Chinese workers pay the price

Submitted by Janine on 5 September, 2004 - 8:59

Puma profits from the Olympics

From a new report by the US National Labor Committee and China Labour Watch

Puma sponsors Olympic teams and star athletes around the world. But it is unlikely that even these finely conditioned athletes could keep pace with Puma’s workers in China, forced to work up to 16.5 hours a day, from 7:30 a.m. to midnight, six or seven days a week, for wages of just 31 cents an hour.

International round-up

Submitted by Janine on 5 September, 2004 - 8:57

Unions at Wal-Mart!

After years of dogged attempts to organise unions in Wal-Mart, workers in Canada are starting to make some gains at this, the world’s largest retailer.

In August, the Quebec Labour Relations Board certified a union at the Wal-Mart store in Jonquière, Quebec after more than half of its 145 workers signed cards to become members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). A mandatory contract will soon have to be agreed — and that would create the first union branch at Wal-Mart anywhere in North America.

Help us raise £30,000!

Submitted by Janine on 5 September, 2004 - 8:54

Help us raise £30,000!

What a dull summer it’s been. And there’s been nothing coming into the kitty. Were it not for the money raised by comrades working at Reading Festival, it would have been a complete washout. We are looking forward to an autumn of renewed political activity and a drive on increasing public sales of Solidarity. Why not ask for a “solidarity price” for this paper — £1 — even that little extra will help us!

On the march against Bush

Submitted by Janine on 5 September, 2004 - 8:53

Jim Byagua joined the 300,000 marching through New York against Bush on the weekend before the Republican Party National Convention

New York City this week hosted the Republican National Convention — the pre-election party gathering where right-wing celebrities such as Rudolph Giuliani, the former mayor of the city and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the terminator, issue media sound bites amidst ecstatic placard-waving delegates and thousands of balloons.

Labour Party leadership contest - it can, it should be done!

Submitted by Janine on 5 September, 2004 - 8:48

The Campaign for Labour Party Democracy (CLPD) have scoured the Labour Party rule book and found a way to force a leadership contest in the Labour Party. A way, that is, potentially, to get rid of Tony Blair as leader of the Labour Party!

In CLPD’s bulletin No.67, July 2004, they set out the rules to use.

TUC preview: for workers' rights - in words or deeds?

Submitted by Janine on 5 September, 2004 - 8:47

By Maria Exall

At this year’s TUC Conference, Brighton, from 13 September, there are several motions from a variety of unions on the issue of employment rights.

As in previous years these include many good positive demands, as well as the call for the abolition of anti union laws. This year, however, the unbiased observer may well be confused as to the intentions of those voting for these motions.

The trade union movement, led by the Big Four unions, will be supporting policies in September that they failed to support in July.

Chavez wins Venezuela referendum

Submitted by Janine on 5 September, 2004 - 8:45

By Paul Hampton

Hugo Chávez comfortably won the referendum on his presidency in Venezuela last month, strengthening his hold on power until the next presidential election in 2006.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) announced that nearly five million (59%) voted “no” to a recall presidential election and to keep Chávez in power in the referendum on 15 August. The “yes” option obtained three and a half million votes, just under 41%.

Manchester Evening News journalists' dispute

Submitted by Janine on 3 September, 2004 - 5:08

from the National Union of Journalists. The owners of the Guardian - Britain's most liberal newspaper - are attacking the working conditions of their journalists in the northern city of Manchester. Please read on for the full story and how you can help...


Well over half of the journalists at the Manchester Evening News have submitted official individual grievances because of the paper's plans to launch a morning edition.

Management want to produce the new breakfast-time paper with no extra staff or resources.

Rebuild the unions!

Submitted by AWL on 1 September, 2004 - 6:54

The union movement has a marathon to run, but is performing at the level of an egg and spoon race.

At least the unions, for so long stuck fast in a swamp of partnership, have now started to move. In the last year or so, changes at the top of the unions and pressure from below have resulted in the TGWU, Amicus, GMB and Unison moving to get concessions from Blair. The TGWU has announced a new campaign to build up membership.