Protesting garment workers in Cambodia have clashed with police leaving scores injured. Workers employed at SL Garment processing – who make clothes for Nike, H&M, & Gap – marched on the Prime Minister’s house, demanding better pay and working conditions. They were met by heavily armed police who were intent on violence, using live bullets and tear-gas to disperse the marchers. A woman selling rice at the side of the road was shot and killed by the indiscriminate shooting of the security forces.
Striking Nestlé worker and trade union organiser Oscar Lopez was shot four times by multiple gunmen in a local bar. ‘Sinaltrainal’, his trade union, had been locked in a bitter dispute with Nestlé over union recognition and report receiving several death threats via text message from a right-wing paramilitary group, ‘Urabenos’, the day before Lopez was murdered. The messages read: “We are going to chop you up” and “Death to all Communists”.
Greek riot police have forcibly evicted dozens of journalists from the former state television headquarters (ERT), bringing to an end a five month occupation that started after the TV station had been taken off air, and the journalists sacked. The closure had been part of a programme of public sector job cuts to meet their austerity targets. Many of the workers had stayed behind and kept the station running with an illegal news feed via the internet. Scuffles broke out between the journalists, their supporters, and the police.
Three million workers across all sectors (mainly textiles) have begun a week-long strike to demand a nationwide pay rise of 50%, stricter rules on outsourcing, and universal health cover.
Indonesia’s economy grew by 6% last year and the workers want a bigger piece of the pie. A group of 37 huge companies – mainly in the textile industry – have submitted a statement to the government demanding no wage increases in 2014, or they will close their factories and leave the country.
A campaign to free imprisoned activists and to expose the truth about a massacre by the police has been launch in Kazakhstan.
The ‘Justice for Kazakhstan oil Workers’ campaign had its first meeting recently, which was attended by over 200 activists and trade unionists. They are planning a series of rallies and protests to highlight the cases of ten activists jailed following the 2011 oilfield strike which saw the police shoot over 75 people, killing 16 of them. The massacre ended a seven month strike by thousands of workers.