“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Civil

Forbidden From Forming Independent Trade Unions.

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Reuters has more:

“BEIJING (Reuters) – Workers in China have become more aware of their rights and willing to go to court to fight for them, but are still hampered by an official ban on independent unions, a labour activist said on Thursday.

Publicity over the 2008 Labour Contract Law, which was opposed by some private business owners and foreign investors, is partly responsible for increased awareness, said Geoffrey Crothall, editor of China Labour Bulletin (CLB), which on Thursday released a survey of labour disputes in China.

Local governments are also becoming somewhat more accommodating of workers’ claims, although in some industries, particularly coal mining, they collude with bosses to stamp out worker action, he said..

“In general, the Chinese government is more conciliatory towards Chinese workers, but that’s not to say that everything in the garden is rosy,” Crothall told reporters.

“Workers are still harassed and detained, although they are less likely to receive long prison sentences.

Collectively, Chinese workers still lack a mechanism to resolve disputes stemming from unpaid wages and poor working conditions, particularly after an economic downturn last year and made economic growth China’s main priority, he said.

The state-backed All China Federation of Trade Unions is unlikely to fight for workers against owners, since its branches are often dominated by management and local party officials.

The union, which collects dues from members’ wages, last year made a strong push to expand into foreign multinationals’ operations in China.

Chinese workers are forbidden from forming independent trade unions.”

Read the report at China Labour Bulletin.

Written by modernityblog

10/07/2009 at 01:08

War Vet.

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Thanks to David All, here’s a true War Vet:

“(AP) In 1937, John Hovan volunteered to travel to Spain and fight on the side of democracy against Gen. Francisco Franco’s fascist forces in the Spanish Civil War.

Now, at age 93, he’s being honored with Spanish citizenship for his service as a transport driver. On Thursday, the Spanish consul general in Boston is scheduled to visit Hovan’s home so he can sign citizenship papers. His Spanish passport should arrive in a few weeks.

“It was a difficult moment in the world and they risked their lives,” said consul general Carlos Robles. “We respect that and would like to honor in a small way.”

The honor is made possible by a 2008 law that allows foreign volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War – a group made famous by Ernest Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” – to receive Spanish citizenship and retain dual status.

Fewer than 25 members of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade – a group of about 2,800 Americans who volunteered in the war – are still alive today. “

Keep reading.

Written by modernityblog

09/07/2009 at 20:36