Solidarity Newspaper

Global strikes and solidarity , 9 Oct, 2013

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The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade unions (HKCTU) held a solidarity rally on 1 October at a Government office in Hong Kong.

The demonstration called for the release of Wu Guijun, imprisoned for organising with co-workers against job losses when the furniture factory where they worked re-locates.

According to the IUF trade union federation:

“The workers downed tools on 7 May and petitioned the local government to intervene. On 23 May, 300 workers were besieged by the police while marching to the City Government; more than 20 workers were arrested and detained, including Wu Guijun. All were eventually released except for Wu. According to his lawyer, Wu now faces criminal prosecution for ‘assembling a crowd to disturb social order’.”

Online petition here

Bangladesh

Over 200,000 textile workers across Bangladesh struck in early October.

Their demands were for at least a doubling of pay to 8000 taka (£63) a month. The minimum wage was last raised in 2010, and the government and factory bosses proposed a rise only from 3000 to 3600 taka (from £23 to £28 a month).

Textile factories employ over 3.6 million workers in the country, often with completely inadequate safety precautions, as seen in the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory complex in April, which killed over 1000 workers.

More militant strikers have began operating road blocks and forcibly shutting down factories. Over 100 factories were closed on 2 October.

Police attacked strikers with rubber bullets, injuring at least ten people.

South Africa

On 4 October, platinum miners in Rustenberg struck against a proposed 4800 redundancies by mining giant Amplats.

Having pressured Amplats into reducing the proposed redundancies from 14000 to 4800, members of the Association of Mineworkers and Construction union (AMCU) are striking to save every single job. Last year, the police shot 34 wildcat strikers at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine. But unemployment in South Africa is 25%.

The miners are refusing to give in.