Today it became apparent that with the constant spraying of teargas tainted with thinner, strikers are suffering from their skin blistering and peeling off with an extreme burning sensation. With no water in the occupied factory to wash off the toxins, it is becoming a severe health problem. There was also a tripartite meeting between government, Ssangyong management, and the union. The company bosses refused to negotiate until the occupation ends, stating that they won't back down on the layoffs.
Today, 24 July 2009, is Day Five of the battle over the occupied Ssangyong Motors factory at Pyeongtaek in South Korea.
This report, from yesterday, is about the 3rd day of the police attack to evict the occupiers of the Ssangyong Motors factory at Pyeongtaek in South Korea. The cops and the strikebreaking gangsters ("kkang-pae") have resorted to using taser guns on individual strikers, in addition to using helicopters to spray a thinner-based teargas liquid directly onto the strikers on the roof of the occupied paint department.
(translated from the website of SSanyong Branch of Korean Metal Worker Union, http://sym.nodong.org/)
3rd day of cop assault on the factory
[Slogan spray painted on top of paint department building says: "Kill us all if you don't want negotiation"]
Workers from the Vestas wind turbine factory on the Isle of Wight who are set to lose their jobs are staging a sit-in protest at the firm's offices.
Danish company Vestas Windsystems is laying off 625 workers at the end of July, despite rising profits. It said the Newport factory was being closed due to reduced demand for wind turbines in northern Europe.
About 20 people inside the offices in Cowes have vowed to remain there until "somebody listens to us". They began their protest at about 1930 BST.
South Korean police were not able to carry through with a pledge to enter a Ssangyong Motor Co. factory, which has been occupied by fired workers for almost two months, as the carmaker tries to resume production at the plant.
About 800 fired employees were still in a paint shop, confronting more than 3,000 police as of 5:22p.m. in Seoul, Ssangyong spokesman Cha Ki Woong said by phone at the plant in Pyeongtaek, where the automaker is based.
UK unemployment rose by a record 281,000 to 2.38 million in the three months to May, the Office for National Statistics has said. The jobless rate increased to 7.6%, the highest in more than 10 years.
The number of people claiming unemployment benefit increased by 23,800 in June to 1.56 million, which was less than analysts had forecast. Unemployment among young people has been especially acute, as firms cut jobs to reduce costs in the downturn.
Visteon Corp., which moved last week to cut off retiree health-care benefits, has asked a bankruptcy judge to authorize up to $80 million in management and insider bonuses.
Visteon hit the headlines earlier this year when their 600 UK workers responded to being sacked by occupying their workplaces and winning their redundancy pay which they had been denied. Full coverage on libcom was provided here: http://libcom.org/tags/visteon-occupation
News emerged today of plans by Queens University in Belfast to make 150 members of academic staff redundant.
Just over a year after Queens University attempted to pursue compulsory redundancies for the first time in its history, plans are afoot to axe 150 academic jobs at the university.
According to the Keep Britain Working website, set up to promote the “innovative ways” that “employers keep people working” (and which enjoys the support of the likes of Boris Johnson and BP) more than half of UK workers have experienced a cut in pay, a decrease in hours or an attack on working conditions since the beginning of the recession.
27% of workers in the UK have taken a pay cut, 24% have seen a cut in hours, and 24% have “lost benefits”. 37% of workers have experienced one of these attacks, whereas 27% have experienced two and 5% have experienced all three.