economy

Ecuador: New workers’ rights law passed, extends social security to homemakers

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.

Largest protests ever by US low-wage workers over minimum wage

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.

Bolivia: Voters reaffirm ‘process of change’, but warn Morales' party

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.

New Zealand: McDonald's workers strike for job security


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.

Greece: SYRIZA clashes with creditors — 'Let them try to over throw us'

“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).

Latin America backs Venezuela at summit in new defeat for US


President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela began his visit to Panama City for the Summit of the Americas with a visit to the impoverished neighbourhood of El Chorrillo to lay a wreath at the monument to those killed by the US bombing of the community during the 1989 US invasion of Panama.

The seventh Summit of the Americas, held in Panama City on April 10 and 11, was widely hailed as a victory for left-leaning and progressive forces in the region, particularly Venezuela and Cuba.

WikiLeaks exposes TPP corporate power grab

United States politics is witnessing a new sorry spectacle — and one with real consequences for Australia, as well as other nations on the Pacific rim.

US President Barack Obama is trying to drum up support from his party to implement the agenda of the huge corporations that sought to block his election and re-election via the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) “free trade” deal involving 12 Pacific rim nations.

The text of the proposed agreement and the negotiations have been kept secret, but key chapters have leaked and been published by WikiLeaks.

Ecuador: Poverty slashed by social spending

Ecuador has lifted 1.3 million people out of poverty in the past eight years, a new survey revealed on April 13, TeleSUR English said that day.

The results of the first “Survey of Living Conditions in Ecuador” showed that poverty has fallen by one third. It also revealed that 900,000 individuals have been lifted out of extreme poverty, whilst the Gini coefficient, which measures wealth gaps, has dropped 4.8 points since 2006.

Google, Rio, BHP, Apple: Tax the 'selfish corporate rabble'

The head of the Business Council of Australia (BCA), Catherine Livingstone, has called for a national “conversation” about what the federal government and the business community euphemistically call “economic reform”.

Ever in thrall to trickle-down economics, they manage to talk in “doublespeak”, a close relative of the doublethink that George Orwell wrote about in his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

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Government housing policy not helping poor

Tony Abbott’s government is gearing up for another budget, and much has been made about how to raise revenue and what to cut.

The government has toned down its previous rhetoric about a budget emergency, which appears to have disappeared despite the government failing to pass most of last year’s budget measures, but it still looks as if they will make the most disadvantaged pay while keeping things sweet for their mates in the big end of town.

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