Workers’ struggles: Asia and Australia

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Asia

India: Delhi school teachers suspend online classes over unpaid salaries

About 200 teachers from the three branches of the SS Mota Singh School in Delhi suspended online classes on December 20 to protest over unpaid salaries. The teachers allege that they have not received a salary in the past four months. The non-teaching staff did not receive their remuneration either.

Teachers decided to strike after management did not say when salaries would be dispersed and said they would remain on strike until the issue was resolved.

Punjab hospital nurses protest, strike against wage cuts

About 200 striking nurses from hospitals in Ludhiana, Punjab, marched from the civilian hospital to Jagraon Bridge on December 18 to protest a pay cut. The nurses went on an indefinite strike on December 16 in opposition to the recommendations of the Sixth Wage Commission.

The Punjab Nurses Association said that instead of increasing the level of nurses’ pay, their sixth salary commission reduced their salaries. The nurses are demanding a salary increase and the payment of certain allowances. They said the strike will continue until their demands are met.

Resident doctors at New Delhi public hospitals on strike

Resident doctors at New Delhi’s public hospitals were released on December 21 as part of a nationwide protest to oppose the suspension of postgraduate medical admissions, resulting in an additional workload. Resident doctors from several Indian states resigned on December 6 from the issue. The action is coordinated by the Federation of Resident Doctors Associations (FORDA).

This year’s NEET-PG 2021 graduate entrance exam, which typically takes place in January, has been postponed to September due to the increase in COVID-19 cases. Admissions to postgraduate medicine were suspended by the Supreme Court, which postponed until January 6 the hearing of petitions filed by students questioning the validity of the allocation of seats to residents.

The striking doctors said they would not return to work until they received written assurances from the government that the issue was resolved.

Sri Lankan public sector doctors organize nationwide walkout

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has called an indefinite nationwide strike on December 21 over seven demands. These include ending the violation of the national salary policy, stopping appointments for post-internship graduate physicians without transfer board approval, and publishing the 2022 transfer list. The GMOA has warned that the strike will continue until an acceptable solution is found.

South Korea: unions at Hankook Tire factories end 23-day strike

Unions at Hankook Tire’s manufacturing plants in Daejeon and Geumsan, South Korea, called off their 23-day strike on December 17 after reaching a new wage deal with management.

Hankook Tire’s two main unions, affiliated with the Korea Federation of Trade Unions and Unions, called an indefinite strike on November 24, after four months of negotiations and ineffective short-term work stoppages in November.

The unions initially demanded a 10.6 percent wage hike to offset a wage freeze last year that followed five years of small wage increases of between 2 and 3 percent. Management offered only a 5 percent salary increase and a bonus of 5 million won (US $ 4,200). Hankook Tire’s net profit more than doubled to 525.4 billion won between January and September, from 235.2 billion won a year earlier.

The unions called off the strike after accepting a slightly improved offer from management, well below workers’ demand for wages. The agreement includes a 6 percent increase in basic monthly salary, 5 million won in performance-based pay and a 2 million won bonus.

Filipino agribusiness workers jailed for striking

More than forty strikers at pasta producer Soft Touch Development Corporation (STDC) in Valenzuela, 14 kilometers north of Manila, were violently attacked by police using water cannons on Tuesday and jailed on anti-democratic charges. They were accused of organizing an illegal assembly, disobeying a person in authority and causing alarm and scandal. They were released 36 hours later.

The workers came out after management told them they would be sacked on December 24 for forming a union. According to a lawyer representing the workers, the company claimed that employees did not have the right to form a union because their employer is a labor agency that hired them.

Companies use labor agencies as “shields against unions,” a practice that denies workers their rights. He said this was a recurring problem involving the practice of enforcing short-term employment contracts.

Australia

New South Wales regional hospital nurse managers strike

Senior nurses at several health facilities in western New South Wales stopped work Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to protest the “dire state” of rural and regional health. Members of the nurse managers branch of the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Association (NSWNMA) of the West New South Wales local health district met on December 17 and voted in favor of incapacity state government to respond to their formal complaints.

A spokesperson for NSWNMA said senior nurse managers and health service managers fear they will not be able to fill nursing vacancies and critical gaps in rosters. “The circumstances are devastating for nurses, who are also grappling with fatigue from the pandemic,” the spokesperson said.

NSWNMA wants an urgent meeting with the government and the introduction of statewide nurse-to-patient ratios on every shift, including a minimum of at least three nurses at each rural and remote facility, including two must be primary nurses. emergency care qualifications.

New South Wales commuter train workers continue limited strike

As part of more than three months of ongoing class action on the negotiation of a New Enterprise Agreement (EA) for members of Sydney Trains and NSW Trains, the Rail Tram and Bus Union (RTBU) and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) called a strike on Monday. RTBU members stopped work for 8 hours starting at 8:00 p.m. Monday, while AMWU members organized gradual shutdowns at depots on the rail network on Tuesday.

Unions want annual wage increases of 3.5 percent, slightly above the current official CPI of 3 percent, but well below what is needed to cope with the rapidly rising cost of living . Transport for NSW (TfNSW) only offers a 2.5% annual salary increase that includes a 0.5% increase in superannuation, meaning that the actual salary increase would only be 2.04%.

Rail is the last mode of public transport to remain state-owned after the sale of the state’s bus and ferry networks, led by the Labor Party and imposed by the unions.

In view of possible privatization, TfNSW has rejected demands that the new company agreement retains basic working conditions if employees are transferred to a private company, converting permanent jobs for contractors after three months of service and that any employee affected by a restructuring or a change of workplace receive priority employment in the new structure. TfNSW also wants to reduce severance pay from a maximum of 64 weeks pay to 12 weeks.

Unions have restricted industrial action, dragging out the dispute in hopes of exhausting workers until they agree to a deal that fits into the NSW government’s privatization plans for Sydney Trains and NSW Trains.

Sydney bus drivers continue union action over wage dispute

Drivers working for contracted bus operator Transit Systems in Sydney’s western and southwestern reimposed work bans on December 16 in their fight for a pay rise in the proposed company deal of the company. Members of the Transport Workers’ Union and the Tram and Bus Union turned off their ticket readers for 24 hours, did not wear their uniforms, and refused to access company communications after hours. ‘opening.

The drivers went on strike on November 22, turning off ticket readers for 24 hours and then again for three days on November 29, followed by 24-hour strikes on December 6 and 7 in regions 6 and 3 respectively.

Workers in transit systems want an end to the two-tier employment system in Region 6 and improvements in pay and conditions in Region 3 to align them with public sector drivers. Unions are seeking a meager 2.5 percent pay rise, below the current Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 3 percent, well short of the rapidly rising cost of living in Sydney.

Transit Systems NSW is contracted by the NSW State Government to operate in two of Sydney’s 14 contract regions. It employs 1,867 workers and 848 buses in six depots.

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