· August, 2007

Stories about Labor from August, 2007

Kuwait: Jailed Blogger Released

Following a local and regional outcry, jailed Kuwaiti blogger Bashar Al-Sayegh was released in Kuwait earlier today. While some bloggers celebrated the release, others warned that it could be a signal of more restrictions which could curtail freedom of speech in Kuwait. Another blogger expresses his disgust with men in...

Hong Kong: Construction Workers’ Strike

  20 August 2007

In 1997, the daily salary of metal workers in construction site is HKD1,200 (USD150), today it is less that HKD600. Workers from Southeast Asia are even less. More than a thousand metal workers have been striking for 13 days to demand for an increase of daily salary to HKD950. Citizen...

Bahrain: Poetry Slammed!

This week Bahraini bloggers express their concerns about the country's electronic identity cards. With the school year about to begin, education is a hot topic. Be careful what you write when you send a job application – you might unwittingly become one of the new superheroes, The Employables! We finish with some strong opinions regarding the literary scene in Bahrain.

South Asia: Slaving in the Middle East

  17 August 2007

South Asian migrant workers (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal) have a notable contribution in the developments of Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf region. But the abuse and exploitation of these workers is shocking and serious issue. Migrant workers fuel the engine of the economy but they are exploited,...

Japan: New Labour Contract Law

  17 August 2007

Japan Law Blog summarized the new labour contract law, which was called “A ‘Contract Law’ that Enslaves Japanese Working People” by Japan Focus.

China: Kidnapped and sent to the mines

  15 August 2007

Joel from DANWEI translated the kidnapped case of a 17 years old boy, Wei Wenlin. He was kidnapped from Hebei on 6 of Aug and sent to a mine in Shanxi, working there as slave. According to Beijing News, in Shanxi Province alone, there were 36,286 unlicensed work units, making...

China: Manpower Parallel Rail

  14 August 2007

Kanchai pointed out that the labour market in China is now in parallel rail, which means two different salary system for same the same job, people coming from rural areas earn far less that urban citizen. Such discrimination is caused by the rigid political system (zh).

Estonia: Eternal Remont

  10 August 2007

Itching for Eestimaa writes about remont in Estonia: “…the point of remont is not to finish it, but to keep doing it. This is Estonia, and in Estonia, remont is one of the national pastimes, along with drinking õlut and explaining Estonian history from the 13th century to unsuspecting listeners.”

Documentary on Workers Rights in the Gulf

Jane in Doha points us to a documentary (in Arabic) produced by AlJazeera on the condition of workers in the Gulf States. She is happy that the regional media is paying attention to this problem since there are “17 million foreign workers in the Gulf. Most are from Asia and...

China: Cultural Revolution

  10 August 2007

Zhao Si-long recommended an article about the economic background of Cultural Revolution (zh) with some class and social grouping analysis.

Iran:More worker activists arrested

Kaargar says [Fa] that several members of Tehran Bus Drivers Union were arrested today in Tehran.They were planning to hold a protest outside the house of Mansour Osanlu,their jailed leader.They asked for the release of Mansur Osanlu and another jailed union activist, Mahmud Salehi.Security forces surrounded Osanlou's house, preventing anyone...

Syria: Lebanese Border and Toilet Etiquette

Yazan Badran takes us on a tour of Syrian blogs where bloggers are discussing the worsening of conditions of Syrian workers and families at the Lebanese-Syrian border, calls for the return of the Golan Heights occupied by Israel to Syria, the Czech machine gun and toilet etiquette.

Russia: Notes From Irkutsk and Poronaysk

  4 August 2007

Two more sketches from Oleg Klimov, Siberia-born photographer and blogger who has been traveling across Russia since June 23: the first excerpt is about Siberia and its people; the second one is about the fish-smelling town of Poronaysk, located on the island of Sakhalin.

Iran:Workers support jailed worker activists

Kaargar says[Fa] that there will be several demonstrations, from 9th to 11th of August, in different countries, to ask for freedom of two jailed woker activists:Mansour Osanloo and Mahmoud Salehi.Kaargar adds Iranian government continues its repression against workers.

China: Motorbikes banned in Dongguan

  3 August 2007

“Today is the last first day of a month that motorcycles can legally ride the streets of Dongguan,” wrote manufacturing executive and blogger A. Bryson on August first. “Come September 1 they are banned.”