Sunday, November 24, 2013

MALAYSIA>>>Jeff Ooi shouted at for 'kucing kurap' remarks at market /Pekerja MPPP kecewa digelar 'kucing kurap'


Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi's remark that the Penang Municipal Council low ranking officers are "kucing kurap" (insignificant) landed him in a war of words with former PKR state wanita chief Aminah Abdullah at the Jelutong market in Penang.

Workers and their communities the main victims of cyclone Haiyan

The typhoon that struck the central Philippines earlier this month made global headlines with many references to the devastation and the difficulty of bringing relief to those in need. What most media outlets did not analyse was the scarcity of infrastructure that was present before the typhoon or how vulnerable the people were to natural disasters. The reasons are to be found in the massive inequalities that exist in the Philippines where the majority of people earn very low wages while an elite controls huge wealth. It is up to us as workers to make sure that future typhoons do not become such disasters for our brothers and sisters.

Burmese workers facing slave-like working conditions

A recently released report into the conditions of workers at industrial zones in and around Yangon, Myanmar’s biggest city, has highlighted the hardships that workers endure. The report highlighted that with the typical base wage of only around $US 1 per day, workers routinely work eleven hours a day, six days a week, with many reluctant to take any sick or holiday leave. In addition, workplaces are often unsanitary and many workers live in overcrowded factory supplied dormitories. While current laws do not give much protection to workers and unions, workers have nevertheless increased their activism over the last couple of years. 

Palestinian workers face mounting hardships

The occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel has totally compromised the economic and social life for millions of Palestinians. To survive, many Palestinians have to work in Israeli factories, whether in occupied Palestinian areas or in Israel itself. Every day, workers face intimidation, humiliation and harassment by Israeli soldiers as well as having to cope with restrictive laws that make many workers ‘illegal’ in their own lands. Nevertheless, Palestinian workers are still taking actions and are trying to create stronger fighting organisations.

Leather workers in Turkey face union-busting action by company

Workers at the Punto Deri leather product manufacturer have long faced low pay, long working hours, non payment of overtime and inability to use official holidays. In order to achieve better conditions, most of the workers joined their local union, Deri-Is. The response from Punto Deri was to identify the union activists and dismiss them immediately. There is now an international campaign in support of the rights of Punto Deri workers. For video, click here.

Tazreen survivors still waiting for justice

It has been a year since the horrific fire engulfed the garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killing well over 100 workers. While investigations have revealed that massive breaches of fire and health & safety regulations caused such a calamity, the surviving workers and the families of the dead and injured are yet toreceive substantial compensation. The situation that these workers are facing exemplifies the brutal nature of the global garment industry where workers are dispensable and just another unit cost to minimise. Global co-ordinated industrial action by garment workers across Asia is needed to improve the working conditions in this sector.

Garment workers killed and injured by police in Bangladesh

Garment workers in Bangladesh have been in almost constant mobilisations over the last year against the appalling conditions that they have to endure. Major disaster like Tazreen and the Rana Plaza collapse have been the outcome of an industry that employs millions of workers but is based on brutal and inhumane conditions. At a protest this week, workers were met not only by police charges and tear gas, but also by live bullets, leading to the death of two workers and many more injured, click here for video. The continual actions and organising by our brothers and sisters in Bangladesh are an inspiration to all of us.

Sri Lankan workers take on global giant Ansell

Over 800 workers employed by the Australian company Ansell at the Biyagama Export Promotion Zone in Sri Lanka have been on strike for over a month. The workers are fighting the company’s refusal to recognise their union, the Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees Union (FTZGSEU) and continued harassment and intimidation of union members. A petition has been set up to support the workers, while the workers themselves have written to the Australian High Commissioner in Colombo. Ansell is a global company with facilities in 35 countries. Co-ordinated action by workers in Ansell facilities in other countries will be the most powerful strategy to hit back against Ansell.

MALAYSIA:::S’wak union: HSBC is ‘threatening’ employees

Sarawak Bank Employees Union secretary Law Kiat Min said the union is protesting against HSBC Malaysia Berhad’s ‘blatant attempt to coerce, pressure and threaten employees’.
KUCHING: Sarawak Bank Employees Union (SBEU), which is affiliated to the Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) and Federation of Banks and Financial Institutions Employees’ Union, will hold a statewide picket beginning tomorrow to protest against HSBC Malaysia Berhad’s decision to shutdown  its commercial banking division in Sarawak.
SBEU said it will picket in front of the HSBC Malaysia Berhad’ offices here and in Sibu on Nov 29, Miri Dec 7 and Bintulu on Dec 14.
SBEU general secretary Law Kiat Min said the union is protesting against HSBC’s “blatant attempt to coerce, pressure and threaten employees’.

French pilots' union calls Monday strike against easyJet

Nov 23 (Reuters) - The French pilots' union SNPL called a one-day strike against easyJet for Monday, accusing the British budget airline of not adequately sharing with employees record profits it announced earlier in the week.