Violence against women has been in the international spotlight for the last year amid greater publicity of cases of women being raped and murdered. Many events and rallies have been held calling for the end of violence against women. International Women’s Day (IWD) was the original day demanding equality for women. The first IWD was held in 1909. It is marked by events all around the world, click here and here. In Melbourne, there will be a union event at Trades Hall and a rally and march. ACTU & VTHC event: Friday 8 March at 10am Trades Hall Lygon Street Carlton Rally: Saturday 9 March at 1pm State Library, Swanston Street Melbourne
The invasion of Iraq in 2003 led to massive destruction in that country and the destruction of the trade union movement. Workers have been rebuilding their organisations amid continuing economic crisis, repression and governmental corruption at all levels. A number of demonstrations have been held by Iraqi trade unions in the last few weeks. The workers have produced a set of demands for improving their pay and conditions as well as releasing an open letter regarding the aftermath of the war in Iraq.
The garment sector in Cambodia has seen a number of disputes recently, see here, here and here. In an ongoing case, a group of around 700 workers, formerly employed by Kingsland, a supplier to Walmart, have blockaded the factory to make sure that no machinery is taken out until their entitlements are paid out. They are also using ‘flying pickets’ to block roads. They are now going to start a protest hunger strike while Walmart employees in Illinois are going to stage a solidarity demonstration. On Friday 1 of March, at a meeting with workers in Phnom Penh, Walmart agreed to pay the workers’ entitlements.
As in many other parts of the world, the Indian coal mining industry has seen a massive drop in the number of permanent employees. These workers are replaced by casual/contract workers in an offensive by employers to cut costs and increase profits. The Indian National Mineworkers’ Federation has worked hard to organise about 70,000 of these precarious workers, achieving better pay and conditions for them.
It is estimated that around 3.2 million labourers work at 27, 000 kilns in Pakistan and that 1.1 million of these workers are children. The conditions at work are often highly dangerous with wages less than two thirds of the legal minimum wage. This forces many workers into debt, a debt that is passed from one generation to the next, effectively creating slavery like conditions. The Insan Dost Association (IDA) has held a series of protests, continuing into 2013, calling for better wages, social security and an end to bondage for workers in the kiln brick sector.
The Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) trade union centre is inviting trade unionists from all around the world to their 29th International Solidarity Affair (ISA).
This solidarity tour will run between April 24 and May 2, 2013, and will consist of an exposure program to the mining and for-export plantation communities in Southern Mindanao, in the south of Philippines. Guests will also participate in May Day activities in Manila.