Sunday, April 13, 2014

More workers are killed in the shipyards of Bangladesh - Lives before profits

While the terrible conditions for garments workers in Bangladesh are now routinely discussed in the world’s media, they are not the only workers suffering a terrible price in the ‘Race to the Bottom’. The industry of shipbreaking is concentrated in the three South Asian countries of Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. These workplaces are notoriously anti union, conditions are appalling and deaths of workers frequent. Early this month, another four workers were killed in a workplace accident in Chittagong, Bangladesh. History has shown that only by workers themselves forming independent unions can this slaughter of human beings be brought to an end. source:::

Trade unionist in jail in Iran close to death - Free Shahrokh Zamani

The situation for workers, and in particular, worker activists continues to remain grim in Iran, with many in jail. Shahrokh Zamani, a member of the Syndicate of Paint Workers of Tehran and the Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Workers Organisations was sentenced to 11years of jail in 2011 for the crime of labour organising. Shahrokh has now been on hunger strike for a month in a prison in Karaj city. There is aninternational campaign to demand his unconditional release.

Chinese worker facing up to three years jail for organising strike

It has been almost a year since Wu Guijun was detained for organising a strike at the Diweixin Product Factory in Shenzhen. The trial for these ‘offences’ has just started, with Wu facing up to three years in prison if convicted. In contrast to past trials of worker activists, the proceedings are not only open, but at his hearing, there was a large group of supporters and fellow workers to support him. This is indicative that recent labour wins by Chinese workers are part of a growing confidence by workers to stand up for their rights.

Journalists are workers, time to end the repression against them

Australian journalist Peter Greste’s detention in an Egyptian jail on trumped up charges is one of the many dangers that journalists face as they try to do their job. Many other journalists in the region have felt the weight of authority via abductionsarrests or being murdered. In Turkey alone, there are currently over 40 journalists serving jail time because of their news covering. The situation has become so intolerable that the International Federation of Journalists have initiated an international campaign to raise awareness of the danger that journalists face and calling for their protection.

The fight against exploitation in Thailand continues on many fronts

The current political crisis in Thailand has reached an impasse with both sides of the ruling class not able to defeat the other. Nevertheless, this impasse has serious implications for workers and other activists. Recent debates have now raised the issue of racism with attempts to scapegoat migrant workers from Burma – who are routinely employed in the worst paying and most dangerous jobs (see here and here). The repressive Lese Majeste law is still continuing to be used against activists and others, like Somyot languish in jail. Meanwhile, the class struggle for workers continues at their workplace. source:::

Casualisation and insecure work is hitting Japanese workers

In late March, thousands of dockworkerswent on strike for the right to retain industry wide bargaining and for real wage increases. They also wanted an end to the increasing use of casualised and contractualised workers. In the same month, workers at Japan Post also took action calling for a halt to casualisation. As in many other countries, the ability for workers to organise is being undercut by the increasing use of casual and contract workers. Even in a sensitive industry like nuclear power, many workers faceinsecure employment conditions.

PAKISTAN:::Government, stakeholders asked to give due rights to textile workers

Karachi: The rights of textile workers in Pakistan go neglected and all the stakeholders including government should take steps to address their issues, said Nasir Mansoor of National Trade Union Federation Pakistan (NTUF).

ILO to take up Nepalese migrants issue with Qatar

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) will send a high-level mission to Qatar to identify immediate and long-term plan of actions for improving the working condition of Nepalese migrant workers there. 

The international organisation will send a delegation to initiate dialogue with Qatari authorities on the issue, ILO's  Pacific region Director Yoshiteru Uramoto said during his meeting with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala yesterday.