In a divestment valued at 256 million euros, the Norwegian government pension fund has blacklisted Australian company Incitec Pivot and the US/Canadian company Potash last year due to their phosphate imports from occupied Western Sahara.
Moroccan authorities have sentenced Western Saharan political prisoners to long jail sentences. The the prisoners had already spent two year in jail waiting for a trail. Amnesty International had called the trials flawed from the outset. Eight Saharawi were sentenced to life in jail for peacefully demonstrating for the people of Western Sahara to be given a vote of self-determination, as promised by the United Nations. A further four activists received 30 years, seven received 25 years and two got 20-year sentences.
Over the past three years Christian Super, a not-for-profit industry fund, has engaged in dialogue with Australian company Wesfarmers over its sourcing of phosphate rock from Western Sahara. Phosphate is used in its production of agricultural superphosphate. “Western Sahara is a disputed territory where human rights abuses have been reported,” said Tim Macready, chief investment officer for Christian Super. “Companies doing business in this area may unwittingly aggravate the conflict or become complicit to oppression.”
The crackdown by Moroccan occupation forces on the protest camp at Gdeim Izik on November 8 may have brought more attention to the plight of Western Sahara than was intended. The 20,000-strong camp at Gdeim Izik, 15 km from the Western Saharan capital, El Aaiun, was established on October 9 to protest against the discrimination and oppression experienced by Saharawi people living under Moroccan occupation.
Moroccan occupation forces brutally attacked and destroyed the Saharawi Gdeim Izik protest camp on November 8, which had grown to over 20,000 since being established on October 9. The camp, 15 kilometres outside the capital, El Aaiun, was established to protest lack of job opportunities for Saharawi under the Moroccan occupation and mistreatment of Saharawi by Moroccan authorities.
Ron Guy has been pre-selected by the Socialist Alliance to run for the seat of Melton in the Victorian state election in November. Guy was born in Bacchus Marsh where he lives with his partner and son. He has been an Australia Workers Union (AWU) delegate for more than 15 years. Guy was one of the main instigators of setting up the Arts co-operative Maribyrnong River Edge Artists Movement, believed to be one of the longest running arts co-operatives in Australia.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union organiser Colin Muir, Australian Workers Union organiser Sam Woods, and Electrical Trades Union organiser Gerry Glover joined union members at a barbecue in front of British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) on July 8. More than 290 union members voted to continue an indefinite ban on overtime and working rostered days off, and for 24-hour stoppages on Fridays. Only essential, high-voltage switch work will be carried out.
Workers from Kennon Auto in Melbourne have not received a pay rise for the past three years. They stopped work on July 1 because their boss is refusing to negotiate a collective agreement. The workers make parts for Toyota. They are ex-Nylex workers who had to fight to keep entitlements after Nylex went into receivership. Some of Nylex’s product lines were sold to Kennon Auto.
Victorian fuel supplies could be threatened if agreement is not reached in an industrial dispute between Shell and tanker drivers at its Newport depot.
For the second year in a row, flag-raising ceremonies in Victoria marked the anniversary of the Saharawi Republic, as a gesture of solidarity and friendship with the people of Western Sahara. The Saharawi Republic was declared on February 27, 1976. However, the country remains under Moroccan occupation.