Saturday, September 29, 2012

[olympiaworkers] "Every Place Will Need To Have A Solidarity Network"

Check out this nice introduction to the Seattle Solidarity Network

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src="" frameborder="0"

A mutual support network, open to workers both employed and unemployed,
active and retired. We use collective direct action to fight employers
and landlords who are pocketing our wages, refusing repairs, stealing
deposits, or otherwise cheating or abusing one or more of us.

How to get in touch:
(206) 350 - 8650

Thursday, September 27, 2012

[olympiaworkers] Lyon, France: Strike at Domino's Pizza

Sept. 27, 2012

News of the struggle against Domino's Pizza Friday in the 8th district to
protest working conditions and low wages. Here is the translated text from
the site, edited for this post.

Contact the strikers at col­lec­tif-domi­nos-lyon8 [AT] hot­
Original page:

Friday, 21 September, 2012, 6pm. Employees of Domino's Pizza store Lyon 8e
were given an appointment to find a solution to low wages and poor working
conditions (the leaflet is written attached to the end of the text).

Accompanied by many unionists, workers decided to request a meeting with
their employer. It is not available, employees have decided to unanimously
get out this situation by exercising their right of strike for the evening
after a meeting with the employer was fixed the next day at 10am.

Saturday, 22 September at 10am, employees collectively met their employer
and demanded respect of the Labour Code and the collective agreement of
fast food (which represents a revolution in the franchise), the massive
hiring to compensate for the lack of staff making the conditions of
appalling working and renewal of equipment deliverymen (request an outfit
winter tire quality, protection, ...)

After the employer responded to most requests with rhetoric and
demagoguery, it was decided that it should allow 1 week to allow time for
it to implement various advanced.

Employees returned to work in "partial service", refusing to deliver
without new tires and better equipped scooters. New arrivals were held,
providing reuse their right of withdrawal if they felt too much pressure.
The next appointment with the employer shall be next Saturday!

Insecure jobs, poor working conditions, low wages, committed throughout
the fight!

Leaflet distributed Sept. 21: Domino's pizza Lyon 8e:


Students and precarious workers, forced to work for a large majority of
us, we no longer support the use of which we are the object and the
attitude of management who feels above the law!

Employees working in appalling working conditions: Members of the
management team are demoted without prior interview and pushed to the
limit, under constant pressure that brings some of the depression.
Schedules are often notified 2 days before the beginning of the week they
are intended. Lack of occupational visits.

The hours spent in the dressing room are mandatory unpaid but then that
compensation is provided for by the collective agreement of fast food.
Outfits and scooters are a pathetic quality and they do not protect any of
the deliverymen winter cold, rain and road accidents ...... not to mention
temperatures inside the store that have been regularly above 35 ° C!

Poverty wages for niche huge work: 12 week contracts are imposed on the
vast majority of employees, some are forced to work five nights a week to
complete these hours while the salary does not exceed some € 425 net per
month! Management is very flexible schedules imposed on employees
regardless of their personal lives.

Monthly pay slips must be verified by the employees to avoid errors.
Additional hours and overtime are not paid. Illegal practices with the
signing of an addendum to the employment contract after hours they target
are often implemented. It may take months to get compensation for
transport to our workplace, even if the compensation comes a day!

In addition, the lack of manpower (departures not replaced) puts us in a
dangerous situation and a report of conflict with customers who complained
to the employees of the service quality.

Under these conditions a number of employees of Domino's pizza Lyon 8e
will implement articles 40L4131-1 of the Labour Code and following which
include that "the employer may require the worker who has exercised his
right of withdrawal to resume its activities in a work situation where
there is continuing imminent and serious danger. "

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

[olympiaworkers] South Africa's Lonmin miners accept pay rise to end strike

By Mish Molakeng | Reuters – Sept. 18, 2012

MARIKANA, South Africa (Reuters) - Striking platinum miners at Lonmin's
Marikana mine in South Africa accepted a hefty pay rise offer on Tuesday,
ending six weeks of violent labor unrest that killed 45 people and rattled
Africa's largest economy.

The strikers, grouped on a bare soccer pitch near the mine, 100 km (60
miles) northwest of Johannesburg, cheered when they were told that
management were offering a 22 percent pay increase, and said they would
return to work on Thursday.

"I am happy - and forward with the struggle," said one of the striking
miners, Sithembile Sohati.

"It's a huge achievement. No union has achieved a 22 percent increase
before," Zolisa Bodlani, a worker representative at Marikana, told

At least one analyst expressed concern that the Marikana wage increase
could trigger a rash of pay demands across a mining sector already being
squeezed by low metals prices and rising labor and electricity costs.

Lonmin confirmed that the deal had been signed in Rustenburg on Tuesday

"The agreement includes a signing bonus of 2,000 rand and an average rise
in wages of between 11 and 22 percent for all employees falling within the
Category 3-8 bargaining units, effective from 1 October 2012," it said in
a statement.

In another sign that weeks of trouble in South Africa's platinum belt were
ending, the world's biggest platinum producer, Anglo American Platinum,
said it had resumed operations in the strike-hit Rustenburg area.

The spot platinum price fell 2 percent on the Marikana news to
$1,627.49/oz and the rand firmed over 1 percent to 8.166 to the dollar.

The wildcat mining strikes hitting a major sector of the economy had
depressed the rand, increased the cost of insuring against default on
South African debt and spooked some foreign investors into selling mining


The conflict, most notably the police killing of 34 Marikana strikers on
August 16, had also ignited criticism that President Jacob Zuma and his
ruling African National Congress were neglecting poor workers and siding
with wealthy business owners.

Zuma acknowledged that the wildcat industrial action had caught the
government and powerful allies such as the National Union of Mineworkers
(NUM) on the hop.

"This incident has been a surprise given the established procedures we
have in place," he told reporters in Brussels minutes after news of the

The deal will see wages raised by up to 22 percent depending on the
category of worker but that percentage hike is not across the board,
according to the Solidarity trade union of skilled workers which was not
on strike but took part in the talks.

The rock drill operators who began the strike will receive an effective 22
percent rise on their total package including allowances which will bring
it to just over 11,000 rand per month, Solidarity said.

"The key worry now is that 22 percent wage rises will be seen spreading
across the mine industry. That is hardly affordable in an industry with
such hefty cost pressures already," said Peter Attard-Montalto, emerging
market economist at Nomura International.

Marikana strikers' representative Bodlani said the workers had asked
Lonmin management to promise that they would work with unions to reach
within two years the 12,500 rand ($1,500) basic monthly salary that the
miners had originally demanded.

The company has not yet responded to this. It had previously argued that
paying 12,500 rand a month would put thousands of jobs at risk and
challenge the viability of the business.

In its statement, Amplats said it considered it was now safe for employees
to return to their jobs but acknowledged that "many mining employees are
still to return to work".

It said smelting and other processing operations at Rustenburg were
already at normal levels.

Amplats suspended operations in the heart of the platinum belt last week
when machete-wielding strikers marched on shafts.


The Marikana police shootings were the deadliest security incident since
the end of white minority rule in 1994 and, for many South Africans,
painfully recalled security force massacres of black demonstrators under

In all, 45 people died in the Marikana unrest, which spread beyond Lonmin
to other platinum firms around Rustenburg and some gold mines.

ANC renegade Julius Malema, who was expelled from the party for
indiscipline this year, has used the Marikana unrest to relaunch his
political career and stir up opposition against Zuma ahead of an ANC
leadership election in December.

Malema was barred by police on Monday from addressing the striking miners
at Marikana, but said his campaign to improve workers' pay and conditions
would not be cowed by a government crackdown.

"Not even the president can stop me. Not even death can stop me. My ideas
are out there. Even if I am no more, people will continue those ideas," he
told a news conference.

South Africa is home to 80 percent of all known reserves of platinum and
is a major gold producer. The unrest this year has cost the mining
industry 4.5 billion rand ($548 million) in lost output, Zuma said on

An illegal strike by 15,000 workers at the KDC West mine operated by Gold
Fields, the world's fourth largest bullion producer, continued on Tuesday
as its chief executive said the firm would not agree to demands for a
minimum wage of 12,500 rand a month.

In a separate development, parliament approved a 5.5 percent pay increase
for Zuma on Tuesday, taking his annual remuneration to 2.6 million rand
($315,600) a year.

($1 = 8.2075 South African rand)

(Additional reporting by Agnieszka Flak, Sherilee Lakmidas, Ed Cropley and
Ed Stoddard; Writing by Pascal Fletcher; Editing by Ed Cropley and Kevin

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

[olympiaworkers] South African bosses suspend 15,000 gold miners over wildcat strike

Sept. 10, 2012

In the South African region of West Rand, Gold Fields, one of the world's
largest producers of gold have suspended 15,000 miners who yesterday took
unofficial strike action, and are currently seeking a court injunction to
bring the strike to an end.

Reasons for the strike are not 100% clear; however, it is believed that
dissatisfaction with local NUM branch leadership, and demands for improved
pay are the main causes of the dispute.

Throughout the mining disputes across South Africa, workers are becoming
increasingly dissatisfied with the approach of the NUM to negotiating with
the bosses.

Workers rejection of the NUM is likely to escalate, as it has emerged that
senior NUM leaders are earning salaries equivalent to those of union
barons in the UK, despite the wages of the rank and file being
significantly lower. There are also several former NUM leaders who sit on
the board of directors at Lonmin.

The NUM invest significant amounts of union subs into a variety of
companies. There has been an allegation by the new mineworkers union
(AMCU) that the NUM have been investing monies into the mine companies
themselves, hence their refusal to fight for miners interests. This
allegation is unproven at the moment.

Elsewhere, workers at Lonmin platinum mine have failed to show up for yet
another week. Business consultants that Lonmin brought in following the
crash of their share prices has gone on record saying that "Lonmin need to
start closing mines".

The dispute across South Africa's gold and platinum mines has no end in
sight. The more that the corrupt NUM leadership cosy up to the bosses and
the gangsters who run the ANC, the more the workers are going to take
matters into their own hands.

Solidarity comrades!

[olympiaworkers] Supporters Rally Around Chicago Teachers Union as Ten-Day Strike Notice Issued

This story originally appeared at the Occupied Chicago Tribune.

By Nick Burt
September 8, 2012

News of the Chicago Teachers Union's declaration of a ten-day strike
notice spread across the city's evening news broadcasts Wednesday. As
Chicagoans prepared for the first schools shutdown in twenty-five years,
hundreds rallied at the downtown Chicago Temple to build community support
for the prospective teacher strike.Taking turns at the church's pulpit, a
panel of teachers and representatives of parent, community, and labor
organizations addressed a crowd of around 200 supporters–many clad in
t-shirts in the CTU's signature red. The Chicago Teachers Solidarity
Campaign hosted the town hall."We have the opportunity to be the first
large city in the United States to transform education for communities
that have been historically underserved—for children who had the
opportunity to be anything and were intentionally underserved," said Jitu
Brown, an organizer with the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization. "This
struggle that the Chicago Teachers Union is in, we're in it together."

Erica Clark, a co-founder of the community organization Parents 4
Teachers, said that she became active after watching her child's teachers
become scapegoats for larger social woes.

"I was fed up with the way I saw teachers being treated by the mayor, by
politicians, by CPS," said Clark. "As a parent, when you're out
badmouthing and disrespecting our teachers, you're badmouthing and
belittling our kids."

Clark said she hopes "to take the admiration and respect that individual
parents feel for teachers—even CPS admits that parents give high marks to
their teachers—and translate it into political support so that we're not
just supporting them in the classroom, but out on the streets."

Helping the teachers win a strong contract is only part of the goal, Clark
said. "This is a fight for what education is. Is it a top-down, corporate
model that says we should run our schools like a business, or a vision
that provides a quality education for all children, no matter who their
parents are?"

Several other panelists also directed criticism at the school "reform"
effort and its proponents, including Penny Pritzker, the hotel heiress and
Chicago school board member whose family's Hyatt chain the city recently
awarded a $5.2 million subsidy to build a hotel in Hyde Park.

"When I hear these detached billionaires who have never been to a public
school, have never sent their kids to a public school, force this reform
idea on the schools—that's about shutting them down, privatizing them, and
making a profit," said Michael Brunson, recording secretary for the
Chicago Teachers Union.

"We hear the same phrase over and over again. 'It's for the kids.' That's
too often used as a rhetorical prop rather than a true statement," Brunson
said. "I am a parent. I have two children in Chicago Public Schools. I am
a teacher. I've taught in some of the most challenging areas of the city.
How can I do what I do if it's not for the love of the kids?"

Some of the night's greatest applause was saved for seven teachers from
Madison, Wisconsin, who traveled to the meeting to issue a statement of
solidarity. The teachers, members of Madison Teachers Inc., compared
conditions locally to those that that resulted in a weeks-long occupation
of the Wisconsin capitol building early last year.

"You have been there for us in our struggles," said one member of the
delegation as the others held their picket signs in a row behind her. "Now
we are here for you."

"One of the signs at the state capitol in Wisconsin said 'The Capitol is
my classroom,'" she said. "Everything I learned was printed on a picket
sign back in February of 2011."

A representative of the Letter Carriers Union also pledged union support.

The Chicago Teachers Solidarity campaign was formed earlier this year in
anticipation of a fall contract dispute. The group has participated in
informational pickets taking place this month outside early-opening
Chicago public schools.

Chicago Teachers Union president Karen Lewis filed a ten-day strike notice
with the Chicago Public Schools board Wednesday. On Thursday, the union
house of delegates chose September 10 as the start day of the strike,
should a deal not be reached in the meantime.