THIS. I would prefer both.
‘Educate, Employ, Empower’: London students protest youth debt and joblessness
November 21, 2012
Around 10,000 students gathered in London to protest a hike in tuition, soaring youth unemployment and a host of other financial burdens. A splinter activist group threatened to break away from this “tame” rally and march on parliament.
Some of the protesting students attempted to occupy Westminster Bridge during the demonstration. The protesters refused to move past parliament and over the bridge as previously agreed by police.
Around 40 masked students tried unsuccessfully to break through a police line to get into Parliament Square, chanting “we won’t go south of the river.”
But as the majority of protesters were forced to take the preplanned route south of the river, by the time they got to Kennington, some of the students began to lose interest and broke off into pubs.
The event, organized by the National Union of Students (NUT), is the first since a wave of demonstrations in 2010 when the coalition government decided to raise tuition fees. But the march is designed to broaden campaigns from student funding to the wider issues of joblessness and debt among young people in Britain.
Since the UK’s coalition government came to power in 2010, tuition fees have tripled to a maximum of £9,000. Students are left with tens of thousands of pounds of debt before they graduate, and know that there is little chance of finding a job when they finally do finish their studies.
Ministers have also decided to end the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) grant allowing the poorest teenagers to stay in school and college before going to university.
“There’s a sense of desperation that people have. They are slowly seeing opportunities taken away and are powerless to do anything about it,” Liam Burns, President of the NUT told UK newspaper the Guardian.
A survey by the NUT of almost 500 parents found that three out of five would not vote for an MP who broke a campaign pledge to vote against tuition fee hikes.
Nick Clegg, the deputy Prime Minister whose Liberal Democrat Party promised not to increase tuition fees as part of their election campaign, was forced to issue an embarrassing public apology at the party’s autumn conference in Brighton. Burns vowed that while some MPs kept their promise, the ones that did not can expect to be voted out in the next election and are living “on borrowed time.”
“We were the first to highlight just what the Liberal Democrats were prepared to sacrifice for their Tory masters,” Kathy Taylor the president of the University and College Union (UCU) is expected to say during the rally.
The protesters – who are marching under the banner ‘Educate, Employ, Empower’ – will mass near the Embankment, march past parliament square, avoiding the Houses of Parliament, and head to Kennington Park south of the river Thames for a rally.
But a breakaway group, organized by the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts (NCAFC), has dismissed these plans and called for a “feeder march to pass the centers of power which are attacking students and ordinary people,” Michael Chessum, the organizer of NCAFC said in a statement.
“It is essential that we remain strong in the face of this attempt to stifle the freedom to demonstrate,” he said.
Walmart workers on strike across multiple stores
October 4, 2012
Employees protesting working conditions and retaliation are flexing their organizing muscle. But the first-of-its-kind strike carries risks.
Today, for the first time in Walmart’s fifty-year history, workers at multiplestores are out on strike. Minutes ago, dozens of workers at Southern California stores launched a one-day work stoppage in protest of alleged retaliation against their attempts to organize. In a few hours, they’ll join supporters for a mass rally outside a Pico Rivera, CA store. This is the latest – and most dramatic – of the recent escalations in the decades-long struggle between organized labor and the largest private employer in the world.
The first time EVER, you guys.
The triumph of women in the American office place has been perhaps the greatest economic story of the last century. In 1900, only 19 percent of women participated in the labor force. In 112 years, that number has tripled, and just a few years ago, there were more officially employed women than men in the United States.
But the rise of working women has been much slower around the world. Here’s a graph, via the International Labor Organization, comparing the gap between youth male and female participation rates around the world in 1991, 2001, and 2011. Worldwide, the gap has barely budged. In South Asia, it’s still terribly high. In East Asia, the gap is totally inverted.
What’s going on here?
Read more. [Image: International Labor Organization]
Craziness: Politics have blurred the lines between opinion and facts so much that Americans can’t even guess the truth. When asked a simple question about one of the most prevalent issues in our economy - unemployment rate - only 1/5th were able to respond correctly.
“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate at the time of the survey was 8.3%—a little higher than the 7.8% rate in January 2009, the month President Obama was inaugurated.” So the correct answer is “increased a little”. Credit can be given to those who said there was “No Change”, as the rate was consistent at 8.3% since February 2009, just one month after Obama took office.
Foxconn by the numbers:
1.2 million: number of workers employed by Foxconn in China, according to the New York Times.
83.2: Average hours of overtime worked each month, according to a 2010 survey of Foxconn employee.
13: age of a Foxconn employee Mike Daisey interviewed outside the gates of a Foxconn plant in Shenzhen.
$22: approximate daily salary earned by Lai Xiaodong, a 22-year-old college graduate, working at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China, according to the New York Times.
Nicholas Kristof makes a good point here on the birth control issue that was on Obama’s plate this week — “If we have to choose between bishops’ sensibilities and women’s health, our national priority must be the female half of our population” really gets at the heart of the argument — and the headline is pretty effective for a NYT hed. The headline itself is a talker, which you can’t always way with the New York Times.
This article was so good, read it. :D
On Jan. 2, over 300 employees at a Foxconn plant (which makes Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony products) in Wuhan, China threatened to throw themselves off a building in a mass suicide over denied compensation.
“On Jan. 2, the workers asked for a raise. Foxconn told them they could either keep their jobs with no pay increase or quit and get compensation. Most decided to quit with compensation. However, the agreement was supposedly terminated, and the workers never received their payments.”
The mayor of Wuhan intervened to talk down the group down, and on Jan. 3 at 9pm, the group of 300 decided not to jump, ending what could have been a deadly game of chicken.