Archive for the ‘Human rights’ Category

Unionmade Goods hipster clothing not actually union made. Whodathunk?

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Unionmade Goods: unionbusters?

Via a rather pissed off AFL-CIOnow today, I came across a Gawker article about Californian clothing company Unionmade Goods. They sell upmarket priced downmarket looking clothing to the good hipster folk of the Bay Area.

All quite pleasant looking, if rather on the pricey side, and topped off with a woolly commitment to ethical sourcing, which is some way better than nowt for the fashion industry. But what’s this? Apparently the fact they’re called “Unionmade” and have a rip off US union logo,  is not to be taken as any kind of inference that unions have been involved at any point in the process. (more…)

ITU Net grab: Russia give us a taste of their ideas for the Internet

Friday, November 30th, 2012

A Russian court yesterday ruled that websites which don’t remove Pussy Riot videos from their pages may be blocked. Judge Marina Musimovich (using a vaguely worded law originally aimed at curbing nazi and terrorist material) ruled that videos including the band’s controversial ‘punk prayer’ asking the virgin Mary to kick out Putin, had “elements of extremism” and called for “mass disorder”.

It’s a timely reminder of why Russia are so keen on some of the proposals they’re bringing to the International Telecommunication Union’s WCIT conference in Dubai over the next fortnight. If they pass, this sort of thing will get vastly easier for autocratic states to curb freedom of speech at home and abroad. (more…)

Defend Charles Hector: Asahi Kosei sue for $3.3m over labour rights campaign

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Malaysian blogger, lawyer and human rights activist Charles Hector is in court for a second day today. Good Electronics report that he’s being sued for $ 3.3 million in damages in a defamation case by electronics component manufacturer Asahi Kosei.

The case hinges on comments he made on behalf of a group of Burmese migrant workers in the country, who alleged they had been promised much better pay and conditions by the company than they eventually received. When they complained, they were threatened with termination and deportation.

Worryingly, the trial looks to be stacked against Hector, with the court issuing a statement in advance that the blog posting under discussion was factually incorrect, and refusing to allow the migrant workers affected to join the suit. (more…)

Iraqi protest leaders detained

Saturday, May 28th, 2011
Photos of the four detainees (via Iraqi Communist Party site)

Worrying news from Iraq that four young leaders of the country’s recent waves of protests were arrested today and are being held in an undisclosed location. As students Ahmed Alaa al Baghdaddi, Moyaid Fasil al Taib and Ali Abdul-Khaliq, and worker activist Jihad Jalil – members of the 25 February protest movement – walked to join a peaceful mass protest in Tahrir Square in Baghdad this morning, plain clothes police in an ambulance seized them, beating them and threatening them with machine guns before taking them away. (more…)

Anna Walentynowicz – 1929-2010

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

Whilst today’s terrible plane crash is obviously being reported from the perspective of the loss of the Polish President Lech Kaczynski – one of the leading figures of Poland’s Law and Order Party (the nationalist, and severely homophobic, former governing party, which sits with the Tories’ far right friends in Europe), also on the plane was the 80 year old Anna Walentynowicz.

In 1980, Anna was coming up for retirement in the shipyards of Gdansk, where she’d worked for 30 years as a welder and crane operator. She’d become disillusioned with Polish communism, after seing how it restricted workers’ rights to organise, and she took up editorship of the propaganda flyer, “The Coastal Worker”, campaigning against sexism in work,corruption in management and the government licensed trade unions, and in favour of the country’s free trade union movement. (more…)