The working people of the country, from almost all the sectors, from all the states, have very well completed their preparation for the 24 hour strike on 2nd September. This strike is the 16th countrywide General strike after 1991, against the neoliberal offensive of the ruling classes and the fourth strike after all the 11 central TUs and also the National Federations came on a joint platform. All informations from various corners of the country indicate that most enthusiastic preparations have been there to make the strike a complete success.
Central Trade Unions All the Central Trade Unions have convened their national level meetings and chalked out programmes for independent and joint campaigns. All the Central Trade Unions have also, according to media reports, held their own organizational meetings at state level also. Those initiatives have resulted in successful holdings of the state level and sectoral conventions of all the Trade Unions and Federations.
State Conventions Starting from West Bengal, all the states have organized joint Conventions and adopted resolutions calling upon the unions and federations in the state to join the countrywide strike. National leaders of CTUs have attended these conventions, raising enthusiasm among the delegates participating.
An important development in these conventions are the participation of state level organizations, mostly guided by the regional political parties. These organizations include the Trade Union wings or guided organizations of Shiv Sena, Telengana Rajya Samithi, Telugudesam, MDMK, DMDK and VCK in Tamilnadu, JMM in Jharkhand. In Kerala all the regional trade unions including those attached to ruling parties in the state have been participating in the countrywide strikes conducted after 2009. There are also organizations at state level, not attached to any political parties, but led by individuals or functioning as independent organizations like Working Peoples Council in Tamilnadu, which are also participating in the strike.
Public Sector Unions The Convention of Public Sector Employees unions in Bengaluru on 25th July witnessed participation of unions form all over the country. Unions affiliated to all the major central trade unions and also the Joint Action Front of PSU unions Bengaluru and PSU Trade Union Co-ordination Committee, Hyderabad participated. 287 delegates from 28 major PSUs attended this Convention, which adopted a declaration criticizing the Government of India’s policies of Privatisation and denigration of PSUs. Adopting the 12 point charter of demands and also on issues of PSU Public Sector Workers the convention vowed to make the strike a total success.
CITU affiliated unions along with some of the fraternal unions in PSUs, had held a meeting in Hyderabad on 22nd June. 157 delegates from more than 50 units had attended this meeting, which was called by All India Co-ordination Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions.
State level workshops or conventions were also held in various centers where considerable number of PSUs are operating.
Sectoral Convention Coal workers, under the leadership of all the major federations held a national convention in Nagpur, on 11th July, resolving to make the strike a complete success. Local and regional conventions were held in different states.
Port and Dock The Co-ordination Committee of five national federations of Port and Dock Workers met at Paradeep on 21st June to plan out campaigns among the port and dock workers. Meeting again at Chennai on 8th and 9th August to review the preparations the committee decided to direct all the affiliated unions to issue strike notices to the management. Detailed programme of campaigning was worked out.
Petroleum Workers National Federations of Petroleum Sector Workers held a national Convention on 18th August, in Mumbai, where Trade Unions representing all major Oil and Gas undertakings participated. Leaders of CITU, AITUC and INTUC led federations participated along with worker representatives from different centers.
Telecom Workers BSNL employees who went on a two-day strike with a demand of Save BSNL, are fully prepared for the strike on 2nd September. All the Unions of employees have jointly served strike notice and campaigns have been well organized.
Road Transport Workers Road Transport Workers will be participating in the strike enmasse. After the most successful countrywide strike of Road Transport Workers on 30th April, when workers from State Government undertakings, private and also of self employed sections participated, the enthusiasm among the Road Transport Workers have increased manifold.
A national convention on 4th August in Mavalankar Hall in New Delhi witnessed participation form all over the country including Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur. All Central TUs and independent federations form various states participated in the Convention which decided to organize successful strike of the Road Transport Workers on 2nd September.
Electricity Workers The National Co-ordination Committee of Electricity Employees and Engineers (NCCOEEE) have been on country wide campaigns against the new electricity Bill, which will in effect be a death knell to the demands of Electricity as a human right. Affordable and quality energy to the domestic consumers will come to an end if the new Bill is passed. NCCOEEE had decided to go on a countrywide strike it the new Bill is introduced in Parliament. Though it was listed to be introduced, it could not be introduced in the Monsoon Session. Now, the unions have decided to concentrate on the 2nd September strike.
Central and State Government Employees Central Government employees under the Confederation of Central Government Employees and Workers, is on a countrywide campaign to make he General strike a powerful Day of protest by mobilizing all sections of employees –Postal, Income-tax, Audit and Accounts and various departments.
As far as the State Government Employees are concerned All India State Government Employees Federation leaders are on tour to mobilize employees for the strike after a formal decision to go for strike was taken on 11th July. State and local level Conventions have been organized in various states.
Defence Employees Civilian employees of the Defence department are in full preparation for the strike. All India Defence Employees Federation (AIDEF) and the INTUC and BMS led federations have jointly appealed to the workers to go on strike. Strike Ballot was taken by the 3 federations, independently form 4th to 6th.
Financial Sector Major Unions in Banking and Insurance Sector are, as usual, actively preparing for the strike, which will be a total success on 2nd September. Reserve Bank and NABARD will also be on strike.
Medical Representatives As has been the tradition, in all the previous struggles, medical representatives under the banner of FMRAI are well prepared in every state to go on strike this time also.
Scheme Workers In the Anganwadi Sector, all the federations have jointly decided to participate in the strike. Asha workers. Mid-Day Meal workers, NCLP workers etc. are also in the campaign to make the strike a powerful protest against the Government’s attitude towards the Scheme Workers.
The reports reaching from different parts of the country show that enthusiastic campaigns are going on in all the Industrial Centres in the country. Organised Sector workers, both in Public Sector and Private Sector, along with the huge Sections of unorganized sector workers, daily wage earners and all Sections of toilers are preparing for the strike.
House to house campaigns, Panchayat level Conventions, torch light processions are being held in different parts of the country with thousands of work spot level meetings with massive participation of men and women. In many centres, General strike will turn into a total hartal.
Country is on the move On 15th August, we saw, country wide celebrations of the Independence Day. India has entered the 69th year of Independence. The lofty goals at the time of the freedom struggle and the dreams of thousands of our Martyrs and millions who languished in the jails facing torture and hardships still remain a very distant even to-day.
Our Kisans and Agricultural Workers are on the path of suicides, not able to withstand the blood sucking policies of the ruling class. Various sections of Kisans and Agricultural workers are already on struggle. The distress the Indian villages are facing are the result of the inhuman and exploitative policies being pursued by the rulers. It is for the working class of the country to be in the forefront of struggles against these policies and give confidence to all other sections of toiling masses in their struggles. The solidarity of all sections of toilers have to be strengthened.
The unity of the Trade Unions on the basis of an agreed charter and the struggles being conducted have to be developed in to a massive struggle against the anti-people, neo-liberal policies. The countrywide General strike on 2nd September, should mark the beginning of a new phase of struggle. This one day strike will turn into a massive action to warn the ruling class against their policies. We should force a change in the policy trajectory of the country and working people should unitedly move towards that.
For social protection to be truly rights-based, the manner by which it is financed should also be rights-based. A rights-based financing for rights-based social protection would mean that financing should come primarily from the government funds to counter IFIs’ involvement in social protection and the financialisation of social protection funds. This would entail realignment of public funds from defence spending and debt servicing to social protection programmes as well as exit from loan-induced social protection models. Overall, a rights-based social protection prioritises the needs of the marginalised workers over the capitalist interests. In this regard, the states should ensure that its economic development agenda is people-centred and not biased towards the interests of big capitalists that disregard people’s rights, lives, and livelihood.
We condemn the spate of harassment being done by the military on trade unionists and activists. We find this renewed harassment, red baiting and threatening of trade unions based in Metro Manila very alarming
Nearly 200 Cambodian garment workers have been hospitalised after a new spate of mass fainting at factories this week, officials said Wednesday, renewing concerns about conditions in the kingdom's crucial textile industry.
"It's a daily fight for survival. Sometimes I feel like just giving it all up and getting back to farming." -- Jignesh, a young street vendor who migrated from Gujarat to New Delhi to provide for his family
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.
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.
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.
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
Leftwing groups and trade unions are staging rallies to mark International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day or May Day. The day commemorates workers’ struggle for better conditions in industrialised countries in the 19th century
General Motors Co (GM.N) employees in South Korea voted in favor of a wage deal on Thursday, averting a strike for a second consecutive year in a country whose auto sector is renowned for industrial action.
A union spokesman told Reuters that 55 percent of workers approved a tentative deal reached on Monday, under which GM Korea would raise the basic monthly wage by 83,000 won ($71) and pay each worker 10.5 million won in bonuses and incentives.
The deal includes a plan to make next-generation Chevrolet Malibu sedans on a second production line at GM's Bupyeong plant west of the capital Seoul, likely ending speculation of production at the plant being scaled back.
The union earlier this month said members refused to work overtime and staged a partial strike over pay, in action that did not affect production volume.
Asian Labour Reviewis prepared to provide a forum for a new generation of labour researchers who are willing to work with ground movements and be part of it. We are pleased to offer an outlet to make a stronger network of new generation academics and activists working on Asian labour.
The editors ofAsian Labour Reviewwelcome submissions of paper from those who work for different research institutions, universities, development agencies, NGOs and think-thanks, and trade unions, but also from individual researchers in national and international labour and solidarity movements, international campaigning and private-led development initiatives on labour standards. For the first issue, papers must be received by15 August 2015. Papers should be emailed to ALR editors at email@example.com
The network has membership from similar networks in Europe and US and the Asian network members join the meetings of the European and US counterparts. It has also built systematically into a strong solidarity networks. In the recent Asian network meeting in Bangkok, 2013, ANROEV members proposed the formation of a global grassroots network that would bring tougher the global grassroots movement and make their voice even stronger. In principle, the proposal has agreed both by the European and the US networks, however, to make it truly global it also needs members from Africa and Latin America which would be its next task. At the policy level, there have been many promises made to improve health and safety, starting with a Beijing declaration of “Occupational Safety for all” in 1994 by the World Health Organization. International Labor Organization in 2008, also makes similar promises in a nicely worded ‘Seoul Declaration’ that “calls for a preventative safety and health culture, which gives the right to a safe and healthy environment and which is respected at all national levels”. However at ground level it seems nothing has changed, despite these wonderful promises.
Two decades after the deadly fires of Kader and Zhili, we have seen even worse fires in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Though these international UN bodies seem to have membership from the sates, yet there is the exclusion of the main beneficiaries in this decision-making process- the victims and the workers who are getting exposed. The complete failure of health and safety at all levels is because of failure of grassroots democracy; the where absence of unions, the working class has almost no representation at any level of the decision-making process. Moreover, the impacted population and the victims, who are marginalized in this process, do not have any democratic space to express themselves. In this regard, the victims organizing and the Asian network play an important role in bringing the voices of the impacted workers to the surface. They have realized the only themselves can change their situation, and all they need is some space, where they can exert and express themselves. The network has helped them in this process by providing them some platform and they are leading what has a potential to become a global solidarity network.
Justice for Kentex Workers! Ensure criminal prosecution of Kentex factory owners! Discharge from post Sec. Baldoz, Roxas, top officials of DOLE, DILG and BFP! Just compensation to Kentex fire victims and workers! Pass Workers SHIELD Bill!
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.
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 Japan’s labor unions--Rengo, Zenroren and Zenrokyo—expressed 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.”
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
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.
We gather here today to register the following calls:
End corporate-driven land grabbing! Uphold the people’s right to food, no to land use and crop conversion! Respect indigenous people’s right to a self-determined development! Respect labor rights, uphold workers’ right to organize unions and collective bargaining inside oil palm plantations and oil mills! Stop human rights violations, pull out military troops from oil-palm operation-affected communities! Ban hazardous chemicals and pesticide, uphold people’s right to health and a safe environment! Genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, now!
We strongly condemn the arrests of activists and protesters who took part in the May Day Rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There are at least 29 people being arrested, including Arutchelvan (Secretary-General of Socialist Party of Malaysia), Ambiga Sreenevasan (Former President of Malaysian Bar Council), and Anthony Loke (Seremban's Member of Parliament).
We believe that the arrests are politically motivated and intended to silence the opposition against the newly introduced policy on regressive Goods and Services Tax (GST) in the country.
We urge the government of Malaysia to:
- Release all May Day protesters immediately and unconditionally.
- Stop the crackdown against the activist and the right to freedom of assembly.
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