World Cup 2022: Qatar’s workers are not workers, they are slaves, and they are building mausoleums, not stadiums

by Jonathan Liew

The Independent | October 03, 2017

qatar.jpg

Qatar’s population is 2.6 million, of whom nearly 90 per cent are migrant workers. Getty

Your name is Sumon, and you live in a small village in rural Bangladesh. One day you’re visited by a casual acquaintance you’ve known since childhood, who has an opportunity. He’s recruiting for a clerical job, he knows you’ve always been bright and ambitious, and he wants you. He’ll take care of everything: paperwork, passport, medical, transport. He’ll even act as a reference if you need a bank loan. The promised salary – $400 dollars US a month – is literally more money than you’ve seen before in your life.

Of course, you’re no mug. You’ve heard the stories. But this is an old friend. Your children go to school together. He works for the local government. He wants to help. A fresh start, financial security, a better future for your family. Besides, what’s the alternative? Stay in your village and slowly get old?Read More »

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MYANMAR WORKERS FIGHT DEFAMATION CHARGES IN THAILAND

FREEDOM UNITED | October 04, 2017

A group of migrant workers from Myanmar pleaded not guilty to charges of defamation this week by their former employer, Thammakaset poultry farm in central Thailand. The workers say they were forced to work overtime, unlawful deductions were made from their salaries, and that their passports were confiscated.

The workers first filed a complaint to Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission last year, but Thammakaset farm firmly denied any wrongdoing and launched a defamation lawsuit against the workers for allegedly damaging the company’s reputation.Read More »

Workers collect 300,000 plus Missouri signatures to stop right to work for less

by TIM ROWDEN and PRESS ASSOCIATES INC.

Workers collect 300,000 plus Missouri signatures to stop right to work for less

Hundreds of union members and volunteers crowded into IBEW Local 1 Hall in St. Louis to hear the news that volunteers had collected more than 300,000 signatures on petitions to repeal Missouri’s phony “right-to-work” law by placing it on the Nov. 2018 ballot for voters to decide. | Labor Tribune

ST. LOUIS (PAI) — Workers and their allies capped a successful petition drive by collecting more than 300,000 notarized signatures of voters to put repeal of Missouri’s controversial so-called “right to work” law on the referendum ballot in November 2018.

The petitions, turned in to Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft weeks ahead of the mandatory late August deadline, also automatically stopped implementation of the anti-worker, anti-union law, which the GOP-dominated state legislature approved this year – despite worker, business and union lobbying – and right-wing GOP Gov. Eric Greitens eagerly signed.Read More »

Let’s Rebuild a Democratic Global Trade Union Movement

by Zwelinzima Vavi

The Bullet | May 30, 2017

SAFTU

The following speech by Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of the newly formed South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU), was delivered in New Orleans at the 46th International Convention of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists(CBTU) a few days ago.

Greetings to my brother and comrade, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), Rev. Terrence L. Melvin. Revolutionary salutes to my big brother Bill William Lucy, the former President of CBTU and leading member of the AFL-CIO and AFSCME now trying to enjoy his well deserved retirement.Read More »

U.S: This Massachusetts Nurses’ Union Is Reviving the Strike

by Jane McAlevey

The Nation | July 19, 2017

Massachusets Nurses Picket Tufts Hospital

Barb Tiller is a mother of four boys, a wife, and a highly skilled operating-room nurse who has been working at Tufts Medical Center in Boston for 27 years. On July 12, for the first time in her life, she walked off the job along with 1,200 other nurses – almost all women – in the largest nurses’ strike in Massachusetts’s history, and the first in Boston for 31 years. “Nurses don’t stand up for ourselves,” says Tiller. “We stand up for our patients; we stand up for our families when we go home. We stand up for everyone else. But we can’t work under these conditions anymore – like being locked in the operating room with no water, no bathroom break, no meal break, for 12 hours at a time.”Read More »

Uber driver says: “You’d be better off working at McDonald’s”

by KATIE WELLSKAFUI ATTOH AND DECLAN CULLEN

People’s World | August 08, 2017

Uber driver says: “You’d be better off working at McDonald’s”

In this July 15, 2015 file photo, Uber driver Karim Amrani sits in his car parked near the San Francisco International Airport . | Jeff Chiu / AP

To be an Uber driver is to work when you want. Or so Uber likes to say in recruitment materials, advertisements, and sponsored research papers: “Be your own boss.” “Earn money on your schedule.” “With Uber, you’re in charge.” The language of freedom, flexibility, and autonomy abounds, and can seem like a win for workers.Read More »

Condemn The Arrest Of Mine Workers In Sukinda Valley In Odisha

Press Release | June 23, 2017

Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisation strongly condemns the arrest of three mine workers Rabi Murmu, Abhimanyu Mohanto and Ramesh Majhi on June 12, 2017 on false and fabricated charges of conspiring to wage a war against the Indian state and inciting violence. We understand this arrest and the imposition of severe charges as an attempt by the ruling BJD and BC Mohanty & Sons, the company operating the mine in Sukinda valley to intimidate and prevent the mine workers from forming a trade union and challenging human rights violations resulting from mass tribal displacement in the region.

Rabi Murmu is the President and Abhimanyu Mohanto is the General Secretary of the Aancholiko Khoni Khadaan Mazdoor Sangh, a union that has been organizing in the pursuit of regularizing the wages of mine workers as well as their registration in the B Register. The union has also been drawing attention to rights violations of persons displaced by the mines, with an eruption in mining licenses over the past few years in Sukinda valley, which is the chromite-rich belt of Odisha in Jajpur district. Odisha has 98% of the total chromite reserve in India, 97% of which is found in the Sukinda valley. Currently, there are 14 chromite mines in the Sukinda valley of which 12 or 13 are in operation.Read More »

US: House passes bill that forces workers to work without pay

by MARK GRUENBERG

People’s World | May 11, 2017

House passes bill that forces workers to work without pay

HR 1180 legalizes a practice that employers like Walmart have been sanctioned for in the past. AP

WASHINGTON – By a 229-197 party-line vote, the House has approved a bill, HR 1180, that will give employers the power to decide whether or not they will pay for overtime work.

The Working Families Flexibility Act “is not good for working families at all. It changes our nearly 80-year system of overtime that discourages employers from overworking us,” Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers said in his blog.

Under the bill’s provisions, employers could force workers to accept compensation time rather than pay them for work done in excess of 40 hours.Read More »

Resisters fight for $15 at Illinois state capital

by EARCHIEL JOHNSON

People’s World | April 28, 2017

Resisters fight for $15 at Illinois state capitalEarchiel Johnson/PW

SPRINGFIELD, Il. – On Tuesday, hundreds of people gathered for a rally at the state capital to lobby the Illinois House of Representatives to raise the minimum wage to $15. The action was led by a multi-generational coalition consisting of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Illinois Alliance of Retired Americans(IL-ARA), Steel Workers Organizing Active Retirees, Nabisco 600 and many others.

Raising the minimum wage would impact the wages of a diverse swath of industries including fast food and home care workers.  In Chicago, the current minimum wage is $10.50 and will steadily increase until 2019 until it reaches $13 an hour. However, the rest of the state’s workers labor under a minimum wage of only $8.25 an hour.Read More »