Archives for posts with tag: Workers

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Texas currently ranks fourth in the US in number of multi-millionaire residents, yet 24 per cent of Texan children live in poverty. In Dallas, home to some of the state’s most affluent families, it is estimated that 80 per cent of children in the Dallas Independent School District live in poverty.

We aren’t creating opportunities for these children when economic policy in the state creates jobs that are low-wage, part-time and devoid of benefits. These children will grow up reliant on government programmes because they don’t make enough money to meet their basic needs. The jobs that provide that are already disappearing.

Imagine what the Texas job market will look like when these children are adults. If we keep following Perry’s economic model and investing in companies that really don’t need government support, Texas will have plenty of jobs. The only problem is that none of them will be any good.

I have spent the last 10 years working with low-wage workers in Texas, most of who labour in the construction industry. These blue-collar jobs used to be thought of as good jobs; they would allow you to earn a decent wage, plan for retirement and support your family.

“Workers in many Latin American countries are guaranteed paid sick and vacation days, and maternity leave… In Texas, rest breaks are considered a benefit, not a right.”
But today, nearly half of full-time construction workers in the state’s capital live below the poverty line. More construction workers are killed on the job in Texas than in any other state. In the Lone Star State, a construction worker is killed on the job every 2.5 days.

Deregulation, a major component of Governor Perry’s economic vision for the Lone Star State, has made life easy on business but hard on families. Texas is the only state in the country that doesn’t require employers to carry workers’ compensation coverage to help those who are injured on the job.

Leaving taxpayers stuck to pick up the tab for employers who don’t have insurance and aren’t willing to pay for expensive hospital bills, and of course neither are the workers that most frequently make $10/hr.

Perry’s policies direct investment away from small businesses, which are the true engines of economic growth. This year Apple, Inc received a $21m incentive package from the Texas Enterprise Fund to build a million square feet campus in Austin. Large businesses do create jobs.

Sanitation workers assemble at the Clayborn Temple in Memphis, Tenn., on March 28, 1968.

here we can read (in Portuguese)  an article of a former Union leader Américo Nunes, in which he uncovers the agenda and aims of that ones that telling uphold unions activity’s, try to destroy them.

Há algum tempo foi divulgado um apelo (1) subscrito por 60 pessoas que se apresentam como sindicalistas, cidadãos envolvidos em diferentes organizações e movimentos sociais, e cientistas sociais. De facto, 26 são sociólogos, professores das universidades de Lisboa, Coimbra e Braga, um padre, um advogado, seis elementos de associações apresentadas como movimentos sociais, e 18 dirigentes sindicais, alguns dos quais com quem trabalhei e por quem tenho estima no plano pessoal, mas de quem tenho de discordar quanto à estratégia que subscrevem na proposta de uma «nova agenda sindical», apresentada em contraposição implícita àquela que está a ser seguida pela CGTP-IN.

Read this  (In Portuguese) and this (In English)

é impossível perceber a tragédia de Marikana sem avaliar como as corporações mineiras, sentadas sobre mais de 80% dos recursos mundiais de platina, criaram «uma comunidade de pobreza desesperada e tensões divisionistas». E sem compreender como a ganância das corporações, cujo único objectivo é o lucro, «tentou enfraquecer um sindicato estabelecido e a negociação colectiva em conivência com forças demagógicas».

Há, pois, muitas lições a tirar da tragédia de Marikana.

O ANC e seus aliados – portadores de um património de luta inigualável e inspirados pelos exemplos de heróis como Nelson Mandela e de outros patriotas – terão de estar à altura de responder aos desafios colocados e prosseguir a construção de uma África do Sul pacífica, democrática e progressista.

Indeed the above also requires that we undertake a serious analysis of some of the threats facing the working class in general and the progressive trade union movement in particular. This incident, as well as others before it in the recent period, should send a very clear message that there is a sustained attack and offensive against COSATU in particular. The SACP has also correctly warned that where our detractors and enemies sense some divisions amongst our ranks, then they always tend to go on the offensive. It might as well be important that these and other related matters needs to be discussed at the COSATU Congress next month, including frank analyses of the strengths and weaknesses of COSATU affiliates as well as some of the threats facing the federation as a whole. This discussion must not take the form of a lamentation or rhetoric, but must aim at concretely coming up with a programme to defend and strengthen COSATU, within the context of deepening the unity of our Alliance. Such a discussion at COSATU Congress must also concretely explore the possible relationship between, Marikana, the current global capitalist crisis, the further decline in the profitability of capitalism, and a renewed offensive to weaken the working class to defend declining levels of profits. For example to what extent are the tensions in the platinum mine-belt connected to the decreasing demand of platinum in an economic zone like the EU which is a major consumer of platinum for catalytic converters?

The inquiry [announced by Zuma]should, amongst other things, build on the 167-page report from the church-sponsored Bench Marks Foundation, “Communities in the Platinum Minefields”, which was coincidentally released last week. The report paints a grim picture of how all the major platinum mining corporations have made billions of rands out of the world`s richest platinum deposits in the Bojanala District of the North West province, while leaving a trail of misery, death, poverty, illness, and environmental pollution in the surrounding communities. The report finds that Lonmin`s operations at Marikana, for instance, “include high levels of fatalities” and that the “residential conditions under which Lonmin…employees live are appalling.” The report further attributes the high level of fatalities at Lonmin and other platinum company mines in the district to the extensive use of sub-contracted labour (nearly one-third of the work-force in the case of Lonmin`s Marikana operations). “Sub-contracted labour is usually poorly paid, poorly trained and educated, and poorly accommodated”, the report notes, and adds: “Therefore sub-contracted workers compromise the health and safety of other workers.”

Importantly, the report points out that the practice of sub-contracting by the mining houses dates back to the immediate post-1994 period as a cost-cutting measure and an attempt to “break the power of NUM” (p.36), to undercut the collective bargaining rights that the organized working class had finally achieved after decades of struggle. Furthermore, the report notes that the expanded use of sub-contracted labourers from other localities, including from the Eastern Cape, has created community tensions between “insiders” and “outsiders”. Last year, for instance, there were violent protests from local community, unemployed youth in Marikana, angry that jobs on the mines were being provided to “outsiders”.

From Portugal PCP and the Union CGTP-In address their statements here and here

Almost 465 thousand jobless did not receive any social protection for almost 9 month.


The working day is becoming bigger and bigger and the workers’ income are shrinking every year, every month. Big corporations and the banking system gain with our poverty.

Horários de trabalho superiores a 41 horas semanais estão a crescer 

Labour unrest spreads in Egypt, says Al Jazeera.

The textile strikes are an early test for newly elected Islamist president Mohamed Mursi as he strives to form a cabinet to replace the army-backed interim administration so he can start tackling the faltering economy.

“The coming revolution will correct the path of the first one. It will be a labour revolution. Workers sparked the
first revolution, then it was stolen from them,” said Hussein, referring to how left-wing groups have been crowded out by Islamists and the army since Mubarak was ousted. He estimated that Egypt had around 300,000 textile workers, including 100,000 in the state sector.

Misr Spinning and Weaving employees told Reuters they had been expecting delegations from the ministries of industry and labour to head to Mahalla to negotiate, but none had arrived.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 have staged an open-ended sit-in at the factory to call for a rise in basic wages, a purge of corrupt officials and better conditions at the firm’s hospital.

They want an increase in their share of company profits and basic pay of at least 1,500 Egyptian pounds ($250) per month. They say their pay currently ranges from 700 to 1,000 pounds.

They set up tents on Wednesday to ward off sweltering summer heat and put up posters listing demands, complaining of a slide into poverty and poor health and demanding the government bring social justice for the sector.

Labour unrest has also hit the country’s ceramics sector. Disputes between workers and management at Ceramica Cleopatra, one of Egypt’s biggest privately owned ceramics firms, led to clashes between police and workers in Suez city on Tuesday.

De facto, esta multa é uma «gota de água» numa empresa que, para além de fugir ao pagamento de impostos em Portugal deslocalizando a sua sede para a Holanda, aumentou os seus lucros no primeiro semestre de 2012, obtendo cerca de 152 milhões de euros.

Lucros concretizados à custa dos parcos rendimentos dos portugueses e da exploração dos seus trabalhadores, violando acordos colectivos de trabalho e procurando pôr em causa a prática de há muitos anos de fecho das superfícies comerciais no feriado, dia do Trabalhador.

Veja-se o contraste que representam os critérios aplicados. A um trabalhador que tenha uma dívida pode-lhe ser retido até 33% do seu salário, baixando até ao nível do Salário Mínimo Nacional, enquanto esta multa representa para o grupo Jerónimo Martins um corte de menos de 0,02% dos lucros obtidos apenas no primeiro semestre deste ano.

Posição do PCP sobre o significado da reduzida multa aplicada ao grupo Jerónimo Martins/Pingo Doce