….. in Kuwait.
According to Radio Free Asia, dozens of North Korean construction workers in Kuwait went on strike in December after their North Korean employer offered to pay them with checks cashable in the North instead of wages.
“As people began to disobey orders and desert their workplaces, North Korean authorities belatedly took steps to tackle the issue,” RFA said. “On May 17, they quickly summoned dozens of North Korean workers who had caused problems by resuming Air Koryo flights between Pyongyang and Kuwait, which had been halted on Feb. 23.”
A new report from the International Trade Union Confederation finds that 2015 was the worst year on record for attacks on free speech and democracy, while workers’ rights have been weakened in most regions over the past year, notes the Solidarity Center, a core institute of the National Endowment for Democracy:
- Unionists were murdered in 10 countries, including Chile, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Mexico, Peru, South Africa and Turkey.
• 82 countries exclude workers from labor law.
• More than 2/3 of countries have laws prohibiting some workers from striking.
• More than half of all countries deny some or all workers collective bargaining.
• Out of 141 countries, the number which deny or constrain free speech and freedom of assembly increased from 41 to 50.
• Out of 141 countries, the number in which workers are exposed to physical violence and threats increased by 44 percent (from 36 to 52) and include Colombia, Egypt, Guatemala, Indonesia and the Ukraine.
The Middle East and North Africa were again the worst region for working people, with the kafala system in the Gulf still enslaving millions of workers, the ITUC notes. The ten worst countries for working people are Belarus, China, Colombia, Cambodia, Guatemala, India, Iran, Qatar, Turkey and United Arab Emirates, it adds:
Cambodia, India, Iran and Turkey joined the ranking of the ten worst countries for working people for the first time in 2016. The Cambodian government approved a new Trade Union Law further limiting workers’ ability to negotiate over their working conditions and pay, while police in India regularly use disproportionate violence against workers holding protests with many detained for simply exercising their rights guaranteed in national laws. Iran uses heavy prison sentences against workers for peaceful activities, and Turkey is targeting public servants engaging in legitimate and peaceful union activities, with at least 1,390 public sector workers under investigation. The Turkish government has also become synonymous with attacks on freedom of speech, with ten foreign journalists banned since last October and Turkish journalists facing severe repression including trial and imprisonment on bogus grounds including “national security”.