Saturday, August 16, 2014

Turkish workers still awaiting justice while union busting continues

The explosion at the Soma coal mine in May of this year that killed 301 workers, highlighted the conditions that many Turkish workers find themselves in. The fight for compensation and justice is an ongoing battle that is being pursued by surviving workers and other unionists. In an ongoing dispute, workers that were dismissed for joining a union at the pharmaceutical company Deva Holding, are continuing with their struggle and receiving international support. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case in Turkey.

Thousands of Bangladeshi garment workers in tough battle to regain wages

As reported last week, the dispute over unpaid wages for workers employed by the Tuba group of companies has entered its second week. Workers are continuing their hunger strike and actions amid continual harassment and repression by police and goons and the arrests of some of the labour organisers involved in the dispute. The workers seem to have won some of their demands over unpaid wages, but many other claims remain not settled. A solidarity rally was held last Friday in Melbourne, Australia.

Lack of maintenance leads to deadly oil pipeline explosion in Taiwan

Last week, in a dramatic sequence of events, oil pipelines under suburban streets of the Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung exploded, see video. The blasts killed 28 people and injured another 300. The pipeline was owned by a local petrochemical firm, LCY Chemical. Initial investigations have already confirmed that the company never carried out safety inspection works and did not initiate any safety measures when they noticed that the gas pressures inside the pipeline were dropping, indicating a major leak. The company’s total disregard for the health and safety of its workers and their families is another indication of company’s relentless drive of profits over workers lives.

Israel’s military assault on Palestinians in Gaza continues

This week, a three day ceasefire took place that allowed Palestinians to find and bury their dead while also managing to restock on basic essentials. While much of Gaza has been damaged, and almost 2,000 Palestinians killed, the underlying issues behind this conflict are still unresolved. Thus, Palestinians are still resisting against the continued military assault of the Israeli army. Demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinians continue around the world, such as LondonCape Town, and Tel Aviv among many other cities and countries. Click on the links for more information and updates.
Stop the bombardment
Lift the siege and blockade of Gaza
Free all Palestinian prisoners


Tens of Chinese workers murdered in workshop explosion

At the start of this month, an explosion at the automotive parts factory Zhongrong Plating in the industrial city of Kunshan, Jiangsu province, killed at least 75 workers and injured another 200 workers. The explosion was caused by the airborne dust in the factory which was ignited by sparks from the machines in use. This explosion indicates that dust levels in the air were at extreme levels. Apart from sudden explosions, dust is the main contributor to the lung disease pneumoconiosis, a disease that already affects over 6 million Chinese workers. Tragedies like this once again highlight the desperate need for genuine, independent unions in China.