Friday, July 29, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Palestinian quarry workers strike Jul 28 2011

Palestinian quarry workers at an Israeli settlement in the occupied
territories have gone on strike over unpaid wages.

The strike began last month at Salit Quarries in Mishor Adumim, in
occupied East Jerusalem. The workers demands included a pay raise, and end
to the withholding of pay, arranges pension provision and signs a
collective agreement with the workers.

The action is supported by WAC-Ma'an, an independent trade union based in
Israel that states that is aims to unite "workers regardless of
nationality, religion, gender or the color of their skin." The strike
began on June 16th after quarry management failed to attend a meeting
organised to discuss a collective bargaining agreement.

The Israeli-owned Salit quarry are employed to break rocks down to gravel.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians work in similar conditions in
Israeli-owned businesses, rarely with any form of union organisation.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Union Dock Workers Block Train

July 19, 2011 The

ILWU 21: 'We're all going to jail as a union'

UPDATE (July 19): The Daily News reports — Local ILWU dock workers will
continue to fight to work at the EGT Development grain terminal at the
Port of Longview despite the company's weekend announcement that it's
hiring a Federal Way union contractor. EGT announced Sunday that it hired
a union contractor to employ about 25 to 35 workers. The company would
likely hire from IUOE Local 701, based out of Gladstone, Ore. Two messages
left at Local 701′s headquarters were not returned Monday. Ed Taylor,
president of IUOE Local 612 based out of Tacoma, said the EGT terminal is
out of his jurisdiction and his local would not claim work from other
unions, such as the ILWU. Local 701 has not said whether it would undercut
the ILWU either.

UPDATE (July 18): The Daily News reports — In a move that "stunned" the
local longshore leadership, EGT Development announced Sunday it will hire
a union contractor to staff 25 to 35 jobs at its terminal. Federal
Way-based General Construction Co., a subsidiary of Kiewit Infrastructure
West Co., which hires workers through the International Union of Operating
Engineers, will start working at the terminal this week, EGT officials

By David Groves
The Stand

LONGVIEW (July 15) — The biggest labor dispute in Washington state —
spawning one of the more militant union campaigns in decades — is
happening right here, right now. About 100 union members were cited and
arrested earlier this week in Longview, and yesterday hundreds more
crowded onto railroad tracks to block a mile-long train.

Here's what's going on.

EGT Development, a joint venture of Japan-based Itochu Corp, South Korea's
STX Pan Ocean and St. Louis-based Bunge North America, is using non-union
labor to handle grain in the testing phase of its new $200 million
facility at the Port of Longview. All other grain export terminals from
the Columbia River to the Puget Sound have successfully and profitably
worked with unionized labor for decades.

Talks between EGT executives and the International Longshore and Warehouse
Union Local 21, which has a contract for all longshore work on Port
property, about becoming signatory to the area standard contract broke
down months ago and the company has refused to return to the table.
Instead, EGT has sued the Port in federal court, arguing that the company
was not bound by the contract with Local 21 to hire union labor on its
leased site. The company claims that keeping the facility's 50 full-time
workers non-union will save EGT $1 million a year.

Now, after months of picketing and attempts to pressure EGT to return to
the table, the ILWU members are angry.

"We are going to fight for our jobs in our jurisdiction. We have worked
this dock for 70 years, and to have a big, rich corporation come in and
say, 'We don't want you,' is a problem," ILWU 21 President Dan Coffman
told the (Longview) Daily News. "We're all together. We're all going to
jail as a union."

And go to jail they did. At a July 11 protest, members tore down a
chain-link gate and stormed the EGT grain terminal. About 100 union dock
workers, including union leaders, were cited and arrested. It was the
latest of four large-scale demonstrations the ILWU has held in the last
two months. On June 3, more than 1,000 ILWU supporters from Washington to
California rallied outside EGT's headquarters in downtown Portland. The
protests have all been loud, but nonviolent.

Yesterday (July 14), hundreds of union dock workers crowded onto railroad
tracks to block a train from delivering grain to the EGT terminal. The
Daily News reports that the 107-car train was rerouted to Vancouver
following the standoff, which prompted Burlington Northern Santa Fe to
indefinitely suspend train traffic to the grain terminal for safety

"Union longshore workers have made the Northwest one of the most
productive grain exporting regions in the world," Coffman said. "This new
grain terminal stands to gain by playing by the same rules as the other
grain operators that are making lots of money with productive union

From the start, EGT has been trying to run its new facility on the cheap.
Despite high unemployment in Cowlitz County and the availability of
hundreds of skilled union building trades workers, the Northwest Labor
Press reports that EGT imported the vast majority of its construction
crews from low-wage communities out-of-state and did not pay area standard

To make matters worse, Washington taxpayers subsidized EGT's construction
of the terminal. Operators of grain elevators like EGT get a special state
tax exemption entitling them to a "remittance equal to one hundred percent
of the amount of tax paid for qualifying construction, materials, service,
and labor."

So, to sum up: a taxpayer-subsidized international conglomerate, which is
operating on public property, is suing the public so it can avoid paying
the area's standard wages and undercut its competitors that do.

"By far this is the most intense labor event that I can remember," Cowlitz
County Sheriff Mark Nelson told the Daily News. But he said he understands
what the union is trying to accomplish even though he didn't agree with
its tactics. "Bless their hearts. These are our neighbors, too. These are
our folks. This is our community."

Stay tuned to The Stand for updates on this dispute and for information
about what you can do to support the ILWU 21 members in their struggle to
maintain standards at the Port of Longview.

Short URL:

Sunday, July 17, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Samsung workers in Mexico on hunger strike - Solidarity needed July 16 2011

Original here:

More info (Spanish):



Four female workers, unfairly fired and victims of workplace abuse, have
caged themselves and sewn their lips shut as they launch a hunger strike
and threatens to burn herself alive in a dramatic protest against the
multinational corporation Samsung,funded by Korean capital which is
currently constructing a plant for the extraction of natural gas in the
Mexican port of Manzanillo, in the state of Colima.

Madaí Díaz Rodríguez, Sandra Gómez, Lourdes Zamora y Elvira Orozco worked
in the kitchen of the Ingeniería Civil construction company, subcontracted
by the multinational and whilst working were victims of constant abuse and
mistreatment which escalated to daily verbal and physical violence from
their Korean bosses and foremen. To these facts there can also be added
multiple instances of arbitrary treatment and labour abuses such as the
imposition of 12-hour days, with no pay for the extra hours which were
their legal right. This situation is a daily reality for the hundreds of
workers who lend their services to the aforementioned company.

The inhuman and degrading conditions imposed on both male and female
workers have already resulted in a diversity of protests, including a
strike, without any affect on the violation of human and labour rights. On
the 3rd June of last year, Madaí Díaz, a single mother workign as a cook,
initiated the protests against the abitrary sacking and beatings dealt out
to her by Korean employees. In the first instance she locked herself in a
cage and sewed shut her lips, before days later caging herself again along
with her two children, after which she officially denounced her
aggressors, an accusation that has not had any effect.

Last July 6 the compañera Madaí, who had been reinstalled, was once again
attacked and thrown out of work; failing to receive a positive response to
her demands for justice from either the labour authorities or her union,
she returned to the cage, accompanied by her workmates who had also been
fired. They are currently on hunger strike and have sewn their lips shut.
Furthermore, Madaí has declared her readiness to take the extreme action
of setting herself on fire in the event of receiving an unsatisfactory
answer to her demands.

It must be mentioned that the construction of the gas plant in Manzanillo
has itself provoked multiple instances of rejection, both for the serious
environmental effects it will impose on the coastal and lagoon region into
which it will be embedded, and for those that it will cause to the economy
and life of the fishing towns of the zone.

As can be observed, this is a situation of serious conflict and the
potential exists or it to worsen, with even greater effects on the health,
physical integrity and life of the compañeras in protest. All this is
caused, needles to say, by the violatory and merciless infringement of
every human and labour norm on the part of the transnational business and
its representatives.

Faced with the events related herein, the solidarity of all organizations
is an urgent necessity. Coordinated and determined action is required to
oblige the bosses of this transnational to desist from their arbitrary
actions, to demand that the governmental authorities that cease their
indolence and intervene to achieve a solution and, above all, to prevent a
dramatic end to this conflict.

We ask all organizations to declare their demands through the sending of
communiqués to the following:

C. Mario Anguiano Moreno
Gobernador Constitucional
Estado de Colima
C. Gustavo Adolfo Buenrostro Cabello
Presidente Municipal
Manzanillo, Colima
Centre of Labour Investigation and Union Advice

(Sample letter reproduced below in Spanish and English)
A nombre de nuestra organización, (___________), queremos comunicarle que
hemos sido enterados de la difícil situación de conflicto por la que
atraviesan las trabajadoras Madaí Díaz Rodríguez, Sandra Gómez, Lourdes
Zamora y Elvira Orozco, quienes se encuentran en huelga de hambre y
realizando una protesta por el despido injustificado y los abusos de que
han sido objeto por parte de la empresa Ingeniería Civil y, por medio de
esta, de la empresa transnacional Samsung.

Por este conducto manifestamos nuestra más enfática solidaridad con las
compañeras y su protesta, así como nuestro rechazo a las ilegales
prácticas de que han sido objeto ellas y sus compañeros trabajadores. Por
tal motivo nos permitimos solicitar a ustedes su inmediata intervención

·La solución satisfactoria e inmediata de las demandas de las trabajadoras

·El cese a las violaciones a los derechos laborales y humanos de ellas y
de quienes laboran en las empresas mencionadas

·El castigo legal a las y los responsables de las agresiones a que hemos
hecho referencia; y,

·Sobre todo y de manera urgente, evitar que el asunto que nos ocupa tenga
un desenlace lamentable que afecte aun más la integridad física y la salud
de dichas trabajadoras.

Con la seguridad de recibir mediante su pronta acción una atención
positiva a lo aquí planteado, quedamos de ustedes

(Nombre del responsable y de la organización)

In the name of our organization, (___________), we wish to communicate
that we have been made aware of the difficult situation of conflict that
confronts the workers Madaí Díaz Rodriguez, Sandra Gómez, Lourdes Zamora
and Elvira Orozco, who are currently on hunger strike in protest at the
unwarranted dismissal and the abuses to which they have been subjected by
the business Civil Engineering and, through this, by the transnational
business Samsung.

The extreme measures to which the dismissed workers have been forced are,
according to our information, due to the situation of generalized
violation of their human and labour rights that they have suffered, the
same that has arrived at acts of violence, harassment and other
aggressions and that is also suffered by the workers employed in the
construction of the gas plant in the Port of Manzanillo.

By these means we hereby declare our most emphatic solidarity with the
compañeras and their protest, as well as our rejection of the illegal
practices to which they and their fellow workers have been subjected. For
such motive we request your immediate intervention for:

·An immediate and satisfactory solution to the workers' demands

·The cessation of all violation of human and labour rights of the workers
concerned and of all those working in the aforementioned companies

·Legal redress for those responsable for the aggressiones to which we have
made reference; and,

·Above all, and as a matter of urgency, that you act to ensure that this
situation does not end tragically and affect still further the physical
integrity and health of said workers.

In the expectation of receiving a swift and positive response from
yourselves to that laid out above, we remain attentively yours,

(Name of official and organisation)
Please send a copy to:

Centro de Investigacion Laboral y Asesoria Sindical
Tabasco 262 Planta Baja, Colonia Roma, Delegación Cuauhtémoc
México, DF CP 06700
Tel/Fax: +52 (55) 5207 4147
+52 (55) 5514 7675

Saturday, July 16, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Huge strike by some 90,000 Pou Yuen shoe workers, some strike leaders arrested

July 12, 2011 Committee to Protect Vietnamese Workers

[CPVW 12th July 2011] There are unconfirmed reports that dozens of strike
leaders have been arrested by the Vietnamese authorities after a strike
from 21st to 28th June, at its peak involving all of the approximately 90
thousand workers at all Saigon factories of the Taiwan-owned shoe
manufacturer Pou Yuen, an Adidas contractor.

Workers told CPVW today that they have heard of strike leaders' arrests
but have not obtained specific names. Some, they say, had distributed
leaflets calling for wage increases. Last year the Vietnamese authorities
jailed 3 strike leaders for up to 9 years for distributing similar
leaflets. CPVW therefore holds grave fears for strike leaders.

According to official statistics, Pou Yuen has some 65,000 workers, but
its workers told us that the real number is about 90,000.

CPVW MR - Huge strike by some 90,000 Pouyen shoe workers, some strike
leaders arrested 12Jul2001PHOTOS: Workers streamed out to form large
crowds. A company spokesperson shouted into a handheld loudspeaker,
ordering workers to sit down. They ignored him. A female worker took the
loudspeaker to vent her anger. Outside are some of the many police,
uniformed and plainclothed, while people with dust masks ride by

Workers believe that plain-clothed police were sent in to try to identify
strike leaders.

The media in Vietnam – all state-run – have avoided reporting about this

Workers wanted a raise in the basic wage of 500,000 dong a month. On 28th
June, company management agreed to raise the basic wage by 300,000 and the
supplement payments by 200,000. Workers told us that on 10th August, when
they next get their pay, they will know whether the company will again
break its promises on supplements, as it has done previously.

CPVW is writing to Adidas's Hongkong-based Regional Manager asking it to
intervene. Adidas' CSR policy demands that contract workers be treated
with respect, but workers say they are treated "like buffaloes, like
cows". Adidas says it respects contract workers' right to have their own
unions, but Pou Yuen recognises only VGCL and works closely with this
state-run organisation which actively works to neutralise workers'
collective strength.

In 2009, VGCL boasted that its 675 officials stationed throughout Pou
Yuen's huge factories have been successful in preventing large strikes.

CPVW's Australia-based members are asking the Australian Council of Trade
Unions to intervene. And our Europe-based members are doing the same with
the International Trade Union Confederation.

CPVW is a member of Free Viet Labor Federation, the other members being
groups of labor-rights advocates in Vietnam working silently to avoid
imprisonments. Three such advocates – Chuong, Hung, and Hanh – are serving
up to 9 years for helping organise a 10,000-strong strike last year at the
shoe maker My Phong.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Port protest leads to trespassing citations for dozens of union longshoremen

By Erik Olson and Tony Lystra / The Daily News Monday, July 11, 2011

About 100 union dock workers, including union leaders, were arrested
Monday afternoon after they tore down a chain-link gate and protested
inside the EGT grain terminal at the Port of Longview.

In one of the boldest labor demonstrations in recent memory, members of
the Longview-based International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 21
stormed the terminal to protest EGT's use of non-union labor to handle
grain in the testing phase of the new $200 million facility. Authorities
said the gate appeared to have been pulled down with a pickup, and
protesters blocked EGT employees from working in the terminal.

About 20 law enforcement vehicles swarmed to the east end of the port just
after 3 p.m. Sheriff's deputies and other officers from the Longview and
Kelso police departments moved freely among the protesters, who were
sometimes loud, but not violent.

"By far this is the most intense labor event that I can remember," said
Cowlitz County Sheriff Mark Nelson, who stood at the crowd's center at one
point discussing the situation with the union's leadership.

Tensions have been rising between EGT executives and ILWU since contract
talks broke down about three months ago. The company's officials have said
they plan to open the terminal this summer with about 50 workers, likely

"We are going to fight for our jobs in our jurisdiction. We have worked
this dock for 70 years, and to have a big, rich corporation come in and
say, 'We don't want you,' is a problem," Dan Coffman, Local 21 president,
said Monday as he waited for police to issue him a citation.

"We're all together. We're all going to jail as a union."

Law enforcement officers took the protesters aside one by one, issued them
citations for second-degree trespassing, photographed them, handcuffed
them and loaded them into patrol cars and a corrections department van.
Nelson said the protesters were taken to the Cowlitz County fairgrounds
and released. The idea, he said, was simply to get them away from the

Additional charges may be filed against those who pulled down the fence if
they can be identified, Nelson said.

EGT is owned by St. Louis-based Bunge North America, Japan-based Itochu
Corp. and Korean shipper Pan Ocean STX. Later this summer, officials from
the ILWU's San Francisco-based headquarters plan to meet with Itochu and
Pan Ocean officials in Asia.

Monday's protest, which included ILWU leaders from Portland and Vancouver,
was the latest of four large-scale demonstrations the ILWU has held in the
last two months. On June 3, more than 1,000 ILWU supporters from
Washington to California rallied outside EGT's headquarters in downtown

Union officials have pinpointed the EGT grain terminal as a major
battleground along the West Coast. If EGT succeeds in operating the
terminal with non-union labor, ILWU officials say they fear other grain
companies would follow suit.

This was the first time that the ILWU, one of the region's most powerful
labor unions, is known to have resorted to trespassing and damaging EGT's
property, Nelson said.

EGT officials said Monday they will protect their workers, and they
haven't finished hiring.

"The safety of our employees and service providers is our top priority.
And actions by any group that threaten their safety will not be
tolerated," Larry Clarke, EGT's president and CEO, said in a written

After pulling down the gate, the protesters first gathered inside a large
building, then moved to a fenced-off area just outside, Nelson said.
Nelson said he offered to let the protesters go without arrests if they
agreed to walk away peacefully.

"They chose to stay," Nelson said. "Everybody's trying to make a statement

At around 4 p.m., a deputy announced over a loudspeaker that everyone on
EGT's property was under arrest for second-degree trespassing, a
misdemeanor. The protesters broke out in shouts of "ILWU! ILWU!"

Union men scaled two grain cars behind the fence, waving ILWU signs and
chanting. At one point, the protesters briefly locked arms.

Asked if he worried the situation between the longshoremen and the grain
terminal could escalate this summer, Nelson said, "In a word, yes."

Ken O'Hollaren, director of the Port of Longview, said port officials were
discussing Monday whether they need to beef up security around the site.
The damaged fence belongs to EGT, which is leasing the 38-acre site from
the port, he said.

"It's an unfortunate turn of events here. We're still very hopeful that a
resolution can be found. This is not the kind of thing that we hope to see
or condone," O'Hollaren said.

Most of the protesters were ILWU members, and leaders of area woodworkers'
and construction trade unions also showed up outside the fence to show
their support.

EGT "isn't a good neighbor. They're not going to be a good neighbor," said
Dave Myers, president of the Longview Kelso Building Trades Council.

Union officials say EGT has violated their contract with the port, which
stipulates that all longshore work on port property must be conducted with
Local 21 labor.

In January, EGT sued the port in federal court, arguing that the company
was not bound by the port's contract with ILWU local 21. EGT attorneys
said union labor would increase their annual costs of operating the
elevator by $1 million. Coffman said the added labor costs are only a
fraction of EGT's total costs.

Nelson, the sheriff, said he understood what the union was trying to
accomplish even though he didn't agree with its tactics Monday.

"Bless their hearts," Nelson said. "These are our neighbors too. These are
our folks. This is our community."

Friday, July 08, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Fwd: rrfm

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Diane Martin <>
Date: Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 3:30 PM
Subject: rrfm
To: annie clay <>,, fair-budget- <>, Berd W <>, Jim <>, Betty Hauser <>


July 9  Sat. 10am-4pm at Harrison Ave- woodruff park  across from Ethans' Hamburgers

July 10 Sun 10-4   at bigelow park 

come have a good time and get free stuff

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

[olympiaworkers] Support Leonard Peltier in the Northwest


AN INJURY TO ONE IS AN INJURY TO ALL! Make solidarity a way of life. Support Leonard Peltier today. Becoma a "Friend" with the Tacoma Chapter of the LPDOC at:!/profile.php?id=100002154914197

And/or subcribe to: Northwest Peltier Support at: