The OSH Legal Resources Handbook is intended to serve as a practical reference handbook for those legal practitioners and activists involved in the struggle to seek compensation and justice for victims of occupational injuries and diseases. It aims to be a hands-on manual and provide an overview of the working of the law and its implementation. It is supplemented with case studies that give the reader an insight into the working of the laws in the region. It will also serve as a tool to aid cross-border alliances and build strong solidarity among victims’ support groups across the region.
This practical handbook has country reports from 10 countries: From South Asia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and India; from East Asia: China, Japan, and Hong Kong; and from Southeast Asia: Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand. Each chapter focuses on a single country and reports on actual cases/ incidents in terms of the existing structures and mechanisms, showing the core of the system and how it works and elucidating the requirements and challenges facing a worker or victim seeking compensation. Many of these cases clearly demonstrate the issues and obstacles encountered by the worker, and some strategies and interventions used by legal practitioners to assist the victims.
AMRC will update the information in this handbook periodically with the aim of providing a more powerful tool to the network and to other workers and victims in the Asia region.
Being cheated and ‘sold’ to farm employers in remote areas of Vietnam’s Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, workers are left with only two options, either hiding in the forest to flee from labor exploitation or stretching their backs to work.
Korea health unions KHMU and KPTU-HealthSol held a strike from 24-30 June, and protest rallies on 27 and 28 June after the Korean government's announcement to allow for deregulation and privatisation of the health services in the country.
Last week a reported 220,000 Cambodian migrants hastily returned from Thailand in fear of a crackdown against undocumented workers, creating a migration crisis. The Cambodian government, United Nations and NGOs quickly mobilized to feed and transport them to their home towns.
Rebecca Henschke reports on garment workers killed by riot police when striking for pay rise
Ken Loo from the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia:
“Investors are here to make money. Investors are not here for charity. Investors are not here because of good compliance. Investors are here because we need to make money. So if we make money, we continue to stay here. If we don't, then very naturally they need to start to look at leaving. And they will.”
Henschke (Journalist): “Where, really, could they go?”
Ken Loo: “It's not a question of where really could they go. Now, the Vietnam has a higher minimum wage, yes, but only slightly higher. But their productivity is much higher. You know. And Indonesia, although, yeah, it's got a ridiculously high minimum wage, but really if you want productivity adjusted, unit costs per output is probably on par with Cambodia.”
[video] More than 40 protestors from Hong Kong and Indonesia gathered in front of the Adidas Office in Hong Kong to show solidarity to the workers in China and Indonesia. They are the Chinese workers in disputes with Dongguan Yue Yuen and Guangzhou Dynamic Casting, and the 1300 Indonesia workers from PDK who were unfairly dismissed in 2012. Among these factories, there is one thing in common: they are all producing for the international footwear giant Adidas.
Over 1,000 steel workers in the Wazirpul industrial zone in Delhi have won improvements in working conditions. However, the very next day, the bosses refused to implement the terms of the agreement. The workers staged co-ordinated industrial action across 23 different factories, demonstrating the power of industry-level solidarity. Some important wins included a reduction of the working day from 12 to 8 hours, adherence to minimum wage levels, and the introduction of double overtime pay
June 29, As is known, after the strike of hot rolling steel workers at Wazirpur which lasted from 6 June to 27 June, the owners were forced to compromise when they agreed on all the conditions. But they turned their face from the agreement the very next day after which the workers jammed the factory gates. Subsequently after a 8-hour long negotiation the owners once again agreed on all conditions yesterday (28 June) and assured to start the factories and follow all the labour laws. But on 29 June, the owners are once again dilly-dallying.
Labour mobility has been touted as one of the most significant features of the Asean Economic Community, which is scheduled to take effect in late 2015, but the loss of skilled workers from lower-paying countries to those with higher wage levels remains a concern for many.
When Cambodian garment workers making clothes for U.S. brands like Walmart, Levis and Puma took to the streets in January demanding to be paid more than $3.00 a day, police and soldiers opened fire. Five people were killed instantly—another worker died this month due to the injuries he sustained. Their families are demanding justice.
"Slavery is illegal, yet it is driving Thailand's growth – so why are retailers, producers and governments alike turning a blind eye?"
Slavery is illegal in every country in the world. Yet slavery – the sort of state-sanctioned chattel slavery we thought we'd abolished about 200 years ago – is just what the Guardian has uncovered in the Thai fishing industry. We have established that prawns – shrimp, as they are known in the US – reach our supermarket shelves off the back of it.
The election is over and Indonesia’s people have spoken. They have chosen a small-town businessman over the elite as their next president: Jokowi. Jokowi has promised that workers will be more prosperous under his presidency. But his role in the 2014 Jakarta minimum wage negotiations sent a different message. In a year where there was over 8 percent inflation, a wage rise of 10 percent didn’t account for much. Workers might have won a big increase in the previous year, but Rp 2,441,000 (US$212) per month is hardly generous in a city like Jakarta.
Do Thi Minh Hanh, a young Vietnamese labor activist, was released from prison on June 27 after serving four years of a seven-year sentence for leafleting in support of footwear workers striking for better working conditions and higher wages. During her imprisonment, she suffered repeated beatings at the hands of prison guards and other inmates.
This book intends to bring together discussions on the progress and current state of Indonesian labour movement after the collapse of the Suharto's New Order regime in May 1998 that brought up the Reformasi. In the context of state-labour relationship, it allows more rooms for workers to organise and join into unions. However, it has also delivered neo-liberal challenges for workers’ collective efforts to defend their economic interests in the workplace.
The changes and challenges of Reformasi, however, do not prevent Indonesian labour to adapt, struggle and develop strategies to maintain its independent organisations. Although under the pressure of the market in globalisation and the constant control of the state, labour is crafting its paths - with trials and errors in some parts of the way, to defend members' interests. With these persistent efforts, we are witness the formation of independent and mature labour movement in Indonesia.
Edited by Jafar Suryomenggolo; Contributors: Benny Hari Juliawan; Surya Tjandra; R. Herlambang Perdana Wiratraman; Abu Mufakhir; Rita Olivia Tambunan
In light of the recent tentative agreement achieved by Samsung Electronics Service Workers after a 41 day strike and two recent films that depict the devastating impact of Samsung’s factory conditions, KPI is re-publishing this report on the Samsung Electronics industry and its treatment of workers, written by members of the Research Institute for Alternative Workers’ Movements in South Korea. Please note that the workers who were on strike this May and June were subcontracted after this article was written; the workers described in this article remain unorganized.
On June 30, 2014 Samsung Service Trade union won the battle as the negotiation on the collective agreement between the union and Samsung was concluded. It is the first collective labour agreement in Samsung for the past 76 years! Thanks for the struggle and solidarity of the workers!
Please support the Global Day of Action on July 2 calling on the giant electronics company NXP Semiconductors to bring back the 24 union leaders in its plant in the Philippines whom it laid off while negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement were taking place. The Global Day of Action aims to highlight the condition of the NXP workers in the Philippines and of workers in export-processing zones in the Philippines and other countries. Attached is a fact sheet about NXP workers’ fight.
3) Write a solidarity statement. Please send to email@example.com (for workers in export-processing zones) Share your own experience with the workers of NXP.
4) Conduct a solidarity action in your workplace (example: hold a placard or wear an armband) calling NXP to bring back the 24 workers laid off and expressing support for all workers in free trade zones or EPZs in fighting for their rights. Have this photographed so it can be shared in social networking sites.
Seven Labour Organizations have jointly signed an open letter responding against the suggestion to put aside the GuangDong Province Collective Contract of Enterprises given by the Six Hong Kong Chambers of Commerce. The open letter has sent to the HKSAR Chief Executive, Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government of HKSAR, International Labour Organization, All China Federation of Trade Unions etc.
Since 2011, Myanmar has been one of the main countries to draw international attention. Before that year, international news coverage on the country was mostly related to oppression and political turmoil caused by military dictatorship. However, after 2011, the reasons were quite different. Several political and legal reforms brought by the civilian-led government, although backed by the military group, have made a drastic shift of international climate towards the country. Still, there is cautious scepticism on the real intention of these reforms, which included releasing Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest, and a massive number of political prisoners from prison, relaxing censorship and legalizing trade unions. All these changes were welcomed by international society and rewarded by cancelation of all actions implemented by mostly US and European countries. These reforms turned the country from a problematic country under military dictatorship to an attractive one for investment with natural resources and cheap labours. The reforms also brought about new dynamics in society: trade union legalization has had a big impact on workplace and led to mushrooming labour unions.
A recent report from the International Trade Union Confederation ranked Korea below most of 139 countries surveyed in terms of workers’ rights, based on submissions from local labor unions. Korea was assigned the lowest rating of 5, defined as a country that has no guarantee of rights.
South Korea is widely considered one of Asia’s freest states for political liberty following its transition from authoritarian rule to democracy in the late 1980’s. But international watchdogs have said that since 2008, under former President Lee Myung-bak, Seoul has worked to curtail labor movements critical of the government.
Please support this LabourStart urgent action campaign and spread the word.
South Korean President PARK, Geun-hye, SAMSUNG Group management and Group Chairman LEE Kun-hee, want to take the country back to the dark days of its authoritarian past. The first ever large-scale trade union in Samsung Group, the Korean Metal Workers' Union (KMWU) Samsung Electronics Service Workers' Local (around 2000 members), is on indefinite strike. The workers have asked Samsung to stop labour repression and recognize the union, for employment security at the 3 centers with concentrated union membership, to pay a living wage and to bargain a first collective agreement. During the strike, on May 17, the KMWU Samsung local chapter chair committed self-immolation in protest against Samsung's continuing labour repression. 300 police forces stormed his funeral wake, arrested 25 mourners, and absconded with the labour martyr's body. He was cremated under police protection against his dying wishes that his sacrifice be used to win labour rights at Samsung, which adheres to a "No Union" corporate policy. Police and public prosecutors have imprisoned KMWU Samsung union local Chair WI, Young-il and First Vice-Chair LA, Du-shik for protesting the raid at the funeral wake when the body was taken amid this clampdown on democratic and trade union rights.