International

Archive for the ‘International’ Category

International, Worker's Rights

America’s largest retail chain Walmart is facing a very black Friday with strikes being reported in seven states so far today.   The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) plans strike action today in 1,000 locations across the U.S.

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally known as Black Friday, is the biggest shopping day in the American retail calendar.  Black Friday marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping period; a time when retail workers are faced with long hours and large volumes of customers for no extra pay.

The Walmart Company earned profits of $16bn last year and reported a 9% increase in earnings for the third quarter of 2012.  That’s $3.6bn in profits to be shared among a small group of shareholders while the workers are paid an average wage of $8.80 per hour.  The Walmart family represent the largest shareholding block and earn more than the combined earnings of the bottom 40% of American workers.
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Foreign Affairs, International

Clare Daly stands with the ULA in calling for the immediate cessation of Israeli military aggression against the people of Gaza.  There should be an immediate lifting of the punitive blockade on the Strip, to allow in much-needed humanitarian aid, medical supplies, and building material for reconstruction.

Eamon Gilmore should demand a meeting with the Israeli Ambassador now and convey the clear message that if there is not an immediate cessation of military aggression, the Ambassador will be asked to leave Ireland.
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Foreign Affairs, International

Demands Tanaiste expel Israeli ambassador if attack continues

The ULA calls for the immediate cessation of Israeli military aggression against the people and the elected government of Gaza. We call for the immediate opening of the borders of Gaza to allow the unhindered entry of international observers, humanitarian aid and construction materials. We call for the immediate cessation of the supply of military materials to the state of Israel.The present conflict in Gaza is just the latest outrageous Israeli attack on a civilian population. These attacks have their roots in decades of forced displacement of Palestinians from their lands by the Israeli state, most recently in the continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories. The current Israeli attack is also in part due to the refusal of Israeli governments to recognise and negotiate with the elected government in Gaza, led by Hamas.

We call on the Tánaiste and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore, to call in the Israeli Ambassador and convey the clear message that if the demand for immediate cessation of military aggression is not met, the Ambassador will be asked to leave Ireland.

We call on the Irish government to immediately propose the suspension of the Euro-Med Agreement with Israel in view of the flagrant Israeli breaches of Article II, which makes the Agreement conditional upon “respect for human rights”. Ireland will be part of the United Nations Human Rights Council from January 2013; and at the same time take up the presidency of the Nobel Peace-Prize winning EU. To allow continued Israeli abuses of human rights in Gaza and the Occupied Territories while holding these positions would be deeply cynical and hypocritical.

There can be no peace in Palestine in the context of the continued oppression of the Palestinian people. We call for the immediate end to building of Israeli settlements; for existing illegal settlements in East Jerusalem and the Occupied Territories to be dismantled; and for displaced Palestinians to be given back their lands. We also call for meaningful negotiations, with ALL parties and without preconditions, on the future of Palestine.

International

Socialist Party TDs have referred to the Irish Independent’s front page article yesterday, 1st of February as ‘tantamount to incitement to hatred.’

‘The impression created by the paper’s front page article yesterday was that unemployment was being chosen and relished. The original article, appearing in Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza reveals a situation exactly the opposite to this. The level of inaccuracy cannot be put down to a careless mistranslation but rather it amounts to an
attack on foreign national workers, which, as the Polish Ambassador alluded to yesterday, is an ugly feature of history in times of economic recession,’ Clare Daly, Socialist Party TD for Dublin North stated today.

The Indepedent’s original article on the subject claimed that the Polish woman living in Donegal, pseudonymously called ‘Magda’ had stated that living on Social Welfare was ‘like a Hawaiian massage.’ In fact, she had referred to having studied a FAS course in massage and was hoping to earn a living from this skill in the future. She also
specifically stated in the original article ‘“I have a big problem with being unemployed, I don’t want to live at the State’s expense and for that reason I use this assistance to allow me start up my own business”.

Joe Higgins TD said, ‘In the context of continuous attacks on Social Welfare both here and in the UK, where the current Social Welfare Bill aims to slash billions from the welfare state, it is unacceptable that the Independent would publish such an inaccurate and yes, racist article, which would create a backlash against foreign national
workers.’

Clare Daly continued, ‘The Independent should print a front page apology, dealing with the issue in equivalent length to the original article which they published with abandon. The confusion and controversy which the article generated has created a lasting false impression in relation to the experience of people on Social Welfare and should be addressed comprehensively. It is an abuse of the newspapers position that they have done this.