UK train drivers worked so long they had to use adult nappies and towels
Train drivers in the UK have been kept in their cabins for so long without a break that they have had to use incontinence products, the leader of ASLEF, the train drivers’ union in the UK, has said. during a parliamentary session this week.
Union leaders testified that the government and rail companies used the pandemic to change working conditions and that the government interfered in bargaining talks, even though ministers denied doing so.
The testimony comes after three days of strikes in June by 40,000 members of the National Union of Railway, Maritime and Transport Workers in a dispute over pay and conditions. The union will stage another 24-hour strike on July 27.
An overwhelming majority of ASLEF train drivers voted to take action. Union leaders met on Thursday to plan strike dates.
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Thai union leader arrested despite winning wage theft case
In May, the Thai government ordered a Hong Kong clothing manufacturer, Clover Group International, to pay $8.3 million in unpaid wages to 1,250 Thai workers – a rare victory in a country where wage theft is running.
Victoria’s Secret, which hired Clover Group to manufacture its lingerie, agreed to fund the settlement with a loan to the Hong Kong-based company.
Sia Jampathong, president of the Thai Federation of Textile, Garment and Leather Workers, and four student activists were arrested shortly after the court issued the ruling. He told Al Jazeera the arrest was “discrimination by the government” to maintain the crackdown on labor movements. He faces two years in prison.
“I think this is the first time that I have seen the employer pay the full compensation ordered by the labor inspector.”
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Bolsonaro supporter kills opposition party member as election looms
In Brazil, a federal prison guard and supporter of the country’s right-wing current president, Jair Bolsonaro, killed a local leader of the left-wing Workers’ Party.
Jorge Jose da Rocha showed up uninvited at Marcelo Arruda’s birthday party and shot him, The Associated Press reported, citing Parana state police.
Brazil is due to hold its presidential elections in October. Officials are warning of unrest ahead as the battle between Bolsonaro and his opponent, former president and Workers’ Party representative Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, escalates. Lula is currently leading the opinion polls.
“The Brazilian people are a people of peace. And we must return to normalcy in our country,” Lula wrote on Twitter after the shooting.
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Strike by garment factory workers in Myanmar
About 2,000 workers at a garment factory in Myanmar’s largest city, Yangon, have gone on strike over unbearable working conditions and wage theft, Myanmar Now reported.
The factory manufactures garments for international sportswear brands like Crivit. Workers say they lose their pay if they don’t meet management’s unrealistic demands, with one worker saying he had to finish more than 60 pieces an hour when he ‘could barely make 45 pieces an hour’ .
Another worker said she worked over 100 hours of overtime and only received $145 in monthly wages. “They keep cutting our wages [for not meeting their requirements]. In this system, there are more punishments than rewards for us,” she said.
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Public sector workers in Ghana to quit their jobs
More than 27,000 workers from 65 state agencies in Ghana will go on an indefinite strike from July 19 to protest the government’s failure to meet the soaring cost of living and its agreement with the International Monetary Fund ( IMF).
The West African country’s inflation rate hit an 18-year high of 27.6% in May, while its currency (the Ghanaian cedi) fell 23.5% against the greenback since the beginning of the year.
Ghana’s president cited the pandemic and the Russian-Ukrainian war as reasons for turning to the IMF – the 18th time the country has done so.
The Trades Union Congress Public Service Workers Union denounced the decision, saying it was a move towards austerity measures such as wage freezes, layoffs and the forced sale of national assets .
“A possible return to the IMF…brings back memories of harsh labor policies that disadvantage the ordinary worker,” he said in a statement.
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International news and strikes happening elsewhere
This was written with the help of Rachel Phua, our latest Bill Greider Labor Reports Fellow.
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