Thursday, August 6, 2009

News from "Asia"

Worker occupations in Korea

Workers at the Ssangyong Motor factory in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, have been on a sit-in strike since late May and are currently trying to defend their factory against a police assault. Workers at the plant responded with strikes against pending layoffs in April which accelerated into a full strike and plant takeover and occupation by 1700 workers on May 27 when the list of workers to be laid off was announced. The strike focused on three main demands: 1) no layoffs 2) job security for all and 3) no outsourcing. The company wants to force 1700 workers into early retirement and has fired 300 casuals.

Hundreds of cops have been trying to storm the occupied factory in full riot gear using tear gas and other weapons, supported by scabs using slingshots.

Malaysian Protesters against security laws held by police.

Scores of demonstrators who demanded an end to Malaysia's decades-old security law are still being held by police, a day after authorities put down the country's biggest protest in nearly two years. Ismail Omar, Malaysia's deputy inspector general of police, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that many would likely be charged with holding an "illegal procession" or with other offenses. "Some of them without documents will be charged under the registration act and we're also looking under the societies act," he said.

China Steel Workers Clash with Riot Police

CHINA HAS seen several serious disturbances this weekend as people take to the streets to express their anger at perceived corruption and unfair takeovers.

The riots are part of a picture of wider social unrest in China fuelled by discontent over inequality and unemployment.

Around 30,000 disgruntled steel workers clashed with riot police in protests over a takeover deal, resulting in the death of an executive from another steel company. And more than 3,000 villagers in eastern China blocked a highway and clashed with police while protesting alleged corruption in a land compensation deal.

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