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Strike Updates for Chicago, Greece, NC and Thailand

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opednews.com Headlined to H2 12/10/08

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1. Workers win: Bank to give credit to Chicago plant

Bank of America says it will extend credit to a Chicago window and door maker whose workers have occupied the factory for five days.

The bank said Tuesday that it's willing to give the Republic Windows and Doors factory "a limited amount of additional loans." That's so it can resolve claims of employees who have staged a sit-in since Friday.

The factory closed Friday after Bank of America canceled its financing.

Workers were given three days' notice. But they refused to leave and vowed to stay there until receiving assurances they would receive severance and accrued vacation pay.

The bank has been criticized for cutting off the plant's credit after taking federal bailout money.

2.  December 10th 2008, Unions in Greece are calling for a general strike today, while demonstrators are set to take to the streets for a fifth day to protest the fatal police shooting of a 15-year-old.

The strike, called to protest government economic policies, will shut schools and government offices and disrupt public transport. Air-traffic controllers will walk off the job, halting flights by carriers Aegean Airways SA and Olympic Airways SA. Labor groups representing 2.5 million workers plan to rally early today in Athens.

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The country's biggest labor groups -- GSEE, which represents about 2 million workers, and civil-service union ADEDY, with 500,000 members -- rebuffed a call by the prime minister to cancel rallies in Athens to prevent more clashes. The unions comprise about half the Greek workforce.

3. On Dec 8 2008, North Carolina log haulers and container drivers - many who are misclassified as "independent contractors" - held a work stoppage. They are demanding paper giant Weyerhaeuser and its subcontractors recognize their newlyformed union, the United Truckers Cooperative.
On Monday Dec 8, the drivers of the United Truckers Cooperative held a work stoppage and picket outside of Weyerhaeuser Mills in Plymouth and Vanceboro, North Carolina.
The workers are demanding Weyerhaeuser arrange a meeting between mill management, subcontractors, and representatives of the truckers to address the drivers' legitimate grievances and negotiate a formal agreement on wages and working conditions.
4. Protesters unseat Prime Minister
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150 riot police fled their checkpoint near Suvarnabhumi after they were attacked by PAD militants armed with iron rods, slingshots and hurling firecrackers. The PAD, which seized the airport, then stationed guards on the expressway exit to keep police at bay.
The closures of Suvarnabhumi and the city's old airport Don Muang, a big domestic hub, have crippled the tourism industry during the peak end-of-year season. Somchai, who has refused to quit, imposed emergency rule at the airports but police made no moves to evict the thousands of protesters.
The PAD, a coalition of royalist businessmen, activists and academics who accuse Somchai of being a puppet of his brother-in-law, ousted prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, seized the airports in a "final battle" to unseat the government.
Anti-government demonstrators in Thailand declared victory and said they will end their occupation of the country's two main airports after a court decision forced the country's prime minister from office.
Courts side with protesters, oust government. The country's Constitutional Court found Somchai's People's Power Party, the Machima Thipatai party and the Chart Thai party guilty of committing fraud in the December 2007 elections that brought the coalition to power.
"Dishonest political parties undermine Thailand's democratic system," said Constitutional Court President Chat Chalavorn.
Power purge
The ruling sent Somchai, Thaksin's brother-in-law, and 59 executives of the three parties into political exile and barred them from politics for five years. Of the 59, 24 are lawmakers who will have to abandon their parliamentary seats.


Whether you call it the world financial structure, the U.S. culture of waste, or the ability of the common man to make a decent living, the system is broken. It's time for the common man to go on strike. Join or support the March on Washingon (more...)

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Workers of the world UNITE !... by jersey girl on Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 at 11:05:35 AM
Workers can bail themselves out through struggle. ... by Kevin Gosztola on Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 at 12:42:22 PM
To me, the Bank of America was a big red herring, ... by wagelaborer on Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 at 2:52:31 PM
The time is NOW, organize, unite...sign up at http... by chris rice on Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 at 12:43:42 PM