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South Korea: Protect Safe Rates for Truck Drivers

In South Korea, 1,000 people die annually due to truck crashes because big corporations like Samsung and Hyundai force low rates onto truck drivers.

Those drivers are forced to work long hours, overload their vehicles, and drive at dangerous speed.

Korean truck drivers work over twice the annual average for OECD countries, but as 'owner drivers' they are entirely unprotected by labour law.

After years of struggle, their union finally won historic Safe Rates legislation last year.

Poland: Unionists Sacked by Castorama for Being Unionists

Ten union leaders in Poland employed by a company called Castorama have been sacked because they dared to speak out.

The trade union NSZZ Solidarnosc Commerce had embarked upon an organising drive among Castorama workers when the company dismissed union chairperson Wojciech Kasprzyk and others.

The company says that they were engaged in "activities to the detriment of the company" and "damaging the employer's image".

What the workers say is that they were using the Internet, including social media, to help workers and get them organised.

Hard Truths with Major Opposition

Some hard truths, all of which are backed by expert consensus, and all of which encounter major opposition:

Let Yang Speak

For the record, Andrew Yang is (and has been) polling in the top 6 candidates, yet they seldom let him speak during the debates. They consistently give him the least amount of speaking time. MSNBC, which donated tons to Buttigieg and Biden, gives its favored candidates all the speaking time in the debates so that you won't know the other options. Why do they not let Andrew Yang speak?

Philippines harassing Alliance of Concerned Teachers

The Duterte regime in the Philippines has intensified attacks against the trade union movement.

The Education International is particularly concerned about the harassment and repression targetting its affiliate, the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT).

Several ACT offices were raided by the police and at least one ACT provincial coordinator was arrested in a new crackdown against unions and civil society organisations in the country.

The repression operations are ongoing, and ACT fears that more of their members could be targeted.

A few thoughts on Warren's M4A transition plan

First and foremost, you can't ban private health insurance using budget reconciliation. This means that, in order to do full single payer, you need to either a) get to 60 votes in the Senate that support M4A, or b) get 50 votes that support M4A AND support getting rid of the filibuster.

A Property-Owning Democracy

I've been reading Irving Krisol (the father of neoconservatism) a lot lately. I agree with the idea of "property-owning democracy" (widespread distribution of property ownership) as ideal. This idea has deep roots in conservative philosophy. But the neocons fall short because they fail to support any institution that fosters property-owning democracy.

The Welfare State as a Conservative Institution

The welfare state is a conservative institution and widespread distribution of wealth is also a concervative ideal. Conservatism largely looked to the economic system of medieval Europe and the political system of 18th centruy England as ideal (i.e. parliamentary or representative democracy). These two periods were what traditional conservatism idealized.

Kazakhstan: Trade unionist Erlan Baltabay imprisoned - again!

In July this year, Erlan Baltabay, a leader of the Independent Oil and Energy Workers' Union in Kazakhstan, was sentenced to seven years in prison on politically motivated charges.

A huge international union mobilization followed, including a LabourStart campaign signed by thousands calling for his release. He was released from prison in August after being pardoned by the President and was able to return home to his family.

The Conservative Welfare State

The welfare state is an American idea and a conservative institution. The Church did poverty relief and free healthcare when it was a public institution funded by taxes. When the "separation of church and state" was introduced under the new republican system of liberal democracy in America, the church lost its ability to raise revenue from legally mandatory tithes (income tax). When this happened, some of the social responsibilities of the church had to be passed on to the government.

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