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Monthly Archives: November 2013

(libcom.org) A three week strike involving 5,000 workers at an electronics company in Shenzhen, China, has ended after the bosses agreed to a 20% hike in pay. The strike started on the 31st October after the factory owners, ASM materials, announced – without consultation with the unions – that it would be relocating elements of its production outside of Shenzhen. Thousands of workers walked off the job, demanding a wage rise of 3,000 Yuan a month, and a compensation package for re-location.

An understandably cynical spokesperson for the workers said that:

Quote:

“The company would always claw back any gains made by the employees when the minimum wage in Shenzhen was increased. For example, we used to have a 1,000 Yuan basic salary plus 500 Yuan in subsidies, but after the minimum wage was raised to 1,200 Yuan, the company raised the basic salary accordingly, but slashed the subsidy by 200 Yuan.”

There has been widespread local media interest in the story, which led to a solidarity protest by trade unionists across the border in Hong Kong at ASM’s company headquarters.

Although falling short of their initial demands, the workers are said to be pleased that they have won a 20% pay increase and an accommodation allowance for those who are prepared to relocate, and a compensation package for those who do not wish to move.

One of the workers involved in the strike wrote on a campaign blog that:

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“The strike and protest not only got us a pay rise of 20%, more importantly, it also showed the workers how to defend their rights.”

Many of the workers are planning on donating their pay rise to several colleagues who had been dismissed by the bosses for their role in organising the strike.

Source:
http://libcom.org/blog/chinese-electronics-workers-win-20-pay-rise-after-three-week-strike-28112013

(mubi.com) With VERS MADRID Sylvain George makes a “newsreel” with the cinematic experiments in mind conducted by the likes of for example Robert Kramer, Jean-Luc Godard during the seventies. A newsreel which presents views, scenes, political moments of class struggle and revolution in Madrid in 2011, 2012, 2013. As a “newsreel experimental”, the film tries to present political and poetical experiments, but also shows new forms of life, implemented by generations which have remained too long in silence. Past and future meet in the present at Place Puerta del Sol, where they are constantly reinvented. —Joana Ribelle

After documenting the inhuman conditions in which tens of Africans refugees live in the streets of Northern France with his two films Les Éclats and Qu’ils reposent en révolte (Best Film in the 2011 edition of Bafici), Sylvain George now goes to Madrid to document and understand the different demonstrations that took over the city streets in early 2011. His approach is almost journalistic, with that objective tone that we know doesn’t really exist –like those newsreels that were screened in theaters back in the Thirties and Forties, or like Jem Cohen recreates them in one of his latest films (Newsreels: Reports from Occupy Wall Street). But two years after the events (and ten years since the Argentine 2001, which shares several common features), it is amazing to witness how that material can turn into something else, even despite of itself. A historical event that allows us to analyze with more information, contextualize, and maybe even understand something about modern societies, and where they are heading to. —BAFICI

Screenshot - 11142013 - 01:14:50 PMSource: http://mubi.com/films/vers-madrid-the-burning-bright

(roarmag.org) This collection of photos by activist Jenna Pope recounts the events surrounding the destruction and occupation of Gezi Park in early June this year. 

When major protests against the destruction of Gezi Park engulfed Istanbul this past summer, American photographer and activist Jenna Pope was quick to decide that she needed to be part of this. Within days she arrived in Turkey, camera in-hand to photograph and report on the biggest popular uprising in the history of the country.

The Gezi Park protests began with two dozen activists occupying the iconic park in the center of Istanbul to protect it against destruction. They tried to stop the government’s plans to turn this last natural refuge in the concrete jungle into another unnecessary and unwanted shopping mall. After a violent police crackdown on the peaceful protesters, the marginal environmental resistance quickly turned into a countrywide uprising against Prime Minister Erdoğan’s authoritarian rule. Street battles were fought between the extremely violent police forces — which used water cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets to subdue the ‘Çapulers’ — and the defiant resistance movement.

For a period of two weeks — without a doubt the two most significant weeks of the entire Gezi protests that saw the rise and fall of the Taksim commune — Jenna was on the streets of Istanbul documenting the police violence and the determination of the protesters, supporting the movement, and spreading the word about what was going on in Turkey to a global audience. Jenna’s pictures have played an important role in creating awareness about the situation in Turkey at the time, not only showing the dark side of the protests in the form of the disproportional police crackdown, but also, and more importantly, the solidarity amongst and the defiance of the protesters…

More about this at > http://roarmag.org/2013/11/gezi-park-photography-jenna-pope/