Massive protests explode worldwide against “rising tide” of anti-worker policies
Massive workers’ protests are breaking out in many countries even as the COVID-19 pandemic rages worldwide. BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson welcomed and supported the protests organised by BWI-affiliated trade unions in the United States, Ukraine, India, Philippines, Hong Kong and Indonesia. BWI called them a “global pushback against a rising tide of anti-worker and anti-democracy policies” being implemented by many governments under the guise of responding to the global health crisis.
“The message is clear. Trade unions will not allow governments and employers to use the pandemic to rollback workers’ rights and victories. We will not allow them to introduce a ‘new normal world’ where workers’ rights are impaired. Workers will push back and move forward to build a better future,” Yuson said.
In India, BWI affiliates joined a nationwide protest on 3 July against the suspension of labour laws in several Indian states and the national government’s move to privatise key industries and sectors. The trade unions pushed for a “12-point charter of demands,” which includes universal social security for all workers, rejection of foreign direct investment in core sectors and zero labour law amendments in favour of employers.
Nagkaisa, the Philippines’ biggest coalition of labour centres, was also in the thick of the battle against a new Anti-Terror Law which threatens to undermine and harm human rights, particularly trade union rights. The Filipino trade unionists launched big protest actions and on 17 July filed a petition before the Philippine Supreme Court calling on the high tribunal to strike down the measure as unconstitutional.
In the United States, tens of thousands of American workers walked out of their jobs on 20 July Monday in more than two dozen U.S. cities in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and to connect income inequality with racial injustice.
(Photo of Strike for Black Lives courtesy of NBC)