On the picket line

first_imgVictory for Hot & Crusty workersMahoma Lopez, organizer for Laundry Workers Center, announces victory in Hot & Crusty strike.WW photo: Anne PrudenAt a press conference called by the Laundry Workers Center on Nov. 16, Hot & Crusty workers announced that they will return triumphantly to their workplace at 63rd Street and Second Avenue on Dec. 17 after an 11-month struggle and a 56-day strike for their rights. Now represented by the Hot and Crusty Workers Association, the courageous immigrant workers won a historic, precedent-setting three-year contract that includes a wage increase, paid vacation and sick time, a union hiring hall, and seniority, grievance and arbitration procedures. Mahoma Lopez, who has worked at that H&C shop for seven years, said this struggle was about “workers having a chance to be leaders.” He noted that the workers are especially excited about the hiring hall because “now we can control who gets hired.” Lopez added that they were victorious because “we’ve received a lot of support!” That was affirmed by the numerous solidarity statements by union representatives who had rallied behind the struggle. The press conference ended with the chant: “There are no borders in the workers’ struggle! ¡La lucha trabajadora no tiene frontera!” A victory party for the workers and a fundraiser for the Laundry Workers Center will be held Nov. 29 at the Solidarity Center, 55 West 17th St., Manhattan, from 9 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 212-633-6646.Bakers’ strike exposes Hostess mismanagementThe bakers who make Twinkies and Wonder Bread went on strike Nov. 9 to protest draconian concessions demanded by Hostess Brands. But the company, already in bankruptcy, retaliated Nov. 16 by filing to liquidate and throw 18,500 workers out of work. Hostess claimed the strike forced them to shut their doors, which corporate media have reported ad nauseam. But the Bakery Workers union (Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers) exposed the real reason: the company is drowning in debt — after years of flagrant mismanagement and an earlier bankruptcy. The bosses were so brazen, they gave themselves huge bonuses only days before the second bankruptcy. But the bakers refused to bail them out as they had done before. According to David B. Durkee, the union secretary-treasurer, the workers were advised that they would be “facing liquidation in 12 to 16 months from now, even if we took more concessions.” (New York Times, Nov. 20) After the bankruptcy judge ordered mediation Nov. 19 between Hostess and the union, he agreed Nov. 21 to let the company sell off its brands to the highest bidders for an estimated $1 billion. (Bloomberg News, Nov. 26) And many baking companies, including Pepperidge Farm, Flower Foods and Grupo Bimbo, as well as financial investors, are eager to buy the popular brands. But what will happen to the workers and their unions? Stay tuned.Car washers strike in Bronx, N.Y.After not being paid for three weeks, more than a dozen workers at the Sunny Day Car Wash in the Bronx, N.Y., walked off the job Nov. 11. Later that day they were fired. After consulting workers at the nearby Webster Car Wash, who had just joined the Department Store union (RWDSU), the mostly immigrant workers called an unfair-labor-practice strike on Nov. 13 to demand back pay, their jobs and union recognition. “We’re tired of this. We’re working in the cold. We need money to pay our rent,” Nelson Aquino told the Nov. 13 Daily News. Aquino earns $5.50 an hour plus tips drying cars. “Even when they give us a check, it bounces because there’s no funds.” This was the first strike in the WASH New York campaign, a joint effort of Make the Road New York and New York Communities for Change, supported by RWDSU. With 5,000 low-wage, mostly immigrant workers at more than 200 car washes in New York City, the industry is known for exploiting its workforce, paying below minimum wages and not paying overtime. Workers at two car washes voted overwhelmingly to join RWDSU in September.NY Times workers fight cutbacksPrint and digital workers at the New York Times, including writers, and other editorial and administrative staff represented by The Newspaper Guild of New York, Communication Workers Local 31003, voted to ratify a three-year contract on Nov. 13. During a 21-month struggle, which included several public statements (saveourtimes.com) and a picket line on Oct. 25, the workers battled major concessions on wages, pensions and health benefits. The Sept. 24 open letter to management called the cutbacks “untenable and destructive.” Like many newspapers in the U.S., the NYT has been losing money for years, a combination of sharply reduced advertising and subscription revenue, and millions spent developing its website. Adopting capitalism’s worst anti-worker tactics in this dead-end economic crisis, management tried to make the workers pay, while lavishing generous salaries and bonuses on top-tier management, which the Guild denounced. The new contract retains a defined benefit pension plan, increased overall compensation and, for the first time, a bonus plan starting in 2014. (NYT, Nov. 14) This is yet another example of why it pays to fight back.American Sugar fined for safety violationsThe 1,300 highly skilled workers at American Crystal Sugar, located in Iowa, Minnesota and North Dakota, have been locked out for 15 months because the bosses refuse to pay them a fair wage and want to break their union. Meanwhile, ACS hired untrained replacement workers. No wonder inspectors from Iowa’s Occupational Safety and Health Enforcement division issued nearly $50,000 in fines Oct. 9 after finding serious safety violations — a dangerous buildup of combustible sugar dust. That’s what caused a 2008 explosion at Imperial Sugar in Port Wentworth, Ga., which killed 14 workers. To support the workers, sign a petition demanding that ACS immediately end the lockout at tinyurl.com/d9yhymu. nFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Government backs down on Green Dam but concerns remain

first_img China’s Cyber ​​Censorship Figures Democracies need “reciprocity mechanism” to combat propaganda by authoritarian regimes News ChinaAsia – Pacific Help by sharing this information Follow the news on China News April 27, 2021 Find out more to go further China: Political commentator sentenced to eight months in prison Reporters Without Borders is relieved by yesterday’s government announcement that installation of its “Green Dam-Youth Escort” Internet-filtering software will not be obligatory on individually-owned computers but is nonetheless concerned that installation is to go ahead on computers in schools and Internet cafés.“We hail this decision, which is the result of a major international outcry involving both government officials and the Chinese-language blogosphere,” Reporters Without Borders said. “But the ministry of industry and information technology’s insistence on installing the software on computers in schools, Internet cafés and other public places continues to worry us. As Internet cafés are very popular in China, this could do online freedom of information a great deal of harm.”At a news conference yesterday, industry and information technology minister Li Yizhong said Green Dam’s installation would be optional. It had been poorly presented and explained and had been misunderstood, he said, claiming that that there had never been any intention of making its installation on individually-owned computers obligatory. The decision to let people choose whether or not to install Green Dam was hailed yesterday by the US government, which had played a key role in lobbying the Chinese authorities against its obligatory installation on computers.At yesterday’s conference, organised by the State Council’s Information Bureau, Li nonetheless said installation would go head on computers in schools, Internet cafés and other public places in order to protect young people from pornography and other harmful content.However, the authorities have not provided any details about of the kind of content that will be considered inappropriate. The limits of this content filtering need to be clearly defined in order to avoid excesses. While it is legitimate to want to regulate the Internet, it would be unacceptable if this software were to restrict online freedom.China has more Internet users than any other country in the world – more than 300 million – but its censorship of the Internet is also one of the world’s strictest. It was ranked 167th out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.center_img Receive email alerts June 2, 2021 Find out more RSF_en News Organisation News ChinaAsia – Pacific August 14, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Government backs down on Green Dam but concerns remain March 12, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Protest planned in Limerick after Irish Cement given green light to…

first_imgLimerick centre needed to tackle environmental issues Minister asked to review need for more incinerators in Limerick Print Facebook Twitter NewsEnvironmentProtest planned in Limerick after Irish Cement given green light to burn alternative fuelsBy David Raleigh – September 20, 2019 1043 WhatsApp Linkedin Email Opponents of Irish Cement’s incinerator plan taking part in a protest march in 2018 in Limerick.Photo: Cian ReinhardtA protest march is to take place in Limerick next month after controversial plans by Irish Cement Limited to burn alternative fuels, including used tyres, were given the green light by the EPA, subject to conditions and appeal process.There was a widespread shock this Thursday when residents, politicians, and groups opposed to the company’s licence application, received confirmation that the Environmental Protection Agency were allowing the €10m project proceed, subject to a 28-day appeal process.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Claire Keating, a local resident, and spokeswoman with Limerick Against Pollution (LAP),  said she was “shocked” and “extremely disappointed” the decision.Ms Keating said “4,400 objections” were lodged against the plans.“We will be pursuing lots of avenues to stop this. We definitely will be launching an appeal, and we plan on requesting an oral hearing. We are also seeking legal advice, and we have been onto MEPS in Europe too.”“A protest march is planned to take place at City Hall (Limerick) on the 5th of October. We are not going to give up,” Ms Keating explained.The deadline for objections to be submitted against Irish Cement’s proposal is October 15th.Fianna Fáil Councillor James Collins, said it was a “hugely disappointing decision” which he claimed “will damage public health and Limerick’s reputation as a clean, green city”.Cllr Collins said the area where waste will be burned is “adjacent to a public park, four schools”.The EPA’s “Proposed Determination” on Irish Cement’s application “provides for the acceptance of non-hazardous waste materials to be used as alternative fuels and raw materials, up to a maximum of 90,000 tonnes per annum”.The EPA said there were “more than 100 individual conditions relating to the environmental management, operation, control and monitoring of the installation”.It added it was “satisfied that the emissions from the installation when operated in accordance with the conditions of the proposed licence will meet all required environmental protection standards and will not endanger human health or harm the environment in the vicinity of the installation or over a wider area”.Sinn Fein TD, Maurice Quinlivan said he was “appalled”, and added, “this is a toxic decision by the Environmental Protection Agency”.Welcoming the EPA’s decision, a spokesman for Irish Cement the company “will study the details of the proposed licence before making any further comment”.The EPA’s decision follows a decision in April 2018, by An Bord Pleanala to grant permission for the replacement of fossil fuels at Irish Cement’s production plants in Limerick and at Platin, Co Meath, which were both opposed by environmental groups.Limerick City and County Council had initially granted the company permission to go ahead with its plans.Last December Irish Cement pleaded guilty before Limerick District Court in a Prosecutions brought by the EPA, to breaching the terms of its industrial emissions licence at its Limerick plant and received a €4,000 fine.The court heard a thick “glue-like” dust leaked from its production plant, causing damage to nearby homes, cars and gardens.At the time, Irish Cement had three previous convictions for similar breaches of its industrial licence, including two in July, 2018 and one in 2007.center_img Previous articleNew music from Paddy MulcahyNext articleLeon’s Lifeline getting set for Fundraising Demo with Rachel Allen David Raleigh Limerick on Covid watch list Shannon Airport braced for a devastating blow Advertisement TechPost | Episode 9 | Pay with Google, WAZE – the new Google Maps? and Speak don’t Type! Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites TAGSEnvironmentIrish CementLimerick City and CountyNews RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHORlast_img read more