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LA ILWU Local 13 Wilmington Dockworkers to say goodbye to a piece of history

Current News - 9 hours 57 min ago

LA ILWU Local 13 Wilmington Dockworkers to say goodbye to a piece of history
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/hall-614755-dispatch-workers.html
May 18, 2014 Updated May 21, 2014 3:27 p.m.
VIEW SLIDESHOW
Ed White, 43, picks up an assignment from the window at the Local 13 International Longshore & Warehouse Union in Wilmington last week. The dispatch hall for casual longshore workers, open since 1948, is set to be vacated in July as the ILWU moves into new facilities a few blocks away.
ANIBAL ORTIZ , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
BY PAT MAIO / STAFF WRITER

For more than a half century, hundreds of dockworkers have pushed into a tiny dispatch hall in Wilmington to find out which terminal in the busy ports complex they’ll work in for the next few days.

They’ve sweated without air conditioning, struggled before dawn to find a parking spot on the crowded streets around the hall at 343 Broad Ave. and rushed to get in line for a job on the docks of Los Angeles and Long Beach, the nation’s two busiest ports.

“It’s like walking into a zoo and chicken coop,” said 85-year-old Tony Salcido, a retired longshoreman who first went to the dispatch hall in 1949. “There’s a lot of pandemonium. As a newcomer, you wonder what the hell is happening.”

On any given day before dawn, 1,000 or more workers can pile into the dispatch hall to get their orders. Roughly 500 to 600 workers can get assigned to unload a ship of 5,000 containers during a period of four to five eight-hour shifts, according to Chad Lindsay, vice president of the Pacific Maritime Association’s Southern California region.

They line up behind big TV screens that list ships, the number and types of jobs needed, and when to report to work. Their names are called out over a tinny-sounding public address system. When his name is heard, the worker walks over to the dispatch window to pick up paperwork on where to report to work for the next few days, while the ship is at berth.

Some kill time playing solitaire at a king-sized picnic table; others shoot the breeze with the hall’s records clerk, Ray Pearson, in a back room. Still others head into the “meat locker,” a closet-sized room with a hole punched into the wallboard. You enter through a metal-plated door.

The meat locker is where dockworkers face a dispatcher at a banker’s window to iron out problems. The dispatcher, who takes job orders from terminal operators, clears up discrepancies in hours worked or resolves labor disputes. No one knows where the meat locker nickname came from.

“The system is very fair and accepted by all,” said Pearson, who once tossed tuna in a Terminal Island cannery years ago.

The ritual is all over in a few hours. Then it’s off to work at 8 a.m., or whenever.

This is the way it has been done since 1948, when the building first opened its doors and the workforce was significantly smaller. Jobs used to be written on a chalkboard, using a ladder. The chalkboards were abandoned in 2001, giving way to computers. One chalkboard still remains, frozen in time on Feb. 8, 2001.

In July, this slice of history will vanish as the yellow-stuccoed dispatch hall that bears huge murals depicting the history of the dockworkers union closes to the longshoremen forever.

This is when the union workers who’ve received dispatch orders for jobs will move a few blocks away. They’re headed to a $26 million building on 9 acres owned by the Port of Los Angeles at Alameda and Anaheim streets, according to Lindsay.

At the new hall, the system is similar, but there’ll be 60 TV screens and overhead projectors – some as big as 100 inches in size. Bose speakers will be used for the new PA system, and the meat locker has been replaced by a large conference room that has a corporate-sounding nameplate reading “service counter.”

The new hall will have 200-plus trees planted to act as “heat shields on the asphalt,” solar panels to supply electricity, showers and a wastewater treatment system designed to recycle water.

The PMA, which paid for and built the building, is a management group that represents 72 shipping lines on the West Coast. The deal calls for PMA to pay for construction, theILWU to run the hall and the Port of Los Angeles to own the land underneath. The Port of Long Beach shares in the dispatch hall’s functions.

The 32,565-square-foot building is nearly four times as big as the old one. The old building has a capacity of 800 parking spaces, and the new one can take nearly three times the dockworkers, Lindsay said.

The PMA also owns a small building on Eubank Avenue in Wilmington, which is used as a secondary hiring hall for overflow work and part-time union casuals.

The PMA is expected to give the acre of land to the Port of Los Angeles, then move operations into the current ILWU dispatch hall when it becomes vacant.

“The new hall is set up for future growth,” said Mark Williams, secretary/treasurer of ILWU Local 13 in San Pedro. “It’s so big a basketball team could play there.”

Lindsay explained that the dispatch hall is where terminals fill orders for workers in a fair way. Think of the movie “On the Waterfront,” a 1954 film about union violence and corruption among longshoremen where employers picked favored workers to fill jobs.

The ILWU fought under union boss Harry Bridges in the 1930s for what it calls “low-man out,” a process in which workers with the fewest hours are given first priority for jobs. They’re required to check in by phone or at a kiosk set up in the hall.

“I knew Harry Bridges since I was a kid,” said David Arian, a Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioner. “Bridges visited the dispatch hall and walked about and attended caucus meetings.”

Arian followed in the footsteps of Bridges as a longshoreman in 1965. He served as an officer of the ILWU Local 13 many times. In 1991, he was elected international president of the Oakland-based ILWU, which represents 13,600 West Coast dockworkers.

For the thousands of workers who’ve passed through the hall, some say it’s as sacred to them as a church.

“This is where I’d throw myself on a spear to preserve the distribution of jobs equally,” Salcido said.

Contact the writer: 562-243-5497 or pmaio@lbregister.com

Tags: ILWU Local 13Dispatch Halls
Categories: Labor News

Korean Sewol ferry investigative commission chair launches hunger strike

Current News - 10 hours 13 min ago

Korean Sewol ferry investigative commission chair launches hunger strike
http://english.hani.co.kr/arti/english_edition/e_national/754330.html
Posted on :
Jul.28,2016 19:09 KSTModified on : Jul.28,2016 19:09 KST

<146970053533_20160729.JPG>
Sewol Special Investigative Commission chairperson Lee Seok-tae started a hunger strike on July 27 at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul, calling on the government to guarantee the commission‘s investigative activities. (by Kim Bong-kyu, staff photographer)
Lee Seok-tae is calling on the government to provide continued funding so the commission can keep up its activities
The chairperson of the special commission investigating the 2014 Sewol ferry sinking launched a hunger strike to demand guarantees on the commission‘s activities and passage of an amendment to the special Sewol Law.
Chairperson Lee Seok-tae announced the beginning of his strike on July 27 during a press conference at Gwanghwamun Square in Seoul.
“The raising of the Sewol’s hull and recovery of the remaining bodies has not even begun yet. The investigation to uncover the facts is still going on, and we cannot accept the government’s illegal and unjust demand that the special commission be closed down when it still has things to investigate,” he said.
A source with the commission explained that Lee plans to hold his hunger strike for around one week.
“After that, standing and steering committee members and employees will participate in hunger strikes indefinitely in a relay format,” the source explained.
With the strike, commission members are opting to make a direct appeal after concluding that a budget shortfall in the wake of a June 30 government announcement unilaterally declaring the elapsing of the deadline for investigation activities makes further activities impossible.
With dispatched government officials returned to their posts following the forcible shutdown announcement, the commission’s staff has dwindled from 92 to 72 members. The government’s decision to restrict its duties to drafting a white paper and stop providing a budget has left it without the money to operate or carry out investigative activities. Indeed, special government service officials - a group that does not include the 17 dispatched employees - have not been paid for their July work.
It is under these conditions that the commission has been attempting to carry on its previous activities, including briefings from investigations into support for victims of the tragedy and defamation in media reports and on information network systems. A third hearing is also being prepared for early September.
Investigations of government organizations have been rough going since the forcible ending of investigative activities. In June, the commission sent notices demanding the appearance of two members of the Korea Coast Guard and its East Regional Headquarters. The individuals in question refused, saying they would comply with the investigation when the government says [the special commission] has the authority to investigate.
“We inquired with the Ministry of Oceans and fisheries on the raising of the Sewol’s bow, which was scheduled for July 27,” said a commission source. “We were told we could not go along because the [commission’s] investigative activity period was over.”
The commission said it planned to “use the hunger strike to call for passage of an amendment to the special law guaranteeing the commission’s activities, while continuing our investigation activities within the scope of what is possible.”
By Kim Mi-young, staff reporter

Tags: Korean Sewol Disasterhealth and safetycover-up
Categories: Labor News

Mexico: Dissident teachers march in Mexican capital

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 07/29/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Fox
Categories: Labor News

Korea (North): Regime said to have executed 6 officials over restaurant workers' defection

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 07/29/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IB Times
Categories: Labor News

USA: Trump Hotel Workers Campaign for a Union, Over the Boss’s Objections

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 07/29/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: NY Times
Categories: Labor News

Why activists in Philly are furious with Uber and the Democratic Party-Demos Conspiring With UBER To Screw Philly Taxi Drivers

Current News - Fri, 07/29/2016 - 12:53

Why activists in Philly are furious with Uber and the Democratic Party-Demos Conspiring With UBER To Screw Philly Taxi Drivers
Why activists in Philly are furious with Uber and the Democratic Party
http://fusion.net/story/330471/uber-philadelphia-democratic-convention/
THE PARTY OF UBER 7/27/16 4:22 PM
Why activists in Philly are furious with Uber and the Democratic Party

By Andrew Joyce

PHILADELPHIA—Activists in Philadelphia are accusing Uber of colluding with the Democratic Party and using the Democratic National Convention to stymie efforts to regulate ride-sharing companies in the city.

On the first night of the convention, members of a coalition called Fair Ride Philly gathered in front of the DoubleTree hotel to protest the Philadelphia delegation as it returned from the day’s proceedings.

“Seventy billion dollar app! Riders get table scraps!” they shouted as delegates were led through a police barricade into the hotel.

Fusion/Andrew Joyce
A police barricade between DNC delegates and Fair Ride Philly protesters

The coalition, made up of local cab drivers, disgruntled Uber drivers, and people with disabilities, is angry with local officials and the national Democratic Party for partnering with Uber during the convention. They see it as an effort by the ride-sharing company to expand its presence in the city and subvert worker protections.

“I’m really disgusted with the Democratic national party,” Ronald Blount, the president of the Philadelphia taxi union, told Fusion. “They’re supposed to represent us working people, people who are less fortunate, people with disabilities, but it’s like they’re just rolling over for a shrimp cocktail and a ham sandwich.”

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Philadelphia’s taxi drivers and Uber have been in a protracted battle leading up to convention.

Ride-sharing companies like Uber were not legally allowed to operate in Philadelphia until a few months ago. In December 2015, Uber backed a bill in the Pennsylvania Legislature to allow ride-sharing companies to operate in Philadelphia, but it never came to a vote.

Uber and other ride-sharing companies appealed to the Philadelphia Parking Authority, which granted temporary permission for them to operate. Activists challenged the authority’s power to grant permission, and won a favorable ruling from a judge.

Then, just before the Democratic National Convention, an amendment to the state budget was passed giving Uber and other ride-sharing companies permission to operate until Sept. 30.

Activists told Fusion that Uber had used the convention to pressure lawmakers and gain a foothold in Philadelphia. They argued that the DNC, by partnering with Uber, was interfering in state politics.

The coalition also claims that Uber’s presence is hurting efforts to expand taxi access to Philadelphians with disabilities.

Activists claim Uber doesn’t have nearly enough cars with accommodations for people with disabilities, and that some riders with disabilities have been charged more for their rides.

A spokesman for Uber denied that riders with disabilities are being charged more. He declined to say, however, how many wheelchair-accessible cars the company operates in Philadelphia, calling it proprietary information.

The DNC has allowed Uber to set up pickup and dropoff points at the convention, funneling business to the company. Uber also offers special car services exclusive to delegates.

Inside the convention, the Democratic Party has highlighted its support for people with disabilities. Anastasia Somoza, an advocate, gave a speech blasting Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, for having mocked a reporter with a muscular disorder. Members of the Fair Ride Philly coalition said the party’s embrace of Uber is at odds with its support for Americans with disabilities.

Rebecca Hamell, a member of the coalition and a person with a disability, expressed disappointment with the party.

“What [Democrats] have shown through their actions at this convention is that they can identify that really blatant kind of discrimination, but not the more subtle, structural things that prevent disabled people like from participating fully in society,” Hamell told Fusion. “It’s more than just not making fun of us. That’s a really low bar.”

Fusion/Andrew Joyce
Rebecca Hamell, a member of the Fair Ride Philly coalition and an advocate for people with disabilities.

The coalition also includes disgruntled former and current Uber drivers who are upset that Uber drivers do not have the same worker protections as regular taxi drivers.

RELATED

Protesters brave the heat in Philly to say 'Bernie or Bust' as DNC starts

Dan Saliv, a driver who used to work for Uber’s black car service, Uber Black, claims he was suspended by the company for circumventing its system of pickups and dropoffs.

He said Uber was unfair to require drivers to take fares that would have barely covered expenses, and offered no recourse to contest the fairness of the suspension.

“I went with my daughter to their office. I asked them to give me a chance, at least, to find another job, and then they deactivated me,” he told Fusion.

Craig Ewer, an Uber spokesman, would not comment on that driver’s case. “We have zero tolerance for any fraudulent behavior that makes it tougher for the vast majority of honest drivers to receive ride requests,” he said.

At the Republican National Convention, last week in Cleveland, some Uber drivers Fusion told Fusion they were upset that the company had flooded the city with drivers, forcing driver earnings to below the equivalent of minimum wage. Uber stressed that it was providing the best fares for customers.

DNC Loves UB & Airbnb "Drivers and disability advocates—who are unhappy about Uber’s lack of wheelchair-available vehicles—have staged protests outside the Democrats’ convention hall."
Airbnb and Uber Lobby Democrats at Philadelphia Convention
https://skift.com/2016/07/26/airbnb-and-uber-lobby-democrats-at-philadel...
Joshua Brustein, Bloomberg - Jul 26, 2016 6:15 pm

Nearly 7,000 people attending the Democratic National Convention are staying at Airbnb properties, according to the company. Airbnb

It may seem hard to believe, but analog technologies like walkie-talkies, pagers, and even pen and paper are still the norm for many hotel employee communications.

As usual, Uber and Airbnb are using all the leverage they have as they lobby Democrats to reduce restrictions on the sharing economy.
— Brian Sumers
The Democratic National Convention is relying heavily on Airbnb to house attendees, and the company wants to remind the visiting politicians that it could use their support, too.

About 40,000 people are in Philadelphia for the convention, and Airbnb says 7,000 of them are using its home rental services, staying in spaces rented out by 3,000 hosts. By contrast, people have booked about 15,000 hotel rooms, according to the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Democratic convention drew significantly more guests than the Republican convention last week in Cleveland, in which 1,100 Airbnb hosts rented out rooms to 2,500 people. That tracks a partisan divide in Airbnb users from past political conventions. In 2008, there were 49 hosts at the Democratic convention in Denver. Just two people rented out rooms at that year’s Republican convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Airbnb and Uber, the two giants of the sharing economy, hosted a panel in Philadelphia Tuesday morning to remind Democrats that their growing popularity comes with potential political opportunities and risks. A survey the company released at the convention found that 80 percent of millennials support Airbnb operating legally in their area. To make sure no one missed the point, Airbnb’s release noted that this included millennials living in swing states.

“If you’re a candidate whether running for president or really any other office, to quote-unquote ‘speak millennial,’ you ought to be talking about the sharing economy, because it is core and central to their economic future,” said Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s head of policy and public affairs and a former aide to President Bill Clinton. He added that by 2025 about 75 percent of all “voters and consumers” will be millennials or the generations that come after them. “The politics of this country is really going to evolve pretty significantly, given the attitudes, perspectives, and approach of that generation,” he said.

Airbnb has been working diligently to solidify its political connections in recent weeks, as it faces blowback over its response to racially discriminatory behavior from some of its hosts, and continued political battles in its most important markets. Last week it announced that it had hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to help it address racism. Two days later, the company formed an advisory council of former mayors to help navigate local regulations. Michael Nutter, the former mayor of Philadelphia and a member of the council, appeared onstage at the event Tuesday. Airbnb is also hosting an event on civil rights with BET in Philadelphia.

Still, the Democratic Party’s attitude towards the sharing economy is complicated. Earlier this month, three Democratic U.S. senators asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Airbnb to determine how the short-term rental market was exerting housing shortages and driving up the cost of living in already expensive markets. When Hillary Clinton published her plan for technology and innovation in June, she said that the digital economy was providing new opportunities but also raising new questions about the future of work and the efficacy of the safety net. Clinton said she’d bring together business and labor leaders to discuss the issue.

Philadelphia officials have embraced Airbnb. But the situation is muddier for Uber. The company has struggled to operate its UberX and UberPool services legally, and faces legal action from taxi companies that say it unfairly avoids regulations. Early this month, Uber reached a deal with city officials allowing it to operate legally until Sept. 30 to help alleviate short-term stress on the transportation system. Drivers and disability advocates—who are unhappy about Uber’s lack of wheelchair-available vehicles—have staged protests outside the Democrats’ convention hall.

Uber’s and Airbnb’s biggest fights over the next four years are unlikely to be waged against a Clinton or Trump administration. Instead, they’ll involve local and state governments, which find themselves in a tricky political situation. As the companies took pains to note on Tuesday, many Democratic voters are personal fans of their services and also see them as a sign of broader innovation. But Uber and Airbnb also inspire strong opposition from traditional power bases of the Democratic Party, like labor and housing activists.

Nutter, the former Philadelphia mayor, dismissed this opposition as both self-interested and inevitable during his panel discussion: “I’m quite sure that the horse and buggy hired the appropriate number of lobbyists and lawyers to fight Henry Ford and folks coming along with these newfangled things called cars.”

To contact the author of this story: Joshua Brustein in New York at jbrustein@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net.

A LOVE Letter to Philly
https://www.uber.com/info/celebrating-philadelphia/
We’re proud that Philly’s playing host to the Democratic National Convention. This week, let’s revel in the diverse neighborhoods and delectable dining that have come to define our city and make it such an attractive destination—and place to call home.

On Monday, July 18, we’re kicking off a week-long celebration in the 215, bringing $2.15 uberPOOL flat rates and free food to several of Philly’s most unique neighborhoods.

Check out a sneak peek of the neighborhood lineup below and be sure to check here each day, as we reveal details on what we have in store.

• Monday - Spruce Hill
• Tuesday - East Falls
• Wednesday - Fishtown
• Thursday - East Passyunk
• Friday - Surprise!

Tags: UberDemostaxi workers
Categories: Labor News

India: Bank strike: 1 million employees, 80,000 branches take part in countrywide stir

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 07/28/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: First Post
Categories: Labor News

India: Banking operations hit nationwide as 10 lakh employees strike work today

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 07/28/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IANS
Categories: Labor News

Australia: Wave of support to recall historic indigenous workers strike

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 07/28/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: This Working Life
Categories: Labor News

Korea (South): IndustriALL condemns sentence of Korean union leader

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 07/27/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL Global Union
Categories: Labor News

Chile: 200,000 March Against For-Profit Pensions

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 07/25/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: TeleSUR
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USA: 10 Reasons Hillary Clinton Stands with Working People

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 07/25/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: AFL-CIO
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SF Appeal to reinstate ‘failed’ tech shuttle provider of Cisco and Zynga employees delayed until late August-IBT 665 Protests Union Busting Bauer Transportation

Current News - Mon, 07/25/2016 - 08:52

SF Appeal to reinstate ‘failed’ tech shuttle provider of Cisco and Zynga employees delayed until late August-IBT 665 Protests Union Busting Bauer Transportation
http://www.sfexaminer.com/appeal-reinstate-failed-tech-shuttle-provider-...

Teamsters members and supporters block Bauer's IT tech shuttles at a stop outside Teamers Local #665 in San Francisco, Calif on Thursday in an effort to support the unionization of Bauer's drivers. July 21, 2016. (Rachael Garner/Special to S.F. Examiner).
By Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez on July 25, 2016 1:00 am

A provider of technology industry private shuttles widely known as “Google Buses” was kicked out of San Francisco’s Commuter Shuttle Program in April.

Now the shuttle company wants back in — but it seems they’ll need to wait. Leaving transit service for hundreds of technology employees remains in limbo.

After a meeting between the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the Mayor’s Office and Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation, Inc. on Friday, attorneys for the mayor asked for a continuation of Bauer’s appeal of a decision to deny it permits to use city bus stops.

The issue will be reheard in late August, according to the SFMTA.

The appeal follows an April decision by the SFMTA to deny Bauer’s a permit for the Commuter Shuttle Program. Without a permit, Bauer’s shuttles were essentially kicked out of Muni bus stops and some public curb spaces.

Bauer’s operates private shuttle buses to ferry tech workers from San Francisco to the corporate campuses of Electronic Arts, Zynga and Cisco systems, among other companies.

The SFMTA granted Bauer’s a grace period of three weeks in April to notify its riders of the upcoming disruption to service, but the agency was unable to tell the San Francisco Examiner before press time if service has yet been interrupted.

In a letter to Bauer’s, SFMTA wrote the company’s permit was denied because they received an outsize number of community complaints and is not in “labor harmony” with its drivers.

Mark Gleason is secretary treasurer for the Teamsters local 665, which has organized tech shuttle drivers across San Francisco. Bauer’s tried forming a “company union,” he said, to combat the Teamsters attempt to unionize Bauer’s drivers. This tactic came under fire from the National Labor Relations Board earlier this year.

“Other employers don’t do that,” Gleason said. With other shuttle providers “we sit down and have a reasonable talk.”

Thursday evening the Teamsters staged a protest against Bauer’s stopping shuttles along Franklin Street.

Bauer’s did not respond to requests for comment before press time.

Last Tuesday, the SFMTA Board of Directors also approved moving commuter shuttle stops from Van Ness Avenue to Franklin and Gough streets to accommodate construction of the Van Ness Bus Rapid Transit project.

A stop at Valencia and 25th streets was also moved to Cesar Chavez and Bartlett streets after nearby Synergy School complained of conflicts between shuttles and parents dropping off children.

Flarnie Marchan is a local tech worker who rides the shuttles. In public comment she said “Any potential stop elimination especially in the Dolores neighborhood might force me to reconsider whether I need a car to get to and from work.”

David Thomas is a building manager of an apartment building on Bush Street, where commuter shuttle stops were recently placed, he told the board.

He said, “I’d like you to consider how it’d be to have two hundred people outside your window and diesel engines fifteen feet outside your bed” every morning at 5:45 a.m.

Tags: DriversBauer Transportationprivatization
Categories: Labor News

UK Dockers' leader passed strike tactics to MI5 agents during national stoppage

Current News - Sun, 07/24/2016 - 17:35

UK Dockers' leader passed strike tactics to MI5 agents during national stoppage
https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2001/jan/01/politics.freedomofinformation...
Monday 1 January 2001 11.38 GMTLast modified on Wednesday 20 July 2016 05.33 BST

A former president of the Transport and General Workers' Union has admitted knowingly passing information on strike tactics to the security services, after MI5 reports on a national docks stoppage in 1970 released today detailed his views and attitudes.
Brian Nicholson, a London dockers' leader at the time who became a close ally of Neil Kinnock in the late 1980s, told the Guardian: "They used to play games with me and I used to play games with them. What I told them was not significant, unless to tell them things to let the other side know."

Mr Nicholson said MI5 agents "flitted around the docks posing as leftwing activists and do-gooders" during the industrial upheavals of the early 1970s, although others were associated with rightwing groups such as Catholic Action and Moral Rearmament.

"But I realised who they were," said Mr Nicholson, who had a leftwing profile and now runs a retired dockers' club in east London. "The establishment panicked easy in those days and they were on to me daily. People were paranoid at the time about leftwing takeovers. But I was never a communist - I'm a Catholic and a churchgoer."

Mr Nicholson features prominently in a string of MI5 reports to the newly elected prime minister, Edward Heath, about a two week national strike over pay by 50,000 dockers in July 1970, which led the government to declare a state of emergency and put troops on standby. The reports by MI5's director general, Sir Martin Furnival-Jones, which are stamped "top secret", are contained in Heath's personal file on the strike and are the first such accounts from the domestic spying service on trade unions in the postwar period to be released. They have been released to the public record office under the 30 year rule.

Focused mainly on the role of communists and their allies in the strike - which was led by the then TGWU general secretary, Jack Jones - the reports reveal the extent of MI5's undercover penetration and surveillance of the left at the time and contain a relatively sophisticated analysis of the private differences among the dockers' leaders.

Their release comes at a time when Stella Rimington, who headed MI5 in the early 1990s, is about to publish her memoirs in the teeth of fierce resistance in Whitehall.

Dame Stella worked for MI5's political subversion department, F branch, in the early 1970s, when its role was massively expanded in response to increasing industrial militancy on the left. She later headed MI5's "counter-subversion" operations against the 1984-85 miners' strike.

The 1970 docks strike was the first of a series of increasingly effective stoppages during the Heath administration, which culminated in the miners' strike of 1974, the three-day week and the Tories' electoral defeat.

The MI5 briefings on the July docks walkout - passed to the prime minister every couple of days and based on agents' reports, phone tapping and bugging - include accounts of private meetings between Communist party officials and dockers' shop stewards and even internal discussions about the editorial line of the Morning Star, described as "the subject of much anxious consideration".

Several parts of the reports have been blacked out, including phrases around the name of Brian Nicholson, whose views and dilemmas are described in detail, even though he was only one of several rank-and-file leaders in the London docks.

The deletions will have been made either because the words refer to "material given in confidence" or because of issues of "personal sensitivity".

Tags: UK DockersMI5 Agents
Categories: Labor News

Global: World Bank should uphold ILO standards in new labour safeguard

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 07/24/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Malaysia: SFI: Don’t appeal! It’s time to #recogniseSTIEU

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 07/23/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: BWI
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Korea (South): Global union leaders to attend court to protest persecution of South Korean colleagues

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITF Global Union
Categories: Labor News

All Aboard Korean ‘Train to Busan’ for Zombie and Class Warfare

Current News - Fri, 07/22/2016 - 12:26

All Aboard Korean ‘Train to Busan’ for Zombie and Class Warfare
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/22/movies/train-to-busan-review.html
TRAIN TO BUSAN
• NYT Critics’ Pick

• Directed by Sang-ho Yeon

• Action, Horror, Thriller

• 1h 58m

By JEANNETTE CATSOULIS
JULY 21, 2016

Gong Yoo, top, and Kim Su-Ahn in “Train to Busan,” a horror movie set on a bullet train. CreditWell Go USA
Elite passengers on a South Korean bullet train face a twitching, hissing threat from the cheap seats in “Train to Busan,” a public-transportation horror movie with a side helping of class warfare.

The setup is lean and clean. A flattened deer, mowed down in a quarantine zone in Seoul where some kind of chemical spill has occurred (echoes of Bong Joon-ho’s 2007 enviro-horror film, “The Host”), springs back to life. Then, in just a few swiftly efficient scenes, we meet a harried hedge-fund manager and his small, sad daughter (Gong Yoo and an amazing Kim Su-ahn), see them settled on the titular locomotive and watch in dismay as a vividly unwell last-minute passenger lurches onboard. And we’re off!

Sprinting right out of the gate, the director, Yeon Sang-ho, dives gleefully into a sandbox of spilled brains and smug entitlement. (“In the old days, they’d be re-educated,” one biddy remarks upon spying an undesirable fellow traveler.) As zombies chomp and multiply, an assortment of regular folks face them down while furthering an extended critique of corporate callousness. The politics are sweet, but it’s the creatures that divert. Eyes like Ping-Pong balls and spines like rubber — I’d wager more than a few chiropractors were required on the set — they attack in seizures of spastic energy. They’re like break-dancing corpses.

Often chaotic but never disorienting, the movie’s spirited set pieces — like a wriggling ribbon of undead clinging doggedly to the last compartment — owe much to Lee Hyung-deok’s wonderfully agile cinematography. Dipping and levitating, his camera injects air into tunnels and washrooms and luggage compartments, giving the action a hurtling vigor. Even more impressive is the train itself: marveling at its freakishly strong doors and dedicated staff, you might find yourself mourning the state of our own rail services more than the fate of the characters.

Tags: RailKorean class struggle
Categories: Labor News

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