McDonald's to pay NZ employees millions in holiday pay

Unite Union, which represents fast food workers in New Zealand, announced on November 18 it had reached an agreement with fast food giant McDonald's, which will see tens of thousands of its current and former staff receive payment for miscalculated holiday pay.

Unite’s national director, Mike Treen told Green Left Weekly that McDonald's was one of the companies caught out by faulty payroll systems that were “not fit for purpose and therefore not legally compliant when calculating holiday pay”.

McDonald's has agreed to go back ten years to November 1, 2009, to fix the underpayments. Other fast food companies have only gone back six years, which they see as the maximum they are legally obliged to do.

Deafening silence as West Papua crisis deepens

West Papuans and their supporters around the world traditionally raise the Morning Star flag — the symbol of an independent Papua — on December 1. This is an act of defiance, as flying the flag is outlawed by the occupying Indonesian government.

New Zealand-based West Papua solidarity activist and author Maire Leadbeater looks the new uprising in West Papua and the repression being carried out by Indonesian security forces while governments, including NZ’s, remain silent.

Bolivia: 'We refuse to be burned'

Evo Morales was the first democratically elected Indigenous president of a nation that has the highest percentage of Indigenous people in all of South America. He gave people hope, and he made people believe Indigenous people can be leaders and teachers, and that we can be taken seriously, too. That’s why he is so precious to us.

Iran: Nationwide protests call for overthrow of the regime

It took the popular uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon, following the earlier uprisings in Sudan and Algeria this year, for the Iranian masses, especially unemployed and student youth, to gain the courage to go out into the streets in large numbers again. For the first time since the December 2017–January 2018 uprising, they are mobilising to call for an end to the Islamic Republic.

What set off the nationwide protests was a 300% increase in the price of petrol, announced suddenly on November 15. This is a huge increase for the majority of Iranians, who have already sunk to extreme levels of poverty, due to the cost of Iran’s military and political interventions in the region, nuclear and missile development programs and the severe sanctions imposed on it by the United States.

Police storm universities in Hong Kong

Hong Kong riot police stormed the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), one of the prestigious universities in Hong Kong, on November 12, despite making several promises to the university administration that they would not.

Students are continuing their campaign for democratic measures, following their successful push to force the Carrie Lam administration to retreat on the unpopular extradition bill.

Police fired more than 2000 rounds of tear gas and projectiles, which led to large numbers of injured, including students and journalists. Multiple arrests were made.

This happened despite the university's vice chancellor and president repeatedly trying to negotiate with police representatives.

Sri Lanka: Sinhalese chauvinist wins presidential election, Tamils fear reprisals

Gotabaya Rajapaksa, regarded by many Tamils as a war criminal, won the Sri Lankan presidential election on November 16 with 52.3% of the vote.

He was defence secretary in 2009, when the Sri Lankan armed forces massacred tens of thousands of Tamils in the final stages of their war against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE were fighting for an independent Tamil homeland in the north and east of the island of Sri Lanka.

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