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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Red Review #70 -- International Left and Labour News

With news from the People's Republic of China, the USA, Bangladesh, Australia, Sri Lanka, the UK, Palestine and elsewhere.

Xi Jinping, Chinese President, General Secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission visits the Liaoshen Campaign Memorial in Jinzhou, northeast China's Liaoning Province, Aug. 16, 2022 -- Image via Twitter

August 16:

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, on Tuesday inspected the city of Jinzhou, northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Xi visited the Liaoshen Campaign Memorial and a forest park in Jinzhou, looking back into the history of the liberation of northeast China and the Liaoshen Campaign, one of the major campaigns during the War of Liberation more than seven decades ago.

He was also briefed about the province's efforts of flood control and ecological restoration and conservation, and made instructions on how to improve flood control work and sharpen the capacity to prevent natural disasters.

On August 16, the third plenary (enlarged) meeting of the 18th Qishan County Committee of the Communist Party of China was held. The plenary session adhered to the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, conscientiously studied and implemented the spirit of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech at the special seminar for leading cadres at the provincial and ministerial levels and the important instructions of the important speech when he visited Shaanxi, and fully implemented the plenary session of the provincial and municipal committees. spirit, summarize the work in the first half of the year, arrange tasks for the second half of the year, and review and approve the “Implementation Plan of the Qishan County Committee of the Communist Party of China on Promoting the Construction of a Clean Qishan”, “The Implementation Rules of the Qishan County Committee of the Communist Party of China on Strengthening Incentives and Constraints to Promote the Construction of Work Style”, and the “Qishan County Committee of the Communist Party of China on Carrying out the Construction of Work Style” Work Plan for Special Action” and “Implementation Plan for the Establishment of National Economic and Technological Development Zone in Qishan County”.

The United Steelworkers union (USW) Local 1-207 has filed applications with the Alberta Labour Relations Board (ALRB) for union-certification votes on behalf of Starbucks workers at two stores in Sherwood Park, Alta.

“The baristas at the Sherwood Park stores are tired of not being heard, and they simply want a voice and a seat at the table,” said Pablo Guerra, USW organizer for Western Canada. “Every day, these workers strive to provide the best customer service possible, but they can’t do that if management refuses to listen to their frontline experiences. This is about more than just wages – it’s about being heard, valued and treated fairly and respectfully.”

There are over 65 workers between the two stores in Sherwood Park, located at Beaver Brook Square on Baseline Road (store # 4362) and at Amberley Way on Sherwood Drive (store # 57236).

August 17:

Sri Lankan police unleashed a savage attack on students protesting in Colombo against President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s ongoing anti-democratic measures and its social attacks on the working class and the poor.

About 2,000 students, mobilised by the Inter-University Student Federation (IUSF), began a demonstration at Lipton Circus in Central Colombo at around 3 p.m., planning to march to Colombo Fort, about three kilometres away.

Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, said more efforts should be made so that the people feel the CPC serves the people wholeheartedly and is always with the people.

Xi made the remarks when inspecting the city of Shenyang, Northeast China's Liaoning province, on Wednesday.

Xi visited a community in Huanggu district to learn about local efforts in Party building and public service.

National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) members at the University of Sydney are on strike tomorrow, Wednesday August 17.

It is the fourth day of strikes since May. A further strike is planned for the university’s Open Day on Saturday August 27 if progress isn’t made in negotiations with management.

As part of tomorrow’s strike, pickets will be held at all university entrances from 7am.

Staff are demanding an end to exploitative casualisation, preservation of academics’ right to conduct research, improved job-security, increased protections against overwork, and a pay rise above inflation.

Labour lost nearly 100,000 members in 2021 and ended the year with a £5m financial deficit, the party’s newly published accounts show.

A mass exodus of supporters saw the party’s membership – which stood at 523,332 at the end of 2020 – fall to 432,213 by the close of 2021.

The party Treasurers’ report describes 2021 as a “difficult and demanding year”, with staff redundancy packages to cut costs in the long run contributing to the financial black hole.

Approximately 75 workers at Unfirst Canada walked off the job this week in Langley, BC. Instead of helping its hard-working staff keep up with the rising cost of living, the company is offering raises that are below industry standards and far below the current rate of inflation.

The workers are members of Teamsters Local Union 213. They clean uniforms and workwear and deliver them to major companies like Costco, Canadian Pacific, Pepsi, BC Hydro and more. The company is profitable and its Langley, BC, location is extremely busy.

Most of the workers in bargaining unit come from an immigrant background, and almost all of the non-delivery staff are women of colour. Strong and united as members of the Teamsters Union, they are not afraid to fight for a fair deal. 3

The South African Communist Party (SACP) conveys its heartfelt condolences to the family of anti-apartheid activist and trade unionist, Comrade Rita Ndzanga (17 October 1933 – 17 August 2022).

The SACP also conveys its condolences to the entire trade union movement, the liberation movement, and the people of South Africa whom she served with integrity.

August 18:

A federal judge is ordering Starbucks to reinstate seven employees in Memphis who were fired earlier this year after leading an effort to unionize their store.

In a decision issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman agreed with the National Labor Relations Board, which had asked the court to intervene in May. The labor board said Starbucks violated U.S. labor law by interfering in workers' right to organize.

Lipman’s decision requires Starbucks to offer to reinstate the employees within five days. Starbucks will also be required to post the court order in the Memphis store.

An Amazon warehouse in Castleton, N.Y. is the latest of the ecommerce giant’s to seek unionization, according to the National Labor Relations Board. The Amazon Labor Union, which led one successful and one unsuccessful unionization push at Staten Island, N.Y. warehouses earlier in 2022, filed the petition.

The union would represent approximately 400 workers at the Castleton warehouse, including many associates who worked an average of four hours or more per week during the 13 weeks immediately preceding the eligibility date for the election.

A NORTH Cumbrian constituency Labour Party is the first in the north to suffer “mass resignations” from its ruling committee as members protest over what they say is a “toxic” political culture.

Ten of the 11 executive committee members with the Penrith and The Border constituency party have quit their posts.

They have done this, they say, to show "solidarity" with their former political comrade Alan McGuckin, who has been kicked out of the Labour Party in what his supporters say has become a “witch-hunt.”

China and Uzbekistan on Thursday pledged to strengthen bilateral cooperation in various fields and boost bilateral relations.

The two sides on Thursday held the sixth meeting of the China-Uzbekistan intergovernmental cooperation committee via video link. The meeting was co-chaired by Guo Shengkun, who is the committee's Chinese chairman, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, and head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee; and Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, who is the Uzbek chairman of the cooperation committee.

August 19:

Left leaders on Friday at a rally in Dhaka called on the government and tea garden owners to take immediate steps for increasing the daily wage of a tea garden worker to Tk 300 from Tk 120.

Socialist Party of Bangladesh, organised the rally in front of the National Press Club to express solidarity with the movements of tea garden workers of over 241 tea gardens in the country.

Juliana Catalano made around minimum wage working at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art gift shop until recently when she got a promotion after a coworker left.

Minimum wage is $14.25 an hour in Massachusetts, and Catalano said the low pay was difficult.

“That was a long and hard winter to get through,” she said of this past year. “It’s kinda nuts we have to fight to live.”

Catalano was one of around 50 people who gathered at the picket line Friday outside the museum for a one-day strike. Union members decided to strike because they are frustrated that their wage and benefit goals haven’t been met through bargaining.

INDUSTRIAL action commenced at Darwin Port on Friday morning with a series of strikes and indefinite work bans.

The dispute between three workers’ unions and port management began last month, driven by the threat of protected industrial action.

August 20:

A protest against one of the owners of the Denver Broncos was held by Starbucks Union leaders on Saturday at Highmark Stadium.

The group is accusing Broncos co-owner Mellody Hobson of leading an anti-union campaign against Starbucks workers across the country, which the union says has resulted in the firing of over 80 union workers.

August 21:

Columbus teachers voted Sunday night to go on strike, a culmination of five months and 22 negotiations that failed to produce a single contract agreement.

At a meeting at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, the 4,500-member union, Columbus Education Association (CEA), voted to commence a strike after it and the Board of Education could not agree on the terms of its labor contract, setting Ohio’s largest school district up for an unconventional first day Wednesday: Teachers with picket signs and students learning from substitutes and administrators online.

DOCKERS launched the first of an eight-day strike today at Britain’s biggest container port in Felixstowe.

About 1,900 members of Unite at the town in Suffolk were due to walk out in a dispute over pay in the first strike to hit the port since 1989.

It is the latest outbreak of industrial action to hit a growing number of sectors of the economy.

Crane drivers, machine operators, stevedores and other workers are taking action after voting by more than 9-1 in favour of strikes.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians employed in Israel staged a one-day strike on Sunday in protest at a decision to pay their salaries into bank accounts rather than in cash.

The new payment method was agreed between Palestinian and Israeli authorities looking for a more efficient and secure way to pay salaries, but workers fear that hidden fees and new taxes will cut into their wages.

About 200,000 Palestinians cross each day into Israel or Jewish settlements for work, earning on average more than twice as much as those employed by Palestinian state bodies and businesses.



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