Solidarity 036, 4 September 2003

No Sweat goes to Mexico

Published on: Thu, 02/10/2003 - 09:57

By Mick Duncan

A No Sweat study trip set off on Saturday 20 September for a 10 day visit to independent union activists in Puebla, central Mexico.
No Sweat will discuss with maquila workers, and activists at the massive VW car plant - site of the oldest independent trade union in Mexico. We will meet representatives of the Zapatistas and join the CAT workers' organising centre on their educational theatre tour.

On our return we will be producing written articles, digital radio, photographs and video reports. Get in touch if you want a speaker at your union or college, or an article for your

Starved, homeless, destitute: the reality behind the tabloid hysteria

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:47

'S' did not apply for asylum on arrival at Heathrow Airport. He did not know that asylum could be claimed at passport controls in an airport. Instead, he applied for asylum the day after his arrival.
Under legislation which came into effect this January - which denies any form of assistance, including accommodation and even food, to asylum-seekers who do not apply for asylum on arrival - 'S' was refused support by the Home Office.

By the tenth week after his arrival 'S' had lost 14 kilogrammes in weight. His body mass index (BMI) was 16. A BMI of 19 or less is considered to be underweight and

Iraq: no end to the bloodshed

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:47

By Clive Bradley

It is still not known who planted the bomb which killed Ayatollah Muhammed Bakir al-Hakim in Najaf last Friday (August 29), along with 95 others, and wounding nearly 150 others. Rival Shi'a Muslim factions have been blamed, along with Saddam loyalists, the occupying forces themselves, Saudi agents, and representatives of al-Qaida. Whoever was responsible, it represents a major blow to American attempts to construct a stable regime in Iraq, and reveals the huge gulf between the rhetoric of securing peace in the country and the bitter reality.
Al-Hakim was one of the most

Workers of the world: ROUND UP

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:45
  • South Korea: a summer of discontent
  • Free Brazilian landless workers!
  • General strike in Chile
  • Support locked-out Indonesian workers
  • Protests at WTO Cancun, Mexico

South Korea: a summer of discontent

Korea's two union umbrella organisations have agreed to step up their fight against the government's controversial five-day working week bill under discussion in the National Assembly (parliament).

The independent Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) and the traditionally pro-government Federation of Korean Trade Unions (FKTU) say they will be holding more protests against the bill. Sit

More than just a party?

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:41

By Faz Velmi

Rainbow flags adorned every building in the vicinity of Canal Street, Manchester's famous gay village as tens of thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people descended on the city. This year Manchester's Pride celebrations over the August Bank holiday would be even bigger than usual, as it hosted the "official" European Pride event. "Europride" was not just the usual hedonism because along with the partying there was the rare opportunity to discuss politics within the LGBT community.
Indeed there is a lot to discuss and assess at this time when legal equality

Kingmaker departs

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:41

By Sam Ruby

Solidarity obtained some pages from Alistair Campbell's diaries (some he tore out and chucked in the bin).
2 May 1997

Got to number 10 for the first time, v v early. Discovered the stupid tart who was supposed to have bought the Union Jacks flags had forgotten to do it… hung over from last night no doubt. Left to yours truly to run down The Mall to get some in. Had to get back quick to round up the grannies and babies for T and C's triumphal entrance into Downing Street. Bloody CD player broken so we couldn't play Pomp and Circumstance.

Got to work on some lists… Have to crack on

New Labour falters: time for the unions to fight!

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:38

Tony Blair has agreed to a TUC proposal to set up a "public services forum"-regular meetings between the Government and the unions to discuss the New Labour "reform" agenda for the NHS and other public services. The unions have a right to "advise" the Government on things they oppose! Is this-as the Tories would have it-"a return to beer and sandwiches" politicking? To the days when union leaders and Labour Ministers had a close relationship? The days when Labour Ministers were nominally accountable to the labour movement?
The new forum is to be a matter of the unions "advising" the Blairites

Stop the rot in the Socialist Alliance

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:37

In June the Socialist Workers Party packed a meeting of the Birmingham Socialist Alliance with newly signed-up SWP members to remove the entire Executive of the local Alliance-and replace them with SWP members and fellow travellers. The SWP had been promoting the idea of a "Peace and Justice" candidate for next year's Euro-election-mounted jointly with the leaders of the local mosques-that is, an alliance with a religious hierarchy. Comrades in Birmingham, fearing rightly that such an alliance would be a betrayal of independent working-class politics, rejected the SWP policy. Those comrades

No Sweat shorts

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:34
  • Union rights: Haitian Free Trade Zone
  • How to fight sweatshop bosses
  • Nike "fun run"
  • New pamphlet

Union rights: Haitian Free Trade Zone

The Haiti Support Group is campaigning for union rights for workers in Haiti's Free Trade areas. The Group has made the links between the fight at Tarrant, in Mexico, where Tarrant customers include Tommy Hilfiger and Levi's, and the conditions of workers who make for these same companies in Haiti.

Nike "fun run"

On Sunday 7th September No Sweat protested at Nike's dreadful labour rights record at their massive PR

Mexican Tarrant struggle - Workers say: "We are not beggars!"

Published on: Wed, 10/09/2003 - 14:28

By Mick Duncan

In July workers at the Tarrant Ajalpan factory set up an independent union, SUITTAR (Sindicato Único Independiente de Trabajadores de la Empresa Tarrant México) following strike action in June.

Tarrant workers speak of regular forced overtime, unpaid work time, being locked in the factory, verbal and sexual abuse, anti-union reprisals such as placing the names of strikers on do-not-hire lists at other factories, and the aggressive denial of freedom of association.
Seven strike leaders have been victimised and, on 22 August 220 workers at this plant were illegally dismissed. News

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