What is The Union Show?

7 12 2010

The Union Show broadcast on community TV C31 in Melbourne Australia from 2005 to 2009 and is a rich source of information on unions and issues affecting unions in this country. Whilst the program is no longer produced for television, the producers, United Productions maintain both a Union Show blog and the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel as a means of disseminating union information that would otherwise be lost in time and in the morass of anti-union misinformation that is distributed by mainstream media.

An extensive archive of Union Show episodes is available for viewing at http://theunionshow.blip.tv. Current union information can be sourced at www.theunionshow.com.au and at the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel. There are many other web sources for union information that deal mainly in the written word. One of those sites and perhaps the venerable example is www.labourstart.org.au where you will find links to many other like-minded information outlets.

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Please donate to Labour Relief Campaign to help people of Pakistan

15 08 2010

Pakistan is facing worst ever floods of its history. Torrential rains have unleashed flash floods in different parts of the country since last three weeks. Water levies broke leaving the people exposed to flood water.  It is devastating scene on the television screens all the time. More rains expected during next three days. It is the worst flood we ever had. The government did not realize the scale of the losses earlier. Now they are all saying that this flood has done more damage than the October 2005 earth quack. In that earth quack, over 100,000 lost their lives and damage was mainly in two areas.

The present floods have affected almost all parts of Pakistan. It is estimated that over 140 million people have been affected. In several areas, people are still trapped. More than 650,000 houses have collapsed, mainly in villages. Thousands of acres of crops have been destroyed due to flood water. Houses, live-stock such as cattle’s and goats, household goods, clothes, shoes and other items have been destroyed.  Residents of villages are currently without drinkable water, food, shelter and in need of clothes.  In particular, the situation is dire for children and women and they are in desperate need of food and clothing.  Disease is spreading fast in the areas affected due to lack of drinkable water.  In particular, flu, fever, diarrhea, cholera have been noted and are spreading.

The government’s response has made matters worse.  They failed to act immediately, leaving tens of thousands of people unaided.  They came after twenty four hours to the make-shift camps with paltry amount of food bags to distribute.  The gap between the food being distributed and the large number of people desperate to eat led to fighting breaking out making matters even worse for these desperate people.

Despite the fact that there is very little coverage in the media, the fact remains that the situation in Balochistan is just as bad as in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa and western and southern Punjab. As usual, also, they are not at the top of the government’s priority list.

The Labour Education Foundation, Labour Party of Pakistan, National Trade Union Federation, Women Workers Help Line and Progressive Youth Front have set up Labour Flood Relief Camps in Lahore and so far have collected more than 300,000 rupees. Rs. 110,000 have already been sent to Baloachistan and more than 200,000 are on way to Southern Punjab to help flood victims.

We appeal our friends and organizations in Pakistan and abroad for donations of a monetary kind or in the form of drinking water, clothes (new), shoes, medicine.

For further information please contact Labour Education Foundation Director Khalid Mahmood

email khalid@lef.org.pk

Here is report of a union council in Khaiber Pukhtoon Khawa province by a team of four LRC members led by Farooq Ahmad, member of the federal executive committee, Labour Party Pakistan:

On 29 July Pir Sabaq, a Union Council of Nowshehra district, with a population of more than 34,000, is completely destroyed by the recent flood waters. A tent city of more than 1,000 tents has been established but most of the people are still forced to live in homes partially destroyed by the flood. This can lead to a major building collapsing any time, resulting in the further loss of lives.

In addition to losing their homes most people found their household items have been swept away. They have lost their cattle and goats as well. People without anything to eat, drink or wear.

Pir Sabaq is mainly a town of working-class people who work in marble or stone-crushing factories, or in the construction sector or agriculture sectors. When a LRC team visited yesterday, local people told about how water more than 14 feet high reached the town’s roof tops. Since the flood came around 4 a.m., while people were sleeping in the comfort of their homes, there was no chance to save anything but their lives.

The owners of small tourist boats did their best to help save lives of common people.

By contrast, when army helicopters arrived at the scene, they began evacuating the families of military men and residents of the big houses. People immediately saw the way the army discriminated about who they aided. People told the LRC team that many stranded on the roof tops of their houses waved their hands in the air when they saw the army helicopters coming, but it was of no use.

People have also blamed the government for failing to inform them on time about the danger of the flood. Some also charged that water was allowed to flow from the Warsik dam in order to save the nearby military camps.

The LRC team saw the house of Pervaiz Lala, general secretary of LPP in Pir Sabaq. It, like the majority, was completely destroyed; he and his family is now homeless. He told them the people did not eat for almost three days after the flood. Not a single governmental official has visited the area so far. The information minister of KP province, Mian Iftikhar Hussain, stated in clear terms that the provincial government cannot do anything to help people in this disaster. however two days before an NGO started providing some food.

There is still water all over Pir Sabaq. A bad smell is everywhere and no clean drinking water is available. The children are suffering from diarrhea and skin rashes. The local government dispensary, the only medical facility for the townspeople, has been totally destroyed. In this environment people are haunted by the possibility of diseases being spread.

People now are in need of: food items like cooking oil, wheat flour, milk, sugar, clean drinking water, vegetables, clothes, tents, cooking utensils and medicine.

Readers can also donate via the Australian trade unions’ aid agency APHEDA at http://www.apheda.org.au/news/1281331224_14992.html.]





Pakistan: Labour Relief Campaign launches appeal for millions affected by floods

15 08 2010

More than 12 million people are suffering from floods in Pakistan. Please donate to the Labour Relief Campaign to help people of Pakistan facing the worst-ever floods in its history. Torrential rains have unleashed flash floods in different parts of the country in the last three weeks. Levies have broken, leaving the people exposed to flood water.

More than 650,000 houses have collapsed, mainly in villages. Thousands of hectares of crops have been destroyed due to flood water. Livestock, household goods, clothes, shoes and other items have been destroyed. Residents of villages are without drinkable water, food, shelter and in need of clothes.

In particular, the situation is dire for children and women in desperate need of food and clothing. Disease is spreading fast due to the lack of drinkable water. In particular, flu, fever, diarrhea and cholera have been noted and are spreading.

The Pakistan government’s response has made matters worse. It failed to act immediately, leaving tens of thousands of people without aid. Only after 24 hours did it arrive at the makeshift camps with paltry amounts of food distribute. The gap between the food being distributed and the large number of people desperate to eat has led to fighting breaking out, making matters even worse for these desperate people.

Despite very little coverage in the media, the fact remains that the situation in Baluchistan is just as bad as in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa and western and southern Punjab. As usual, also, the people of Baluchistan are not at the top of the government’s priority list.

The situation is turning worse with heavy rains starting August 6 in Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa province.

The Labour Education Foundation, Labour Party of Pakistan, National Trade Union Federation, Women Workers’ Help Line and the Progressive Youth Front have set up Labour Flood Relief Camps in Lahore and so far have collected more than 300,000 rupees. Rs110,000 have already been sent to Baluchistan and more than Rs200,000 are on way to southern Punjab to help flood victims.

We appeal to our friends and organisations in Pakistan and abroad for donations of a monetary kind or in the form of drinking water, clothes (new), shoes and medicine.

For further information please contact:

Khalid Mahmood, director Labour Education Foundation, ground floor, 25-A Davis Road, Lahore, Pakistan. Email: khalid@lef.org.pk. Telephone: 0092 42 6303808, 0092 42 6315162. Fax: 0092 42 6271149. Mobile: 0092 321 9402322.

If you wish to transfer funds, the details of the account for sending money to the LRC are: Account: Labour Education Foundation; account number: 01801876; Route: Please advise and pay to Citi Bank, New York, USA Swift CITI US 33 for onward transfer to BANK ALFALAH LTD., KARACHI, PAKISTAN A/C No. 36087144 and for final transfer to BANK ALFALAH LTD., LDA PLAZA, KASHMIR ROAD, LAHORE, PAKISTAN Swift: ALFHPKKALDA for A/C No. 01801876 OF LABOUR EDUCATION FOUNDATION.

Australia readers can donate via the Australian trade unions’ aid agency APHEDA at http://www.apheda.org.au/news/1281331224_14992.html.