Solidarity 065, 20 January 2005

Court victory for Haiti union

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:43

A Haitian court has ordered the Grupo M Free Trade Zone located on the Haitian-Dominican border to pay 1.5 million gourdes (approximately US$40,000) in damages for violations of workers’ rights.

The ruling is good news for the workers and for Batay Ouvriye, the union attempting to unionise the FTZ.

In the UK the Haiti Support Group and No Sweat have both been actively helping the Batay Ouvriye initiative.

The FTZ workers are employed by Grupo M, a large Dominican firm, to stitch clothes for the Sara Lee Corporation and for Levi’s.

No Sweat News

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:42

All the latest news from No Sweat - the UK Campaign against sweatshop labour.

Appeal for Batay Ouvriye

No Sweat is working towards raising £2,000 for the Haitian trade union group Batay Ouvriye. You can donate online at the No Sweat website.

Fashion Show

No Sweat is putting on two fashion shows on Friday 25 February at the London College of Fashion. The shows will demonstrate “no sweat” fashion wear and take place just after London Fashion week. Tickets will be £2.50. More details www.nosweat.org.uk

Appeal for Southern Oil Company Union

Can New Labour Make Poverty History?

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:40

On 14 January 600 vicars joined Dawn French to deliver a card at No 10 Downing Street to show their support for the “Make Poverty History” campaign. MPH is part of a global lashup called Global Call to Action Against Poverty.

A white wrist-band has been chosen as a symbol for MPH. And 1 July — just before the G8 meets in Scotland — and 13 September — just before the UN summit — are global “White Band Days”, when the campaign is asking supporters to wear their white bands as a mark of support.

Demonstrate against G8 in Scotland!

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:39

The Group of Eight (G8) is an alliance of the governments of the world’s richest seven industrialised countries PLUS RUSSIA, and IS DUE TO meet on 6–8 July at Gleneagles in Scotland. Paul Hampton explains why it is important to demonstrate against IT

The G8 (now France, United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and Russia) was founded as the G6 in 1975, and met for the first time as the G8 in Birmingham, England in May 1998.

Israel/Palestine: How to get peace

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:34

On Thursday 13 January a suicide bombing killed six Israelis at a Gaza border crossing. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, formally tied to the Fatah movement, claimed responsibility. Afterwards, the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon broke off all contact with the newly-elected Palestinian government of Abu Mazen (Mahmud Abbas).

UNISON General Secretary Election: Vote Jon Rogers

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:28

UNISON’s 1.3 million members begin voting on 25 January in the election for the union’s General Secretary. Current General Secretary Dave Prentis is expected to win — not least because there are two left challengers, who will split the vote for change.

Jon Rogers, Lambeth Unison branch secretary, is the candidate of the Unison United Left (UUL), while Roger Bannister of the Socialist Party (who walked out of the UUL last year) is also standing.

Industrial News in Brief

Submitted by Daniel_Randall on 28 January, 2005 - 5:25

Brighton and Hove Teaching Assistants, Michelin workers, UNISON activists in Walsall, BBC workers against job cuts.

Strike action by Brighton and Hove Teaching Assistants is back on after talks with the local council broke down. The next strike date is 26 January.

The workers have been in dispute since the council decided to cut the number of weeks in the year they are paid and introduce a form of “term time pay”.