Biggest strike in world history: 250 million Indian workers

first_imgIndia is the world’s second-most populated country, with about 1.374 billion people. Over 928 million are “working age” (15 to 64 years old; statistics from On Jan. 8, one in four people in this age group — 250 million — stayed off the job in the biggest strike to date in world history,Women strikers in Mumbai, India, Jan. 8.The 24-hour strike shut down banking, transport, retail, public services, construction and industry in many parts of the country. Workers blocked highways and railroad tracks, with their bodies, barricades and burning tires. Police cars and government buildings were attacked in some places.The strike was three months in the making. “We have been campaigning from September,” said Amarjeet Kaur, General Secretary of the All Indian Trade Union Congress, two days before the strike: “Anger of the nation will culminate on January 8.” AITUC is one of the 10 Indian labor federations that jointly called the “bandh” (shutdown). Kaur predicted a “complete bandh” in 10 to 15 cities and massive participation across India. (NewsClick, Jan. 6)The strike was initially called around a 12-point program protesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s anti-worker legislation and massive privatization plans, affecting such national assets as airlines, railways and petroleum refineries. Other points addressed high unemployment and inflation in the world’s third-largest economy and called for raising the minimum wage and pensions. Two-thirds of the population live on less than $2 a day; nearly half of them are “extremely poor,” subsisting on $1.25 a day or less.As Subhashini Ali, a Delhi Communist party leader explained, “When this strike was originally called, it was to register anger against anti-labour laws and the selling-off of the country’s assets. But now it’s broader because there are no jobs. The future of young people is being destroyed by Modi.” (The Guardian, Jan. 8)Red hammer-and-sickle flags were prominent in many strike photos.Strikers also displayed, in signs and chants, widespread opposition to Prime Minister Modi’s Citizenship Amendment Act to deny citizenship to Muslims.Kaur reported that in some economic sectors strike participation ran at 90-100 percent. “The working class is on the streets today,” she said. The strike engaged the whole population, including large numbers of informal sector workers and farmers. Economic hardship has led to publicized suicides of several farmers.Worldwide solidarityStudent organizations in India and abroad were solidly behind the strike. A National Education Strike of students boycotting classes and calling for affordable education coincided with the Jan. 8 bandh. A solidarity statement with students was signed by 21 groups, including United Students Against Sweatshops and a dozen U.S. graduate student unions. Indian students in the U.S. are planning to demonstrate in five cities Jan. 26.Striking Indian workers in the streets, Jan. 8.Union solidarity statements were up on line even before Jan. 8. “The World Federation of Trade Unions, which represents more than 97 million workers from 130 countries in the 5 continents, stands firmly and militantly on the side of the Indian working class and expresses its internationalist solidarity with [the] All India general strike on January 8th, 2020,” the WFTU posted Jan. 7. “We condemn the government’s nationalist strategy of dividing and fragmenting the working class on an ethnic and religious basis which is not only reactionary, unacceptable and harps back to colonialist tactics but is also unconstitutional.” ( statements came from worldwide federations of construction and education workers and the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers in Britain.Capitalists line up with ModiThe poverty of the Indian masses is directly related to the huge profits being made by U.S. companies that invest in India. They include General Motors, Ford, General Electric, Microsoft, Amazon, Pfizer, Coca-Cola and many others which pay slave wages. U.S. Foreign Direct Investment last year was over $3 billion, and this country is India’s fourth-largest trading partner. ( U.S. President Trump shared the stage in a “Howdy, Modi” event in Houston Sept. 22. Modi praised Trump’s “concern for every American, a belief in America’s future and a strong resolve to make America great again.” Trump used the podium to make anti-Muslim remarks and to commend Modi for doing “a truly exceptional job.” (Washington Post, Sept. 22)One thing should be clear to workers and oppressed people here in the belly of the beast: In India, like here, there is a battle between two antagonistic class forces. Our fight is alongside the quarter-billion workers, peasants and students who shut their country down on Jan. 8.To read Martha Grevatt’s 2016 interviews with Amarjeet Kaur, go to and thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Gold in no rush over Allardyce contract

first_imgWest Ham co-chairman David Gold says the club will not talk to manager Sam Allardyce about a new contract until their Barclays Premier League survival is ensured. “This is purely because the three of us don’t want anything to distract attention from our aim of finishing as high up the Premier League table as possible. “Sam did a fantastic job of gaining promotion from the Championship at the first attempt last season and we are all pleased with how quickly he has got the team to adapt to life back in the Premier League. “We went into Sunday’s game with Aston Villa one place off the top 10 and that is no mean feat for a newly-promoted side.” However a 2-1 defeat at Villa Park led to a less than positive tweet from Gold. “Disappointed for the fans who travelled hundreds of miles on a miserable day to lose to a team in the bottom three. We should do better,” he wrote. Allardyce replaced Avram Grant at the Upton Park at the beginning of last season following relegation to the npower Championship and led the Hammers back to the Premier League via the play-offs. Press Associationcenter_img The Hammers are currently 11th in the table with 30 points, but the future of their boss is unclear with his current deal expiring at the end of the season. “As [fellow co-chairman] David Sullivan and I have always maintained, we will sit down and discuss Sam’s contract situation once our Premier League status has been confirmed and not before,” Gold said in a statement on the club’s website. last_img read more

Mine disaster sparks anger

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Security guards blocked the front gate as about a dozen people stood outside in subfreezing weather and a nighttime fog. Four women argued loudly with the guards, demanding to be let in to look for missing relatives. “Why won’t you let us in?” one shouted. When the guards refused, the women shouted obscenities at the men. People who answered the phone at the mine office said they were too busy to give any information. The incident is a setback for Chinese officials struggling to improve safety in the coal mining industry. Most disasters are blamed on disregard of safety rules or lack of equipment for ventilation or fire control. Local officials often are accused of helping mine owners or managers flout safety rules. Beijing has unveiled one safety initiative after another in recent years. It has announced the creation of a national network of safety inspectors, stricter fire standards and shorter working hours for miners to prevent fatigue. QITAIHE, China – Anxious relatives demanded to be allowed into a coal mine Monday after an explosion killed at least 138 miners and left 11 others missing, adding to a soaring death toll in China’s mines despite a safety crackdown. The blast in the Dongfeng Coal Mine prompted national leaders to demand stricter enforcement of safety rules in China’s mining industry, by far the world’s deadliest, with more than 5,000 fatalities a year in fires, floods and other accidents. The disaster late Sunday came as the nearby city of Harbin was struggling to recover from a toxic spill in a river that forced the government to cut off water supplies for five days. Outside the Qitaihe mine in China’s northeast, a stream of emergency vehicles with flashing red lights and black government sedans made their way up and down the narrow, two-lane road to the mine entrance. Authorities say they have shut down more than 12,000 coal mines this year for safety inspections. Thousands have been ordered to improve their facilities and many others aren’t expected to reopen. The government said the explosion in Qitaihe was blamed on airborne coal dust that ignited. But there was no word on whether it was believed to involve misconduct or human error. Rescuers had found 74 miners alive by Monday, the official Xinhua News Agency said. It said 138 miners died in the explosion and a team of 269 rescuers was searching for 11 others, but gave no indication whether they were believed to be alive.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Facebook Adds iTunes To List Of Gifts Partnerships For All Of Your Lazy Holiday Shopping Needs

first_imgRelated Posts Looking for a perfect holiday gift for that special someone? Well, you might be in an ever-shrinking minority – the rest of us will just be swapping virtual presents on Facebook.On Monday, Facebook added Apple’s iTunes store to its virtual gifting catalog. Facebook’s foray into holiday e-commerce is so aggressive that it’s actually placed the “Gifts” button next to some of the social site’s primest real estate. Navigate to any friend’s Facebook page and you’ll find the option right in the box where you’re probably used to sharing links or text.To send iTunes credit as a gift, you’ll be prompted to select a gift card loaded with $10, $15, $25 or $50 worth of Apple’s virtual media. Before entering your payment info, you can then select an e-card to pair with the loot, and enter a hand-typed message if you want to get really personal with this year’s e-gifting. If you’re at a loss, the iTunes gifting interface also includes suggestions from the iTunes store’s most popular selections in any category. Apple’s one-stop media shop is well-stocked, so lazy holiday shoppers should be spoiled for choice. As of September, the iTunes Store boasted more than 26 million songs, 190,000 TV episodes, 45,000 movies and 700,000 apps. The Apple Facebook Gifts partnership is the newest high-profile addition to Facebook’s virtual gifting empire, which already promotes Starbucks and popular discount design shop According to Facebook, mentions of holiday shopping-adjacent words are up 160% from last month – and considering that was before Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we can only imagine that Facebook chatter about e-gifting is at a fever pitch.  Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#Apple#e-commerce#Facebook#iTunes The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoscenter_img Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification taylor hatmaker A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more


first_imgAdvertisement Twitter Login/Register With: All featured products are curated independently by our editors. When you buy something through our retail links, we may receive a commission. (Photo: Courtesy of JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images) Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Recently a photographer friend sent me a video that appears to reveal clever tricks food stylists use to make certain dishes look more enticing on camera. It’s equal parts fascinating and horrifying: shoe polish brushed on chicken to make it look perfectly browned, fabric protector misted over pancakes to prevent the butter and syrup from soaking in, mashed potatoes tinged with food coloring and scooped to look like ice cream because the real thing melts too quickly, and white glue substituting for almost anything (e.g., chocolate syrup, melted cheese, and frosting).The problem is, most real food stylists don’t do any of this crazy stuff—at least not since digital photography became the norm. Sure, they handle food differently than you or I might at home since it’s their job to make it look tempting for a professional photo shoot, but some minimal corrections also happen in the editing room.That’s why we asked a couple of experts to share some of the creative tricks food stylists use to entice you.last_img read more

BlackBerry ordered to pay Nokia 137M by international arbitration panel

first_imgWATERLOO, Ont. – BlackBerry Ltd. says the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Court of Arbitration has ruled against the company in a dispute with Nokia Corp.The arbitration panel awarded Nokia approximately $137 million.BlackBerry says the dispute was related to whether certain payments allegedly due under a patent license contract between the companies were in fact owed to Nokia.The company says it is disappointed, but accepts the decision.BlackBerry noted the ruling did not change its assertion that Nokia is infringing on its intellectual property and said it’s continuing to pursue lawsuits filed in both the U.S. and Germany.Nokia says it believes that BlackBerry’s claims of patent infringement are without merit.last_img read more

TSX falls as energy stocks fail to get lift from highest crude

first_img“On the oil front we saw a larger than expected weekly drawdown in crude stockpiles so this is contributing to an already fairly tight crude market,” she added.The October natural gas contract was up 0.1 of a cent at US$2.83 per mmBTU.The December gold contract was up $8.70 to US$1,210.90 an ounce and the December copper contract was up 5.4 cents at US$2.68 a pound.(THE CANADIAN PRESS) TORONTO, O.N. – Canada’s main stock market resumed its downward trajectory Wednesday as energy stocks failed to get a lift even though crude oil prices hit nearly a nine-week high.There was a disconnect as the overall market didn’t benefit from higher commodity prices because of uncertainty over NAFTA negotiations, said Candice Bangsund, vice-president and portfolio manager for Fiera Capital.“We’re not there yet and I think the market is just expressing a little bit of caution there and just waiting for some sort of tangible news on the NAFTA front,” she said in an interview. In New York, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 27.86 points to 25,998.92. The S&P 500 index was up 1.03 points to 2,888.92, while the Nasdaq composite was off 18.24 points to 7,954.23.The Canadian dollar was trading at an average of 76.84 cents US compared with an average of 76.22 cents US on Tuesday.The gain came as the October crude contract was up US$1.12 at US$70.37 per barrel, the highest level since July 13.The improvement was driven by the U.S. producer price index posting its first monthly decline in 18 months, a weaker U.S. greenback against several currencies and concern about the impact of Hurricane Florence that is set to hit the U.S. southeastern coast.center_img “That NAFTA overhang has really weighed on the index fairly generally and the hope is that we do get some sort of positive news on that front and likely could see a relief rally on Canadian stocks.”The S&P/TSX composite index closed down 45.23 points to 16,049.02, after hitting a low of 15,993.58 on 266.3 million shares traded. The decrease came a day after the market hit its first daily gain in September.Market heavyweights industrials, financials and energy all closed down.Gold, materials and base metals led on the positive because of a lower U.S. dollar and hope that a solution could be found in the U.S. trade dispute with China after a report said that the Americans were seeking new trade talks before even imposing new tariffs.“We find this to be fairly encouraging and I think the market is tentatively, cautiously optimistic so that’s why you’re not seeing a strong relief rally,” Bangsund said.Offsetting the hope was a down day in the United States for the market-heavy U.S. technology sector.last_img read more

Christchurch attack will change fabric of international sports hosting: New Zealand Cricket CEO

first_imgAuckland: The Christchurch mass shootings will have far-reaching implications for hosting sporting events in New Zealand and elsewhere, according to New Zealand Cricket CEO David White, who said the impression of the country being a “safe haven is gone”. Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman — identified as an Australian — livestreaming the attack. The Bangladesh cricket team escaped unhurt despite being in close vicinity of a shooting attack on a mosque but its tour of New Zealand was called off. Also Read – Andy Murray to make Grand Slam return at Australian Open “This is shocking. This will change the entire fabric of international sports hosting. I think everything changes now,” White was quoted as saying by “We’ll certainly be having to look at our security in depth. I think the idea of New Zealand being a safe haven is gone now. “We now have to be very, very vigilant – all the authorities and sporting organisations, absolutely.” The Bangladesh team’s tour was called off after the players had a narrow escape from the attack on a mosque in Christchurch, described as an “unprecedented act of violence” by the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Also Read – Fast bowler Behrendorff to undergo spinal surgery White said, “They’re shaken up all right. They’re shocked like everyone else. New Zealand Cricket’s thoughts were with Christchurch and people affected by the shootings. We are shocked and appalled, as I’m sure all New Zealanders are.” The International Cricket Council had said it “fully supports” the cancellation of the third Test. “Our thoughts and sincere condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff and match officials are safe and the ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match,” ICC Chief Executive David Richardson had said.last_img read more

Major League Baseball gets in on USCuba thaw

center_img The journey begins for @79JoseAbreu, who is joining other @MLB players on a goodwill tour of Cuba.— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) December 15, 2015 Alexei Ramirez signs a No. 10 jersey worn by White Sox fan Rauol Gomez of Havana, who watches games on TV.— David Haugh (@DavidHaugh) December 15, 2015 The homecoming will be almost as sweet for Cuban fans, who watched these players develop as young talents but have never seen them in their prime.“To be able to see these stars again who came up in our country and are now shining at the highest level of baseball in the world, like Abreu and Puig, will be magnificent,” local fan Pedro David told AFP.Cuba’s national baseball commissioner, Heriberto Suárez, has said the game is being “lacerated” on the island by defections and attempted defections. More than 100 players have defected this year or found a way to leave legally, like Ramírez.Castro’s government began allowing athletes to sign with foreign teams in 2013, for the first time since 1961. About a dozen baseball players have signed with teams in Mexico, Japan, Canada and Colombia.But the trade and financial embargo the U.S. has imposed on Cuba since 1962 still means Cubans cannot play in the United States without fleeing. Facebook Commentslast_img read more