Thursday, March 21, 2013

Victory: Jailed union leaders freed

Basile and Valentin are free - thanks to your solidarity.
Some good news: two trade union leaders who were unjustly jailed have at long last been freed.
The International Union of Foodworkers has announced that Basile Mahan Gahé, general secretary of the national trade union center Dignité in the Ivory Coast, was finally freed from prison and has resumed his union duties.  According to the IUF, "Basile warmly thanked all those in the international labour movement who fought for his release."
Meanwhile, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) hasreported on the release of jailed Russian trade union leader Valentin Urusov.  According to the ITUC, "in early 2008 Urusov, a miner and trade union leader, was detained by the authorities, alleging narcotics possession. However, his arrest coincided suspiciously with preparations for a protest rally by workers at the state-owned Alrosa diamond mining company – a rally which Urusov helped organise. He was sentenced to six years in a penal colony."
In June 2012 LabourStart ran an online campaign that generated over 1,800 messages of support for Urusov's release.  In May 2011 shortly after Basile's arrest, we publicized the IUF campaign in our email newsletter, helping to bring in thousands more supporters.
Online campaigns work!  
Please take a moment to make sure that you're supporting our current campaign in support of jailed trade union leaders in Turkey and our other campaigns as well.
Meanwhile, the IUF has launched a new campaign targetting Mondelez (formerly Kraft), the food multinational that is seriously mistreating its workers in Egypt and Tunisia.  Support their campaign here and learn more here.
Finally, in another two days we're closing down our annual survey of trade union use of the net.  More people have participated this year than ever before -- and the more participants we have, the more useful the information collected will be for LabourStart and for trade unions everywhere.  Please take a moment to fill in the survey if you haven't yet done so.   If you've already participated, please spread the word.
Thank you!
Eric Lee

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