(en) Australian union bans Indonesian ships

Dr Groove (dr_groove@geocities.com)
Wed, 26 Feb 1997 10:45:43 +0000

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This article is from the Irish Anarchist Paper Workers Solidarity, No 50 Spring 1997

Australian union bans Indonesian ships

MELBOURNE: Australia's powerful Maritime Trade Union, at the end of last September, launched rolling bans on Indonesian shipping to protest against the arrest of Indonesian trade union activists.

The lightning bans, called at short notice and designed to hold up ships for 24 hours, could apply on an irregular basis to all types of commodity exports to Indonesia, the union said. Australia's nearest Asian neighbour bought A$2.4 billion (US$1.9 billion) worth of Australian commodities in 1995.

"The bans are to protest against the recent arrests of independent labour leaders Muchtar Pakpahan and Dita Sari and the continuing repression following the July riots in Jakarta," the union said in a statement. Pakpahan, leader of the Indonesian Labour Welfare Union (SBSI), has been charged with subversion in connection with riots that rocked the Indonesian capital on July 27. The crime of subversion is punishable by death.

Five people died and 149 were injured in the Jakarta riots, Indonesia's official Human Rights Commission has said. Scores of buildings were set ablaze in the unrest, which was the worst since 1974.

The Maritime Union, which boasts of 10,000 members working around Australia as seamen and waterside workers, has a history of taking industrial action over events in Indonesia. The union has previously applied bans on Indonesian shipping in protest against Indonesia's occupation of East Timor and it supported the struggle for Indonesian independence after World War Two with blanket bans on the handling of Dutch ships.

358 people own half the world

The United Nations Human Development Report 1996 revealed that the gap between rich and poor is now so great that the world's 358 wealthiest people have assets equal to the combined income of 2.3 billion people, just under half the global population.

This is not a simple divison between the 'first' and 'third' world according to the report. In Britain and America the income of the poorest 20 per cent are less than a quarter of the national average. In America the poorest 20 per cent live on Str3,700 a year compared with a national average of Str15,600.

The gap between rich and poor in Britain and America is similar to that in Nigeria and Brazil.

In many countries of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, average income plummeted by at least a fifth between 1990 and 1993. Male life expectancy in many of these countries has declined: in Russia, by five years, according to some estimates

------------------------------------------------ This article is from the Irish Anarchist Paper Workers Solidarity, No 50 Spring 1997

The whole issue and previous issues can be found at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/2724/anpubdx.html

Platform->  http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/6170/
Ireland->  http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/2419/irlindx.html

Want to join a class struggle anarchist mailing list email me at dr_groove@geocities.com for details


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