1886: The Bay View Massacre

Bay View Massacre memorial ceremony

The little known history of the massacre that occurred in Milwaukee, when 7,000 building workers and 5,000 Polish workers demanded the eight-hour work day.

The deadly stand-off between workers and the National Guard was the culmination of events that began on Saturday May 1, 1886.

A historical marker, pictured above, is located at Russel and Superior on Jones Island in Bay View. It commemorates the Bay View Massacre.

‘General strike’ spreads across Peru

Riot police in Cuzco

As an indefinite teachers strike continues into its 12th day, farmers, miners and construction workers joined the protests, with one farmer shot dead by police.

The latest death brings the reported death toll to 4 over the last week in what has been described by some media as a general strike. The strike began when the teachers union struck against a new law requiring all teachers to sit regular competency exams ( coverge here).

China: Workers in Guangdong attacked for asking to be paid

A chinese construction worker in the shadow of a high rise

Construction workers building a dam near Heyuan, were attacked after demanding payment, having gone four months without wages.

Some 300-400 workers at the site, currently building a hydro-electric power station, went on strike last Friday in protest at the massive wage arrears. Some 200 hired thugs then attacked the workers. Lei Mingzhong, is reported to be in a coma and brain dead and acccording to doctors has no chance of recovery. Many other workers were injured in the clashes.

Sweden: European Court sets precedent on foreign workers

Precendent: Mengozzi

The European Advocate General, Paolo Mengozzi advised the European Court of Justice that companies should respect local pay and conditions when hiring foreign workers.

The case began in 2004 when a Lithuanian company, Laval, entered the building trade, winning a string of contracts in Sweden. The company, then best known for producing cake, based its strategy on the importation of cheap Latvian labour. Laval argued that as Sweden does not have a legal minimum wage this was entirely legal.

Sweden: Migrant workers "used as slaves"

Construction worker (generic)

Young British men are being used as 'slave labourers' in Stockholm, police have said. The men are being used in building work, and according to reports they are paid only sporadically and live in squalor. reported:

Cambodia: Garment workers threaten strikes

Garment workers are trying to prevent large pay cuts. At the same time building workers have gone on strike in support of sacked colleagues.

The garment workers are threatening strikes in reaction to governement proposals to change the law that compels employers to pay double wages for night work. By cutting this premium by 70% the Prime Minister, Hun Sen, claims he will be able to create tens of thousands of new jobs. The industry is currently responsible for US$2.3bn worth of exports yearly, almost 80% of the total.

Egyptian cement workers refuse buy-out and propose self-management

Tora Cement workers on strike last December. Photo by Amr Abdallah.

The Cement workers in Tora, Helwan and Suez are refusing an early buyout scheme their Italian management is currently drafting, with the aim of cutting down the labor force.

Instead the workers want to buy the shares of the foreign management, and are proposing they (the workers) run the company themselves, promising to bring down the cement market price from LE400 per ton (expected to rise soon to LE600) to LE200.

Strikes in Egypt spread from centre of gravity

Ghazl el-Mahalla workers on strike last December. Photo by Nasser Nouri

The longest and strongest wave of worker protest since the end of World War II is rolling through Egypt. In March, the liberal daily al-Masri al-Yawm estimated that no fewer than 222 sit-in strikes, work stoppages, hunger strikes and demonstrations had occurred during 2006.

Take from Middle East Report Online

In the first five months of 2007, the paper has reported a new labour action nearly every day. The citizen group Egyptian Workers and Trade Union Watch documented 56 incidents during the month of April, and another 15 during the first week of May alone.[1]

Narita Airport riots (video clip)

Narita riots

A video of the riots against the construction of Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan during the 1970s.

The video is hosted on YouTube and has English subtitles. The riots included students and farmers protesting against the airport's construction, and involved pitched battles against the police with molotov cocktails and explosives.

Freemasonry - its historic role

Symbolic representation of the 33 degrees of freemasonry.

A brief history of the development of freemasonry, its relationship to politics, its mythology and its practice.

Freemasonry has long had a relationship to the politics of both left and right. Bourgeois revolutionaries in France and America and modern mainstream politicians have all been members, as were some founding members of the 1st International.

From; "The Wordworth Dictionary of the Occult"; Andre Nataf, Wordworth, 1991.