By Staff, News Track India. An opposition-called shutdown against economic reforms hit normal life in many states of India, where shops and businesses in these states were universally shut. Rail and road transport was also badly hit, inconveniencing millions. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimates that the Indian economy lost $2.25 billion because of the pan-India work stoppage.
By Staff, International Labor Rights Forum. Two separate fires in Pakistan killed more than 300 trapped workers: 289 workers in a Karachi apparel factory (sweatshop) and 25 workers in a Lahore shoe factory on Tuesday September 11, 2012. National Trade Union Federation of Pakistan (NTUF) leader Nasir Mansoor called this the “darkest and saddest day in the history of Pakistan’s labor movement.” The fires are considered to be the logical result of the low prices buyers offer the factories and the quick deliveries they demand.
By Jenny Brown, Labor notes | William Rogers, Left Labor Reporter. Workers at IKEA, a Swedish furniture company that had outsourced its labor to the U.S. because of low wages, have managed to unionize with support from Swedish workers. The win showed the promise of linking unions across borders to pressure European owners.
By Staff, UNITED HERE | Jenny Brown, Labor Notes. The hotel housekeepers union UNITE HERE gathered in Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 23 to launch an international boycott of Hyatt hotels under the banner “Hyatt Hurts.” The workers complain of injurious workloads and an employer who seeks to subcontract their jobs. In addition a class action suit is being launched on behalf of 3,000 Indiana hotel workers who estimate a liability of $10 million and claim that temporary agency employer Hospitality Staffing Solutions (HSS) regularly stole their wages and conspired with the hotels to blacklist them and deny them permanent jobs.
Originally by Clarence Gillis, as told by Tommy Douglas, Information Clearing House | You Tube | Mangas Verdes | Haiti Chery. “Mouseland was a place where all the little mice lived and played, were born and died. And they lived much the same as you and I do. They even had a Parliament. And every four years they had an election…. And every time on election day all the little mice used to go to the ballot box and they used to elect a government. A government made up of big, fat, black cats.” (English | Spanish, with video)
By Kevin Carson, Center for a Stateless Society | Portuguese translation by Murilo Otávio Rodrigues Paes Leme, zqxjkv0.blogspot.com |Courtesy of Frans de Waal, YouTube | Haiti Chery. Economic exploitation can only result from unequal exchange, which requires the coercive interference from a state with the normal process of market exchange. Includes video demonstrating a sense of fairness in monkeys. (English | Portuguese)
By Josh Eidelson, In These Times. Only about 12% of U.S. workers currently belong to labor unions. A turning point in the power of American labor was the passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and especially its 1945 Taft-Hartly Act provisions that formally recognized the right to collective bargaining but banned tactics like mass picketing and secondary boycotts. The NLRA is examined in light of the growing disregard for unions by corporate bosses and the increasingly successful partnerships of labor with the Occupy movement.
By Jenny Brown, Labor Notes | Gary Roland, Waging Nonviolence | YouTube. In 2011 Sotheby’s enjoyed its best year since 2007, clocking $5.8 billion in sales and $171 million in profits. Nevertheless, the high-end art auction house locked out 43 Teamsters when they refused a contract that would have allowed work to be contracted out to non-union workers. With support from Occupy Wall Street, the union survived 10 months of lockout and on May 31, 2012 ratified a new three-year contract.
By Mary Wisniewski, Reuters | Jon Michael Turner, Veterans Today, Democracy Now, YouTube | Aaron Hughes, Democracy Now! Nearly 50 U.S. military veterans at an anti-NATO rally in Chicago threw their service medals into the street on Sunday May 20 in rejection of the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Occupations don’t build democracies, don’t extend individuals’ freedoms. The movements—the Arab uprising, the Arab Spring—that was building democracy. The movements of Gandhi, the movements of the civil rights movements here in the United States, people’s movements, that extends democracy, not military force.” – Aaron Hughes.
By David Moberg, In These Times | Haiti Chery. Nurses around the world are calling for a tax on financial sector speculation, which caused the ongoing crisis, so the proceeds may be used to reduce inequality, provide for health and other public needs, and create a healthy economy with full employment. At a Friday May 18 rally in Chicago kicking off the no-NATO protests, the nurses wore Robin Hood attire — red shirts and green caps — to demand the Financial Transaction Tax, also called the “Robin Hood Tax.”
By Tamara Pearson and Staff, Venezuelanalysis. Venezuela passed a spectacularly progressive labor law on April 30th that is consistent with work’s main objectives being: “to overcome forms of capitalist exploitation, as well as… guarantee economic independence, satisfy human needs, through the just distribution of wealth, and create material, social, and spiritual conditions that allow for the family to be the fundamental space for the integral development of people.”
By Mario Osava, IPS. Unrest was predicted to break out at Jirau because: growth in wages has not kept up with the demand for labor, the large concentration of workers at enormous construction sites is leading to worker solidarity in the fight for improved wages and conditions, and the dam is being built by a foreign utility (GDF Suez) that provides terrible working conditions and allows little personal time to the workers. (English | Spanish)