is a Global Day of Action to stop the repression against unionists and labour activists.

This date was chosen by a number of labour organisations in the Asia Pacific region as it is the anniversary of the Hacienda Luisita massacre in The Philippines that occurred in 2004.

The Global Day of Action gives us an opportunity to stand together internationally for our rights as a class. The event for for Melbourne, Australia is at the 8 Hour Monument at 5:30pm.

Our demands are:

·         Stop the killings of workers and unionists

·         Free our comrades in jail

·         Organising is not a crime

·         Stop sexual violence against women workers

·         Support unions as they save workers' lives

·         Un-organised workers are used as cheap labour, a living wage for all

This year we especially remember these comrades, struggles and issues:

1) Han Sang Gyun – President Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

In July of this year, Han Sang-gyun was jailed for five years for his part in organising working class demonstrations. This is not the first time he has been jailed for trade union activities. Han has a long and proud history as a labour activist.

2) Somyot Pruksakasemsuk – Thai journalist and labour activist

Somyot was imprisoned in 2011 and later sentenced to 10 years in jail under that country’s repressive Lese Majeste law. Somyot has just been awarded a prestigious labour award. The current Thai military dictatorship has clamped down even further, with more workers detained under Lese Majeste.

3) Sexual violence against women

Women workers not only need to fight for wages and conditions, but face the additional pressure of sexual exploitation and violence. Whether it is in Indonesia, India, Hong Kong or the Gulf States of West Asia, this gender based violence serves to oppress and discourage women workers from organising.

4) Meng Han – Chinese labour right activist

The last few years has seen a massive increase of labour actions and strikes by workers in China. Labour activists like Meng Han, with another three colleagues, were arrested for the crime of advising workers of their rights. Many Chinese workers want independent labour organisations to fight for better wages and conditions

5) The Pricol 8 – A massive legal injustice

In 2015, in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, 8 labour activists at the automobile parts company of Pricol were given double life prison sentences. They have been framed for an alleged murder of a manager to serve as a stark warning to all other workers. In northern India, the Maruti Suzuki workers have also felt the same repression.

6) Un-organised workplaces injure and kill people

The less organised workers are, the more dangerous the workplace is going to be. We remember and pay tribute to our fellow workers at the Pakistani and Bangladeshi shipbreaking yards, those at Dangyang and Xinmin in China or at a coal mine in Pakistan where explosions occurred, in Tongi, Bangladesh where fire destroyed the factory, migrant workers in Qatar and China, in Perth, Australia and Mayong in China due to unsafe construction sites, and at Samsung in South Korea.

7) Esmail Abdi – General Secretary of the Iranian Teachers’ Trade Association

The Iranian government runs a brutal anti worker administration that effectively makes any independent union activity illegal. Esmail Abdi was recently given 6 years jail for organising a strike. Unfortunately Esmail is only one of many workers who are in Iranian jails. Punishment can sometimes include public flogging.

8) Tactics used to undermine workers unity

Sometimes workers manage to organise amid great difficulties. In vicious attempts to destroy this unity of workers, the whole workforce is sacked or the actual workplace is closed down or workers are casualised. We stand united with the Faremo workers in the Phililippines, the Australian CUB workers, and the PepsiCo workers in India

Download the leaflet here