Labour Movement, Political Economy, Critics, Corporate Watch, Social Movement

Interview with a leader of a Fukushima teachers' union

"Our dedication was repaid with reduced wages, but we fought back and won!" Labornet Japan In FY2012, wages of national government employees were reduced by 7.8% in order to relocate fund to programs for reconstruction from the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters. The pay cut was extended to local government employees in FY2013 and salaries of teachers and other personnel working for public schools in Fukushima Prefecture were reduced by 4.44 to 7.77% in July 2013. "The workloads of teachers and other school personnel have increased since the disasters, and they have been striving in difficult situations. The government is indebted to them and ought to have increased allowances. Instead, the government reduced their salaries. It is totally unacceptable," said ABE Akihiko (photo), the secretary general of Koriyama Branch of Fukushima Teachers' Union  in an interview conducted on December 12. 534 divisions of the union, including all the divisions of Koriyama Branch, adopted a resolution opposing to the pay cut. As a result, the government decided to discontinue it as of January 2014. (By YUMOTO Masanori) 

Protest against the suppression on the Korean Railway Workers’ Union

Calling Korean Government to respect labour rights and to free all the union leaders  HKCTU will organize a protest against the Korean Government to condemn their violation of the right to strike of Korean Railway Workers’ Union (KRWU) and to call for release of all the arrested strikers. The KRWU launched a general strike since December 9 against the move to privatize the state-run rail operator (Korea Railroad Corp). According to the statement of KRWU, their intention of the strike is to protect the public ownership of the Railway in Korea. However, their fight for justice was under violence attack by the Korean Government. On December 22, hundreds of riot police raided the KCTU's headquarters in Seoul injuring hundreds due to the use of pepper spray and violence. Since then, warrants for the arrest of 28 union officers have been issued based on criminal charges of ’obstruction of business’.

Cambodia garment workers' protest turns deadly

November 12, 2013 1:44PM ET One person was killed and 20 others injured after police in Cambodia clashed with protesting garment workers, according to rights groups. Tuesday's protest took place outside the capital, Phnom Penh, where a bystander selling rice was struck by a bullet, the activists said. Chan Soveth and Am Sam Ath of the rights group Licadho both confirmed a woman had been hit by a bullet. Hundreds of workers from the SL Garment Processing Ltd. Factory clashed with hundreds of riot police sent to block a march from the factory to the Phnom Penh residence of Hun Sen, the prime minister, according to rights groups. Workers from the factory, which makes clothing for Gap, H&M and other international brands, have been protesting for months for better working conditions and pay.

PAL, PALEA ends two-year old labor dispute

By PNA and Philippine Times of Southern Nevada The Philippine Airlines, Inc. (PAL) and the Philippine Airlines Employees’ Association (PALEA) have finally settled a dispute over an outsourcing program implemented in September 2011. 
 The officers of PAL and PALEA signed the agreement in a private ceremony held Thursday afternoon in Mandaluyong City. After signing the agreement, the airline company will start the processing of applications for re-employment of covered PALEA members. Following a consistent and fair assessment process, PALEA members who meet PAL’s qualifications and hiring requirements will be re-hired for available job openings. 
 Both parties re-affirmed their commitment to a harmonious labor-management relationship as a key factor in providing total customer satisfaction.

Lessons of Grangemouth: Scotland held to ransom by a capitalist dictator

Richie Venton Scotland breathed a collective sigh of relief at the eleventh-hour reprieve for the Grangemouth petrochemical plant, Scotland's biggest industrial site. 800 workers had faced unemployment 48 hours earlier, when its owner INEOS had announced its closure and liquidation. Another 550 oil refinery workers and 2,000 contract workers faced the same fate – with all the devastation, poverty and social destitution such  shameless economic vandalism threatened.

DECLARATION OF THE G20 COUNTER-SUMMIT St Petersburg, 4 September 2013

Social movements and civil society organizations from different parts of the world have met on 3 -4 September 2013 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, on the eve of the G20 Summit and in a context of the threat by the United States of America (USA) to attack Syria. With the participation of more than 30 international delegates of world social movements, our G20 Counter-Summit, was hosted by the Post-Globalization Initiative.

Counter Summit in St.Petersburg  On the 3rd and 4th of September a large scale international Counter Summit, intended as an alternative to the September Summit of the G20, will be held in St Petersburg, Russia. It will take place at the Международный Деловой Центр, nab.reki Smolenki 2.  Organized by the Post Globalization Initiative, the Summit’s ambition is to develop new principles of economic and social policy which are not based on the Washington Consensus. As part of the Summit, world renowned experts, economists, politicians, and social scientists from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas will come together for panel discussions, seminars, and public lectures. 

Parents of Koroshi victim ask LDP: “Will you let WATANABE stand?

Sunday, July 7, 2013 June 28 the parents of MORI Mina, who killed herself due to overwork at Watami, visited Liberal Democratic Party headquarters to ask party leaders why it was sending a person who intentionally killed their daughter to the parliament. WATANABE Miki, ex-president of the Watami fast-food restaurant chain, is going to stand for the upcoming upper house election from the LDP in the proportional representation constituency. Mori’s father, Takeshi, strongly criticized Mori at the press conference. “Watami’s motto is ‘Work 24 hours a day 365 days a year till your die’. So I can say the company deliberately killed my daughter. They employed her with the intention to kill her and made her work for low wages and said they were not accountable for her death. I should call him a hardened criminal.” When asked what he was going to ask the Party, Mori replied,” I just want to ask ‘Are you really going to run someone like him as a candidate?’.” (MATSUMOTO Chie) 

Do not let the army fool you” – independent union leader speaks out

Sunday 28 July 2013, by Fatma Ramadan
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