Peaceful Strikers Being Attacked By Armed Police

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By Esther Ojulari for Black Alliance for Peace. Buenaventura, Colombia – “I know you’re fighting a just cause…We go all round the country and we see people fighting just causes all the time…But this is our job…our role here is to attack, so that’s what we do.” These were the words my friend was told when he engaged in conversation the other night with an agent of the ESMAD (Mobile Anti-Disturbances Squadron) on the streets of Buenaventura, Colombia, in the context of the ongoing civic strike. The mainly Afro-descendant and indigenous community of Buenaventura on the Pacific Coast of Colombia has been on a civic strike now for 16 days. 16 days in which business, banks, shops and schools have been closed down and taxis and buses have stopped working to demand that the national government fulfills its basic human rights obligations to its citizens.

Strike In Buenaventura For People Centered Human Rights

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By Esther Ojulari for Black Alliance for Peace. Since the Buenaventura port was privatized in 1991, the vast majority of income generated goes straight into the pockets of private business owners from outside of the city, while the community suffers from a lack of investment and neglect. 64% of the population lives in poverty and 9.1% in extreme poverty. The child mortality rate in Buenaventura is 27.6 per 1000. The sewage system covers only 60% of the city, and only 76% receives running water. For most of the population that water arrives in homes for only a few hours a day and in some communities only a couple of times a week. The city’s public hospital was closed in 2015 leaving the population with access only to primary health care and meaning that patients often have to travel to other cities to receive adequate medical attention. Only 22% of the population have access to secondary education, and schools not only lack materials and infrastructure but resources to provide a culturally relevant education. The privatisation of the port contributed to a rise in unemployment as many of the jobs were given outsiders leaving an unemployment rate today of 62%. Much of the working population are engaged in informal labour, with lack of job security and safe working conditions.

700 New York Chemical Plant Workers Walked Off Their Jobs

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By Carla Javier for Fusion. Seven-hundred workers walked out of the Momentive chemical plant in upstate New York one week before Donald Trump was elected president. They went on strike for more than 100 days after negotiations over a new contract stalled. A new short film called Picket Line, produced by Firelight Media and Field of Vision, documents their days and nights spent on the picket line, and the conversations they had there about the future of their jobs, and of unions.

Esther Ojulari: National Strike in Buenaventura Colombia

Mass action closing down port in Buenaventura, Colombia May 21

Esther Ojulari for Black Alliance for Peace. The city of Buenaventura on Colombia’s Pacific coast is home to the country’s main international port through which billions of dollars of imports and exports pass every year. Since last Tuesday 16th May the community of Buenaventura (along with communities in the Chocó region of Colombia) has been on general strike demanding that the government fulfils basic human rights to water, education, health, culture, land and freedom from racism and violence. Businesses were closed, road blocks were set up at several points along the main road and peaceful protestors chanted, sang, danced and banged cooking pots to call attention to the desperate situation. On the first day along the Chamber of Commerce reported the strikes had caused up to 10,000 million pesos (about $3.5 million USD) in losses.

AT&T Workers Begin Three-Day Strike

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By David Bacon for In These Times. Around 40,000 members of the Communications Workers of America (CWA) at AT&T walked off their jobs Friday, for a three-day strike, as pressure continues to mount on the corporation to settle fair contracts. In California and Nevada, around 17,000 AT&T workers who provide phone, landline and cable services have been working without a contract for more than a year. Last year, they voted to authorize a strike with more than 95 percent support. And in February, an estimated 21,000 AT&T Mobility workers in 36 states voted to strike as well, with 93 percent in favor. Workers had issued an ultimatum, giving company executives until 3 p.m. ET on Friday to present serious proposals. They didn’t; the workers walked. It isn’t the first strike at AT&T. Some 17,000 workers in California and Nevada walked off the job in late March to protest company changes in their working conditions in violation of federal law.

Imminent Strike By AT&T Workers

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By Communications Workers of America. CWA members at AT&T Mobility put the company on notice to come up with serious proposals at the bargaining table or face a strike starting sometime on Friday. If AT&T officials refuse to negotiate fairly, AT&T wireless workers in Districts 1, 2-13, 4, 7, and 9 will walk off the job in a three-day strike. In addition, wireline workers in California, Nevada, and Connecticut, and DIRECTV workers in California, may take job action as they continue to bargain. “The clock is ticking for AT&T to make good on its promise to preserve family-supporting jobs. We have made every effort to bargain in good faith with AT&T but have been met with delays and excuses. Our message is clear: fair contract or strike. It’s up to AT&T now,” said CWA District 1 Vice President Dennis Trainor.

Brazil Paralyzed By Nationwide Strike Against Elite Corruption & Impunity

Demonstrators set up a barricade to block an avenue at a bus station during a protest in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, April 28, 2017. Public transport largely came to a halt across much of Brazil on Friday and protesters blocked roads and scuffled with police as part of a general strike to protest proposed changes to labor laws and the pension system. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) - See more at: http://twincitiesbusinessradio.com/news/business/general-transportation-strike-brings-much-of-brazil-to-halt#sthash.EKlnkcu0.dpuf

By Glenn Greenwald for the Intercept. It’s almost impossible to imagine a presidency imploding more completely and rapidly than the unelected one imposed by elites on the Brazilian population in the wake of Dilma’s impeachment. The disgust validly generated by all of these failures finally exploded this week. A nationwide strike, and tumultuous protests in numerous cities, today has paralyzed much of the country, shutting roads, airports and schools. It is the largest strike to hit Brazil in at least two decades. The protests were largely peaceful, but some random violence emerged. The proximate cause of the anger is a set of “reforms” that the Temer government is ushering in that will limit the rights of workers, raise their retirement age by several years, and cut various pension and social security benefits. These austerity measures are being imposed at a time of great suffering, with the unemployment rate rising dramatically and social improvements of the last decade, which raised millions of people out of poverty, unravelling. As the New York Times put it today: “The strike revealed deep fissures in Brazilian society over Mr. Temer’s government and its policies.”

50 Clergy, Students & Allies Sit-In At Boston Detention Center; 20 Arrested

Sit-in at ICE office in Boston, May 24, 2017 by Movimiento Cosecha‏. From @CosechaMovement on Twitter.

By Staff of Cosecha. The sit in a the South Bay detention center in Boston comes in response to the detention of three immigrant rights activists from Justicia Migrante in Burlington, VT: Jose Enrique “Kike” Balcazar, Zully Victoria Palacios, and Cesar Alexis Carrillo Sanchez. ICE has been specifically targeting immigrant rights activists in what appears to be blatant political retaliation for advocating publicly for the rights of immigrants and dairy workers. “While the realities of raids, repression, and deportations are nothing new for our people, they’ve reached an unbearable boiling point,” said Rodrigo Saavedra, a Cosecha organizer. “The time has come for immigrants to transform the political weather. Cosecha is planning what could be the largest immigrant strike since the 2006 megamarches on May 1. It will be a Day Without Immigrants: We won’t work; we won’t buy; we won’t go to school. Instead, we will rise together, we will march together and, in the absence of our labor and consumption, we will be recognized.”

Deportation Resistance Builds Across Borders

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By Deirdre Fulton for CommonDreams. More than 120 businesses are closed in Wisconsin on Monday to protest Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke’s immigration crackdown. From work strikes to legal campaigns, multiple efforts have been mounted to resist the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, which has instilled fear and panic in communities across the United States. Recent raids have impacted “nearly 200 people in the Carolinas and Georgia, more than 150 in and around Los Angeles, and around 40 in New York,” according to the Associated Press on Sunday. Raids also reportedly took place in Arizona and Chicago. President Donald Trump on Saturday said the raids were “merely the keeping of my campaign promise.”

Workers Strike Back From Boston To Chicago

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By Fight for Fifteen. NATIONWIDE – Strikes by baggage handlers and cabin cleaners at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Uber drivers in two-dozen cities, hospital workers in Pittsburgh and McDonald’s and other fast-food cooks and cashiers from coast to coast, combined with mass civil disobedience by working Americans across the service economy, will headline a nationwide Fight for $15 day of disruption Tuesday. In addition to the strikes demanding $15 and union rights, the workers will wage their most disruptive protests yet to show they will not back down in the face of newly-elected politicians and newly-empowered corporate special interests who threaten an extremist agenda to move the country to the right. The protests, at 20 major airports, which serve 2 million passengers a day, and outside McDonald’s restaurants from Durham to Denver, will underscore that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants, or support racism or racist policies, will be met with unrelenting opposition by workers in the Fight for $15.

Tens of Thousands To Strike, Following Election Defined By Rigged Economy

Fight for 15 Protesters hold signs at a rally in support of minimum wage increase in New York City on April 15th, 2015. By Victor J. Blue for Getty

By Anna Susman for Fight for $15. The four-year-old Fight for $15 will not back down and that any efforts to block wage increases, gut workers’ rights or healthcare, deport immigrants, or support racism or racist policies, will be met with unrelenting opposition. To show their determination in the face of the seismic shifts in the political climate, workers in the Fight for $15 said Monday they will wage their most disruptive protests yet on Nov. 29, expanding their movement to nearly 20 airports serving 2 million passengers a day, and risking arrest via mass civil disobedience in front of McDonald’s restaurants from Detroit to Denver. Workers spanning the economy—including baggage handlers, fast-food cooks, home care workers, child care teachers and graduate assistants—will demand $15 and union rights, no deportations, an end to the police killings of black people, and politicians keep their hands off Americans’ health care coverage.

French News Channel’s Journalists On Strike For Editorial Independence

Staff of French news channel iTele vote to renew their strike for another day on November 7, 2016 in front of the channel's headquarters in Boulogne-Billancourt/AF

By Staff of RSF – France’s political leaders and the agency that is supposed to guarantee the freedom of its broadcast media seem unable to respond to the deepening conflict between Vincent Bolloré, the billionaire owner of the French 24-hour TV news channel iTélé, and iTélé’s journalists, who are fighting for editorial independence. The channel’s journalists have been on strike for the past three weeks in what is now the second-longest stoppage in the broadcast sector since May 1968.

Media Ignores Largest Labor Strike In World History

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By Jim Naureckas for FAIR. When tens of millions of workers go out on strike in the second-largest country in the world—and the third-largest economy in the world—resulting in what may be the biggest labor action in world history (AlterNet, 9/7/16), you’d think that would merit some kind of news coverage, right? Not if you’re a decision-maker at a US corporate media outlet, apparently. Not a single US newspaper found in the Nexis database—which includes most of the major papers, like the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today—reported an original story on the strike. (Associated Press had a brief, 289-word report, which ran on the New York Times‘ website and was doubtless picked up by other papers.) The Wall Street Journal, whose full text isn’t on Nexis, also skipped the Indian strike story.

Tens Of Millions Of Indian Workers Strike For Higher Wages

Activists of the Communist party of India (Marxist) shout slogans in Kolkata, India, during the nationwide strike. Photograph: Bikas Das/AP

By Michael Safi for the Guardian. A nationwide strike by tens of millions of Indian public sector workers has been hailed by union officials as “the world’s largest ever” industrial action, and cost the economy up to 180bn rupees (£2bn), according to an industry group. Last-minute concessions by the finance and labour ministries, including a 104-rupee rise in unskilled workers’ daily minimum wage, could not ward off the strike against what unions said were the “anti-worker and anti-people” policies of Narendra Modi’s government. State banks and power stations were shut and public transport was halted in some states on Friday, and 20 protesters were arrested in West Bengal after allegedly damaging government buses, police official Anuj Sharma told the AFP news agency. Schools and colleges in Bangalore were closed as a precautionary measure, and 4,200 buses sat idle in Haryana. Mumbai and Delhi avoided major disruptions but surgeries were delayed at a major hospital in the capital while nurses demonstrated outside.

Mexico: Doctors Condemn Killing, Join Teachers

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By Telesur. As protests led by the militant CNTE teachers’ union in Mexico continue, the country’s doctors are set to join in the job action, calling for a national strike on June 22 to protest a neoliberal reform to the health system imposed by President Enrique Peña Nieto. The group #YoSoyMedico17, which is comprised of doctors, pediatricians, surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses, has been joined by more than 200,000 physicians from 32 states in opposing the so-called Universal Health System reform by Peña Nieto. The medical professionals say the measure is a “disguised way of privatizing health in Mexico,” and said doctors were not consulted on the reform, according to Animal Politico. The doctors’ protest will join the ongoing national general strike by teachers.