1049

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks published a slew of documents on April 16 casting light on secretive efforts by entertainment and electronics giant Sony to lobby the US government on hot button issues such as cracking down on online piracy. One collection of emails indicates staff from Sony's US subsidiary, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE), sought to maneuver around a US$5,000 limit on corporate contributions to political campaigns to contribute to Democratic New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's re-election war chest.
Workers in more than US 200 cities across the US went on strike and joined marches on April 15 “during what organisers claimed was the largest protest by low-wage workers in US history”, the Guardian said the next day.
Meral Cicek (pictured) is the chair of Kurt Kadin Iliskiler Merkezi, the Kurdish Centre for Women's Affairs in Erbil, in the autonomous Kurdish Region in northern Iraq). Cicek spoke to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation’s Florian Wilde during the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunis last month. It has been translated by Leandros Fischer. * * *
Photo: Unite.org.nz. Striking McDonald’s workers took part in marches and pickets in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin on April 15, with many speaking to the crowds and media about the hardship of living with insecure work and income.
Up to 90% of the electorate voted in Bolivia’s “local” elections on March 29 for governors, mayors and departmental assembly and municipal council members throughout the country. The governing Movement for Socialism (MAS) of left-wing President Evo Morales once again emerged as the only party with national representation. It is by far the major political force in Bolivia, and far ahead of the opposition parties, none of which has a significant presence in all nine departments.
The People’s Referendum: Why Scotland Will Never Be the Same Again by Paul Geoghegan Luath Press 2015 177 pages The British-wide general election for the Westminster parliament scheduled for May 7 looks set to be very close, perhaps even closer than the 2010 election that resulted in the Labour Party being replaced by a Conservative Party-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Opinion polls suggest that neither of the two main British parties, Conservative or Labour, will win enough seats for a majority of their own in the House of Commons.

“A high-ranking official close to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said the Greek government is not planning to give in to its creditors’ pressures and go against the program they had promised to the Greek people who brought them to power,” GreekReporter.com said on April 16. The comment came amid rising tensions between Greece's SYRIZA-led anti-austerity government and its creditors — the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The revolutionary “The Law for Labour Justice and Recognition of Work from Home,” was passed by Ecuador's National Assembly on April 14, TeleSUR English reported on April 15. The law, which was first proposed by President Rafael Correa on November 15 to about 100,000 workers, passed by 91 votes to 29. The law will extend the benefits of the social security system to all Ecuadoreans wishing to be affiliated.

Sudan’s ruling National Congress Party (NCP) persisted with April 13-15 national elections, despite widespread condemnation of the process from inside and outside the country. Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, who came to power in a 1989 coup, contested the presidency among 15 mostly unknown candidates. The election was boycotted by opposition groups. They have called for an inclusive consultation process to resolve the country’s substantial problems, establishing a transitional government, and immediately ending the repression of dissent as prerequisites for free and fair elections.

VIC TRADES HALL CONDEMNS SDA ON PENALTY RATES The Victorian Trades Hall Council has condemned the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees' Association’s agreement with the South Australian Chamber of Commerce to remove penalty rates for retail workers. The VTHC said it opposed any move to further the federal government’s agenda by attacking hard fought entitlements and condemns attacks by the business lobby to reduce workers' wages. EAST WEST LINK PAYOUT

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