A labor dispute broke out and soon resolved last month at Nicaragua’s largest employer in the private sector, the Taiwanese investment Nien Hsing Textile.
The factory Nien Hsing Garments S.A., located in Managua’s Las Mercedes Free Trade Zone, is one of eleven Nien Hsing factories in Nicaragua. The factory has been in operation for twelve years. There are approximately 2,500 workers in the factory. Currently the factory produces only pants—jeans, slacks and shorts—for Blue Riders, Wrangler Jeans, Osh Kosh B’Gosh, Faded Glory and Sonoma Carpenter.
As Indymedia (IMC) activist and researcher, I recently did an e-mail interview with Oiwan Lam, a researcher and organizer of inmediahk.net and Interlocals.net. A shorter version of this will appear in a book about the Indymedia network.
Gabriele Hadl: There is a lot of net-based activism in Hong Kong, but no IMC afiliated with the network. Why is that? There was an IMC in Taiwan (2003-5) but they had problems with the language barrier, both in communicating with the so-called ‘global groups’ and in adapting the software. Did you have a similar experience?
“The fare of the Star Ferry was 50 cents then, now it is $2.20,” said Marilyn who has been in Hong Kong for 24 years. “Before the salary was less but it was enough. I could buy things to send back home. Now the salary is more, but not enough for me. And they cut our salary a few years ago in the name of the retraining levy…”
When the SAR government proposed to enact laws according to Article 23 of the Basic Law, 500 thousand people went on the street to protest. The government was forced to shelf its proposal. In the same year, the government announced that a retraining levy will be imposed on employers of foreign domestic helpers while the minimum allowable wage of the domestic helpers are reduced by 11% from a monthly wage of HK$3,670 to HK$3,270. Even though ten thousand Filipino, Indonesian and Thai domestic helpers went on the street to protest, the government refused to make any concession.
Few days ago, to fulfill the MRT (metro rapid transit大眾捷運) construction, the ‘Department of rapid transit system’ of Taipei Government declared that all residents of Lo-Sheng sanatorium (樂生 樂生院Happy Life Leprosy Sanitarium, also known as Losheng Leprosarium) should move out of their home before March/13/2007.
In the wake of a tragic fire that ripped through the Yeosu detention on February 11th, migrant's groups in Korea and internationally have been mobilizing to bring to light the injustices that surround migrant's lives in Korea and elsewhere.
The Hong Kong Government has announced the consultation paper on “Copyright protection in the Digital Environment” in early January this year. Many has pointed out that the consultation is based on the interest of corporate copyright holders rather than individuals and consumers. Worse still, some suggestions within the consultation papers are threatening to freedom of speech and expression, and eventually the development of creative industry in Hong Kong.
Author: Liu Kwang-Yin
In the beginning of the 20th century, a colonial era when Taiwan was still part of Japan, Losheng Leprosy Sanatorium was built by the regime to house leprosy patients, whose mystic disease was considered by most people to be highly contagious.
According to an investigation of the working condition of 14,000 white collar workers in Beijing, 52% of respondents answer “always work overtime” and only 4% answer “rarely work overtime”. 73% are not paid for overtime by their employers who violate labor law stipulating it as 150% of the basic salary. Some argue that there is an oversupply of university degree holders.
In 1998, only 1.084 million people were admitted to university. There were 2.158 million university students. Since 1999, there has been a rapid expansion of university enrollment. From 2004-2006, the intake increases from 4 million to 5.3 million. In 2006, about 1.24 million university graduates failed to get a job. In 2006, of a total of 4.13 million university graduates, 66.10% earned 1000-2000 yuan monthly.
After surrounding the residence of Su-Zhen-chang（蘇貞昌）, the Premier of Taiwan Executive Yuan, in March 8, about 2 hundred protesters march toward his residence in March 11 again. They performed the ‘kneel and obeisance’ action demonstrated by Korean Farmers in Hong Kong during the anti-WTO week in 2005. Although this is the second time the Losheng（樂生院, 樂生療養院, LoSheng Sanatorium, Leprosarium LoSheng, Happy Life Sanatorium） crowds using the action, apparently Politicians don’t buy it.