Friday, October 9, 2009

Workers rights campaigner savagely attacked - protest messages urgently needed

In case you're not (yet) on the LabourStart mailing list:

Ainur Kurmanov is the kind of organizer every union wants to have. He campaigned with workers at the Almatinskii Wagon Factory, who went out on strike, and the result was hundreds of jobs saved. He organized workers at the Almatinskii Heavy Engineering Plant and the plant was saved from bankruptcy and collapse. Because of his efforts, Ainur has made some enemies in the Kazakh capital of Almaty, where he lives.

And a little more than two weeks ago, those enemies took their revenge.

Ainur was coming home when he was savagely attacked from behind, beaten with a metal pipe. He suffers from concussion and has a broken finger. Someone was trying to send a message to Ainur and to the workers of Kazakhstan.

It is time that we sent a message back.

The international trade union movement is calling on the Kazakh government to launch an "immediate, unbiased and transparent investigation" of the attack on Ainur.

That they have not yet done so is a bad sign. Next year Kazakhstan assumes the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). This is a great time, therefore, to remind the Kazakh government of its responsibilities as a law-abiding nation.

Please take a moment to send off your message of protest HERE.

And please spread this message to your fellow trade union members and all those who care about human rights.

Thank you -- and have a great weekend.

Eric Lee

Sunday, October 4, 2009

CUPE Convention Online

It hasn't really started yet, but it feels like all 600,000 members are here and jostling in the halls of the Montreal Convention Centre.

But on the off chance that you're not here and would like to look at Convention reports, schedules, agendas, event locations (or are here and lost any of the same) and follow the debates, CUPE has a way for you do do all this online.

Click HERE.