16 Aug 2017 Ferado

Left-Wing Coalition Calls for National March on August 27 to Demand Release of Rif Detainees

Rabat – La Fédération de la gauche démocratique (FGD), a coalition of three lef-wing parties, has called for a national march on August 27 in Rabat to demand the release of detained Rif activists.

The youth wings of the three parties issued a joint statement condemning the excessive use of violence against the Hirak (protest movement in Al Hoceima and its nearby towns in Rif), which led to the death of activist Imad El Attabi.

El Attabi was injured in the head during the July 20 national march in Al Hoceima. He remained in coma in the military hospital in Rabat until announced death on Tuesday.

FGD said the call to national march on August 27 is intended to show support for the Hirak and stand against the state’s policies aiming at undermining citizens’ rights.

Calls for releasing Rif prisoners have been issued since a massive of arrests targeted Hirak activists in late May and throughout June and July.

On July 29, dozens of activists were released on the occasion of the Throne Day but the bulk of the but a larger number of almost 200 protesters remain in prison in Al Hoceima and Casablanca where they are prosecuted for heavy charges such as “undermining people’s loyalty to state institutions” and threatening the security of the state.

The arrest, prosecution and detention of Rif activist put the government not only at odds with the residents of Rif but also with the rest of Morocco where an important segment of the population, civil society and political elite have shown support for the protest movement in the northern Moroccan region.

8 Aug 2017 Ferado

Saudi Arabia registers 130 percent rise in women workforce

Saudi Arabia: The number of working women has dramatically increased in Saudi Arabia during the last four years, a new report has revealed.

According to a report released by the Ministry of Labour and Social Development in March, the country’s private sector registered a 130 percent increase in the number of working Saudi women during the last four years. Thirty percent of the total Saudi work force in the private sector is now represented by women, a Gulf News report said.

According to the report, Riyadh has the highest employment opportunities followed by Mecca. The government has expressed its willingness to increase the percentage of women in the Saudi total workforce to 28 percent by 2020. The government also reported more than 11 million foreign workers in Saudi Arabia’s private sector.

Additionally, efforts to boost employment among women and graduates are still ongoing. Several projects have been initiated to tackle the challenge of transportation that women face while commting to work. There are projects that offer women the option to work from home, which is likely to generate over 140,000 jobs by 2020

8 Aug 2017 Ferado

One Million Bank employees to go on strike on 22nd August

India: The United Forum of Bank Unions (UFBU), the umbrella organisation of five employee unions and four officer unions of state-run banks in the country, has given notice of their decision to go on nationwide strike on 22 August 2017 to protest reforms in the banking sector and other issues.

“The UFBU has observed that instead of taking urgent remedial measures to recover the alarmingly increasing bad loans in the banks which are threatening to drive the banks into a serious crisis. Steps like memorandum of understanding (MoU), prompt corrective action (PCA), Financial Resolution and Deposit Insurance (FRDI) Bill, Ordnance on non-performing assets (NPAs), and Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) are only aimed to clean the balance sheets at the cost of the banks, which represent hard earned savings of the people, instead of recovering money,” says CH Venkatachalam, General Secretary of All India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA).

About 10 lakh bank employees from nine unions, AIBEA, All India Bank Officers Confederation (AIBOC), National Confederation of Bank Employees (NCBE), All India Bank Officers Association (AIBOA), Bank Employees Federation Of India (BEFI), Indian National Bank Employees Federation (INBEF), Indian National Bank Officers Congress (INBOC), National Organisation Of Bank Workers (NOBW) and National Organisation Of Bank Officers (NOBO) will observe the strike on 22nd August.

“We have given a strike notice. The strike will be on 22 August 2017 spread over the entire banking sector,” Mr Venkatachalam said, adding, “…it is observed that the burden of the corporate NPAs are put on the shoulders of the common public and banking clientele in the form of hike in fees, charges, and penalties for every type of normal banking services.”

Recently State Bank of India (SBI) and Bank of Baroda have reduced the rate of interest on savings deposits. SBI, the largest state-run lender in the country has said that they will gain Rs4,400 crore per year by reducing savings deposit interest but see how much they have sacrificed by write off of bad loans of big corporates, Mr Venkatachalam added.

21 Dec 2016 Ferado

Azerbaijan oil company SOCAR lambasted over safety record

AZERBAIJAN: SOCAR recorded 14 deaths in 2014, 34 in 2015 and 11 so far in 2016, the website says. The biggest fatality events for the company were in December 2015 when 30 were killed in a fire and lifeboat sinking on the Gunlashi No 10 platform in the Caspian Sea, with a further 10 presumed dead after a walkway on an offshore platform collapsed into the sea during storms a few days ago.

Oil and Gas People contrasted SOCAR, which employed over 61,000 employees in 2014 (and only a fraction of this figure offshore), with the UK Oil Industry, which employed around 260,000 people in 2014 and has seen 2 worker deaths from 2014 to 2016.

It pointed to the fact that in the recent incident, workers were lost when working outside in 90 mph winds, a practice that would not be acceptable anywhere in the North Sea. Also, the company’s reports on these incidents giving the cause as “high winds” or “adverse weather” seem to imply that offshore installations are not designed to withstand such conditions.

“The figures are damning and the timeline shows a repeat of similar incidents that can only question the integrity of previous investigations and whether any lessons learned have been deployed throughout the organisation to prevent further fatalities.

“With oil and gas industry workers giving first hand reports of poor safety standards, inadequate maintenance and substandard conditions aboard SOCAR installations it’s no surprise that incidents like those listed above are a frequent occurrence to the organisation”, the website says

20 Dec 2016 Ferado

Turkey: 450km Walk for Justice

TURKEY: Thousands of workers have been dismissed and journalists imprisoned during the purge. The KESK walk, starting tomorrow from Istanbul to Ankara, is being held under the slogan “I want my job and my bread”.

On 14 October, the ITUC and ETUC, together with their four Turkish affiliates DISK, Hak-Is, KESK and Türk-Is, issued a joint statement reiterating their condemnation of the coup attempt and expressing concern at the massive wave of dismissals of workers, particularly public employees, by the Turkish government, in most cases without any basis of proof or evidence, or compliance with the rule of law.