A Walmart in northeast Ohio is holding a holiday canned food drive ― for its own underpaid employees. “Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” a sign reads in the employee lounge of a Canton-area Walmart. Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesperson, says the drive is a positive thing. This is part of the company's culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships, he said.
The formation of the Labor Party — created as part of a global movement to form mass workers’ parties in the 1890’s — differed markedly from the formation of social democratic parties in mainland Europe. The tendency in these countries was for the formation of workers’ political parties to precede the formation of a mass union movement which the parties then encouraged.
Australian environmentalists welcomed the October announcement that mining giant BHP was abandoning its plans for a coal export rail and port development at Abbot Point in Queensland. However, the company is simultaneously involved in a giant new coal export development on Kalimantan in Indonesia.
The 40th anniversary of the polytechnic uprising that helped end the Western-backed military junta in Greece was marked on November 17. The date is a national day of remembrance and marks a defining moment in modern Greek history. The image of a tank battering down the gates to the student-occupied polytechnic school 40 years ago remains strong in the public consciousness. To this day, it is illegal for the police and army to enter the university grounds.
Lurid articles about Venezuela have peppered the Western press in recent days and weeks. The latest event that has been widely reported is the use of the military to occupy stores, including the national electronics chain Daka, with a mandate to sell products at “just prices”. This is viewed by most media outlets as further evidence of the chaotic mismanagement of the economy by the government. However, while there are serious economic problems in Venezuela, this one-sided portrayal prevents an informed debate.
Six Malaysian activists from the Himpunan Hijau (Green Assembly) group have begun a three-day occupation of the entrance to the corporate headquarters of Lynas in Sydney. The Australian company has built an unwanted toxic rare earths refinery in Kuantan , Malaysia. They have come armed with a petition with signatures from 1.2 million Malaysians who demand that the toxic plant be shut down by June 29, 2014 at the latest.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro criticised US “intervention” in the internal affairs of Latin American countries, and in the Honduran elections, on November 25. Xiomara Castro, candidate for the LIBRE party formed by the resistance movement that opposed the 2009 US-backed coup, declared victory after the vote. However, so did her conservative opponent, National Party's Juan Hernandez , with the Electoral Supreme Court (TSE) declaring Hernandez clearly ahead. LIBRE rejected the TSE's count, alleging serious fraud.
National Union of Workers (NUW) members went on strike at the Sheridan sheet warehouse in Port Adelaide on November 25. The NUW have been bargaining with the company as part of a new enterprise agreement. Workers at the Adelaide warehouse are upset they receive $160 a week less than workers in the Victorian sites doing the same job. Workers also want more control over rosters so they can plan to spend time with their families.
Members of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) at Murdoch University have voted to call off industrial action and support a new enterprise agreement with the university. The agreement was offered as union members were preparing to go on strike on November 20. Initially, the university had refused a pay rise of more than 4% over the next two years. This would have been well below inflation and effectively a pay cut.
Venezuela’s National Assembly granted President Nicolas Maduro the power to pass laws by decree on economic and anti-corruption issues for a period of 12 months on November 19. The National Assembly held a second and final vote on a proposal from Maduro to enact the so-called enabling law, which allows him to legislate by decree on specific issues for the period set by the assembly. Maduro has been empowered to pass laws to “fight corruption, usury, money laundering and the economic war unleashed in recent times against the country by the national oligarchy”.