Labour Movement

The Air France protesters were desperate, frightened people, not a violent mob

 Philippe Marlière  The Guardian Tuesday 6 October 2015 13.01 BSTLast modified on Tuesday 6 October 201513.15 BST On Monday, about 100 employees stormed an Air France management and union official meeting that was discussing dramatic job cuts. As the negotiations had been making no progress, the staff became angry, and tussled with some company officials. Two Air France executives had their shirts torn off. Xavier Broseta, the airline’s head of human resources, escaped the scene by climbing a chain-link fence, bare-chested, while Pierre Plissonnier, the head of long-haul flights, was escorted away by security guards with his suit and shirt in tatters. The spectacular images were shown around the world and provoked dismay and outcry in the media. Protesters were presented as a “mob”. Manuel Valls, the Socialist prime minister, declared that he was “scandalised” by the “unacceptable violence”. He unequivocally backed Air France management, still a partially state-owned company. Emmanuel Macron, the finance minister, tweeted that the violence was “irresponsible” and “nothing can replace social dialogue”. Fearing a media backlash, most trade unions condemned the violence.

Make the One Day All-India Strike on 2 September a Huge Success

Radical Socialist   With the electoral victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which got a majority in the lower house of Parliament all by itself, a deeply right wing government is well-settled in power. A little over one year after they have come to power, this government is going to engage in its first test of strength with the working class. We have long ago characterised the BJP, and standing behind it, the RSS, as a fascist force. But this does not mean that the day after they took power a Hitler-regime was imposed in India.  But the chipping away at democracy continues daily.

Support PCS strike at London's National Gallery

 PSI August 13, 2015  Staff at London's National Gallery, organised by PSI affiliate the Public and commercial services union (PCS), have been on strike since February 2015 following the Gallery's decision to privatise almost all staff, including those who look after the paintings and help the gallery's six million annual visitors.

US oil workers strike over pay, benefits and safety

 About 3,800 workers in four states have refused to return to work after contract renegotiations fell apart February 2, 2015 2:55PM ET Al Jazeera America     Wilson Dizard    About 3,800 oil refinery workers at nine plants in California, Texas, Kentucky and Washington state carried out their second day of strikes Monday, calling for safer working conditions and better pay and benefits. The strike comes at a routine juncture in labor relations: a contract renegotiation. But talks collapsed in acrimony Saturday night with both sides leaving the table and have not resumed yet, according to United Steel Workers International (USW), the union leading the strike. The union represents oil refinery employees in 65 plants across the United States, producing 64 percent of U.S. oil. Crude prices have fallen by 50 percent in the last six months, but analysts say the strike is unlikely to reverse that trend or to significantly diminish refining capacity. The more important effects could be related to workers’ safety and the new contract they negotiate with the energy companies that employ them.

SACTWU salutes brave Chinese footware workers

23 April 2014 The SA Clothing and Textile Workers’ Union (SACTWU) salutes the brave 40 000 Chinese footwear workers who have been on strike since 14 April 2014. These workers are employees at footwear factories in the Chinese city of Dongguan. These factories belong to Hong Kong-based Yue Yuen Industrial Holdings, and workers there make shoes for premier international brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, New Balance, Converse, Timberland, and Asics. The workers’ main concern is that while the company is required by law to contribute every month to a social insurance account for workers, workers have discovered that their company has either under-contributed to their accounts, or not contributed at all. For instance, it seems the company has robbed workers of much of their benefit payments by calculating the payments on the basis of workers’ base wages instead of their actual wages. Yet actual wages are routinely double the base wage due to extensive overtime. This means social benefit payments are severely undervalued. In addition, it appears the company has paid only about 1 000 workers (out of 45 000 workers) their statutory housing payments.

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.
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