Monthly Archives: February 2012

On Eton tragedy’s first anniversary: Group urges Aquino to show muscle vs labor rights violators like Eton

Reference: Anna Leah Escresa, Justice for Eton 11 Network co-convenor, 0908-864-2151

Blog: http://www.eton11.tumblr.com

27 January 2012

On Eton tragedy’s first anniversary:
Group urges Aquino to show muscle vs labor rights violators like Eton

Families and supporters of Eton Residences construction workers, who died in a gondola plunge last year, trooped to the accident site in Makati City today to call for justice on the first anniversary of the tragedy and to pin down Eton and its contractors for their liability over the tragedy. [Photos of the picket attached]

Led by the Justice for Eton 11 Network, the group also expressed dismay over the Aquino government’s failure to go after companies which are compromising health and safety and undermining job security.

“If President Noynoy Aquino can use his executive whip against corrupt officials in the bureaucracy, why can’t he do the same to big labor rights violators like Eton Properties? Why can’t he push for a thorough investigation against these anti-labor companies, just like what he is pushing against Chief Justice Renato Corona at the moment?” asked Anna Leah Escresa, Justice for Eton 11 Network’s co-convenor.

“The Eton tragedy is about lost lives of highly exploited workers. Why is it not enough for the government to show its muscle against Eton and its contractors?” she added.

On Jan. 27, 2011, 10 construction workers died while another one was seriously injured after a gondola they were riding crashed from the 28th floor of the condominium owned by Eton Properties Philippines Inc., the real estate arm of tycoon Lucio Tan.

It was found out that that the workers were earning poverty wages (P270/ day), and were denied job security as they were employed by Eton via multiple subcontractors.

Escresa noted that what the labor department did was to only facilitate health and safety trainings among Eton Residences workers following the tragedy. No one was held accountable for the gross neglect of labor standards on occupational health and safety and decent work.

“President Aquino’s indifference towards the Eton tragedy has spawned a climate of impunity in work sites. Following the tragedy, we have seen a string of striking work accidents which killed and injured dozens of workers,” Escresa said.

The group cited the following accidents as proof: the accident in Keppel shipyard in Subic, Zambales last October which killed six workers; the construction accidents in Megaworld in Eastwood and SM General Santos City; and the landslide in Compostela Valley early this year which killed more than 30 miners.

“As long as no one is held accountable for these grim accidents, the long list of victims will grow longer by the day. Justice will remain elusive to workers,” Escresa concluded.

 

Cambodia’s ban on domestic worker to Malaysia is an opportunity for change to protect the right of migrants

Cambodian Working Group for Domestic Workers

c/o Natalie Drolet, Advocacy Officer, LSCW

P.O. Box: 1542

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

ndrolet@lscw.org

(855)23 220 626

A call for ACTION now

February 8, 2012

CAMBODIA’S BAN ON DOMESTIC WORKERS TO MALAYSIA IS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CHANGE TO PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF MIGRANTS

On October 15th, 2011 the Prime Minister of Cambodia announced a ban on the recruitment, training and sending of domestic workers to Malaysia. This announcement was made following various media and NGO reports of abuses, exploitation and even deaths of Cambodian domestic workers in Malaysia. The key purpose of the ban was to put into place new laws, processes and mechanisms that will ensure safe migration.

In June 2011, the ILO adopted Convention 189 concerning decent work for domestic workers. The time is ripe for the Cambodian and Malaysian governments to take measures to ensure the rights of domestic workers, including a decent minimum wage, that define the rights and responsibilities of domestic workers, employers and recruitment agencies. 

With a clear recognition of rights and an effective rights monitoring mechanism, we can stop the needless suffering of thousands of often very young Cambodian women and girl domestic workers in Malaysia.

Support and lobby for the actions proposed overleaf…..

 

We call on the governments of Cambodia and Malaysia to:

    1. Sign a bilateral agreement that ensures the protection of rights enshrined in ILO C189.
    1. Adopt and enforce mandatory standardized employment and job placement services contracts that adhere to the standards established in ILO C189.
    1. Ensure that the regulation of private recruitment agencies meets the standards in ILO C189.
    1. Ratify ILO C189 and bring national laws and enforcement into alignment, including covering domestic workers under national labor laws.
    1. Establish effective monitoring mechanisms for greater accountability and transparency in recruitment, placement, and employment of domestic workers.
    1. Ensure effective access to redress, legal remedies and grievance procedures in Cambodia and Malaysia for victims of rights violations and abuse.
    1. Improve screening to identify victims of abuse and survivors of trafficking, and provide them with legal aid, shelter, counseling, repatriation and reintegration services, as needed.
    1. Ensure protection and support for domestic workers already working in Malaysia at the time of the issuance of the ban.
    1. Work through regional mechanisms to strengthen the ASEAN Declaration on Migrant Workers and the ASEAN Plan of Action through the promotion of minimum standards for domestic workers.
    1.  Recognise the special needs and vulnerabilities of female and male migrants and tailor systems to respond.
    1.  Ensure extensive consultation with civil society organizations working on domestic workers, migration and trafficking to implement the above.

We call on the governments of Cambodia and Malaysia to act expeditiously to enact effective protection measures for domestic workers.

Endorsed by:

    1. Cambodian Working Group for Domestic Workers (CWGDW), Cambodia
    2. Chab Dai Coalition, Cambodia
    3. Independent Democracy of Informal Economy Association (IDEA) Cambodia
    4. Healthcare Center for Children (HCC), Cambodia
    5. Legal Support for Children and Women (LSCW), Cambodia
    6. Gender and Development Cambodia (GADC), Cambodia
    7. Strey Khmer, Cambodia
    8. Community Legal Education Center (CLEC), Cambodia
    9. Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC), Cambodia
    10. Cambodian League for the Defense and Protection of Human Rights (LICADHO), Cambodia
    11. Coalition of Cambodian Farmer Community (CCFC) Cambodia
    12. American Center for International Labor Solidarity (ACILS), Cambodia
    13. Cambodian Human Rights and Development Organization (ADHOC), Cambodia
    14. Positive Change for Cambodia, Cambodia
    15. Cambodian Youth Network (CYN) Cambodia
    16. Human Rights Watch
    17. World Solidarity
    18. Migrant Forum in Asia (MFA)
    19. Mekong Migrant Network (MMN)
    20. Tenaganita, Malaysia
    21. Penang Office For Human Development (POHD), Malaysia
    22. Foreign Spouses Support Group, Malaysia
    23. Pusat Kebajikan Good Shepherd, Malaysia
    24. Coalition to Abolish Modern-Day Slavery in Asia (CAMSA)
    25. National Union of Building and Construction Workers (NUBCW), Philippines
    26. Worker’s Rehabilitation Center (WOREC), Nepal
    27. Youth Action Nepal (YOAC), Nepal
    28. WARBE Development Foundation, Bangladesh
    29. Center for Indonesian Migrant Workers (CIMW), Indonesia
    30. Center for Indian Migrant Studies (CIMS), India
    31. Hope Workers Center (HWC), Taiwan
    32. Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2), Singapore
    33. Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC), Nepal
    34. St.Francis of Assisi, Singapore
    35. Center for Migrant Advocacy, Philippines
    36. Scalabrini Migration Center, Philippines
    37. International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development, Indonesia
    38. Coalition for Migrant Rights (CMR), Hong Kong
    39. International Association of Scalabrinian Sisters for Migrants (AISSMI)
    40. Migrant CARE, Indonesia
    41. Hsinchu Migrants and Immigrants Services Center, Taiwan
    42. Unlad Kabayan Center Foundation, Philippines
    43. KAAGAPAY, Philippines
    44. Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, Bangladesh
    45. Woman Health, Philippines
    46. Kanlungan, UK

Stop the Repression & Do Justice with the People affected by Land acquisition

To: The Chief Minister

Government of Orissa, Bhubaneswar, India

Subject: Regarding the JSPL’s repression of the people affected by land acquisition

 

Dear Sir,

People from 40 villages affected by land acquisition for Jindal Thermal Power India Limited (JTPIL) were peacefully demonstrating since November 2011 near Kaliakata gate of the steel plant in Angul for their demands like fulfilling the promise of providing jobs and proper rehabilitation. Rather than fulfilling their demands, the company started repression of the people in order to end their demonstration.

On Jan 25, 2012 security guards of the JSPL suddenly launched a full-fledged attack on them causing serious injuries to about 200 villagers including 50 women and one three year old child. It is also alleged that the police also participated in this repression of the people along with security guards of the company. It is a pity that even after such an incident of repression of the people by a corporate, the state machinery is not taking any action against the company. It is sad that state machinery has become so insensitive that it is not even ensuring the proper treatment to the injured.

We strongly condemn this attempt of unleashing repression on people’s movement fighting for Just demands. We condemn the JSPL’ attempts of silencing the people rather than fulfilling their demands. We condemn the attempts of police and other government officials directed to silence the people rather than ensuring them justice.

We demand:

  1. Immediately provide proper medical treatment to all injured people and adequate compensation
  2. Register the criminal case against those directly and indirectly involved in the repression including JSPL officials, police and other Government officials, and arrest them
  3. The company must be compelled to fulfill the demands of the people without any delay, including: a) Job Cards to each of the affected families, b) Compensation of Rs 300000 to the people above the age of 60yrs and those handicapped, c) Restriction on plying of heavy vehicles on the road connecting Kaniha and Ghantianali, d) ensuring unrestricted water supply to villagers e) other resettlement measures and periphery development etc.

Contact person:

Amulya  Kumar Nayak

Odissa Shramjivi Union, Talcher

Mobile: 9861409290

Email:  amulyaactivist@gmail.com

 

Co-Signed by:

  1. Asia Monitor Resource Centre, Hong Kong
  2. Centre for Workers Education
  3. Coastal Development Partnership (CDP), Bangladesh
  4. Cordillera Peoples Alliance, Philippines
Online petition: 

========================

Protest against the Repression of the People by Jindal Steel and Power India Limited/Jindal Thermal Power India Limited

 

Background


People from 40 villages affected by land acquisition for Jindal Steel and Power India Limited (JSPL) were peacefully demonstrating since November 2011 near Kaliakata gate of the steel plant in Angul for their demands like fulfilling the promise of providing jobs and proper rehabilitation. They were not ready to end their demonstration unless their demands were met. Rather than fulfilling their demands, the company lastly started repression of the people in order to end their demonstration. On Jan 25, 2012 security guards of the JSPL suddenly launched a full-fledged attack on them causing injuries to about 400 villagers with serious injuries to about 90 people with majority of them women and one three year old child.  It is a pity that even after such a repression of the people by a corporate, the state machinery is maintains its inhuman silence. It is not even ensuring the proper treatment to the injured, what to hope about taking action against the company. Till date, the injured people are lying in the verandah of the Angul district hospital and are not receiving proper treatment.

 

We appeal to the international community that in the name of justice and humanity to take proactive action on this issue, send protest letters to the district authorities, state government of Orissa, Central government of India and relevant international forums to stop the repression of the people who have already lost their livelihoods and are not only denied any alternative livelihood but also safety of their life.

 

The Issues behind the Conflict


Talcher-Angul-Meramandali area of Angul and Dhenkanal districts of Odisha has been already declared by the Central Pollution Control Board as  the 7th critically polluted industrial zone of India due to a large number of coal mines ,coal power plants, almunium smelter and steel industries operating here. Projects of many more companies are in pipeline to setup more coal mines and industries in Angul and Dhenkanal districts of Odisha. Thousands of acres of agricultural lands including forest and water sources have been destroyed by the companies by way of land acquisitions and also by way of pollution. Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their livelihoods and habitations. On the other hand, the companies are not fulfilling their promises of proper rehabilitation by way of providing fair compensation of land, jobs and development of infrastructural facilities for the people. The companies are using repression to suppress the voice of the people demanding for their rights.

 

Jindal Steel & Power Ltd.(JSPL) of Navin Jindal, a Rajya Sabha M.P (member of parliament) has acquired 6400 acres land  of village Nisha, Jarada, Bada Kerejeng, Sana Kerejeng, Sana Jamunda, Jamunda Jangal, Kaliakta,Ramadiha, Paripara, Dudhiabeda, Golagadia, Sakasinga, Manapur, Mahitoila, Raijharan, Tangarsahi etc. in Banarpal and Chhendipada block of Angul district. More than 100000 people (25,000 families) of 40 villages (including about 20% Tribals and Dalits) have been affected/ displaced by the project. The company had assured to provide permanent job, skill development training, compensatory allowance to the unemployed and old age persons, proper resettlement and rehabilitation and other periphery development facilities. The construction work on the project site started since 2006, the company did not offer any secure job to the affected people. The company was paying Rs.2700 per head to about 3000 affected persons as a supporting allowance. But after completion of boundary wall of the company, all of a sudden the company stopped the allowance payment; water supply that was provided by the company to affected villages was also stopped; and similarly the other facilities provided by the company were also stopped. The people approached to the company officials and district administration and continuously pursued for three months requesting them to resume the allowance payment, water supply and other facilities, but their demands were not met. Therefore, with no hope from any where, they organized themselves under the banner of Birankeswar Silpanchal Kshyatigrast Prajasangh, Angul and started demonstrations at the company gate since November 2011.

 

In the meantime they continued to approach the company authorities Angul district administration and state government officials. On January 19, 2012 the people of Kaliakata village (fully displaced) came to the company office to put forward their grievances. But the security guards of the company misbehaved with them and kicked a pregnant woman. It was after this incident, that large number of people from 40 affected villages organized a big demonstration at the company gate and stopped the construction work of the project.

 

On Jan 24, 2012, the company and concerned government officials came to the demonstration place and promised to conduct a joint meeting at Bada Kerejeng Birankeswar temple to resolve the problems. But they did not appear for the meeting. Therefore to get a new date for the meeting, people decided to meet the company authorities next day.

 

On January 25, 2012 about one thousand women and men of the affected villages were present at the demonstration at Subarnpur gate of the company. They wanted to meet the company authorities. The company security guards and police force from Nisha Silpanchal Police Station, and some other government officials were present there. They opened the gate and allowed the people to go inside. The women were in front and few men were accompanying them. They were moving towards the company office peacefully, but all of a sudden the company security guards launched a full-fledged attack on them. They spared no one. Women, men and children all were brutally beaten by security guards. They tiered away the clothes of the women and kick them by boots. It is alleged that the police also participated in this repression along with security guards. About 400 people including women were injured, and 94 people received serious injuries with majority of them women. The police or the company did not extend any helping hand to injured. The activists took them to the Angul hospital. Seriously injured people were later transferred to the Hospitals in Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. Seriously injured included Manjit Sahu a 3 year old child, many women including Basanti Pradhan, Ratani pradhan, Santilata Behera, Lalita Pradhan, Upasi Pradhan, Tara pradhan, Lily Biswal, Ahalya Pradhan, Yashoda sahoo, Hema Pradhan, Bari Sahoo, Sukanti Pradhan, Mini Rout, Binodini Roul etc, and men including Dara Sethi, Nilamani Dhal, Nisha behera, Sudhakar sahoo, Soubhagya behera, Birendra Sing, Amar Sahoo etc.

 

For more information please contact the following:


Amulya  Kumar Nayak

Odissa Shramjivi Union, Talcher

Mobile: 9861409290

Email:  amulyaactivist@gmail.com

 

Also see the photos of the victims (attached)

 

You may also read following stories published in National daily Times of India:

Human rights body probe sought into Jindal Steel attack case

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-02-01/bhubaneswar/31012459_1_angul-jspl-project-security-personnel

Angul villagers to boycott elections

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-01-23/bhubaneswar/30655333_1_panchayat-poll-angul-villagers-boycott-elections

Angul villagers protest land acquisition

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-01-07/bhubaneswar/30601777_1_villagers-protest-land-acquisition-power-plant-rail-traffic

Tension on JSPL Angul campus after villagers, workers clash with guards

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-20/bhubaneswar/30537700_1_workers-clash-land-losers-security-personnel

Angul land losers seek compensation

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-11-14/bhubaneswar/30396674_1_land-losers-land-losers-proper-compensation

Read more