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Issue #1719      February 17, 2016

Region Briefs

Protests were held across Indonesia, demanding the government stop multinational corporations’ plans of worker layoffs. A total number of 30,000 workers joined the protests across the country according to Said Iqbal, Chairman of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers’ Union. The protest started from Hotel Indonesia and proceeded to the State Palace. Thousands of workers would stand to lose their jobs as Japanese and South Korean factories plan to cut jobs in the country.

Japan’s Telecommunication Industry Workers’ Union and the All-Japan Metal and Information Machinery Workers’ Union have merged into a big new union, its total membership reaching 6,500. The two unions have worked closely in previous labour campaigns. The amalgamation was made due to the development of technology that integrated the telecommunication and manufacturing sectors. The new union is called Japan Metal, Manufacturing, Information and Telecommunication Workers’ Union. The Union Chair, Ikuma Shigemi, said the union would fight to increase workers’ wages and towards a peaceful society.

Vietnamese President, Truong Tan Sang, recently visited workers at an industrial park in the southern province of Ba Ria. He was told that the workers had been well cared for, as the park provided dormitories, free meals, social insurance and labour accident insurance. The President also noted that the workers needed more free time to visit families, childcare services and pay rises.

Vice Chairman of the Czech Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies, Vojtech Filip, who is also the Chairman of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSCM), expressed his wishes to increase theoretical and practical experience exchange with the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV). Filip congratulated, Nguyen Phu Trong, for his re-election as the CPV General Secretary at the CPV’s recent 12th National Assembly, and he said that the CPV had set a good example for the KSCM. He reviewed the traditional friendship between the two countries and the two parties and stressed the need to increase future cooperation.

Tension over the Korean Peninsula escalated recently, as South Korea, Japan and the US reacted offensively after the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) tested a hydrogen bomb and launched a satellite using ballistic missile technology. The US and South Korea plan to hold their largest-ever joint military exercises from March to April. A nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier, F-22 stealth fighters and B-2 bombers are most likely to join the exercises. The South Korean government also stopped operations at a jointly run industrial park in the DPRK. The Japanese government has put more and stricter sanctions on the DPRK, hoping to block capital, technology and technicians flowing into the DPRK.

Next article – Culture & Life – The lucky country

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