Category: Labor
Capitalism Kills: 353 occupational murders within 2 months in Turkey
| July 22, 2017 | 8:42 pm | Analysis, Labor, Turkey | No comments

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Capitalism Kills: 353 occupational murders within 2 months in Turkey

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/capitalism-kills-353-occupational.html
How many dead workers are needed to increase the profitability of the monopolies? 
 
As soL international reports, according to Council of Workers’ Health and Safety (İSİG), at least 353 workers were killed in occupational murders in two months in Turkey
 
Reminding that the construction site of the third airport in İstanbul is notorious for occupational murders, the İSİG underlines, about the campaign which was announced inside the construction site of the airport, that the numbers reported by the Turkey’s Ministry of Labor and Social Security and several bureaucrats are dead wrong, and that roughly 20 thousand workers were killed by occupational murders in AKP’s rule.
The İSİG also explains that, even though the Ministry claims the rate of occupational murders to have decreased by 40% after 2002 when the still-ruling party AKP was elected, the numbers given by the Council show otherwise. 
 
The report suggests that the reason for the increase in the number of occupational murders is the recklessness of the company-owners, which they receive from the facts that the state does not conduct inspections, that it even postpones the laws it passes, and that the company-owners generate an unquestionable working environment, let alone taking precautions.
 
The report also indicates that 40 Turkish construction companies made it to the “250 Greatest International Contractors of the World” list of the international journal of construction sector, Engineering News Report. The İSİG states that the government keeps its promise to employers, creating an environment for them to increase their capital incrementally, such as passing laws that allow subcontracting, cheap labour, and banning strikes, etc.
 
The report also prompts that in the centre of the campaign was the construction sector, in which 78 workers were killed by occupational murders in the last 2 months.
 
FURTHERMORE:
 

* According to the official statistics by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labour, in the United States approximately 4,836 workers were killed on the job in 2015 (3.4 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — on average, more than 93 a week or more than 13 deaths every day.

 
* At least 1,023 workers were killed and about 2,500 were injured when the eight-storey Rana Plaza factory building near Dhaka, in Bangladesh, collapsed on 24 April 2013, marking one of the worst industrial “accidents” in modern history. 
 
* The Soma mine disaster on 13 May 2014 in Turkey, left 301 dead workers, while on May 2010, in Zongudlak province, another “mine accident” led to 30 occupational deaths
 
* At least 13 workers were killed in construction works of the venues prior to the 2004 Athens Olympic Games
National Strike: Tourism workers in Greece raised their voice against modern slavery
| July 21, 2017 | 9:02 pm | Greece, Labor, PAME | No comments

Saturday, July 22, 2017

National Strike: Tourism workers in Greece raised their voice against modern slavery

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/national-strike-tourism-workers-in.html
With militant demonstrations and picket lines in front of big hotels, the class unions held successfully the National Strike of Workers in Tourism, on Thursday, July 20. The Tourism workers in many cities all over Greece and especially in tourist areas like Corfu, Crete, Rhodes and more, went on strike.
The main strike rally took place in Athens, where the picket lines and the workers of many big hotels met. The strike had great success in hotels like the Metropolitan, Athens Hilton, Νovotel and Royal Olympic. The strike rally took place in front of the Ministry of Labour, protesting against the anti-workers legislation, especially for the young workers, students and apprentices. The rally also stopped in front of the National Union of Tourism, the association of tourism enterprises, where the unions wrote in red paint “Here are those who drink the workers’ blood”, and demanded National Collective Agreement, imposed to all tourism enterprises and hotels.

Meanwhile, the class-collaborationist Unions…

The so called National Federation of Tourism Workers, (member of the leadership of the GSEE, the ETUC affiliate in Greece) called for participation in the strike in Tourism yesterday.
Of course, this union did nothing in order to prepare and support the strike. As GSEE, they have also accepted all the wage cuts and the antiworkers’ policies of the Governments, EU, IMF.
This led for their main rally in Athens yesterday, to have zero (0) participants. Not even the president of the union, bothered to appear. Below, is the photo of their rally. This is the true picture. NOT even ONE person participated.
After some time, they just took down the stage and left.
This is the reality about the forces of class collaboration, the ETUC. This is the condition they have created in the trade union movement. No action. No struggles. No connection with the workers.
Anti-workers rage by SYRIZA’s newspaper “Avgi” challenges the right to strike!
| July 17, 2017 | 8:06 pm | Labor, Syriza | No comments

Monday, July 17, 2017

Anti-workers rage by SYRIZA’s newspaper “Avgi” challenges the right to strike!

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/anti-workers-rage-by-syrizas-newspaper.html
In an anti-workers delirium that even the right-wing, neoliberal press would envy, SYRIZA party’s newspaper “Avgi” launched a vociferous attack against the working people’s right to strike! In an article published on 28/6, the newspaper shamelessly attacked the striking mobilizations of the municipal sanitation workers by reproducing the most reactionary arguments of the bourgeois press. Trying to justify the anti-people, anti-worker policy of the SYRIZA coalition government, “Avgi” characterizes the strike as the “ultimate medium” (!) which, according to the newspaper, should not be used frequently by the workers.
Using the arguments of the capitalists and big employers, the newspaper of SYRIZA tries to fuel “social automatism” (turning labor sectors against each other) and undermine class solidarity. In order to do this, the paper attacks the strikers for “keeping society hostage” and blames the workers-peoples’ mobilizations for being “harmful” for the “national interests”! According to “Avgi”, the “national interest” is the interest of the bourgeoisie which the SYRIZA government faithfully serves.
The newspaper intentionally tries to undermine the solidarity among workers of different sectors thus condemning those who strike against the barbaric policy of the government as “enemies” of the economy and development. But the point where “Avgi” openly challenges the right to strike is when it writes the following: “Some crucial for the social and national interests sectors do not have the right to strike” (!). Yes, the official party newspaper of SYRIZA reaches the highest levels of reaction, showing its real role as a social democratic instrument of the bourgeois class.
Apparently, the article of “Avgi” echoes the deeper intentions of the Tsipras’ government to restrict the right to strike. Being in the service of the big capital and an enemy of the working class, the SYRIZA-ANEL government is ruthless in accomplishing its anti-people role. The working class movement in Greece have no other choice but to stand firm in class solidarity and respond dynamically to such hideous provocations.
 
Solidarity with the striking workers at FIAT factory in Serbia

Friday, July 14, 2017

Solidarity with the striking workers at FIAT factory in Serbia

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/solidarity-with-striking-workers-at.html
The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), which is the militant voice of 92 million workers in 126 countries all over the world, stands firmly by the side of the 2.000 workers of the factory of FIAT Chrysler Automobiles, automobile assembly plant in Kragujevac, Serbia, who are on strike since Tuesday 27 June 2017.
The workers have taken strike action against the intensification of work, which increased after numerous workers were dismissed from the factory, while the factory tries to produce a high number of cars per day. Their main demands also include wage increase and transport allowance.
WFTU, on behalf of the world class-oriented trade union movement, calls the working class of Serbia and internationally to support the struggle of the workers of the factory of FIAT in Kragujevac. This factory has great profits from cars production and exportation that are gained through the exploitation of its workers and through the intensification of work, with dramatic results on their health and safety.
International solidarity with FIAT workers in Serbia to continue their struggle until the satisfaction of their just demands!
* * * 
NEW COMMUNIST PARTY OF YUGOSLAVIA (NCPJ).
Dear Comrades, we wish to bring the following important matters to your attention:
Workers at the factory of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Serbian subsidiary FCA Srbija in Kragujevac are on strike over excessive workload and low wages.
The strike began on Tuesday 27 June after two days of warning protests. Two thousand blue collar workers, representing 90 per cent of the workforce, have taken strike action to demand a small wage increase, paid overtime, an end to layoffs, a reorganization of work to cut workload, and compensation for transport costs for shifts that start or finish when there in no public transport.
The core issue is the intensification of work, and low wages. Last summer, a whole shift was laid off, but the volume of work stayed the same.
Workers took strike action after management refused to negotiate.
The strike is seen as a highly significant test of Serbian workers’ ability to resist the intensification of work, and win a decent living wage. Many European auto manufacturers have shifted production to Eastern Europe, where wages are low. FCA Srbija production workers earn about 400 Euros per month. Recently, Slovakian VW workers won a significant wage increase after taking strike action.
The strike committee’s demands are as follows:
1.  Increase the minimum wage per hour from 2 to 2,40 Euros (290 dinars);
2. Improve production organization, and replace workers who are absent for maternity and paternity leave, or for long periods of illness;
3. Recognize bonuses linked both to the achievement of efficiency goals and to the recognition of bronze and silver in World Class Manufacturing principles;
4. Apply the collective bargaining agreement to both the transport allowance when working outside the standard working hours and no public transport is available (at night from 22.00 to 05.00).
The way foreign “investment” works in Serbia and neighbouring countries goes well beyond standard bourgeois exploitation. The term “investment” here has truly turned into its opposite. Most of the expenses are paid out of the state budget, leaving the private owners to accumulate more and more super-profits without any serious risk to their businesses.
The workers in Kragujevac aren’t the only ones who decided to intensify the class struggle. More and more strikes are being reported throughout Serbia and other former-Yugoslav lands. “Falk East” in Knjaževac, “Goša” in Smederevo, the Railways of the Serb Republic (Serb part of Bosnia and Herzegovina), and the list goes on… As the economic crisis deepens and the cost of living grows, the purchasing power and working conditions are deteriorating at a rapid pace. The intensification and expansion of class struggle is becoming the only way to survive.
On behalf of the rights of workers factory of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Serbian to fight for their legitimate demands, we call for international solidarity.
Please, send message of solidarity to our email.
With comradely greetings,
International Relations Section of the CC of the NKPJ.
Microsoft accumulates immense profits, starts layoff of thousands of employees worldwide

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Microsoft accumulates immense profits, starts layoff of thousands of employees worldwide

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/microsoft-accumulates-immense-profits.html
The multinational giant Microsoft– despite its immense profits- is laying off more than 3,000 employees, with the cuts falling largely on the company’s sales force. The vast majority of layoffs will hit employees located outside the United States, although some will also be in Redmond. Greek Telecommunication & IT Workers Unions has condemned the lay offs:
The Telecommunications & Information Technology Unions of Athens, Thessaloniki, Forthnet and 360 Connect (Vodafone) members of PAME (All-Workers Militant Front) and WFTU (World Federation of Trade Unions) condemn the multinational Microsoft, which announced that it will lay-off 3000-4000 from its sales departments.

The “reason” of the layoffs is the company’s decision to proceed with restructuring aiming at the further development of other services eg cloud. The use of the new possibilities offered by science and technology development under the ongoing effort the of monopolies to increase their profitability and competitiveness leads thousands of workers to unemployment, even to giant companies such as Microsoft.

The policy of layoffs in the context of restructuring to boost profitability has been followed by other IT companies around the world. In a sector of tremendous profitability, the extreme competition of business groups requires continuous sacrifices from the workers, deterioration in working conditions, wage cuts and abolition of workers’ rights.
Against the anti-workers’ policies of the business groups, workers have the weapon of organization and solidarity
We express our solidarity to the thousands of Microsoft employees and call them to coordinate our struggle, to protect our jobs and our rights
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union of Athens
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union of Thessaloniki
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union Forthnet
Telecommunications & Information Technology Union 360.
Source: PAME.
Greek tourism industry: Unpaid labour, starvation wages and huge profits for the monopoly groups

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Greek tourism industry: Unpaid labour, starvation wages and huge profits for the monopoly groups

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/07/greek-tourist-industry-unpaid-labour.html
What lies behind the luxurious and idyllic facade of Greece’s tourism industry? The answer is that tourism consists another field for monopolies’ profitability, based on unpaid workers, layoffs, unsourced workers, starvation wages, lack of collective agreements etc. 
 
This is the actual meaning of “economic growth” that the SYRIZA-ANEL government, as well as the New Democracy and the other bourgeois parties, promote. 
 
Even if thousands of tourists arrive in Greece every day, hundreds of employees work daily to the tourism industry with humiliating salaries and exhausting shifts that last from dawn till dusk. The average – daily room rate on all 4-5-star hotels is equal to the salary of a waiter! In a tourist country like Greece, where 25 million of tourists are expected this summer, hotel workers cannot afford a decent vacation and relaxing period. This is Capitalism.
On July 20 workers on Hotel-Tourism-Catering in Greece are going on Strike against the worsening of the working conditions and demand the reinstatement of Collective Contracts for the whole sector, especially the big, 5star hotels, owned by big multinational corporations.
 
PAME (All-Workers Militant Front), the forces of which actively support the preparation of the strikes, inform and participate in the initiatives for the success of the mobilization, calls all labour unions to express their solidarity with the strike of the Hotel-Tourism-Catering workers.
The Unions’ call to the strike follows:
 Workers in tourism, hotels and catering industry in Greece
Cookswaitersmaidscleaning personnelsalesmen, receptionists, travel agents, and all other employees to hotels, catering companies, restaurants, etc
We cannot stand anymore the starvation wages, with no collective agreements. Working non-stop overtime shifts, without insurance and social security and sometimes even without getting paid for months.
Dozens of trade unions of tourism, hotels & catering industry from all over Greece, are calling you to join and protest with us:
ENOUGH!! ON JULY 20TH WE GO ON STRIKE
  • The “fairytale” of the SYRIZA Government and employees that all workers in tourism benefit from the growth of Tourism in Greece does not convince anyone of us who suffer from their policies.
  • They lie when they claim that we are working, that we are well-paid employees and we work under descent working conditions.
The reason is that the workers in tourism & catering industry in Greece, not only suffer from unemployment, but also are part-time workers, poorly paid- if not unpaid- and our health is brutally abused to their modern 5star hotels!!!
Even worse, we live the exploitation daily to the chain catering companies, where we get hired & fired in a blink of an eye, when workers cannot work under extreme pressure.
We will not remain silent!
Hundreds of us work only on seasonal jobs. Many work only 3 days per week.
At the same time, other colleagues have to work non stop for more than 10hours per day as “outsourced workers” through outsourcing “slave-trade”companies.
Young people that now work first time in tourism sector, full of dreams, end up sleeping in containers during the tourist season, working for free in order to “get experienced”.
And if by chance they are paid something, that is not enough, not even for their transportation from/to the working place. On the same time, the situation for the employees with contracts is not much better.
Nowadays Greece faces a unique growth, with an income exceeding every year €15 billion coming from our job while most of us do not have the necessary to survive. While welcoming 30million tourists every year in a country with more than 10.000 hotels and hundreds of restaurants, café, bars, very few of us have ourselves the “luxury” to go on holiday with their families.
This is the tourism they want to impose, a tourism that destroys & vanishes every single small working place and businessman who tries to compete the big business group of companies. This is the development they want to bring everywhere. And this is the truth.
Workers at Athens Ledra Hotel. Athens Ledra, one of the biggest 5-star hotels in the centre of Athens, suspended its operation just on the beginning of summer high season, end of May 2016. The owners of the hotel, who became richer, all these years that tourism is growing in Greece, literally abandoned the 230 employees without salary for more than 3 months. The employers decided to invest their funds to other business activities (constructions, energy etc), where the government grants are bigger. Pure capitalism.

WE CANNOT STAND THIS ANYMORE.
  • We must take over.
  • We must raise our voice.
  • We must strengthen our resistance and our demands along with the trade unions that care about the workers and their rights.
ORGANIZE OUR FIGHT:
  • Through a massive participation to the strike, in order to impose to the employers to accept collective agreements, all around the country
  • By demanding to live and work in a descent way, with a salary enough to cover our needs
  • By demanding the abolition of any new way , which the employers find, every now and then, in order to impose cuts to our salaries
  • By gaining, through our fight, protection & insurance measures for the unemployed colleagues and their families, during the entire duration of the unemployment
  • By demanding the abolition of the outsourcing companies that act as modern “slave traders”, in order all of us to have job with rights.
  • By fighting for human working conditions, health and safety in the working place
We shall take initiatives in order to inform all our colleagues around Greece for the demands we have and expose the employers and the extreme exploitation we’ ve been through We shall become better on revealing what is their “growth”, which steps on us and our lives for their profit. We must demand our growth, which will bring a life with dignity and rights for us and our families, for everyone. We must fight for our lives, in order to be able to go on holidays, enjoy cultural activities and recreate ourselves, not by buying all these as a luxury, but as a common right being deprived by the majority of the people today
With The Class Trade Unions On The Front Line
We Fight For Our Needs.
July 20 National Strike In Tourism.
Hoffa: Opioid Use Due to Broken System
| July 5, 2017 | 8:41 pm | Health Care, Labor, political struggle | No comments
https://teamster.org/news/2017/07/hoffa-opioid-use-due-broken-system

Hoffa: Opioid Use Due to Broken System

By Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa
Published in the Detroit News, July 5, 2017

Our country’s opioid epidemic which claims the lives of 91 Americans every day is hurting far too many families in Michigan and across the country.

Opioid drugs, including prescription painkillers and heroin, killed more than 33,000 people in this country in 2015, the most on record. The epidemic is straining both public services and state budgets. With a problem this big, there is no one solution that will help everyone. But elected officials and groups like the Teamsters are getting involved to help stop this scourge.

In Michigan, for example, Attorney General Bill Schuette recently proposed using some $860,000 in settlement money the state is set to receive from a national lawsuit settlement with Johnson & Johnson to fund a public health campaign on opioid addiction.

For our part, the Teamsters Union is leading a shareholder effort to demand accountability from our country’s largest wholesale drug distributors for their role in fueling the opioid epidemic. In addition to representing workers at each of the “Big Three” distributors — McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, which account for 85 percent of all prescription drug distribution in the U.S. — the union and its affiliated pension and benefit funds are long-term shareholders.

The numbers are staggering. According to news reports, the “Big Three” shipped 423 million doses of hydrocodone and oxycodone into West Virginia, a state of only 1.8 million people, over a six-year period. At the same time, more than 1,700 people in West Virginia fatally overdosed as the three companies reported a combined $17 billion in profits and their CEOs received more than $500 million in combined compensation. Part of the tragedy is that each company had been put on notice by the DEA over the past decade for failing to report suspicious orders as required by law. Together, McKesson and Cardinal Health paid more than $200 million to settle charges with the DEA over that period.

The companies’ practices of putting profits ahead of people has created both financial and reputational risk — sparking an investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, multiple lawsuits and an onslaught of negative press.

As long-term shareholders of McKesson, AmerisourceBergen and Cardinal Health, the Teamsters have called for independent board committees to investigate each company’s opioid sales practices and compliance programs, and report the findings to shareholders. Additionally, the union has urged independent board leadership and executive pay reform that incentivizes compliance and empowers boards to claw back compensation when corporate mismanagement creates significant financial or reputational harm.

It goes without saying that there is much at stake right now when it comes to the nation’s health care system. Congress is considering changes to the health care law, and some have issued support for a Senate bill they claim is a kinder alternative to a House bill passed in May. But that is certainly not the case when it comes to fighting opioid addiction, where almost 3 million people whose treatment is paid by Medicaid would be left to fend for themselves.

This, of course, doesn’t even address numerous other shortcomings of the legislation, such as the outrageous 40 percent excise tax it slaps on high-quality health care plans, as well as a massive tax cut it doles out to corporations and the rich at the expense of the poor.

It’s time to come together and protect the people. Getting serious about opioid abuse and stopping the Senate’s bad health care bill is how we do it.