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Your weekly round up of alternative news you ought to know 2 September 2016     




1. Boycott Robertson’s wines, striking workers urge the public
2. Robertson Winery strike: David vs Goliath
3. “FAWU Can’t go back to COSATU
4. NEHAWU statement on the Border Management Authority Bill
5.Media Content Diversity in SA: Why is government still asking all the wrong questions?
6. ANC warns of retaliation as Financial Boycott is Widened
7. An Inconvenient person: Remembering Dulcie September

1. China: Striking Miners in China’s Shanxi Demand ‘Equal Pay, Benefits’
2. India: Central Trade unions to go on general strike on 2 September
3. UK: Why Corbyn so terrifies the Guardian

4. The class essence of the Confederacy in the American Civil War
5. Uber is said to have lost $1.2 billion in the first half of 2016
6.Robot fast-food workers are coming

1.When technology sets off a populist revolt
2. Broadband law forces rural residents off information highway
3. Facebook fires trending team, and algorithm without humans go crazy
4. WhatsApp privacy backlash: Facebook angers users by harvesting their data
5. Everything you need to know about Phil DeFranco#YouTubelsOverParty drama



SOUTH AFRICA: Boycott Robertsons wines, striking workers urge the public

Striking workers at Robertson Winery, one of SAs biggest wineries, have called on consumers to boycott Robertson wines after wage negotiations deadlocked on Thursday night.

Members belonging to the Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (Csaawu) downed tools earlier this week, demanding a 57% wage hike. The company is offering an 8% increase.

Winery CEO Anton Cilliers said on Friday the call by the union for consumers to boycott Robertson wines would make the negotiations even more difficult. read more…http://www.bdl



SOUTH AFRICA: Robertson Winery Strike: David vs Goliath

Poverty has a human face. The Marikana Massacre and the farm workers strike in the Western Cape, in 2012-13, forced into the public consciousness the reality of workers condemned to live in poverty.

Poverty is, indeed, now recognised by all political parties as being one of the three main scourges disfiguring our once new South Africa. But, for many of us, poverty still remains an abstraction that distances the meaning of what it is to be poor.

The unprecedented strike currently happening at Robertson Winery, an easy distance away from Cape Town, is a timely reminder that hard work still leaves large numbers of South Africans unable even to feed their children. read more…http://aid



Because There Is No COSATU To Go Back To” – concludes Zwelinzima Vavi

THE following speech was given by the former general secretary of the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), dismissed in 2015, and now Vice Chairperson of the Millennium Labour Council, Zwelinzima Vavi to the congress of the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) following its recent decision to leave COSATU.

Vavi covers the recent history of the ruling ANC alliance, as its support falls in a deepening political and economic crisis, marked by a powerful strike wave. read more…http://www.wrp



SOUTH AFRICA: NEHAWU statement on the Border Management Authority Bill 

The National Health and Allied Workers’ Union (NEHAWU) notes the tabling of the Border Management Authority Bill by the Department of Home Affairs in Parliament.  read more…http://www.cosa



SOUTH AFRICA: Media Content Diversity in SA: Why is government still asking all the wrong questions?

“The following is an amended version of a presentation delivered by the author for the Print Media Transformation Colloquium, 25-26 August 2016, held at Freedom Park, Pretoria and hosted by the Department of Communications (DoC).”  read more…http://www.dai




SOUTH AFRICA: ANC Warns of Retaliation as Financial Boycott is Widened

“South Africas ruling ANC hit back yesterday after a financial boycott of government-friendly firms was extended to state-owned enterprises.

Ethical finance firm Futuregrowth Asset Management said on Wednesday it was suspending loans to state firms because the government was trying to manage them.

It also seized on media speculation that state electricity company Eskom had been captured by the wealthy Indian Gupta family and a possible corruption probe against Finance Minister Parvin Gordhan.”  read more…https://www.mor




SOUTH AFRICA: An inconvenient person: Remembering Dulcie September

“This is an edited and shortened version of a presentation at Cosatu Western Capes National Womens day event at Community House on 9 August.”  read more…http://www.gro




CHINA: Striking Miners in Chinas Shanxi Demand
Equal Pay, Benefits as Strike Rumbles On

Workers at a state-owned coal mine in the northern Chinese province of Shanxi have called for the release of colleagues detained during clashes with police amid ongoing strike action over pay and conditions.

Some 1,500 miners and other workers at the China Coal Pingshuo Coal Co. have joined the strike over deductions from their paychecks, ostensibly for “social security” purposes.

We are still on strike; this has been going on since Aug. 16, a striking miner surnamed Liu said on Friday. Its over equal work for equal pay and about our insurance payments and what they cover.  read more…http://www.rfa




INDIA: Central trade unions to go on general strike on
2 September against Centre’s labour reforms

As many as 10 central trade unions will go ahead with the general strike on Friday saying the government gave no heed to their 12-point charter of demands and is continuing with unilateral labour reforms. CTUs claimed that over 15 crore workers are likely to participate in the strike and it will be bigger than the one held last year as members of BMS will also support them.  read more…http://www.fir




UK:  Why Corbyn so terrifies the Guardian

The parliamentary Labour party is in open revolt against a leader recently elected with the biggest mandate in the partys history. Most Labour MPs call Jeremy Corbyn unelectable, even though they have worked tirelessly to undermine him from the moment he became leader, never giving him a chance to prove whether he could win over the wider British public.

Now they are staging a leadership challenge and trying to rig the election by denying tens of thousands of Labour members who recently joined the party the chance to vote. If the MPs fail in the coming election, as seems almost certain, indications are that they will continue their war of attrition against Corbyn, impervious to whether their actions destroy the party they claim to love.”  read more…http://tru



USA: The class essence of the Confederacy in the American Civil War

The recent film, Free State of Jones (directed by Gary Ross) was condemned by numerous media figures and film critics, perhaps most notably op-ed columnist Charles Blow of the New York Times. According to Blow, the film tries desperately to cast the Civil War, and specifically dissent within the Confederacy, as more a populism-versus-elitism class struggle in which poor white men were forced to fight a rich white mans war and protect the cotton trade, rather than equally a conflict about the moral abhorrence of black slavery, bemoaning the white liberal insistence that race is merely a subordinate construction of class. read more…http://www.wsw



USA: Uber is said to have lost $1.2 billion in the first half of 2016. Is this the end of the sharing economy or a new era of loss-leading pioneers?

Bloombergs Eric Newcomer reported that on a recently Uber quarterly call with shareholders, the companys head of finance, Guatam Gupta announced that Ubers losses continue to escalate. Total losses in the first half of 2016 totaled an astounding $1.2 billion. According to Bloombergs sources, there are several reasons for this. For one, subsidies for Uber’s drivers are responsible for the majority of the company’s losses globally. On top of that, Uber has been investing billions of dollars in China and its yet to turn a profit there. And of course, theres staving off competition. Most notable, Uber has been engaged in a heavy price war with Lyft throughout the year to expand its market share as well as gain ground over other competitors in each market around the world. Uber told investors that it’s willing to spend aggressively to do so.  read more…https://www.lin




USA: Robot fast-food workers are coming

The robots in movies and science fiction books that rise up to take over the world generally are able to do so because we have placed them in charge of missiles, defense systems, and other military technology.  read more…http://www.bus




USA: When Technology Sets Off a Populist Revolt

To spend time in Silicon Valley in a year of political upheaval is, on one level, soothing. It is pleasant to hear talk of wearables, walled gardens and disruptive beverages in between updates about mass deportation.

But there is another conversation happening in the valley today. Its premise is that, when it comes to populist revolt, we may have seen nothing yet. read more…http://www.nyt



USA: Broadband Law Could Force Rural Residents Off Information Superhighway

On the first day of the harvest last week, a line of trucks brimming with sweet potatoes rolled into Vick Family Farms, headed for a new packing plant that runs on ultrafast internet.

The potatoes were tagged with online bar codes to detail the plots where they grew, their types of seed, and dates and times picked. On a conveyor belt, 50 flashing cameras captured and sent images of the spuds to an online program that sorted the Carolina Golds by size and quality and kicked them into boxes.  read more…http://www.nyt




USA: Facebook fires trending team, and algorithm without humans goes crazy

“Just months after the discovery that Facebooks trending news module was curated and tweaked by human beings, the company has eliminated its editors and left the algorithm to do its job. The results, so far, are a disaster.”  read more…https://www.the




USA: WhatsApp privacy backlash: Facebook angers users by harvesting their data

“Facebook is being accused of backtracking on its pledge not to use the data of the 1 billion users of the WhatsApp messaging app it acquired two years ago.” read more…https://us11



USA: Everything you need to know about the Phil DeFranco #YouTubeIsOverParty drama

“”YouTube is over.” That’s what many YouTube creators declared Thursday on Twitter after learning some of their videos have content considered inappropriate for advertising.

But their dramatic reactions may be too premature. Here’s a breakdown of why.

How did the latest YouTube drama begin?.” read more…http://mas