Casual-T: Unilever’s Lipton Tea Workers in Pakistan - 100% Outsourced, 100% Disposable

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Pakistan: PC Campaign Torch Rally and May Day Message

On April 30, 2008, trade union members and dismissed workers from the Karachi Pearl Continental Hotel held their seventh annual torch rally to highlight their ongoing campaign for trade union rights, a collective agreement and reinstatement of dismissed workers. Also participating in the rally were workers’ family members, other unions from Karachi, a minister of the Sindh provincial government and IUF representatives from Pakistan and the Asia/Pacific regional secretariat. On May Day in Karachi, the IUF delivered a message and open letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Labour regarding the Pearl Continental Hotel Campaign. The message, delivered at the People’s Labour Bureau May Day rally, was broadcast live on two national television stations across Pakistan.

Karachi Pearl Continental Hotel Workers Torch Rally 2008


Continuing IUF global solidarity to Karachi Pearl Continental Hotel workers

Delegates to the IUF Asia/Pacific Regional HRCT trade union meeting in Kathmandu, Nepal heard reports from Ghulam Mehboob, General Secretary of the Karachi Pearl Continental (PC) Hotel Workers Trade Union. The union has been struggling for more than six years to achieve recognition and justice at the hotel, which has seen workers threatened, falsely imprisoned and assaulted for forming a trade union. Despite these threats the union continues its struggle. The IUF, the global trade union federation representing hotel workers, via Asia/Pacific regional secretary Ma Wei Pin, reiterated its continuing support for the union and the struggle for justice at the hotel. [English/Urdu; English/Urdu subtitles]

Justice and Rights Campaign for Tea Workers in India

Starting in the late 1990s, the tea sector in India entered a period of crisis. Massive declines in real wages and employment throughout the sector saw the social conditions of workers plummet with incidents of malnutrition, starvation and death. Plantation owners abandoned workers with impunity, closing plantations (”tea gardens”) and simply refusing to follow the legal requirements to pay outstanding wages and entitlements (such as provident fund). Major transnational companies such as Tata Tea and Unilever slashed thousands of plantation jobs (see Unilever and Tata Tea: Pruning Workers, Reaping Profits). In response to the tea crisis, the IUF has been campaiging for justice for tea workers via a number of avenues. One campaign the IUF initiated is public interest litigation currently before the Supreme Court of India, where the IUF, along with a number of affiliates, is calling for unpaid wages and entitlements to be restored. The IUF-affiliated agricultural workers’ union PBKMS from West Bengal, one of the correspondents in the litigation, has been actively involved in the campaign for tea worker justice. Above is an interview with PBKMS President Anuradha Talwar (also an advisor to the Supreme Court of India) discussing the impact of the tea worker justice campaign to date and the role of the IUF.

Foster’s Yatala Workers Take Historic First-Ever Strike Action

Some questions for Foster’s CEO from a Yatala Brewery worker

Union Solidarity Message to Foster’s Yatala Brewery Workers: “You Are Not Alone!”

As Foster’s continues to refuse to negotiate a union collective agreement with workers at the Yatala brewery in South-Eastern Queensland, Greg Davey, a fellow unionist from the IUF-affiliated LHMU and worker at the Lion Nathan-owned Castlemaine Perkins XXXX brewery has sent a message of solidarity to the Foster’s workers who are fighting for their basic trade union rights. Unions across the brewery industry in Australia are united in their support for workers at Foster’s Yatala and their struggle for a union collective agreement.

Trade Union Rights At Foster’s Brewery in Yatala, Australia: “You Can Have an Agreement as Long as There is No Union”

Foster’s is a world famous beer company from Australia which has decided that it wants to keep workers at its Yatala brewery in south-eastern Queensland on wages that are up to 35% less than wages at other breweries around the country. Furthermore, Foster’s management have told workers that they will not allow their unions to be part of a collective agreement — despite this being a fundamental human right in international law. Continued…»

India: women trade union activists face trumped-up charges for involvement in Singur land struggle

Five women members of the IUF-affiliated agricultural workers trade union PBKMS were arrested and beaten by police in April 2007 while peacefully protesting against the seizure of farmland in Singur, West Bengal. Following their arrest they were charged with attempted murder and assault. The lands were seized by the state government to be handed over to the India-headquartered transnational company, Tata Motors. [Bangla, English subtitles]

AWU: “We’re not going to take it”

The Australian Workers Union is an IUF affiliate. The following video gives a brief introduction to the union, which is over 100 years old, and covers the “Your Rights at Work” campaign which aims to restore trade union rights stripped away under the right-wing government of John Howard.