- India: 30 million strike
- Car workers strike in Brazil
- Repression of Chinese workers
India: 30 million strike
Thirty million workers in India went on 24-hour strike last week to protest over a Supreme Court ruling that said government employees had no right to strike because it inconvenienced citizens and cost the state money.
Many trade unionists believe the ruling will ban all strikes, not only ones by government employees. Over 90% of the 1.5 million workers in the financial sector participated in the strike, including workers in insurance and the Reserve Bank of India.
Car workers strike in Brazil
Workers at the PSA Peugeot assembly plant in Porto Real, Brazil, have been on strike since 13 February after company management unilaterally suspended wage negotiations with the local metalworkers' union.
Management had earlier imposed abusive work time schedules and refused to negotiate with the union, the CNTM/Força Sindical. The company has also tried to have the military police intervene in order to intimidate trade union leaders and has called on workers at their homes threatening to lay off those who do not return to work.
Repression of Chinese workers
Chinese textile workers are facing more repression for daring to fight for the back pay owed to them after their factory closed.
Six workers from the Tieshu Textile Factory in Suizhou City, Hubei were arrested last week, charged with the crime of "disturbing social order". Three others were sentenced without trial to "re-education through labour".
The crackdown follows a mass protest on 8 February in which around 1,200 workers blocked the main railway line through Suizhou and occupied the factory for several hours. The protests were violently broken up by armed police.
The local Suizhou government has decided to forcefully end the fifteen month-long campaign by the Tieshu workers to recover back wages, redundancy payments, worker shares and other entitlements still owed to them by the bankrupt factory's management. Police detained around 20 workers in the course of the crackdown.
The criminal charge of "disturbing social order" covers a wide range of specific offences punishable by up to ten years' imprisonment.
The China Labour Bulletin is calling on the international trade union movement to show solidarity with the struggle of the Tieshu Textile Factory workers.
By Pablo Velasco