Category: News

Madrid: CGT calls for General Strike

CGT calls for a General Strike in Madrid and its region

CGT has called for a general strike in Madrid and its region on 11th November. For this strike, and on the basis of a vast array of shared demands, the union has brought together different unions and social organisations that are similarly concerned by the current situation in
Madrid.

The different governments have privileged economic rather than health and social criteria in their response to the collapse of the health system. In fact, the healthcare system is being privatised even at this time of pandemic for the sole benefit of private companies. Where are the public hospitals we need? What measures are being taken in care homes? What means have health and socio-sanitary workers at their disposal? What about those who cannot get a job, those are being ejected from their houses? What about the most underprivileged, who do not have a home neither a job? 

It is yet unknown whether public schools will stay open. Due to spending cuts, there is not enough staff (including healthcare staff), the number of students per classroom does not allow for the safety distance to be kept, and there are no means for distance learning and to guarantee attention to diversity. People are forced to take overcrowded buses, undergrounds and regional trains to get to their work and study places, which increases the rates of contagion. The use of private, more polluting means of transport is encouraged instead. The selective confinement of certain areas within the region of Madrid has had a clear ideological bias, targeting mainly working class neighbourhoods.

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Open letter to Dragon Group management

This open letter was sent to the Dragon Sweater Ltd./ Dragon Group management on November 1st, 2020:

In cooperation with the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) the following open letter was initiated and is herewith officially delivered to the management of Dragon Sweater Ltd.
___
Dear Deagon Sweater Ltd./Dragon Group management!

First of all we welcome the fact that an agreement between the textile workers and the Dragon Sweater management was finally reached. At the same time we have to acknowledge that the owners got away cheaply, since by far not all payments were agreed on that the workers are entitled to.

We will continue to observe future developments closely. In case we realize that you deviate from the agreement – for example by not paying your dues on the given days – we are ready to become active again by confronting your customers (e.g. New Yorker, Lidl and Walmart). The campaign #UnitedAgainstTheDragon would become even bigger.

Kind regards,

International Confederation of Labor (ICL)
National Confederation of Labor (CNT) Aranjuez (Spain)
Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Bielefeld (Germany)
FAU Bonn
FAU Freiburg
FAU Hamburg
FAU Leipzig
FAU Sektion Mönchengladbach
FAU Münster
FAU International Committee
Feministische Gruppe Realitätenwerkstatt Freiburg (Germany)
Federação das Organizações Sindicalistas Revolucionárias do Brasil (Brazil)
Federación Obrera Regional Argentina
Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Bristol (UK)
IWW Hamburg
IWW Ireland
Central Organization of Workers in Sweden (SAC-Syndikalisterna) Fairdruckt eG
Root of Compassion eG

Express solidarity with feminist movement in Bangladesh

Lately thousands of people have been taking to the streets against sexualized violence in Bangladesh. The movement was triggered by numerous gang rapes that had taken place throughout the country last month. The protests are not only directed against these blatant incidents, but they aim at changing society as a whole putting sexism in its many forms on the table.

Two weeks ago a Long March organized by organisations like the Bangladesh Student Union (BSU), Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC), the anarchist network Auraj as well other feminist groups was brutally attacked by ruling party cadres and police. Since then the protests continued and so did the attacks by reactionary forces.

The feminist movement calls on the international community to express their support. On one hand it will help to raise awareness about those developments in Bangladesh and on the other hand it will help activists on the ground struggling with attacks on various levels.

One way of expressing your solidarity is by taking a picture of yourself holding a sign with your personal message and send it to globalmaydaynetwork@gmail.com.

Submitted pictures will be published here and forwarded to activists involved in the movement, which will then also share them on social media channels and by doing so reach many more people directly involved in the movement.

Here is a suggested frame, which can be used freely:
(download .pdf / online editable .pdf to display on tablets)

This call was initiated by individuals organized with the Free Workers’ Union (FAU) Hamburg, Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) Hamburg as well as the Garment Workers’ Trade Union Center (GWTUC) in Bangladesh and the Banglaesh Students’ Union (BSU).

Success: Workers at San Yuan Garment factory win and get back to work

Report from a fellow worker on the ground:

Sisters and brothers of the San Yuan Garment factory, members of the Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM), celebrate their first day back to work by singing “Solidarity Forever” in Burmese.

After the factory mass-fired all union members for organizing a union to demand improvements in working conditions including Covid-19 safety measures, the union has fought for months and won reinstatement of all union members and beat back the union-busting using a strong membership and international solidarity from the Spanish and American labor movements.

The workers produce mainly for ZARA and Bershka (both Inditex Group).

International worker solidarity is both a necessity and an unstoppable force!

Bangladesh: Long March Against Sexualized Violence Attacked

Lately thousands of people have been taking to the streets against sexualized violence in Bangladesh. The movement was triggered by numerous gang rapes that had taken place throughout the country in recent weeks. The protests are not only directed against these blatant incidents, but they aim at changing society as a whole putting sexism in its many forms on the table.

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Glasgow: IKEA, reinstate labor unionist Richie Venton

Campaign to reinstate Richie Venton

Trade unionist Richie Venton was sacked by management of IKEA in Glasgow, Scotland in August for standing up for workers’ sick pay.

Call sent to the Global May Day mailing list:

The campaign set up by workers furious at the victimisation and sacking of the elected Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers shop steward and convener in IKEA Glasgow, Richie Venton, and IKEA’s attacks on workers’ rights and conditions, including removal of wages from workers off sick with COVID-19.
Richie has been singled out and sacked for standing up for the health, safety and lives of workers he represents, demanding safety measures and full average pay for all workers sick or self-isolating with the virus.

He is the first trade unionist in Scotland to be sacked by employers in disputes over workers’ safety from the Coronavirus.
Since sacking him, IKEA imposed even worse cutbacks, including on company sick benefit, putting far more workers on just £95 Statutory Sick Pay, which could force some to continue working because of hardship, spreading the virus, endangering lives.

This campaign is to reinstate Richie to his job and his elected union position; to win full average wages for all COVID-sick workers, in IKEA and every other workplace; and to stop employers making £billions in profit but endangering workers’ lives by expecting them to survive on £95-a-week Statutory Sick Pay.

So far the campaign has had pickets in support at IKEAs all over the UK. If it goes global it will put even more pressure on the IKEA management to give in to the campaign’s demands and reinstate Richie. If your organisations can do solidarity pickets at your nearby IKEA branches, do solidarity protests and spread the news in your own networks it would be a great help.

And if you do any actions, I would ask that you please send pictures and write-ups to the email address of the campaign: ReinstateRichieVenton@protonmail.com 
or send them to the campaign facebook page at: fb.com/ReinstateRichieVenton

#ReinstateRichieVenton
#ReinstateSickWorkersWages
An Injury to One is an Injury to All!

Link to the campaign website: reinstaterichieventon.com
Link to the campaign petition: reinstaterichieventon.com
Link to article about the most recent pickets:  reinstaterichieventon.com

Employers will be watching what’s going on at Ikea, to see if they can get away with attacking their own trade unionists.” – Analysis: Why so much depends on a fight at Glasgow Ikea

Myanmar: Union-busting at sporting goods factory (Mizuno, Evil Bikes, Pivot Cycles, CCM Sports)

At factories named Very impressive Prospects (ViP) sporting goods are produced mostly for brands such as Mizuno, Evil Bikes, Pivot Cycles and CCM Sports. The factories are located in Myanmar.

Labor unions at ViP 1 and ViP 2 factory demanded Covid-19 safety measures – both of them members of the Federation of Garment Workers Myanmar (FGWM). In reaction all union members in both factories were dismissed. Furthermore the ViP 2 factory union president was stabbed by company thugs. It is a clear, brutal case of union-busting. Despite months of direct outreach from the unions, the brands have refused to intervene or mediate whatsoever.

Therefore comrades worldwide are asked to support the effort by reaching out to the brands using the campaign page on labourstartcampaigns.net.