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Issue #1794      September 13, 2017

Region Briefs

South Korea: Beginning on September 4, journalists from South Korea’s public broadcasters KBS and MBC participated in a general strike over management interference. The KBS branch of the National Union of Mediaworkers, with more than 1,700 members, took action on September 4, while the KBS Labor Union, with more than 2,000 members, struck on September 7. The workers at both media outlets are demanding the resignation of management and directors whom they accuse of undermining the fairness and credibility of public broadcasting through their actions. The last time MBC went on strike for 170 days.

Philippines: Over the last year, Filipino working class communities have had to endure death squads with an estimated 10,000 people murdered so far, with bodies being dumped at sea and children also being targeted. While there is growing opposition, most poor urban communities are totally defenceless against these death squads. On August 26 in a public show of opposition in Manila against the “War on Drugs” and President Duterte, more than 1,000 people demonstrated against the continued killings. The spark for this demonstration was the latest murder of a child by police, the 17-year-old Kian de los Santos. Kian was one of 54 minors, aged 1 to 17 shot dead during police operations.

India: Recently in New Delhi tens of thousands of rural health workers, after striking for 60 days, won a promise from the Indian government of a 90 percent increase in their salaries. While this victory was celebrated, the Anganwadi Workers and Helpers Union (AWHU) stated that it will not end the strike. The AWHU wants proof that the promise of a wage increase is set in stone, as well as confirmation that wages owed will be paid in full. Anganwadi workers and helpers are mainly women employed as sexual health, nutrition and childhood development workers. India has one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world and poorest learning outcomes.

Myanmar: On September 5 at least 200 protesters from DJY Knitting Myanmar Co Ltd sock factory, stepped up their strike action by building barricades around the factory. Protesting since August 7, the workers had been demanding the re-hiring of their worker leader Ko Soe Thura Ko, and the creation of an independent labour union. All strikers were earlier sacked because they failed to return to work by the deadline set by management. Of about 400 workers in the factory, over 200 are currently on strike.

Next article – Culture & Life – The real “rogue state”

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