This morning, cleaners at Schiphol Airport have ended their strike after employers had met most of their demands. Union FNV Bondgenoten called the achievement a ‘great victory’ and an example for every employee in the Netherlands. Cleaner Judy Lock: “Stop thinking that merely being a member of the union is enough. No way: organise a majority of your co-workers and agitate! Then the agreement will follow sooner or later. I’m really glad!”
New York Times features a story about "270 Illegal Immigrants Sent to Prison in Federal Push". Immigrants arrested in an Iowa raid faced tough criminal charges instead of rapid deportation: "In temporary courtrooms at a fairgrounds here, 270 illegal immigrants were sentenced this week to five months in prison for working at a meatpacking plant with false documents. The prosecutions, which ended Friday, signal a sharp escalation in the Bush administration’s crackdown on illegal workers, with prosecutors bringing tough federal criminal charges against most of the immigrants arrested in a May 12 raid. Until now, unauthorized workers have generally been detained by immigration officials for civil violations and rapidly deported."
Forty-five Indian construction workers have been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment under charges of holding illegal gatherings, vandalism, and violating public security following their participation in a strike last year for better working conditions.
The ITUC strongly protests against the verdict of the Dubai Criminal Court, a verdict that constitutes a strong violation of Convention 87 on freedom of association. According to the ITUC, Head Judge Jassem wanted to create a precedent and send a strong message to workers “who resort to illegal methods to get their rights from employers.”
From typicallyspanish.com: "A national police operation in Almería and Alicante has arrested three businessmen for illegally employing immigrants who were either using false documentation or the identity of another person. There were two arrests in El Ejido and another in Novelda, and it’s understood that one of the businessmen arrested in El Ejido was originally from Novelda. Also in custody are 21 immigrants from Brazil and China, with 11 of the arrests taking place in Alicante province and the remainder in Almería province.
A Swedish trade-union blockade which forced a Latvian company that used cheaper Latvian labourers into bankruptcy was illegal, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday. The website "EUobserver" has reported about the courtcase: "The EU's highest court has delivered a blow to the Swedish system of collective bargaining -- seen as underpinning the country's highly successful social model - by ruling that Swedish unions cannot force a foreign company to observe local pay deals."
The news agency Reuters reports about attempts "to dissuade migrants from Cameroon and Nigeria with a bleak new television advert that depicts the life of freshly-arrived migrants in Europe as one fraught with problems and dangers." The hard-hitting advert is part of a campaign by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), funded by the Swiss Federal Office of Migration and the European Commission.
Migrant workers television (MWTV) from South Korea reported today about following latest alarming development: "In the midst of the increasing crackdown on migrant workers, MTU (Migrant Worker's Trade Union) President (Kajiman), Vice president (Raju) and General Secretary (Masum) were all arrested at 9:30 am this morning (November 27) in front of their homes/workplaces. They were arrested without any formal charges and are being held at detention center in Cheongju.."
China Labour Bulletin wholeheartedly adds its voice to the local and international condemnation of the recent attacks on a migrant workers' centre in Shenzhen, and calls for the local police to thoroughly investigate the case and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The Dagongzhe Centre in the Longgang district of Shenzhen has been vandalized and staff intimidated by groups of thugs in three separate incidents over the last two months, the most serious of which occurred on 20 November, when Dagongzhe lawyer, Huang Qingnan, was attacked and grievously injured by two men with knives. The attackers escaped and a week later Huang was still in a serious condition in hospital.
Amnesty International has published a report on the situation of migrant workers in China: "Internal migrant workers in China are paying the cost of the country’s economic "miracle". Most find themselves denied their rights -- shut out of the healthcare system and state education, living in appalling, overcrowded conditions and routinely exploited by their employers. An estimated 150-200 million Chinese rural workers are currently living and working in cities and that number is expected to continue to grow. While they make up the majority of the population in some cities, they are treated as an urban underclass discriminated against under the hukou (household registration) system, which requires them to register with local authorities as temporary residents."
Der Prozess der Prekarisierung, also die fortschreitende Entsicherung der Arbeits- und Lebensverhältnisse, hat in den letzten Jahren bzw. Jahrzehnten neue soziale Fragmentierungen hervorgebracht, die häufig mit einem niedrigen Organisationsgrad der Arbeitenden einhergehen. Dadurch scheint auch der gesellschaftliche Vertretungsanspruch jener Institutionen brüchig zu werden, die - wie z.B. die Gewerkschaften - historisch die zentralen AkteurInnen bezüglich Organisierung und Interessenvertretung der Arbeitenden waren.
Im Rahmen der Tagung "Let's Organize!" werden internationale Erfahrungen mit neuen Formen der Organisierung und Interessenvertretung im Spannungsverhältnis zwischen sozialen Bewegungen und Gewerkschaften diskutiert.