Unite with the families of Shu’fat!
The people of Shu’fat need your support and solidarity - please donate if you can, download the Unite leaflet and donate today.
PepsiCo responds to formation of new union in Pakistan by attacking rights!
PepsiCo management at the company's Frito-Lay plant in Lahore, Pakistan has responded to the formation and official registration of a trade union with 650 members by harassing and transferring union officers and seeking to violate the union's collective bargaining rights by creating a bogus union. Workers initially formed a union in response to the massive abuse of precarious employment through labour contractors, which denies permanent employment to workers who have worked for years at the plant.
Since the PepsiCo Workers' Union was registered and officially granted collective bargaining rights, union officers have been targeted for disciplinary procedures on false charges and the union president has been transferred out of the plant to prevent contact with members. The company has registered a fake national union claiming to represent workers at two different sites in order to undercut the Lahore workers' demand for a negotiated collective agreement.
A large number of workers, including women workers, have been holding protest actions at the factory gate, demanding the company cease its attack on rights and negotiate in good faith. You can support their struggle - CLICK HERE TO SEND A MESSAGE TO PEPSICO!
UNITE Executive Council Statement in relation to the Turkish-Kurdish situation
The Executive Council of UNITE the Union is deeply concerned about the catastrophic escalation of violence between the Turkish sate and the Kurdish population.
UNITE acknowledges that imprisoned Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan has for years remained consistent in his advocacy of peace and reconciliation between Turkey and the Kurds, and that he has played a key role in the talks with the Turkish government that were brought to an abrupt halt by President Erdogan before that country’s general election in June.
UNITE believes this to be a bad miscalculation on the part of the Turkish President. Since that fateful decision Turkey-Kurdish relations have rapidly deteriorated with Turkey launching a new bombing campaign against Kurdish positions inside Iraq, Syria and on its own soil. These have been carried out under the spurious cover of joining the US-led war on ISIS, despite the fact that in reality the very Kurdish forces Turkey is attacking have played a critical role in defending towns and villages – such as Kobane - against the barbarity of Islamic State forces . This resumption of arms threatens to unleash yet another protracted conflict in a region already beset with terrible unending conflicts.
Free Huber Ballesteros, imprisoned Colombian trade union leader
Colombia is the most dangerous country in the world to be a trade unionist. According to United Nations figures close to 3,000 trade unionists have been killed since 1986. Human rights defenders are also regularly attacked. 37 human rights defenders were killed in the first six months of 2013. State authorities are directly involved in many of these killings.
In addition to physical attacks trade unionists and human rights defenders are regularly imprisoned. On Sunday 25 August 2013, the trade union leader Huber Ballesteros was arrested and sent to prison. Huber is a one of the leaders of the Colombian trade union movement. For many years he has actively defended the rights of Colombia's peasant farmers and promoted increased equality in Colombia. At the time of his arrest he was involved in organising strikes and protest action across the country. His arrest is a clear and unashamed attempt by Colombian authorities to punish him for his activism in defence of workers, peasant farmers and for social justice. His release must be secured to send a clear message to the Colombian authorities that using courts and prison cells to punish political opponents will not be accepted.
Since November 2012 a peace process has been taking place to bring an end to the 50-year civil war. For the success of the peace process it is essential that Colombia demonstrates it is a mature and functioning democracy which respects social activists, trade unionists and human rights defenders. The immediate release of Huber Ballesteros would be a step in the right direction. Please sign this petition to the President of Colombia to be handed to the Colombian embassy in London calling for the release of Huber Ballesteros, Imprisoned Trade Union Leader.
Nabi Saleh Palestine
An Nabi Saleh is a small village of approximately 550 people, twenty kilometres north west of Ramallah in the West Bank of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The Israeli colony of Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf ) was established on lands belonging to the villages of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham in 1976. In response to the illegal colony being established on their land, the residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham began holding demonstrations in opposition to the stealing of their land and the establishment of the colony (whose establishment violates international law). The residents of An Nabi Saleh and Deir Nidham lodged a court case against the colony in Israel’s high court, but were unable to stop the construction the illegal settlement.
Since its establishment in 1977, Halamish colony has continued to expand and steal more Palestinian land. In 2008, the residents of An Nabi Saleh challenged the building of a fence by the colony on private Palestinian land and which prevented Palestinians from accessing their land. The Israeli courts ruled that the fence was to be dismantled. Despite the Israeli court ruling, the colony continued to illegally annex more Palestinian land. In the summer of 2008, the Israeli colonists from Halamish seized control of a number springs, all of which were located on private Palestinian land belonging to residents of An Nabi Saleh.
In December 2009, the village began weekly non-violent demonstrations in opposition to the illegal Israeli colony of Halamish annexing of the fresh water springs and stealing of more of the village’s land. Since An Nabi Saleh began its demonstrations, the Israeli military has brutally sought to repress the non-violent protests, arresting more than 13% of the village, including children. In total, as of 31 March 2011, 64 village residents have been arrested. All but three were tried for participating in the non-violent demonstrations. Of those imprisoned, 29 have been minors under the age of 18 years and 4 have been women.
Recently two prominent leaders of the village’s non-violent struggle, Naji Tamimi and Bassem Tamimi, were arrested for their role in the non-violent struggle. Today, they remain political prisoners in Israel’s jails, charged with “incitement” and organising “illegal” demonstrations.
Since the demonstrations began in December 2009, International peace activists and Israeli activists opposed to their government’s occupation and apartheid policies have joined in solidarity An Nabi Saleh’s non-violent demonstrations.
Stop G4S - a briefing for trade unionists
Trade unionists have every reason to challenge G4S as it tramples over public services and union policies. We oppose privatisation, confront racism, and support effective international solidarity.
Since the coalition was elected in 2010, austerity and cuts have swept the country and over half a million public sector workers have lost their jobs. At the same time, the coalition has spent billions of pounds in public money for companies like G4S and Serco to take over public services
Among the main privateers – now known as “primes” – G4S is the worst, at home and worldwide. Our “prime” target should be G4S, not just for their incompetence and fraud but because of their inhumanity.
Union sponsored councillors and MPs need to know the facts and understand procurement law, and exercise their powers to oppose corporate abuse of power. We hope and expect they will read this briefing carefully, and consider how they can choose not to contract with G4S. Read the full briefing on the campaign to stop the G4S model.
Take Backs No More!
120 USW Local 9176 members were forced on strike September 6, 2013
Crown appears engaged in a protracted campaign attacking workers, and unions are drawing a line in the sand to finally stop these attacks.
The plant located at 21 Fenmar Dr., Toronto, Ontario is one of Crown’s top producers, and workers received an award in 2013 for outstanding “safety, productivity, quality and budget management”
The facility produces over 5 million soup and beverage cans a day, its main customers are Cott Beverages, Molson, Labatt and Morgan’s.
Crown operates 149 plants in 41 countries and has 21,900 employee and globally, over 12,000 of all Crown employees are covered by a collective agreement.
USW Local 9176 members have been unionized for over 25 years
Crown has consolidated labour relations at its headquarters in the US and has little knowledge of the unique nature and issues of the Crown Metal plant in Toronto, Canada.
Crown’s income almost doubled to $557 million in 2012 from $282 million in 2011 and its CEO John Conway received over $12.14 million in compensation in 2012.
Miami 5 - five Cubans falsely accused and jailed by the US government
Find out about the illegal political prosecution carried out by the U.S. government against Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González, and René González.
Angola 3 - Amnesty International appeal
A federal court ruling in February 2013 in Louisiana saw the conviction of Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 once again overturned.
The target of Amnesty's appeal is the Attorney General of Louisiana, James Caldwell, and we are urging him to not appeal against the ruling, but to let it stand so that without further delay Albert Woodfox can either be retried, or released.
Amnesty International believes that to delay the legal process now with an appeal is both cruel and unnecessary: Not only has Albert (66) been held for 40 years in solitary confinement as his physical and mental health is deteriorating, but a body of evidence has built up over the 40 years of litigating the case which demonstrates significant flaws in the legal process.
More information on the Angola 3 is available here or alternatively visit Amnesty's website.