Yangon: Over 200 workers set up barricades around factory

 Some of the striking workers are seen at DJY Knitting Myanmar Ltd. sock factory. Zaw Zaw Htwe/The Myanmar Times
Some of the striking workers are seen at DJY Knitting Myanmar Ltd. sock factory.
5 Sept 2017 – Over 200 protesters from DJY Knitting Myanmar Co. Ltd sock factory, stepped up in their strike by building barricades around the factory on September 4, as their demands were denied again.

“The factory officials violated the law. They fired us without proper reasons. Now we’re also forced to break the law. We resorted to blockade in search of a better outcome,” worker leader Ko Phyoe Ko Ko Aung told The Myanmar Times on September 4.

The dispute was mediated by the Hlaing Tharyar township arbitration group in the morning of September 4, and has been passed on to the Yangon regional arbitration council due to a lack of settlement.

Strikers said that they will maintain the barricade until they get positive results. Workers asked the factory officials to re-hire them at their former positions or to compensate for the loss of jobs, in accordance with the labour law.

“The factory denied both rehiring and compensating. We have no other choice than to build barricades. It can last more than two months if we go with the routes of arbitration councils system and strikers have problems with their daily expenses,” said Ko Pyoe Ko Ko Aung.

Factory officials told The Myanmar Times on September 4 that they were blocked in the factory by the protesters. They have informed the respective officials of Myanmar, as well as the Chinese Embassy, to solve the dispute.

“They are acting against the law. What they are doing is illegal. We will solve this issue legally with the respective officials. We don’t talk with [the strikers] anymore,” said a factory official. He added that the factory will not compensate nor re-hire the strikers who were fired last month. Workers who want to join the factory again can apply as new recruits; they will not get their former jobs.

“Today, the worker’s demands were completely denied. The factory blocked every possible route for conciliation. We don’t encourage the barricades as it is illegal, but we also don’t object to their strike,” said Ko Aung Soe Min, labour supporting officer from the worker organisation We Generation. We Generation has been helping to solve the dispute between the workers and DJY sock factory.

Over 228 of the sock factory’s workers have been protesting since August 7, demanding the rehiring of their worker leader Ko Soe Thura Ko, and the creation of an independent labour union.

All strikers were sacked by the factory on August 22 because they failed to return to work by the deadline set by management.

The DJY Knitting Myanmar Co. Ltd, opened the sock factory in Haling Tharyar two years ago and has been producing various kinds of socks, including famous brands for export, according to a factory official.

There were about 400 workers in the factory, over 200 of which are currently on strike. Meanwhile over 100 of the workers are still working at the factory.

On September 1, protesters also marched to the Hlaing Tharyar industrial zone, demanding their rights.

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Indonesia: Update on Resistance to the New Yogyakarkta International Airport

 29 Aug 2017 – On Monday, August 28 at 1pm, heavy equipment escorted by hundreds of police entered the southern farm, displacing citizens’ land and causing damage including land of citizens who refused to build Kulon Progo airport (NYIA). Prior to this there had been no notice of “evictions” and the operation of heavy equipment for the construction of airports. At 2PM the residents had blocked the heavy equipment to operate but were outnumbered. The heavy equipment and apparatus protecting it continue to operate under the pretext that the land belongs to PAG (Pakualaman Ground). *Tuesday, August 29, early morning residents and farmers began to confront heavy equipment.

*Feudal claim of land ownership and have been legitimized/legalized by the so called democratic state of Indonesia.

******

Senin 28 Agustus pukul 13.oo, alat berat yang dikawal ratusan aparat masuk ke arah selatan pertanian, menggusur lahan warga dan mengakibatkan kerusakan termasuk lahan para warga yang menolak pembangunan bandara Kulon Progo (NYIA). Sebelum ini sama sekali tidak ada pemberitahuan mengenai “penggusuran” dan beroperasinya alat berat untuk pembangunan bandara. Pada pukul 14.00 warga sempat menghalangi alat berat untuk beroperasi tapi kalah jumlah. Alat berat dan aparat yang melindunginya tetap melangsungkan operasinya dengan dalih bahwa tanah itu adalah milik PAG (Pakualaman Ground)

Selasa 29 Agustus, pagi hari warga dan petambak mulai menghadang alat berat.

(via Insurrection News & Indonesian Counter-Information)

Sydney: ‘No pride in genocide’: vandals deface Captain Cook statue

26 Aug 2017 – Early on Saturday, three statues in Sydney’s Hyde park – including one of Captain Cook – were attacked by vandals.

The words “change the date” and “no pride in genocide” were spray-painted on the Captain Cook statue, the former a reference to a campaign to stop celebrating Australia’s national day on the date the First Fleet landed.

Similar words were scrawled on a monument to Lachlan Macquarie, the fifth governor of New South Wales, and a statue of Queen Victoria was also targeted.

Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, in a lengthy Facebook post described the vandalism as a “cowardly criminal act”.

“But it is also part of a deeply disturbing and totalitarian campaign to not just challenge our history but to deny it and obliterate it,” Turnbull said.

“This is what Stalin did. When he fell out with his henchmen he didn’t just execute them, they were removed from all official photographs – they became non-persons, banished not just from life’s mortal coil but from memory and history itself,” he said.

“Tearing down or defacing statues of our colonial era explorers and governors is not much better than that.”

Police have launched an investigation into the “malicious damage” in Hyde Park, which they believe happened between 2am and 3am on Saturday.

Police said graffiti was also used on Sydney’s ANZAC memorial, park benches in Hyde Park, and on the Archibald memorial fountain.

Australia has been engaged in intense debate this week over an inscription on a statue of explorer, Captain James Cook, in Sydney’s Hyde Park. The statue’s inscription claims Cook “discovered” Australia, prompting criticism that it ignored tens of thousands of years of Indigenous history.

The assistant immigration minister, Alex Hawke, who is vehemently opposed to changing the date of Australia Day, condemned the attack.

“This disgraceful extreme attack on our history &culture is shameful.” he tweeted on Saturday.

Scott Morrison also tweeted that the attack was “A national insult & disgrace”

While debate raged in the media, many in Hyde Park remained oblivious to the controversy over the statue on Saturday.

One tourist lying next to the statue on Saturday said he was unaware anyone had been on the continent before the Europeans. Another was unaware of Australian Indigenous history.

 

Adelaide: Pizza delivery ends riot at high security jail

23 Aug 2017 – A riot broke out at Yatala Labour Prison in South Australia about 3.30pm on Tuesday in the B Division of the high security jail.

The eight-hour riot eventually ended with prisoners demanding guards order them Domino’s Pizzas to end the violence.

Prisoners barricaded themselves inside a cell, lit fires with matches, ripped cell doors off the hinges and smashed appliances before reportedly negotiating with guards to end the protest in exchange for 20 pizzas.

Authorities announced the protest ended shortly before midnight, around the time the pizza delivery car arrived at the prison.

When probed about the delivery, the Domino’s delivery man told journalists that ‘a variety of different pizzas’ were ordered.

Special Tasks and Rescue officers were called to the prison (pictured) to assist guards with negotiations

Special Tasks and Rescue officers were called to the prison to assist guards with negotiations. Authorities insisted the delivery was ordered for the guards and not for the rioting inmates.

No staff or prisoners were injured during the riot, but there was significant damage to the precinct, with at least 23 beds rendered unusable.

Correctional Services Department Chief Executive David Brown said the riot started because some of the prisoners were unhappy with arrangements to move them to another area within the prison.

South Australia police said they were investigating the incident. Saying the prisoners responsible could face charges or be moved to a different prison.

Prisoners involved were transferred to the maximum security division of the prison on Wednesday.

Uber drivers strike in Indonesia

Mass meeting of striking Uber drivers in Jakarta (image via PPAS Jakarta)

23 Aug 2017 – Hundreds of Uber drivers have been on strike in Indonesia in a dispute over what they describe as “modern slavery” practices by the firm.

Around 200 drivers rallied in the Indonesian capital Jakarta on Sunday. There were solidarity actions in other cities including Bogor and Surabaya, while drivers far from the management offices turned off their apps in solidarity.

Following on from two protests in May, Sunday’s stop-work protests were the third day of actions in an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions.

The drivers have organised themselves into the KUMAN drivers collective, which has received support in building their organisation from the anarcho-syndicalist PPAS, as well as legal advice from LBH Jakarta.

The drivers believe they face the same main grievances that have led to protest action in cities from New York to Melbourne and in Lagos: Uber unilaterally determining basic pay rates and the lack of clarity of the drivers’ employment status.

Continue reading “Uber drivers strike in Indonesia”

Sydney: Event in Solidarity with Charlottesville Antifascists

22 Aug 2017 – On the 19th of August 2017, Anti Fascist Action Sydney in collaboration with others, held an event in Martin Place, Sydney in a show of Solidarity to the victims of the white supremacist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia. This event was a stand against white supremacy, colonisation, racism and blatant genocide that is unfortunately prevalent not only in American society but in so called “Australian” society today. The support shown from attendees was amazing as well as the powerful, emotional and motivational speeches, there was a feeling of true strength and resistance against hate and bigotry.

(via Anti Fascist Action Sydney & Insurrection News)

‘Coal Bank’: Environmental activists vandalise Commonwealth branches across Australia

Environmental activists vandalised dozens of Commonwealth Bank branches to protest its investment in coal projects (Earlwood, NSW, branch pictured)21 Aug 2017 – Environmental activists vandalised dozens of Commonwealth Bank branches to protest its investment in coal projects.

The protesters blacked out letters in the bank’s signs so they read ‘Coal Bank’ as part of an ongoing campaign against the financial giant.

Photos of the vandalised branches appeared on social media on Monday tagged with #coalbank with protesters bragging their handiwork.

CBA is a heavy investor in the coal industry, which is worth more than $56 billion in export value last financial year and supports thousands of Australian jobs (Bondi Junction pictured)They claimed 25 branches were hit including Earlwood, Dulwich Hill, Bondi Junction and Paddington in Sydney, as well as in Adelaide and Newcastle.

CBA is a heavy investor in the coal industry, which is worth more than $56 billion in export value last financial year and supports thousands of Australian jobs.

Environmental groups claimed CBA invested $8.86 billion last year and more than $240 billion since 2008, and want it to end immediately.

Environmental groups claimed CBA invested $8.86 billion last year and more than $240 billion since 2008, and want it to end immediatelyEnvironmental groups claimed CBA invested $8.86 billion last year and more than $240 billion since 2008, and want it to end immediately

The pressure is aimed at altering the bank’s upcoming new climate policy, which protesters hope will move its investment towards renewable energy.

‘It claims to support action on climate change and keeping warming to below 2 degrees, but at the same time loans billions of dollars to fossil fuel projects that are polluting our world and making global warming worse,’ a petition site wrote.

CBA billboards were also defaced in Sydney, with protesters editing them to spread anti-coal messages instead of financial ones.

CBA billboards were also defaced in Sydney, with protesters editing them to spread anti-coal messages instead of financial ones

One replaced a family in front of their house with the slogan 'find the path to your property dream' with a picture of them in an inflatable raft with 'find your path to higher ground'

One replaced a family in front of their house with the slogan ‘find the path to your property dream’ with a picture of them in an inflatable raft with the words ‘find your path to higher ground’.

Another put a gas mask on a man with the words ‘every tonne of coal is doing you damage’.

 Another put a gas mask on a man with the words 'every tonne of coal is doing you damage'

The ongoing campaign is aimed at altering the bank's upcoming new climate policy, which protesters hope will move its investment towards renewable energy

The ongoing campaign is aimed at altering the bank’s upcoming new climate policy, which protesters hope will move its investment towards renewable energy

'CommBank has the power to help protect the Great Barrier Reef for our kids and grandkids by not investing in destructive coal projects,' a protest site wrote

‘CommBank has the power to help protect the Great Barrier Reef for our kids and grandkids by not investing in destructive coal projects,’ a protest site wrote

‘There is obviously growing community concern about the Commonwealth bank’s hypocrisy on fossil fuel finance,’ it said.

The ongoing campaign is aimed at altering the bank's upcoming new climate policy, which protesters hope will move its investment towards renewable energy

‘Despite their stated support for the goals of the Paris agreement, CommBank lent more money to fossil fuels last year than any of the other big four banks.

The vandalism follows demonstrators in July shutting down every CBA branch in Newcastle to protest against the bank’s funding of the controversial Adani mine.

Dozens chanted anti-Adani slogans while forcing the bank to close their 11 locations for the day.

'CommBank has the power to help protect the Great Barrier Reef for our kids and grandkids by not investing in destructive coal projects,' a protest site wrote

It continues a bad couple of months for the bank after it was accused of failing to report $77 million in transactions linked to money laundering and terrorism.

Earlier this month it was then revealed criminals allegedly deposited more than $44 million into CBA accounts, which were not reported due to a ‘system error’.