Monthly Archives: May 2015

Rising worker activism in ‘world’s workshop’ challenges China

As workers gathered around a table in a cheap restaurant to discuss strike action against their shoe factory bosses, Chinese police barged in and dragged away their leaders.

More than 2,000 employees at the plant — which counts foreign brands including Coach among its customers, according to workers — had downed tools, camping out on brightly coloured mats to demand unpaid benefits.

“They burst through the door and told us not to move,” a female worker told AFP. Several said police had beaten them, and one woman wore a large bandage covering injuries on her back.

Source: www.dailymail.co.uk

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Pakistan: Baba Jan contests election from jail

On May 18, Baba Jan was declared the official candidate of the Awami Workers Party (AWP) by the returning officer of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly constituency Hunza 6. Baba Jan is in jail serving a life sentence.

This is the first time in the history of the Hunza Valley that a political activist will contest general elections from jail.

Source: www.greenleft.org.au

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Stop causing more karoshi with zero overtime pay, people protest against labor deregulations [Japan]

Nearly 2,500 people joined a rally on May 14 in Tokyo to speak against labor deregulations under Abe government that is feared to increase more karoshi. Unionists from across Japan and across different confederations of Japans labor unions–Rengo, Zenroren and Zenrokyoexpressed their concerns and anger over the dispatch law, which is expected to create more casual workers, and lifting eight-hour work restrictions. Deregulating labor standards law and overtime work restrictions is a backward move, TERANISHI Shoko, whose husband committed suicide over 4,000 hours of work a year, spoke. I want the government to aim for zero karoshi rather than zero overtime pay so as never to see another family like us saddened by a loss of family members.

Source: labornetjp.blogspot.hk

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As Supply Drops, China’s Factory Workers Are More Restive

Most demands are over unpaid wages, under-paid wages or poor work conditions, due to employers breaching the law. Workers take to the streets only when management and local authorities ignore their grievances. They block roads, forcing authorities to pay attention. In the first quarter of 2015, 11 large factory strikes in Guangdong escalated into violence between workers and police, estimates one Hong Kong NGO.

Unlike workers in other Asian countries such as Cambodia, Indonesia and Bangladesh, Chinese workers had not challenged government policies – targeting the government for an increase in the legal minimum wage or asking to eliminate China’s household registration system that consigns migrant workers to temporary residence in cities and denies them access to public services. They had not demanded a right to set up alternatives to inactive branches of China’s one official trade union run by the government, which normally lets factory managers select union representatives.

 

Source: yaleglobal.yale.edu

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Industrial Action of CX Flight Attendant Union [Hong Kong)

Cathay Pacific Flight Attendant Union (FAU) is affiliated with HKCTU, and ITF. On May 19 2015, it held EGM to decide on two motions: 1) to agree the Airport Sit in and 2) authorize ExCo to escalate further industrial action if needed. The EGM of FAU was attended by more than 600 members and the two motions were adopted. A Marathon Sit In began after EGM and bus will be arrange for Members to proceed to the HK airport.

 

According to the FAU, Cathay Pacific Airways has been named Caring Company for 13th consecutive years by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS).  However, what’s behind the scene is absolutely on the contrary – i.e. endless dictatorship and oppression.  Below are some recent examples:

 

1. 11% discrepancy of salary increment for Cabin Crew who have their contract renewal in the same month, under the same employment condition.

2. Disregarded her own laid down policy and the agreement signed with the Union in calculating the outport meal allowance.

3. Removal of full coverage in legal support to Cabin Crew when handling unruly passengers.

 

FAU is calling for public support for their demands and collecting signature to their petition: https://goo.gl/uB1lDS  

Source: en.hkctu.org.hk

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Statement of the fact-finding team on the Kentex Factory Fire [Philippines]

Seventy-two (72) workers, many of whom were women, were burned to death and 20 more are still missing in the biggest factory fire that hit the Philippines – the fire that gutted the factory of Kentex Manufacturing Incorporated last May 13, 2015.  

The tragedy was caused by several violations that include:

  • Mishandling of the chemical Super Seal, which is used as a rubber emulsifier. 
  • Absence of proper labeling and awareness of the nature of the said chemical. 
  • Absence of proper smoke and fire alarm and apparent absence of fire and safety drill among the workers. 
  • Absence of fire exits. 

We demand:

  • Justice for Kentex workers and other victims of OHS Standards violations!
  • Strict Enforcement of Occupational Health and Safety Standards, not Joint Assessment or Self-Regulations!
  • Hold DOLE accountable for the Kentex Tragedy!
  • Penalize and criminalize the violators of Occupational Health and Safety Standards!
  • End impunity of OHS violations in the Philippines!
  • Repeal DO 131-13! Pass Workers SHIELD!
  • Struggle against Contractualization! Workers fight for Wages, Jobs and Rights!


Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Development
Center for Trade Union and Human Rights
Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research
Kilusang Mayo Uno

Source: ctuhr.org

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Auto parts firm MD booked for harassment, 125 workers held [India]

Around hundred workers of NVH India Auto Parts Private Limited, a Korean firm at Irungattukottai, went on strike in Jan 2015 alleging ill-treatment by the management. The workers also circulated a video showing a Korean official of the firm dragging the worker, which went viral on social media.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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