Asian Labour Update
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Labour News Across Asia
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[India] Strike paralyses banks, offices for second day

[India] Strike paralyses banks, offices for second day | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

India's public-sector banks and many government offices were shut on Thursday on the second day of a general strike called to protest against the government's planned pro-market reforms.

Eleven unions called the strike in protest at the measures which they condemn as "anti-poor" and likely to cost jobs and raise prices.

While the impact of the stoppage was patchy and felt mainly in heavily unionised state institutions, analysts said it underscored discontent among workers.

"The government must sit down with the workers and hear them out because it cannot afford to ignore this class any more with general elections due in 2014," Shubha Singh, a New Delhi-based political analyst and writer, said.

The reforms include opening the retail, insurance and aviation sectors wider to foreign investment in a bid to spur a sharply slowing economy.

They also involve raising prices of subsidised diesel and reducing the number of discounted cooking gas cylinders to reduce a ballooning fiscal deficit. Leaders of two main leftist parties said they were boycotting the opening session of parliament on Thursday in solidarity with the strikers. The government is already bunder pressure over an economy growing at its weakest pace in a decade and widespread allegations of corruption.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry has estimated losses from the two-day stoppage at more than 200 billion rupees ($3.7 billion).AFP

 

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-in-school/strike-paralyses-banks-offices-for-second-day/article4440862.ece

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Japan's Labor Movement Struggles to Cope with Irregular Employment

Japan's Labor Movement Struggles to Cope with Irregular Employment | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Japanese labor unions used to be a force to be reckoned with, but declining membership, fading activism, and the rise of irregular employment have led many ordinary Japanese to forget that they even exist.
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Security Workers Union of Indonesia Pulp and Paper continue strike for a month

Security Workers Union of Indonesia Pulp and Paper continue strike for a month | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
First strike on 12-14 Feb 2013 Workers Union of PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper (SPS PT. TEL) decided to continue the strike for one month on 26 February to 26 March 2013. The strike is a continuation that has been carried out at 12-14 in February 2013 due to PT. Tangkas as a business enterprise security services for PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper deny collective agreement and conduct unilateral termination of the three security workers. During the three-day strike last PT. Tangkas does not indicate its intention to adhere to the contents of the Collective Agreement for the workers to increase their demands to expel Tangkas. Solidarity and support for the strike comes from all the unions in entire PT. Tanjungenim Lestari Pulp and Paper is SPPT TeL and SP3-TEL, as well as the full support of its affiliates is FSP2KI, KSN and IndustryALL Global Union. Secretary-General IndustriALL even sent a letter of solidarity to FSP2KI about full support for this strike. Also launched an online petition to get public support for a strike SPS PT. TEL.
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Bangkok Port staff kick off strike action

Bangkok Port staff kick off strike action | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Workers at Bangkok Port stopped working overtime starting yesterday evening to pressure for the dismissal of the Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) director-general. About 300 workers belonging to the PAT union rallied at the PAT headquarters in Klong Toey district yesterday and vowed to maintain the stoppage at least until Monday, when the board meets. They want the board to remove PAT director-general Viroj Chongchansittho for his alleged failure to compromise over an overtime dispute with employees. Suwat Asawathongkul, chairman of Bangkok Shipowners and Agents Association, said the protest could delay shipment of 15,000 containers to Singapore, which could cause severe damage to Thai exporters.r
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Campaign for the Electrolux Workers' Union in Thailand

Campaign for the Electrolux Workers' Union in Thailand | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Campaign for the Electrolux Workers' Union of Thailand's Struggles for Reinstatement of Dismissed Workers Thai Labour Campaign launches the campaign for freedom of collective bargaining and labor rights by supporting Electrolux Labor Union of Thailand’s freedom in demanding on wages adjustment in accordance with their years of service based on the current minimum rate of wage and promotion of status of agency workers to permanent employees and bonus payment to the Electrolux Company in Rayong province. We also protest Electrolux Company that has dismissed 129 workers in January and refused Electrolux Labor Union of Thailand’s collective bargaining and Welfare Committee’s collective consultation mechanism. Please support TLC’s campaign by taking a photo with your Electrolux product as washing machines, refrigerators and other electrical appliances and saying to the company that “Reinstate all dismissed workers and respect their collective bargaining NOW” ActNOW! : https://www.facebook.com/events/335852173199112
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National Garment Workers Federation Congress

National Garment Workers Federation Congress | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
The 12th biannual Congress of the National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) was held in Dhaka on 1st february.2013) with a vow to establish ‘SAFE WORKPLACE ’ , “ TRADE UNION RIGHTS “ and “ LIVING WAGE “ in Garment sector of Bangladesh. Several thousand garment workers, mostly women, from all Garment industrial areas participated in the Congress inaugural ceremony, which was held at ‘Russell Mancha (stage)’ at Topkhana area. Presided over by NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin, the Congress was inaugurated by veteran labour leader and President of National Workers Federation Safuiqur Rahman Majumder. The inaugural session was addressed by Workers Party President Rashed Khan Menon MP, representative of Belgian trade union movement Dr Tariquzzaman and Bangladesh Garment Workers Unity Council Coordinator M Delowar Hossain. NGWF General Secretary Ms Safia Parvin gave welcome address. NGWF Joint Secretary Ms Sultana Akter conducted the Congress, which was attended by leaders of different trade union organizations. NGWF brought out a massive colorful procession after the inaugural session. The procession was concluded at the Congress venue after parading important streets of the city. The Council (working) session of the Congress was held at Shaheed Tajul auditorium at Purana Paltan area after the inaugural session. The Council session of the Congress began with adoption of condolence resolution showing respect to the memory workers, who died in factory fire and accidents while on duty after the previous Congress in 2009. The working session was participated by 135 delegates, who came from different parts of the country. 21 delegates spoke at the session highlighting important issues and organizational aspects. The working session was also presided over by NGWF President Amirul Haque Amin. The Congress resolved to launch movement in the next 2-years to establish garment factory as ‘safe workplace’, “ factory based unions”, “introduce living wage” for garment workers, “free trade union rights”,” equal right for women workers”, introduce” social security for workers” and provident fund, service benefit & gratuity for workers, introduce full rationing (supplying essential commodities at cheaper price) system for workers, establish garment workers’ dormitory and housing facility, 6-month paid maternity leave for women workers, introduce paternity leave, Job security , Transportation for the workers and fair Price of Bangladeshi RMG products from the MNC,s. as well as tax free access in USA market for RMG. In his presidential speech, Amirul Haque Amin urged the workers to get united under the banner of NGWF in order to establish their rights and improve living standard. He demanded of the government, BGMEA and buyers to undertake program in collaboration with the trade unions to establish ‘safe workplace’ in garment factories in order to avert workers’ death in factory fires & factory accidents immediately. He also urged for establishing “Garment workers welfare fund” with participation from the government, BGMEA and buyers to finance compensation to victim workers and their families. At the last session of the Council, delegates elected a 30-member central executive committee and a 101-member National Committee of the NGWF. The National Committee is a newly established forum, which will meet once in every 6-month with a view to strengthen organizational activities, transparency and participation of decision making and labour movement with greater participation from across the country. Of the 30-member newly elected NGWF central executive committee, 17 are women. Amirul Haque Amin was reelected President of the NGWF central executive committee. Ms Nurun Nahar was elected as Senior Vice-President, Ms Safia Parvin was reelected as General Secretary, Ms Sultana Akter was elected Joint Secretary while Ms Nasima Akter Treasurer. Press secretary NGWF
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Singapore bus strike: Who are the police investigating here?

Singapore bus strike: Who are the police investigating here? | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Who knew a peaceful strike by a group of bus drivers could lead to such a fuss? The bus strike by over 100 SMRT bus drivers from China led to 29 employees being repatriated, and five arrested and charged for their part in the strike.
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Workers Decry Social Security Contributions | The Jakarta Globe

Workers Decry Social Security Contributions | The Jakarta Globe | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Several thousand workers from across Greater Jakarta gathered at various locations in the middle of the city on Wednesday demanding the government to reduce their monthly social security contribution.
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China's trade union reforms aim to control its militant workforce

China's trade union reforms aim to control its militant workforce | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Richard Seymour: By formalising workers' resistance, the Chinese government hopes to maintain productivity threatened by strikes
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Korea: Public sector union president on indefinite hunger strike

Korea: Public sector union president on indefinite hunger strike | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Please support this LabourStart urgent action campaign and spread the word.
AMRC Hong Kong's insight:

The President of the Korean Government Employees' Union (KGEU), Kim Jungnam, launched a hunger strike in the streets of Seoul outside the offices of the Presidential transition committee on15 January.

He is protesting the sacking of 137 workers, among them the union president and general secretary, who are being punished for their union activities. They are accused of being leaders of an "illegal organization" -- the KGEU.

President-elect Park Guenhye, who will take office on 25 February, has pledged to achieve social integration. The KGEU is demanding that she recognize the union and reinstate the sacked employees.

The KGEU believes that the reinstatement of those workers is a human rights issue and demands that the government listen to the International Labour Organization which has been urging Korea to guarantee trade union rights including freedom of association for many years now.

Kim will continue his hunger strike until these issues are resolved.

We call upon trade unionists around the world to show their solidarity by sending off messages of protest and solidarity today. 

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Thousands of Foxconn workers strike in Beijing over annual bonuses

Thousands of Foxconn workers strike in Beijing over annual bonuses | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
According to Hong Kong based Phoenix TV, thousands of Foxconn workers in Beijing have gone on strike ahead of Spring Festival to protest the factory's refusal to pay end of year bonuses or raise salaries.
AMRC Hong Kong's insight:

According to Hong Kong based Phoenix TV, thousands of Foxconn workers in Beijing have gone on strike ahead of Spring Festival to protest the factory's refusal to pay end of year bonuses or raise salaries.

 

As the Year of the Snake approaches, most Chinese employees are happily contemplating their end of year bonuses, thousands of employees a Foxconn plant in Beijing's Yizhuang Economic Development Zone left production lines after they learned they would not be receiving bonuses.

 

The protest began on January 22 and continued well into the night, photos of the strike were circulated on Weibo and other social media platforms. Phoenix TV reports that a large number of police officers were sent to supervise the situation and prevent any kind of escalation. As of writing it is unclear whether the workers' actions have been successful in forcing the factory to pay out end of year bonuses. 

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Labor groups march for workers’ rights #Taiwan

Labor groups march for workers’ rights #Taiwan | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Thousands of people from workers’ unions and labor groups took to the streets in Taipei yesterday, demanding that the government protect workers’ rights.
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SHARPS and Students Protest Against Former Samsung CEO’s Appointment As Visiting Scholar At South Korea’s Top University

SHARPS and Students Protest Against Former Samsung CEO’s Appointment As Visiting Scholar At South Korea’s Top University | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

   SHARPS and students activists at Seoul National University have formed a task force to thwart the university’s month-long attempt to appoint  a former executive of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. to the Sociology department as a visiting professor.

   On Jan. 14, the activists and bereaved family members of Samsung blood-disorder victims rallied at the administration building of SNU, calling for the country’s top university to rescind plans to appoint Hwang Chang-gyu, CEO of Samsung’s semiconductor unit in 2004-2008, to the prestigious position.


Hwang’s Law

   In 2002, as CTO of Samsung, Mr. Hwang could claim a global reputation when he announced that Samsung would continue to double memory density every year—he dubbed this process Hwang’s Law.  Indeed, Samsung met this goal each year between 2002 and 2008.   However, Samsung has since been unable to develop a viable technology to live up to Hwang’s Law.

  What really drove Hwang’s Law was Samsung’s belief in speed and volume.  As technology blogger Chris Edwards rightly predicted in 2007 regarding the end of Hwang’s Law:  “What is more likely is that Samsung will use the process developed for the 64Gb memory to make cheaper 8, 16 and 32Gb devices come 2009 when this process is meant to [enter] volume production.”


Hwang’s Deadly Law

   Samsung’s young, mostly female, employees have worked excessively long hours under hazardous conditions to make the staggering speed and volume of chip production possible.  As of March 2012, SHARPS has profiled 155 workers who contracted various forms of leukemia, multiple sclerosis and aplastic anemia after employment in the electronics industry in South Korea.  More than 50 percent are former Samsung employees.  As of June, 2012, of the 155, 63 have died.

   “Hwang Chang-gyu belongs in prison, not college,” said Hwang Sang-ki, the father of Hwang Yumi. His daughter was hired at the Samsung chip unit in 2003 when Hwang Chang-gyu began his big push on speed and volume.  In 2005, she was diagnosed with leukemia.  In 2007 Yumi died at the age of 23.   “Hwang Chang-gyu violated laws and left numerous workers ill and busted union drives,” the 58-year-old father said at the rally.


Not a Sociologist

   The 60-year-old Mr. Hwang, with a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Massachusetts, has no credentials as a sociologist.  And his post-Samsung career is not impressive at all.  In 2010, Mr. Hwang was named National Chief Technology Officer, a newly created government position responsible for selecting and supporting an emerging strategic industry.  An inquiry by lawmakers discovered that in fiscal 2012 his office spent KRW4.7 billion (U$444 thousand) on remuneration versus KRW12 billion (U$1.1 million) on a total of three R&D projects.

   To date, the SNU administration has categorically dismissed repeated requests by students and activists to disclose the rationale behind Mr. Hwang’s appointment.  The university’s personnel committee is scheduled to meet on Jan. 17 to finalize its decision on Mr. Hwang’s hiring.

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Workers Protest Bills on Mass Organizations, National Security

Workers Protest Bills on Mass Organizations, National Security | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Hundreds of labor union members demonstrated in front on the House of Representatives’ building on Tuesday, demanding that the controversial bills on mass organizations and national security be dropped from the legislature’s docket.


The bill on mass organizations threatened democracy and citizens’ freedom to be involved in an organization or to express an opinion.

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Indonesian Adidas workers speak out

Indonesian Adidas workers speak out | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
On Feb. 14, two Indonesian workers accompanied by their translator, Rebecca Gluckstein, came to Wayne State to tell their story of the Adidas corporation’s refusal to pay almost $2 million dollars in severance pay to their workers at a factory called PT Kizone. PT Kizone was a clothing factory located in Tangerang, Indonesia that produced clothing for Adidas, according to a United Students Against Sweatshops flyer. The factory employed about 2,800 workers, most of whom were paid $0.60 per hour on average.
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Hong Kong approves minimum wage hike to $4.82 per hour

Hong Kong approves minimum wage hike to $4.82 per hour | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
The government of Hong Kong has approved a 7 per cent rise in the city's minimum wage, lagging increases elsewhere in the region and drawing criticism from some who say the raise was not enough to help workers cope with costs in one of the world's most expensive cities. The move will take hourly wages in the financial centre HK$2 higher to HK$30 (S$4.82) and take effect from May 1. The adjusted statutory minimum wage is set to benefit about 223,100 workers in the city. Hong Kong, where residential and commercial property prices are among the highest in the world, introduced a minimum wage in May 2011. "Prices of everything are rising. A two-dollar rise is just too little. Even three or four would be better," said a cleaning lady surnamed Wong, who is paid the minimum wage and was reluctant to give her full name.
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Make the general Strike of February 20-21 a great success

Make the general Strike of February 20-21 a great success | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Indian working class will be on a historic 48 hours General Strike on 20th and 21st February 2013. The call for the strike is given by Eleven Central T.Us and supported by various National Federations, independent trade unions and other workers’ organizations.

 

Major Demands

Price control of essential commodities and ensuring universal Public Distribution System to ensure food securityUniversal coverage by minimum wages Act and statutory minimum wage of not less than Rs 10000Pension for all, removal of all ceiling on eligibility for bonus, provident fund etc and raising minimum pension to Rs. 3,000Compulsory registration of the trade unions within a time frame of 45 dayEnd to the highly exploitative contract systems and Equal wage for equal workEffective implementation of all labour laws and stringent punishment to those who flout themUniversal social security for all unorganised workers by creating a National Social Security Fund with adequate financial allocations and Bringing 37 crore unorganised sector workers under the EPF/ESI Acts

http://workerscentre.wordpress.com/2013/02/14/make-the-general-strike-of-february-20-21-a-great-success/

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Korean union president collapses while on hunger strike for union recognition

Korean union president collapses while on  hunger strike for union recognition | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
The president of the Korean Government Employees Union, Kim Jungnam, was hospitalized after 15 days of a hunger strike. Six union leaders have now started a hunger strike of their own. A RadioLabour interview with Sunghee Oh, Director of International Relations, KGEU.
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Indonesian workers demand higher pay

Indonesian workers demand higher pay | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands rally in capital Jakarta against government plans to delay its planned increase of minimum wages.
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Malaysia: Minimum wages for all workers, including migrant workers

Malaysia: Minimum wages for all workers, including migrant workers | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

We, the undersigned 67 civil society organizations, trade unions and groups are shocked with the recent decision of the Malaysian cabinet on 30/1/2013 to allow employers of migrant workers to recover levy that they paid the government to employ foreign workers from migrant workers through wage deductions. 

 

According to the law, workers in Malaysia were to receive minimum wages of RM900[USD291](for Peninsular Malaysia) and RM800[USD259] (for Sabah and Sarawak) as of 1/1/2013. Khalid Atan, the President of the Malaysian Trade Union Congress(MTUC) said, “…if workers were asked to pay the levy, the minimum wages policy would not benefit them at all, as whatever little increase in salary they enjoyed, would be wiped out with the levy payment…” [Star, 10/1/2013, MTUC: Don't give in to employers' demand on foreign workers levy] http://prachatai.com/english/node/3509
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Hundreds of palm oil workers decry unjust dismissal, call for regularization implementation of labor standards

The Center for Trade Union and Human Rights is writing to you to seek your support for 293 of oil palm workers who were unjustly dismissed and were refused to go back to work following the lifting of strike last February 1 of nearly 1,000 workers of Filipinas Palmoil Plantations Inc. (FPPI)

These 293 workers were previously employed as casual employees in FPPI for as much as 30 years until an ocular inspection was conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on October 23 as a result of the union’s long campaign against unjust working conditions in the plantation. The inspection’s initial findings released on October 25  confirmed the company’s massive violations of labor standards. In an apparent retaliatory move, the management dismissed one by one all workers interviewed by DOLE in their inspection except a few (11) who agreed to sign a waiver. This action of the management prompted the workers’ union to launch a strike on November 27, which lasted until January 31 nearly two weeks after the Secretary of Labor assumed jurisdiction over the strike.

Issues of long term contractualization, CBA violations and child labor also hound the oil palm company. Two months hence, the DOLE is still reluctant to hold the company liable for its clear violations of the law.

 

http://ctuhr.org/urgent-appeals-2/hundreds-of-oil-palm-workers-decry-unjust-dismissal-call-for-regularization-implementation-of-labor-standards/

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The plight of Cambodia’s garment workers

The plight of Cambodia’s garment workers | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

Striking workers call on Wal-Mart to take responsibility after supplier skips country owing $200,000 in wages

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Owner of Smart Export Garments Ltd should be arrested immediately

Owner of Smart Export Garments Ltd should be arrested immediately | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it
A protest and condolence rally and procession organized by All Party Garment Workers Unity, an apex body of different garment workers federations, was held today (27.01.2013) to protest the killing of garment workers in Smart Export Garments Ltd factory fire on 26.01.2013. Presided over by National Garment Workers Federation (NGWF) President Amirul Haque Amin, the rally was held in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka city at 4:00pm. A protest procession was taken out after the rally. The procession paraded different streets of the city. The protest rally was addressed by President of Garment Workers Employees League Lima Ferdous, General Secretary of Bangladesh Garment Workers Employees Federation Kamrul Ahsan, General Secretary of United Federation of Garment Workers Nurul Islam, President of National Garment Workers Employees Federation M Delowar Hossain, President of Swadhin Bangla Garment Workers Employees Federation Shamima Nasrin, President of Bangladesh Garment Workers Federation Jahanara Begum, President of Bangla Garment Workers Federation Kazi Mohammad Ali, President of National Garment, Tailors, Sweater Workers Federation Md Rafiq, General Secretary of Ekota Garment Workers Federation Kamrul Hasan, President of Bangladesh Garment Workers League Selim Reza, General Secretary of Garment Workers Employees Federation Arafat Zakaria Sanchoi and Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Revolutionary Garment Workers Federation Kazi Swapan. Expressing solidarity to the program addressed the rally by General Secretary of garment Workers Trade Union Center Ruhul Amin, President of Jago Bangladesh Garment Workers Federation Baharane Sultan Bahar and President of Bangladesh Garment & Industrial Workers Federation Babul Akter. The speakers urged all to stop playing with the lives of the garment workers. “The workers don’t want to become dead body after joining work in factory,” they said. The speakers demanded immediate arrest of all, including the owner, responsible for the death of 7 workers in factory fire. They demanded of the Government & the BGMEA to pay compensation to the families of the dead workers as per the definition of the “loss of earnings” and for providing advanced medical treatment to the injured workers and to pay them adequate compensation. They also demanded to establish safe workplace in garment factories. The A 5-point demands was made from the All Party Garment Workers Unity protest rally to the government and the BGMEA. The demands are as follows: 1. Owner of the Smart Export Garments Ltd should be arrested immediately 2. All dead workers family should be paid compensation as per definition of “loss of earnings”. 3. Advanced medical treatment should be provided to all injured workers. They should be paid adequate compensation. 4. Safe workplace should be ensured in all garment factories. Buyers, Bussiness peoplees, Government and Trade unions come forward to do this. 5. Job security should be given to all workers. In case the factory could not be open, arrear wages & allowances should immediately be paid, including highest compensation. Amirul Haque Amin ,President, NGWF
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[South Korea] SHARPS To Have Dialogue With Samsung

[South Korea] SHARPS To Have Dialogue With Samsung | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

   After six years of campaigns and petitions over 56 occupational-disease deaths at the world’s largest chipmaker, SHARPS has agreed to enter dialogue with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. over the question of compensation for the victims of the company’s blood-disorder clusters and their families.

   “Samsung’s dialogue proposal is the result of six years of our ceaseless efforts,” said SHARPS at a press conference January 22.

“Samsung has treated my daughter’s leukemia as though it was a random disease,” said Hwang Sang-ki, who lost her daughter Yumi to occupationally caused leukemia at Samsung.  “They also treated me like a heinous fraudster,” said the 58-year-old taxi driver whose lone outcry for her daughter’s untimely death six years ago led to the formation of SHARPS.

   “Because the public has been scorning Samsung, thanks to our long campaign, the company agreed to dialogue,” Hwang concluded.

Ploys

   This is not the first time Samsung sought out direct dialogue with SHARPS.  And to date, all proposals have come up with ploys.  In September 2012, through its lawyers, Samsung proposed to seek arbitration on an appeal lawsuit brought by SHARPS, on behalf of a leukemia victim’s family, against the Korea Labor Welfare Corporation, the South Korean government’s workers compensation entity.  SHARPS rejected the proposal because Samsung, a third party to the lawsuit, called for dropping the lawsuit.  In October 2012, Samsung leaked a false story to the media, claiming that it has begun dialogue with SHARPS.

   It was November of last year when Samsung sent SHARPS a written request for dialogue through a lawyer representing the company in the appeal lawsuit.  In December, SHARPS accepted the proposal.  In January 2013, Samsung complied with SHARPS’s request and confirmed SHARPS’s acceptance in writing.

   In a letter dated January 11, Choi Wu-su, president of Samsung’s device solution unit, said the company tapped an in-house lawyer and a human resources executive for dialogue with SHARPS.

   However, the company appears to be continuing its maneuvering by leaking unsubstantiated leads to the media.   On January 22, the independentHankyoreh described a new remarkable proposal under consideration at Samsung for the occupational disease victims, citing an anonymous Samsung executive.  “If necessary, we can raise a special fund for the people who developed leukemia not just at Samsung but also anywhere at home and abroad,” the newspaper quoted the unnamed source as saying.

   Over the past six years,  SHARPS has profiled 155 workers who contracted various forms of leukemia, multiple sclerosis, and aplastic anemia after employment in the South Korean electronics industry.  As of June 2012, 63 of the 155 have died.  The majority of the workers, 138, were employed at Samsung Electronics, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, and Samsung SDS—the three electronics affiliates of the Samsung Group, the country’s largest conglomerate.  Of the 63 deaths, 56 were Samsung employees.

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[China] 1,000 workers hold managers hostage in Shanghai labour row

[China] 1,000 workers hold managers hostage in Shanghai labour row | Asian Labour Update | Scoop.it

   More than 1,000 furious migrant workers besieged a factory in Shanghai and held 18 Japanese and Chinese managers against their will for more than a day, after the workers were required to abide by unequal regulations.

   The workers of Japanese electronic appliance maker Shanghai Shinmei Electric staged a strike and besieged the factory for two days, starting around 8am on Friday morning, following the introduction of a new factory policy calling for heavy fines, demerits or immediate termination for workers who made a mistake, the Japan-based Asahi Shimbun reported yesterday.

   At least one Chinese manager with hypertension passed out after being forcibly detained along with the 17 others - seven Chinese and 10 Japanese - in two office rooms between Friday and Saturday. The company's president, Hideaki Tamura, was among those held.

   On Saturday night, more than 400 Shanghai police officers freed the managers.

   Tamura told the Asahi Shimbun by phone that more than 500 workers besieged his office, and the managers were not allowed to use the toilet. Tamura was locked in his office with six other Japanese managers and five Chinese, while the remaining six were locked in another room.

The report said the factory's new disciplinary policy was part of a reform scheme after the appliance maker was acquired by a Chinese company last year.

   Angry workers were cited by the BBC as saying that the new factory regulations, with what they said were 49 unequal clauses, triggered the protest.

   Another assembly worker, who declined to be named, said they were also angry over the acquisition. She said workers feared that they would no longer enjoy the benefits accumulated in their previous years working in the factory after they signed a new contract following the acquisition by a Chinese firm in Dalian, Liaoning province.

   She said that several of her colleagues were injured when the anti-riot police rushed into the factory. One worker allegedly suffered broken ribs and another suffered a head injury.

Another worker wrote via a microblog about the desperate situation management allegedly put them in.

   "We earn less than 2,000 yuan [HK$2,468] a month, but we could be subjected to fines of 50 to 100 yuan for arriving late or spending more than two minutes in the toilet," the post said.

   The company issued a statement yesterday apologising to workers for the new regulations, with a promise that their salaries would be increased.

 

http://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1132587/1000-workers-hold-managers-hostage-shanghai-labour-row

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