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(en) Index:17-JAN-2000 to 23-JAN-2000

From DAMN <damn@tao.ca>
Date Mon, 7 Feb 2000 05:48:35 -0500

      A - I N F O S  N E W S  S E R V I C E

Index:17-JAN-2000 to 23-JAN-2000

Title: Indian Port Strike Ends
Date: 22-JAN-00
Author: Staff Writer
Source: BBC World Service
Style: News Article

Following five days of industrial action by more than 100,000 dockers at

11 ports, Indian unions call off a crippling strike after the government

promises to study their demands for a wage rise.  Market analysts
estimate the dockers' strike has cost the Indian economy about
eight-billion rupees ($184m) a day.  Meanwhile, a week-old strike by
87,000 workers opposed to power sector reforms in Uttar Pradesh, India's

most populous state, continues.


Title: Referendum Ends Mexico University (UNAM) Strike
Date: 21-JAN-00
Author: Staff Writer
Source: Associated Press
Style: News Article
Reference: http://www.abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20000121_596.html

In a referendum, students, teachers and employees at Latin America's
largest university call overwhelmingly for an end to a strike that has
closed classrooms for nine months, and accept an administration reform
proposal. With results tallied from 852 of 930 polling stations at the
286,000-student National Autonomous University and affiliated high
schools, the proposal of newly appointed rector, Juan Ramon de la
Fuente, wins support from 89 percent of teachers, 88 percent of students

and 75 percent of workers. De la Fuente's "Proposal for a Consensus"
suggests universities scrap plans to raise tuition to the equivalent of
$140, instead keeping entry fees at a minimal few cents, and also
envisions creation of a university-wide congress to work on reforms.


Title: Ecuador Indians Seize Congress, Governing Junta Named
Date: 21-JAN-00
Author: Various, compiled by DAMN editors
Source: Associated Press, BBC World Service, Canadian Broadcast Service,

and The Toronto Star
Style: News Article


Hundreds of Indian protesters break through a barbed-wire barrier and
charge past military guards, seizing the empty Congress building and
declaring a new government. Antonio Vargas, president of the National
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, which claims to
represent Ecuador's four million Indians, and Lucio Gutierrez, an army
colonel,appear at the congressional podium and thrust their arms into
the air in a sign of victory.  A former member of Congress, Napoleon
Saltos, who belongs to Pachakutik, a party formed by the Indians in
1995, reads a communique saying a three-man governing council has been
formed by Vargas, Gutierrez and Carlos Solorzano, a former president of
the Supreme Court.


Title: Ecuador A Volcano Full Of Craters [Action Report]
Date: 21-JAN-00
Author: None
Source: A-Infos News Service
Style: Action Report
Reference: http://www.ainfos.ca/

According to the author, the Levantamiento de los Pueblos (Uprising of
the Peoples), which began Saturday, January 15th, is a great volcano,
with many craters burning with the discontent of the populace at large
and indigenous people.  Dr. Mahuad, his bureaucrats and political
appointees have virtually no popular support.  Direct participation of
varied sectors of people living in the cities is extensive, men, women
and elderly, all aspiring to fashion a State and a
society that is pluralistic, just, equitable and sovereign.


Title: South Carolina Dockworkers Clash With Police
Date: 20-JAN-00
Author: Compiled by DAMNs Labor Topic Specialist
Source: Associated Press and CNN
Style: News Article
Reference: None

About 600 police in riot gear clash with hundreds of International
Longshoremen's Association workers protesting the use of nonunion
workers to unload a freighter, in the worst waterfront violence in
Charleston in 20 years. The dockworkers march to the State Port
Authority Columbus Street Terminal before midnight to protest the
unloading of a freighter by some 19 nonunion workers, who were guarded
by the riot police, and hundreds of others arrive around midnight and
join the fray, hitting police with rocks, bricks, and bottles, beating
news photographers and TV cameramen and hitting them with debris.   At
least six are injured, and eight are arrested. Police used at least one
smoke grenade to break up the crowd.


Title: Pickets At BHP Australia Attacked By Police
Date: 20-JAN-00
Author: Staff Writer
Source: International Metalworkers Federation
Style: Action Update

Following 24-hour work stoppages at each of BHP's Australian steel
division centres over the last few weeks, union members at BHP's iron
ore operations in both Newman and Port Hedland begin a four-day strike
action.  Although the picket line stops plant operations at Newman on
the first day, police wielding batons assault pickets the following day
and make arrests. At Port Hedland, police force their way through the
picket line to allow buses through, and arrest three union officials and
four rank-and-file unionists.


Title: Indigenous March In Ecuador, Capital Militarized
Date: 20-JAN-2000
Author: Marlon Carrion C.
Source: Agencia Informativa Púlsar
Style: News Article
Reference: None

The president of the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of
Ecuador (CONAIE), Antonio Vargas, says that the indegena and popular
uprising will continue until the ex-government of Jamil Mahuad comes out
of the Palacio de Carondelet and resigns power.  Vargas says the
uprising will not use arms, but, rather, will block roads and, with the
support of the oil industry workers, will cause a fuel shortage
throughout the country in order to generate chaos and allow the people
express their discontent with Mahuad's government.  An enormous military
and police operation in the City of Quito is trying to prevent the
indegenas march from reaching the centre of the City, where the
presidential house is located.


Title: Workers' Struggles In Iran
Date: 19-JAN-00
Author: None
Source: Iranian Workers' News
Style: Action Update
Reference: http://www.etehadchap.com/worker

Protests held in cities and towns throughout Iran focus, respectively,
on non-payment of wages and of benefits, the closures of factories, and
unemployment.  Textile workers in Isfahan, protesting against lack of
payment of wages, imprison the factory management until security forces
and police enter the site to free them.  Passargard Darya service
workers at the Falat Ghareh oil company on the island of Kharg gather
outside the Administration offices of the company to protest the lack of
payment of their salaries and are dispersed by security forces from
Iran's ministry of Intelligence.  In other protests:  more than 160
trainee employees in the technical and professional workshops of Iran's
Oil Company stage a sit in protesting against unemployment and the fact
that it is unlikely that they will be employees in the oil company;
hundreds of workers from Tabarestan textile plant in Ghaem Shahr, where
more than 2000 workers have lost their jobs, sit in to demand payment of
nine months' salary arrears and bonuses; tens of workers from the "Albas
Nass" clothes manufacturers in eastern Tehran gather on the factory
grounds to protest their expulsion form work, demanding that the factory
be reopened and that they be reinstated;  Tehran Metro company workers
write an open letter complaining about lack of payment of their
salaries; workers at Pars Arian, management of which comes under the
cover of the Imam's committee, protest non-payment of salaries and
pressure being put on them to accept pay-off money;  More than 300
peddlers, unemployed as a result of municipal authorities forbidding
them to sell on three main pavements, gather in the town's former bus
terminal to demand that the authorities deal with their problems.


Title: Occupation Of Bintan Industrial Estate Scares Investors
Date: 19-JAN-00
Author: Compiled by DAMNs Labor Topic Specialist
Source: The Jakarta Post and BBC World Service
Style: News Article

About three-hundred armed villagers, demanding better pay and
compensation for land, storm a power plant at Bintan Industrial Estate
in Lodam, Bintan island, threatening to re-occupy land they sold to an
Indonesian company to develop holiday resorts in Bintan -- land which
they say Indonesian police and military troops forced them to sell.
While State Minister of Investment and State Enterprises, Laksamana
Sukardi, acknowledges that during the New Order regime, military and
government officials often intimidated and forced people to sell their
land at a very low price, he warned that unjust practices could not be
used as a pretext to disrupt economic activities on the island. The
minister says that several Singaporean and Japanese investors told him
during a recent visit to Singapore that they would close their companies
on the island unless the government was able to stop the protests.


Title: Nationwide Demonstrations In Iran
Date: 19-JAN-00
Author: None
Source: Iranian Workers' News
Style: Action Update
Reference: http://www.etehadchap.com/worker

The 19th of December program of nation-wide demonstrations and sit ins
by workers in front of Social Security offices and the offices of Khaneh
Kargar (a workers' organisation set up by the government) in various
cities, is declared illegal by the ministry of Interior and cancelled.
However, despite the ban -- and backtracking by the Islamic Labour
councils which originally called for the nation-wide demonstration and
later announced its cancellation -- workers protests are held in many
cities, including Tehran and Ghom.  Among the reasons the protest, the
second biggest nation-wide protest in Iran, is considered to be
important are that it demonstrates: that even workers' organisations and
structures dependent on the Islamic regime find no way to justify the
regime's policies and programs; that even the government workers'
organisation realises that the slogans of Khatami's government about
democratic, political development and civil society are disingenuous;
that Iranian workers realise the essential point that without unity and
nation-wide protest they cannot defend their rights; and that it has
united for the first time workers from various sectors of the Iranian
workforce in a joint action.


Title: Picket Line Fight Erupts At DMS Corporation
Date: 19-JAN-00
Author: Jenny Strasburg
Source: San Francisco Examiner
Style: News Article

In a fight involving as many as a dozen people, picketing couriers
scuffle with non-striking workers in front of a Third Street dispatch
company, marring the latest public efforts by San Francisco's bike
messengers to organize for higher paid commissions and better work
benefits, efforts that prompted DMS cyclists to strike for a day last
April. Despite attempts by some of DMS's bike messengers and drivers to
unionize, sufficient support is lacking in their own ranks and among DMS
dispatchers. After questioning, police cite an unidentified non-striking
worker for misdemeanor battery.


Title: Army Takes Charge Of Uttar Pradesh Power Plants
Date: 19-JAN-2000
Author: Compiled by DAMNs Labor Topic Specialist
Source: Various - Labour News Network, Reuters, BBC World Service, Times
of India
Style: News Article
Reference: http://www.timesofindia.com/today/19home1.htm, and

Army engineers are deployed to operate various power stations in the
state as Uttar Pradesh State Electricity Board (UPSEB) employees
strike.  Solidarity actions by power workers in Punjab Haryana and
Rajasthan begin with a work to rule agitation in response to a call
given by Northern India Power Engineers Federation to support the
striking UP power engineers.  The NTPC Executives' Federation of India
(NEFI), the apex representative body of 8,000 NTPC officers, condemns
the arrest of employees, termination of services and other "repressive
measures'' being adopted by the UP government, and the NTPC engineers
who have been operating the power generation plants threaten the state
government they will stop operating the plants if the impasse is not
resolved soon.


Title: Australian Nuclear Fuel Blockade
Date: 18-JAN-00
Author: Carolin Wenzel
Source: Greenpeace Australia
Style: Action Update
Reference: www.greenpeace.org.au

Greenpeace sets up a blockade of the terminal, owned by French nuclear
company Cogema, where  the first reprocessing shipment of spent nuclear
fuel from Australia is due to arrive in Cherbourg, Normandy France on
board the Bougeunais.  Protestors from Greenpeace, joined by local
community groups and the French Greens, weld shut the gates to the
terminal and pour concrete on them, and are prepared to chain themselves
to the gates. The cargo of 308 spent nuclear fuel rods is from the Lucas
Heights reactor in Sydney operated by Australian Nuclear Science and
Nuclear Technology Organisation (ANSTO).


Title: Dock Workers Strike Spreads Across India
Date: 18-19-JAN-2000
Author: Compiled by DAMNs Labor Topic Specialist
Source: Various - Labour News Network, Reuters, BBC World Service, The
Hindu, Hindustan Times
Style: News Article
Reference: http://www.indiaserver.com/thehindu/stories/01190003.htm,
http://www.hindustantimes.com/nonfram/190100/detfro01.htm, and

As the Navy, the Coast Guard and theTerritorial Army move in to assist
the port authorities in loading and unloading operations, and ontingents
of naval officers and sailors are deployed to perform essential services
such as the lock gate and tug operations, Mumbai's container port stands
deserted as approximately 100,000 Indian dock workers at all major ports
in the country begin an indefinite strike for more pay. The workers are
demanding a doubling in pay, while the government is willing to offer a
rise of 28 percent.  Meanwhile, the strike by tens of thousands of
electricity workers in Uttar Pradesh against planned government reforms
and privatisation efforts cuts energy supplies to tens of millions of
people in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh and threatens to spread to
neighbouring regions.


Title: Police Teargas Ecuador Oil Workers, Students
Date: 17-JAN-00
Author: Carlos A. DeJuana
Source: Reuters
Style: News Article
Reference: None

Ecuadorian police teargas about 700 oil workers and students as they
march toward the government palace, protesting President Jamil Mahuad's
economic reforms, which include plans to use the U.S. dollar for all
large transactions.  Meanwhile, a few blocks away, Mahuad meets with
international advisers to discuss his plan to adopt the U.S. dollar as
the country's currency in the hope that the shock measure will lead
Ecuador out of its worst economic crisis in decades. 30,000 government
forces guard Ecuador's highways, city streets and key government
buildings for fear of protests by oil workers and indigenous groups
demanding Mahuad's ouster.


Title: Pine Ridge Occupation
Date: 17-JAN-2000
Author: Compiled by DAMN editors
Source: Various - Associated Press, 7amNews, Rapid City Journal
Style: News Article
Reference: 7amNews http://7am.com, and

An American Indian reservation visited by President Bill Clinton during
a July "poverty tour" is the scene of unrest as dissidents alleging
financial malfeasance take over the tribal government complex.  More
than 100 people are involved in the peaceful takeover of the Oglala
Sioux Tribal headquarters on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South
Dakota. The takeover is set to continue until all issues are resolved,
including:  demands for the restoration of lands known as the Buffalo
Gap grasslands; the removal of the tribal treasurer; a review of the
tribe's constitution and other documents; and a federal audit of
millions of dollars in tribal monies that never reached the people.


Title: Airport Strike May Spread Nationally
Date: 17-JAN-00
Author: Malcolm Brown
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Style: News Article
Reference: http://www.smh.com.au/news/0001/17/national/national3.html

A strike by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) which has stranded almost
5,000 passengers and hit Ansett Airlines operations at Hobart and
Launceston airports may extend nationally if last-minute negotiations
fail and action is taken against any striking TWU members. The dispute,
over the retrenchment of more than 20 baggage handlers at Launceston, is
to be brought before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission.
Ansett says reports that it had "sacked" baggage handlers at Launceston
are untrue.


Title: Power Workers Strike In Uttar Pradesh
Date: 16-17-JAN-00
Author: Compiled by DAMN's Labor Topic Specialist
Source: Associated Press and Labour News Network
Style: News Article

Police arrest 1,800 engineers and four trade union leaders after a
strike produces power outages and water shortages in Uttar Pradesh (UP),
India's most populous state. The indefinite strike by approximately
100,000 power workers is led by the Northern Power Grid Engineers and
supported by leftist parties in protest against splitting the UP State
Electricity Board into three corporations, which they view as a prelude
to eventual privatization of power generation. The government says the
move was initiated to combat rampant corruption in transmission and
distribution, as well as power outages.


Title: Narmada Dam Protesters "Imprison" Jailers
Date: 13-JAN-00
Author: Peter Popham
Source: Independent (London)
Style: News Article

One day after police arrest about 1,000 protesters, including novelist
Arundhati Roy, the struggle by villagers in central India to halt a dam
that would submerge 40,000 homes enters the realm of farce when the
detained demonstrators physically prevent their jailers from leaving the
jail, which has no electricity, water or other facilities.  The
protesters, are now refusing to leave until they receive written answers
to their objections to the dam.  The Maheshwar Dam, if completed, will
cost the homes and livelihoods of nearly 40,000 farmers, fishermen, sand
miners and boatmen and their families.

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