Stories about Labor from June, 2011
Lebanon: “Welcome to Lebanon” as Seen By a Migrant Worker
In June 2011, Migrant Workers Task Force responded to three promotional videos launched by the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism with three video clips. The Beirut based NGO parodies the official campaign showing Lebanon as a paradise for foreign tourists (here, here and here). For migrant workers, the situation is far from...
South Korea: Hunger Strike at Temple
Yoosung Enterprise's listed workers went on a hunger strike at Jogye temple. Moon Yong-min (@yasangmin) tweeted photos of the protest. About 500 workers had been staging demonstrations since mid-May after wage negotiations broke down.
North Korea's Fragility in the Face of the Rainy Season
Open Radio for North Korea, a Seoul-based radio station founded and runs by North Korean defectors, reported that North Korean citizens have been mobilized to bolster constructions as rainy season begins. Poorly constructed embankments and dams often flooded during heavy downpour.
Puerto Rico: Fortuño Campaign vs. Al Jazeera Documentary
Technology and news blog Qiibo [es] launches an interesting debate [es] by comparing a video of governor Luis Fortuño's 2012 campaign and Al Jazeera's Fault Lines documentary “Puerto Rico: The Fiscal Experiment.”
Argentina: Buenos Aires ‘Cartoneros’
Simon Kofoed, In his blog argen-times, writes about ‘cartoneros': “The tens of thousands of cartoneros, perhaps best translated as cardboard people, make their living by extracting recyclable materials from the city’s rubbish.”
South Korea: Labor Workers Fight Against Police and Corporation
Hanjin Heavy Industries have violently clamped down its union protest. Twitterer @pmtsjc posted photos of how company-hired gang cut rope to drag down workers protesting on crane top. The clash, which ignited over unfair mass lay-offs, has continued for over a month now.
Myanmar: Labour registration form
Democracy for Burma uploads a labour registration brochure in Burmese and Thai languages provided by the International Organization for Migration. There are thousands of Myanmar migrants living and working in Thailand.
Indonesia: Prostitution in a cemetery
EngageMedia uploads a video by Ucu Agustin who features the lives of women workers living near Mount Bolo in East Java, Indonesia. Many of them are also working as sex workers in the evening.
Algeria: No Protests, but Strikes Continue
“While a number of other Arab countries have been indulging in what has come to be known in the press as the ‘Arab Spring’ with various degrees of success, here in Algeria, various factions of the ‘civil society’ (if such an entity indeed exists here) have preferred indulging in strikes,”...
China: Hand made condoms
Kenneth Tan from Shanghaiist finds a video showing how workers pack condom manually in China.
Afghanistan: $60 million class action against Blackwater
Nick Fielding addresses the problem of killed or injured civilian contractors in Afghanistan through the story about U.S. lawyer Scott J Bloch, who filed a $60 million class action lawsuit in order to recover the four former security specialists’ payment of social security, unemployment insurance, and unpaid benefits.
Singapore: Conditions of expats and workers
Aurvandil links to some studies on the conditions of expats and workers in Singapore and made this conclusion: “It's a serious policy failure on the part of the (government) that they make the lives of Expats so good while at the same time make the lives of Singaporean workers so...
Brazil: Rio Wears Red in Support of Firefighters
Since mid-April, a movement started by a group of military firefighters from Rio de Janeiro demanding for better working conditions had been gaining increasing support. With the occupation of the headquarters by thousands of demonstrators last week, which lead to a shock reaction by police forces, Rio wore red in solidarity with the firefighters.
China: Riot in Chaozhou City
Jing Gao from the Ministry of Tofu reports on a riot in Chaozhou City. The riot was triggered off by local factory owner's violence act on a Sichuan rural migrant worker.
Panama: Empowering Indigenous Women Through Chocolate
Global Voices author Clotilde Castillo interviewed [es] Mathilde Grand, the director of ‘Citizen of Chocolate,’ a “A collective dedicated to the divulgation and diffusion of Tribal Chocolate” which employs indigenous women from the Ngöbe-Buglé community in Panama.
Uzbekistan: A clothing manufacturer boycotts Uzbek practice of child labor
Avicenna reports that following a campaign against the use of forced child labor in Uzbekistan's cotton fields, Gymboree, the children’s clothing manufacturer, became the latest company to take a stand by refusing to buy cotton from this Central Asian country.
Afghanistan: Contractor Mistreatment
Joshua Foust writes about the workers, employed in Afghanistan to different service businesses, and the bad conditions they face, including food riots, sexual abuse, appalling living conditions, and recruitment fraud.
Lebanon: Story of a Migrant House Keeper, Georgette
To mark Labor Day, the non-governmental organisation Migrant Workers Task Force has published a video, in which Georgette, a house keeper from Benin working in Lebanon, relates her experiences and speaks of the changes she would like to see in migrants’ working conditions.