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Global: In Synchronized Strikes Around the World, Workers #Fightfor15

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 04/14/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: eNews
Categories: Labor News

Global: Online campaigns: How should companies respond?

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 04/14/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Ethical Trading Initiative
Categories: Labor News

Qatar: FIFA: Landmark Human Rights Report Sets the Agenda

Labourstart.org News - Thu, 04/14/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: ITUC
Categories: Labor News

Ahead of November Bond Ask, BART and Unions Secretly Craft Deal To Avoid Strikes

Current News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 18:13

Ahead of November Bond Ask, BART and Unions Secretly Craft Deal To Avoid Strikes
http://www.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2016/04/11/ahead-of-november-bond-ask-...
Posted By Chris Roberts
@cbloggy
on Mon, Apr 11, 2016 at 12:04 PM

• Michael Mandiberg/ Flickr

Like the rest of us, if there's one thing BART needs, it's money. And if there's one thing that will keep us from voting to give BART money, it's another commute-wrecking, traffic-causing, political opportunity-making worker strike.

There will be no BART strikes until at least 2021, following the secret renegotiation of BART's contract with its union workers.

Later today, BART and its three major unions plan to announce a new four-year worker contract, as ABC-7 first reported. This may seem premature — after all, the current contract is not even three years old yet — but securing this worker peace means securing peace with commuters who, when they become voters, have proven to take unkindly to BART workers striking.

This means those same voters may feel more kindly to BART this November, when the transit agency is expected to ask voters to approve a multi-billion-dollar voter bond.

Under terms of the deal, BART workers will receive wage increases of 2.5 percent to 2.7 percent every year. The new contract still needs to be ratified by the rank and file of BART's unions: Service Employees International Union 1021, which represents mechanics and technicians, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1555, which represents train operators and station agents, and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, which represents midlevel management (including the worker killed on the tracks in 2013).

This is a very savvy political move for BART, which managed to take care of what could be its biggest political liability (aside from, say, having one of its major transit lines go out of service and be replaced by buses for several months while it waits for spare parts to arrive in August). Remember that East Bay state Sen. Steve Glazer (D-Orinda) was propelled to office largely on the promise that he would ban BART strikes.

Glazer is also no fan of BART's professed need for $3.5 billion from the voters in order to replace and repair its aging infrastructure. There may be many commuters like him, but they may well vote to dig into their wallets and help BART float a bond if it's the difference between a reliable train and arriving late to work. Especially if strikes are off the table, as they may be now.

Tags: seiu 1021ATU 1555Contract
Categories: Labor News

Global: International campaign organisation LabourStart wins international prize for trade union rights

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Education International
Categories: Labor News

Global: Global unions demand social dialogue with LafargeHolcim

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriALL
Categories: Labor News

China: Mother of detained labour activist Zeng Feiyang sues China’s state media

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: China Labour Bulletin
Categories: Labor News

Global: Can apps protect workers and amplify workers voices?

Labourstart.org News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: The Workers Lab
Categories: Labor News

Chicago ATU CTA Transit Workers Rallied With Chicago CTU Teachers On April 1, 2016

Current News - Wed, 04/13/2016 - 13:04

Chicago ATU CTA Transit Workers Rallied With Chicago CTU Teachers On April 1, 2016
https://youtu.be/CTIy1OEOAgs
ATU Chicago CTA transit workers and leaders rallied and spoke out on April 1 with Chicago CTU striking teachers, fast food workers and state university employees. The ATU members of Local 308 and 241 are also working without a contract.
Production of Labor Video Project
www.laborvideo.org

Tags: CTAATU 308ATU241Rahm EmanuelsolidarityCTUunion busting
Categories: Labor News

Kuwait: National guard to oil units after strike call

Labourstart.org News - Tue, 04/12/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Middle East Eye
Categories: Labor News

Vietnam: 1,000 workers strike over long hours

Labourstart.org News - Mon, 04/11/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Thanh Nien News
Categories: Labor News

Global: The Arthur Svensson Prize awarded to LabourStart

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 04/10/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: IndustriEnergi
Categories: Labor News

Global: LabourStart wins the Svensson prize for trade union rights

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 04/10/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Svensson Foundation
Categories: Labor News

Palestine: West Bank union organiser reinstated after two-year battle

Labourstart.org News - Sun, 04/10/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Middle East Eye
Categories: Labor News

Japan Railroad Union Doro-Chiba Condemns Japan-ROK Agreement on “Comfort Women”

Current News - Sun, 04/10/2016 - 14:25

Japan Railroad Union Doro-Chiba Condemns Japan-ROK Agreement on “Comfort Women”
http://www.doro-chiba.org/english/dc_en15/dc_en_12_28%20.htm

We Strongly Condemn Japan-ROK Agreement on “Comfort Women”

International Labor Solidarity Committee of Doro-Chiba
January 8, 2016

On December 28, 2015, Japan and South Korea have abruptly reached the agreement to settle the issue of “comfort women” in foreign ministerial talks held at Seoul.
The major objective of their agreement is to “resolve finally and irreversibly” the issue of “comfort women” known as “halmonis” (“grandma” in Korean) who were forcibly drafted for sex slavery for Japanese soldiers during World War II. The agreement states that the South Korean government establishes a foundation for the purpose of providing support for the former “comfort women” and the Japanese government pays 1 billion yen ($8.3 million) contribution to a fund. As a condition for this, worse still, the Japanese government demands the removal of the statue of a girl symbolizing the victims that has been erected in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul. The South Korean government expressed its virtual admission of accepting such demand of the Japanese government, saying, “(We) will strive to solve this issue in an appropriate manner through taking measures such as consulting with related organizations”.
It is utterly an outrageous agreement that intends to completely put to an end to all issues on “comfort women” and, what is more, to remove the statue of a girl.
This agreement is meant to suppress the struggle of halmonis who have long kept condemning the war crime of Japanese imperialism by a thin veneer of Abe’s “apology” and 1 billion yen, a ridiculously small sum of money. It is to wipe off the history of the past Japanese colonial rule and deny the existence of halmonis. The history of the war crime of Japanese imperialism can never be erased with such a mean agreement.
Of course the intention of this agreement would not be just the “settlement” of the issue of “comfort women”. It is to suppress every struggle against numerous acts of barbarism of Japanese imperialism conducted throughout the Asia Pacific region such as Korea, China, Indonesia, the Philippines and others. It is done with vicious intension to wipe out the history of all war crimes.
The meeting between the foreign ministers was held at the end of last year. At this very moment Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) had been resolutely preparing for the general strike against the revision of the labor relations law by Park Guen-hye administration. The Japanese and South Korean foreign ministers worked out an outrageous compromise on the issue of “comfort women” in quite a blunt way at this very moment in order to destroy the struggle of KCTU.
The mass media of South Korea and Japan, and all Japanese political parties including the Opposition have made almost unanimously favorable response. Though, South Korean workers and people immediately issued a statement against the agreement, and rose up to thorough denouncement.
Through this agreement, the Japanese, South Korean and US governments clearly proclaimed their commitment in “advancing trilateral security cooperation”.
They intend to settle quickly the conflicts between South Korea and Japan such as the issue of Japanese military “comfort women” and others, and grant an indulgence on this issue to the Japanese government so that they can swiftly proceed to forge Japan-South Korea military alliance and accomplish the system to conduct coordinated military operations between Japan, South Korea and the US.
Based on this agreement, Abe administration is scheming to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces to the Korean Peninsula, and go ahead with the maneuver to wage a war ferociously in East Asia again.
KCTU has started the struggle in 2016 by the publication of the following statement on January 4.
“Park Geun-hye government intends to erase the memory of the past history of the colonial era which became an obstruction of a fresh military alliance with Japan, but the Park Geun-hye’s humiliating diplomatic negotiation itself must be erased from the history. KCTU never forget halmonis’ suffering, and will stand by the side of the statue of a girl for its defense together with the youth, students and citizens.”
We strongly uphold this statement. We will smash the all-out nationalist campaign of Japanese imperialism to praise the Japan-South Korea agreement on December 28. We will resolutely struggle together with KCTU.
We will create militant labor movement in every workplace with national railway struggle as its pivotal position, and fight against outsourcing, casualization and the revision of the labor relations law.
We will stop the revision of the Constitution and block the attempt of establishing national general mobilization system for war.
And we declare our firm determination to overthrow the Abe administration which intends to liquidate the history of the aggressive war and rush to fresh aggression war in the Korean Peninsula.

DORO-CHIBA (DC): National Railway Motive Power Union of CHIBA
Email: doro-chiba@doro-chiba.org
Web: http://www.doro-chiba.org/

Tags: Doro-ChibaComfort Women
Categories: Labor News

France: Protesters keep up pressure on French government over contested labour law

Labourstart.org News - Sat, 04/09/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: France 24
Categories: Labor News

China: Labour activist He Xiaobo released on bail

Labourstart.org News - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 17:00
LabourStart headline - Source: Guardian
Categories: Labor News

Amtrak Crash Heightens Safety Concerns-In the wake of a deadly rail crash, Jed Dodd, General Chairman of the Pennsylvania Federation BMWED, says Amtrak policies deter employees from reporting close calls. “If you’re truthful, you get fired.”

Current News - Fri, 04/08/2016 - 11:36

Amtrak Crash Heightens Safety Concerns-In the wake of a deadly rail crash, Jed Dodd, General Chairman of the Pennsylvania Federation BMWED, says Amtrak policies deter employees from reporting close calls. “If you’re truthful, you get fired.”
A train struck a maintenance vehicle outside Philadelphia on Sunday, leaving two dead
http://www.wsj.com/articles/amtrak-train-derails-after-crash-near-philad...
An Amtrak train traveling from New York City to Savannah, Ga., partially derailed outside of Philadelphia, killing two people and injuring at least 30 others. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty
By ANDREW TANGEL and SCOTT CALVERT
Updated April 3, 2016 11:59 p.m. ET

CHESTER, Pa.—The deadly crash of an Amtrak train into a maintenance vehicle near Philadelphia highlights persistent problems on the heavily traveled Northeast Corridor and marks the latest in a string of accidents for the national passenger railroad.

The collision early Sunday morning occurred when Amtrak Train 89—bound for Savannah, Ga., from New York with about 330 passengers—struck a backhoe in the Chester, Pa., area, killing the backhoe operator and another Amtrak worker. The crew was part of an operation to replace ballast, or stone that stabilizes the ties and track, on this stretch of the corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston, a person familiar with the matter said.

The Amtrak collision was at least the fifth serious incident for the railroad over the past 12 months, illustrating rail-safety risks despite a major push to install crash-prevention technology on the country’s passenger and freight railroads. Investigators are likely to focus on why the backhoe wasn’t safely out of the way on adjacent tracks for the train to pass.

“The rail-safety statistics have never been better, but nasty, nasty accidents are still occurring,” said Steven Ditmeyer, a former federal railroad official who is now a consultant. Despite the safety push, he said, “there are still significant vulnerabilities that exist and have to be addressed.”

Sunday’s crash occurred on the edge of Chester, near where a neighborhood of two-story row houses gives way to an industrial area. Chester resident Roberta Brown, who lives near the tracks, said she heard the crash while she and her husband were getting ready for church. “It shook the house,” said Ms. Brown, 62 years old.

The locomotive at the front of the Amtrak train partially derailed, although all of train’s cars remained upright. At least 30 passengers suffered injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening.

ENLARGE
Emergency personnel at the site where an Amtrak train crashed early Sunday morning in the Chester, Pa., area. The passenger train struck a maintenance vehicle, killing two workers. PHOTO: MARK MAKELA/GETTY IMAGES

Keith Kelly, 46 years old, of Brooklyn, was on his way to Washington for business, riding in the third car. He said an engineer hit the horn just before impact. “For 15 seconds it was a little terrifying,” he said.

People were “jostled around” but the impact wasn’t so bad that luggage fell off the above-head racks. Although passengers were upset, he said there wasn’t panic. He finally made it to Washington about seven hours after he was scheduled to arrive.

Steve Forbes, a former presidential candidate who is the chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Media, was toward the rear of the train, en route to Washington so he could appear on C-Span.

“It seemed like an explosion,” said Mr. Forbes, who wasn’t injured. “It was abrupt, so everyone’s coffee flew through the air. Everyone knew that this was not your normal slow down or stop.”

The wreck disrupted Amtrak and commuter-train service between Wilmington, Del., and Philadelphia. Amtrak said Sunday that it expects to operate on a regular schedule on Monday, but there may be some delays between Philadelphia and Wilmington.

A spokesman for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which operates commuter trains, said a reduced service would resume on Monday with significant delays.

By late Sunday afternoon, personnel in safety jackets could be seen walking along the tracks near the accident site. Two Amtrak trucks arrived pulling construction equipment. Amtrak passenger trains periodically passed by, moving slowly and frequently sounding their horns.

The Sunday crash comes after an Amtrak worker was fatally struck by an NJ Transit commuter train in the area of New Brunswick, N.J., on March 1. Passengers and crew aboard the train weren’t injured.

Also last month, an Amtrak train in Kansas derailed, injuring at least 32 people. The cause hasn’t been determined, although a National Transportation Safety Board official told the Associated Press that a truck carrying livestock feed hit the track and shifted it before the accident occurred.

An Amtrak train struck a backhoe near Philadelphia on Sunday, killing two workers and injuring dozens of passengers. PHOTO: DOMINICK REUTER/REUTERS
Amtrak’s worst recent crash was in May 2015, when a New York-bound train speeding through a tight curve in North Philadelphia derailed, killing eight passengers and injuring more than 200 others, including crew members.

Sunday’s incident occurred even as Amtrak has been trying to figure out why employee injuries increased despite its outlay of more than $70 million since 2009 on a safety program. There were 1,301 employee injuries reported in 2013, up from 695 in 2009, according to a February 2015 report by Amtrak’s Office of Inspector General. The report said it wasn’t clear exactly why injuries were rising.

Meanwhile, the rate of employee deaths has stayed stable. There were only a total of five between 2007 and 2015, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Amtrak’s chief of operations suggested to NTSB investigators that the injury increase might be partly because the workforce was aging, the report said. He also suggested that injury reports might be rising because employees were encouraged to report injuries as part of the new safety program, the report said.

The report also pointed out that the increased incentives for reporting injuries in the safety program might have had “an unintended adverse effect on employee accountability, as demonstrated by the reduced application of discipline for safety violations.”

Jed Dodd, a union official who represents Amtrak’s maintenance of way employees, criticized the railroad’s management for what he said were policies that deter employees from reporting close calls. He said employees fear discipline for reporting safety issues they may have been involved with. “There’s really an incentive not to be truthful,” Mr. Dodd said. “If you’re truthful, you get fired.”

ENLARGE
An Amtrak train struck a piece of construction equipment south of Philadelphia, causing it to derail. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES
Joseph Boardman,Amtrak’s president and chief executive, disputed Mr. Dodd’s assertions and said the railroad’s safety program has faced resistance from some unions. “It is safe to ride Amtrak,” Mr. Boardman said.

But Mr. Boardman said Amtrak would redouble its efforts to improve employee safety, saying management and unions had to work together to “refocus ourselves.”

“Something different has to go on here,” Mr. Boardman said. “We cannot lose lives like this. People should expect to be able to go home at night with all their fingers and toes—and actually go home.”

—Peter Grant and Ted Mann contributed to this article.

Write to Scott Calvert at scott.calvert@wsj.com and Peter Grant at peter.grant@wsj.com

Tags: Amtrack Safetywhistleblowers
Categories: Labor News

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