1. “Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight! Civil society call to action against corruption” 2. “Exploding with Rage, Imploding with Self-Doubt—but Exuding Socialist Potential” 3. R2K protest over JMPD checklist
◘ INTERNATIONAL 1. “FIFA and the United States: The Russian Connection” 2. “Why has Israel embraced al-Qaida’s branch in Syria?” 3. “Kurds, Labour, and the Left in Turkey” 4. “Hong Kong’s Oligarchy” 5. “DRC journalist in jail for 9 months”
LABOUR ◘ SA 1. “Declaration of the COSATU International Gender Conference on Decent Work” 2. “Cosatu joins lobby against Eskom tariff hike”
◘ INTERNATIONAL 1. “ITF and SRI chart a course on maritime human rights” 2. “ILO finds Qatar guilty” 3. “ILO adopts historic labour standard to tackle the informal economy” 4. “Mexico should act to end undemocratic unions says ILO “ 5. “Workers Betrayed by Visa Loopholes” 6. “Uber drivers threaten rebellion against the $40bn company” 7. “Uber orders China drivers to avoid confrontations” 8. “In Turnabout, Disney Cancels Tech Worker Layoffs” 9. “Who made your clothes?” 10. “Four Myths About the “Freelancer Class”” 11. “At Gawker Media, New Economy Workers Strive to Form a New Kind of Union” 12. “Digital-media workers of the world, unite!”
MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION 1. “Worker Protections in the “New” Economy? There’s No App for That.” 2. “Malawi finally migrates to Digital TV Broadcasting: Govt reduces price of decoders” 3. “Is Twitter the architectural intern’s unofficial labor union?” 4. “Can Malaysia’s Leading Independent News Site Survive a Censorship Law?”
◘ “Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight! Civil society call to action against corruption”
By RANJENI MUNUSAMY
It started off as a tweet from Zwelinzima Vavi, asking if people would be willing to march to Union Buildings in support of the Public Protector. Now eight trade unions and 29 civil society organisations have come together to build an alliance against corruption and for social justice.
◘ “Exploding with Rage, Imploding with Self-Doubt—but Exuding Socialist Potential” By PATRICK BOND
The fast-reviving South African left is urgently coming to grips with the most acute national crises of structure and agency the country has experienced since the historic freeing of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 and the shift of the entire body politic in favor of the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP).
◘ “FIFA and the United States: The Russian Connection” By GEORGE WRIGHT
On May 27th the United States Department of Justice issued a 47-count indictment against nine International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) officials and five executives of FIFA-affiliated sports management firms. The charges the United States pressed included racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering amounting to $150-million over a 24-year period.
◘ “Why has Israel embraced al-Qaida’s branch in Syria?”
By RANIA KHALEK
During his 2014 address to the UN General Assembly, Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “fighting militant Islam is indivisible.”
The Israeli prime minister’s crude attempts to conflate ISIS with Hamas should not be allowed to conceal an important truth: Israel aids the forces of “militant Islam” when it is considered opportune to do so.
After Turkey’s parliamentary elections last week, all eyes are on the Peoples’ Democracy Party (HDP) after its successes in contesting its first ever election as a party, rather than a coalition of nominally independent candidates: a momentous decision on the part of the party leadership, which stands to gain clout in parliament and solidify its position as the electoral standard-bearer of the radical Left.
Three months after the police shut down the pro-democracy movement that made headlines last fall, a new wave of protests crested in parts of Hong Kong. The protests were smaller in scale, much less representative of the Umbrella Movement’s many voices, and angrier, erupting in shopping streets and malls near the Chinese border in February and March.
Nine months in jail and counting. This is the fate of editor-in-chief and journalist Mike Mukebayi from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), who was arrested on August 21, 2014 and thrown in the Makala Central Prison in the outskirts of the capital Kinshasa.
Opposition to Eskom’s application for an extra tariff hike is increasing, with union federation Cosatu saying it would not not support any further burden on the working class and the poor through high electricity tariffs.
◘ “ITF and SRI chart a course on maritime human rights”
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) report progress being made on the urgent issue of the criminalisation of seafarers. This follows the positive reception from the IMO’s (International Maritime Organization) Legal Committee to a paper co-sponsored by the ITF, the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA), the Comité Maritime International (CMI) and InterManager.
Geneva-based United Nations agency the ILO (International Labour Organization) today found Qatar guilty of allowing its state-owned airline, Qatar Airways, to violate international and national agreements and institutionalise discrimination. The case was successfully brought against Qatar by the ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation).
◘ “ILO adopts historic labour standard to tackle the informal economy”
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new international labour standard that is expected to help hundreds of millions of workers and economic units move out of informality and into the formal economy.
“It is not just the adoption of this Recommendation, it’s actually putting it into practice that will matter,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.
◘ “Mexico should act to end undemocratic unions says ILO”
Mexico should change legislation to stop the registration of ‘protection’ unions that do not represent the majority of workers, says the International Labour Organization (ILO). Mexico was one of 24 countries shortlisted for examination by the ILO Committee on Application of Standards in Geneva early this month, for its failure to implement ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize.
It hardly needs saying that immigration policy should not undermine Americans’ jobs, wages or working conditions. The problem is that what some companies want — cheap, exploitable, disposable labor — is exactly what the system can be twisted into giving them.
◘ “Uber drivers threaten rebellion against the $40bn company” By ROBERT BOOTH
Most days at midday, Uber’s nondescript office in London’s King’s Cross opens its doors and dozens of men clutching sheaves of driving licences and insurance documents pour in. Many are first- or second-generation immigrants from places such as Afghanistan, Poland, Somalia and Nigeria eager to sign up to drive for the US tech company, whose phone-based minicab-hailing app has transformed the taxi industry in 58 countries.
◘ “Uber orders China drivers to avoid confrontations” By TOM MITCHELL
Uber’s China unit has warned its drivers to avoid confrontations with police and rival taxi drivers or risk losing their contracts, as the US-based car hailing service seeks to avoid regulatory scrutiny in a country where authorities are extra sensitive to instances of “social instability”.
◘ “In Turnabout, Disney Cancels Tech Worker Layoffs” By JULIA PRESTON
In late May, about 35 technology employees at Disney/ABC Television in New York and Burbank, Calif., received jarring news. Managers told them that they would all be laid off, and that during their final weeks they would have to train immigrants brought in by an outsourcing company to do their jobs.
◘ “Four Myths About the “Freelancer Class”” By SARAH GREY
Freelancers have more in common with other workers than with small-business entrepreneurs.
I got a strange call late last year from Duane Morris, an international law firm based in Philadelphia. The woman on the phone said that Duane Morris was working with former Sen. Blanche Lincoln and some of the world’s leading corporations, like Microsoft and Google, to build a “grassroots movement” to help freelancers.
◘ “At Gawker Media, New Economy Workers Strive to Form a New Kind of Union” By RACHEL L. SWARNS
The Facebook notification popped onto her screen in April: an invitation to the editorial staff at Gawker Media to “a union meeting about you.” Anna Merlan, a 28-year-old reporter with six months on the job, stared at her laptop, startled.
A union? At a digital media outlet populated mostly by college-educated 20- and 30-somethings? Really?
◘ “Digital-media workers of the world, unite!” By CHRIS LEHMANN
The sanctums of online journalism, which have disrupted everything from the business models of the publishing world to the basic definition of original editorial content, are now facing an unwelcome new disruption of their own. Earlier this month, the employees of Gawker Media, one of the earliest and most successful Web-publishing networks, voted to unionize, and create one of the first digital locals for the Writers Guild of America.
◘ “Worker Protections in the “New” Economy? There’s No App for That.” By SUSIE CAGLE
In April, Darrin McGillis filed for unemployment benefits from Uber, claiming that he was unable to continue driving for the company after his vehicle was damaged. Uber is already facing a handful of lawsuits alleging that drivers should be classified, treated and paid as employees, but McGillis effectively jumped the line.
◘ “Is Twitter the architectural intern’s unofficial labor union?” By ROBERT BOOTH
Social media has been accused of being many things: a time-waster, an intelligence-leveler, a privacy-invader. However, in the field of architectural employment, social media has oddly become a kind of virtual worker’s union, helping to expose unethical hiring practices.
◘ “Can Malaysia’s Leading Independent News Site Survive a Censorship Law?” By SHUWEI FANG
On April 13, journalists in Malaysia had their fears confirmed when the country’s parliament approved amendments to its sedition law, giving the government broad new powers to censor media online. The changes extend the maximum jail term from three years to twenty, and make it illegal to propagate sedition on the internet—the definition of which, complain opposition lawmakers, remains wide open to abuse by the government.