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Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.

Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.
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South Carlton, VIC


Stories and issues from the Asia Pacific region with a labour and grassroots perspective. Regular interviews with activists from countries in the Asia Pacific region. Produced by Australia-Asia Worker Links.






PO Box 45 South Carlton, VIC 3053 Australia +61 3 9663 7277


What lessons for the left in Syria?

The Arab Spring that swept across north Africa and West Asia promised a new beginning for working class communities. The reality has been one of broken promises, repression and war.Syria has probably witnessed the greatest bloodshed where during the last 7 years, all kind of reactionary, repressive, conservative and imperialist forces have conspired to defeat the popular uprising.APC asked Joe Daher, a long time Syrian activist, to assess the current situation, to look back over the last few...


Bosses making billions underpaying migrant workers

The use of workers on temporary visas has increased in Australia over the last twenty years. Temporary migrant workers are very vulnerable due to the precarious nature of their work visa.Employers from all industries in Australia exploit their vulnerability by systematically underpaying them and making billions of dollars from unpaid wages.APC interviewed author and researcher Laurie Berg from the University of Technology Sydney about her latest research on the extent of this underpayment...


Australian workers taking to the street

As with many other countries in the Asia Pacific region, Australian workers are also facing rising rates of job insecurity, wages that are not keeping up with the cost of living, and harsh laws that prevent workers from organising freely at the workplace.Trade unions in Australia have come together under the banner of 'Change the Rules' to campaign for a change of government and better laws for workers. Tens of thousands of workers came out in Melbourne last Tuesday in support of this...


Banana workers defy company, police and military

Bananas are one of the big agricultural export items of the Philippines. Rural regions of the Philippines have always seen some of the worst instances of semi feudal exploitation and human rights abuses.Almost a 1,000 workers at the giant banana plantation of the Sumifru corporation have been on strike since the start of October. They are demanding a collective agreement so as to get a pay rise and secure employment contracts.APC interviewed Paul John Dizon, the President of the local union...


Anti imperialism or class struggle - the Iranian scenario

The popular uprising in Syria in the last few years has created a big debate among the left around whether activists should prioritise anti imperialist work, especially against the USA war machine, or stand in solidarity with working class movements.In the same region, the Iranian government is at ongoing risk of being bombed by the USA but the Islamic government is also heavily repressing actions and protests by workers.Jiselle and Pier discuss the political issues around anti imperialism...


Massive truck drivers strike shakes Iranian government

The current Islamic for of government has been ruling Iran since the 1979 revolution that overthrew the dictatorship of the Shah. After almost 40 years, the economic and social situation for the majority of Iranian is increasingly becoming worse and worse.Since late last year there have been massive working class protests throughout Iran. The Iranian government has tried to both repress and co-opt these protests but unemployment, starvation wages and corruption are bringing more and more...


Organising in New Zealand and in Australia

Australia and New Zealand have similar histories, both being settler societies and imperial outposts of the British Empire.They share similar laws and industrial landscape, though organising the working class in these two countries also has its differences.APC interviewed Mrunal Shroff, who is now employed as an organiser with the Migrant Workers Centre at Trades Hall in Melbourne, about his views on organising workers in New Zealand and in Australia. In New Zealand, Mrunal was an organiser...


Fighting against tyranny in the Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte's 'War on Drugs' has been going on for over two years. His death squads have murdered over 20,000 people. During this time there has been a normalisation of extra judicial killings, impunity for death squads, and the vilification of human rights defenders.These massacres has had a chilling effect on on urban, working class communities in the Philippines, terrorising millions of people. Nevertheless, opposition and organising against this repression is growing by the...


Holding on to working class politics

Working class struggle is hard, with many activists not only facing isolation and victimisation from management at their workplaces but also running the risk of being beaten, jailed or killed by a whole range of state or quasi state actors.The workers movement has many examples of activists who over time lose their radical politics and accommodate themselves to the confines and rules of the capitalist system.This week APC takes the example of the Malaysian politician Tian Chua, featured in...


Where to now for the new government in Malaysia

The elections earlier this year in May saw the Barisan Nasional lose power after 61 years. One of the more surprising facets was the comeback of the 92 year old former Prime Minister, Mohamed Mahathir, who had come out in retirement to lead the opposition.There was much excitment and expectations at what this new government could do.Tian Chua, a long time political activist and now vice-president of People's Justice Party (PKR), a component party of the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition...


Health and safety win for Korean workers at Samsung

The South Korean company Samsung Electronics is one of the giant global corporations in the world of electronics. Samsung since its founding in the late 1930's, the company has been ferociously anti union. Its Electronic arm of the company, Samsung Electronics, has also had a shocking health and safety record. There have been hundreds of recorded cases of assembly line workers contracting diseases and even dying because of the toxic nature of their work. After years of campaigning, actions...


Organising migrant workers in Australia

The working class is under attack in Australia from many sides. One of the ways that capitalists and governments try to undermine workers organisations and conditions is by bringing in temporary migrant workers.These workers are especially prone to exploitation due to the temporary status of their working visas as well as their unfamiliarity of the laws and culture in Australia. While some unions have been successful at organising these groups of workers, many migrant workers face terrible...


Remembering the horrors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan

In early August 1945, the USA military dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians.The global arsenal of atomic weapons has only grown since then. The fight to outlaw these weapons of mass destruction continues.The Asia Pacific Currents program spoke to Shomi Yoon, a member of the International Socialist Organisation in Aeteoroa/New Zealand on the international campaign against nuclear weapons.Asia Pacific Currents...


How to counter racism dividing the working class

In every country, capitalists and their allies use racism as one of the ways to divide and weaken the working class. In Australia, the issue of the colonialism and dispossession of the Indigenous people is central when discussing and resisting racism in Australia.The show will focus on two anti racist forums that were held in Melbourne in the past week and examine how they looked at racism but also the best ways to build working class solidarity in our work as labour and anti racists...


Migrant workers facing repression in Malaysia

Malaysia has relied heavily on migrant workers over the last decades to power its economic growth.The complicated visa system in that country puts millions of these workers in very insecure conditions, leading to widespread exploitation. In addition, these workers face regular waves of repression from government agencies.We interviewed Adrian Pereira, Director of North South Initiative, a human rights organisation that works on labour rights issues in Malaysia, about the current situation...


Will New Caledonia become Kanaky Nouvelle-Caledonie on November 20?

The island of New Caledonia has been a colony for the 164 years and is one of France's last colonies in the world.The indigenous inhabitants, the Kanaks, have waged a long struggle for independence. This coming November 20 an independence referendum will be held in New Caledonia to decide its status.We caught up recently in Melbourne, Australia with Daniel Goa, spokesperson for the independence movement Front de Libération Nationale Kanak et Socialiste (FLNKS), at a community function. We...


ACTU national congress report back

The Australian Confederation of Trade Unions (ACTU) is the peak body for unions in Australia. It recently held its national conference in Brisbane, Queensland.Close to 1,000 unionists came together to discuss the situation for workers in Australia and the 'Change the Rules' campaign.Piergiorgio Moro took part in the conference as a delegate for the Australian Services Union A&S VicTas Branch. Pier talks with Jiselle about the main themes of this conference.Asia Pacific Currents provides...


Workers go on the offensive in South Korea

The mass protest movement of 2015 and 2016 in South Korea against corruption and abuse of power were able to bring down the President - Park Geun-hye. The working class, headed by the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions were central in organising this movement.The KCTU paid a high price for their succeess with two of their leaders, Han Sang gyun and Lee Young joo both jailed. In addition, many workers had expectations that the new government headed by President Moon Jae-in was going to be...


NAIDOC Week 2018 and Aboriginal struggles

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.While this week's activities are a celebration, the past and current struggles faced by the Indigenous people of Australia are not forgotten.This week we replay an interview by Lalitha Chelliah from Friday Breakfast show with Gunnai-Kurnai Gunditjmara woman and Greens MP Lidia Thorpe on the current fight to save close to 300 trees...


Sri Lankan family fights deportation from Australia

The situation for refugees and asylum seekers in Australia is becoming progressively worse as the Government continues its crackdown.In the last few weeks, the desperate situation of the family of Priya and Nadesalingam has become national news. The family is hanging on to its hopes to remain in Australia with support from their town of Biloela and thousands of supporter around Australia while the government sends its armed border units to arrest and detain the family.We speak to Aran...