UK: AMAZON TREATS ROBOTS BETTER THAN WORKERS

Amazon workers have accused the firm of imposing ‘severe’ conditions and low pay. Staging their the first-ever strike against the online giant on 25 January, the GMB members said they are constantly monitored and upbraided for ‘idle time’ lasting just a few minutes, with staff treated worse than the company’s robots.

Two workers at the Coventry warehouse, Darren Westwood and Garfield Hilton, described how even a trip to the toilet can lead to questions by managers. They said working conditions are taking a toll on their colleagues, some of whom are working 60-hour weeks to keep up with cost-of-living increases. Westwood sent a message to Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder, executive chair and space adventurer, who Forbes magazine says has a $120bn fortune ‘We don't want his boat or his rockets. We just want to be able to live.’

Source: TUC Risks GMB news releaseBBC News OnlineMorning Star

TURKEY: UNIONS DEMAND JUSTICE FOR 42 MINERS KILLED

The international union movement is calling for justice for 42 miners killed in a 14 October explosion in Turkey’s Amasra district as four miners remain in intensive care in a hospital in Istanbul as fire continues to rage underground. IndustriALL met with mine management to discuss the situation as workers and the people of Amasra want the mine to re-open and for life to return to normal. ‘We came here to show our solidarity and express our readiness to work together to prevent future accidents. We will do our best to ensure that mine workers can work in healthy and safe conditions,’ an IndustrAll official said. Public opinion in Turkey is that the explosion ‘was not an accident, but a homicide’. A special inquiry commission has visited the region and is expected to publish a report in the coming days. Four defendants, including the manager of the mine are currently imprisoned, charged with ‘causing death and injury to more than one person by conscious negligence.’

Source: IndustriAll 27 January 2023

USA: TWO CHARGED OVER DEADLY SHOOTING ON FILM SET

Actor Alec Baldwin is to be charged with involuntary manslaughter over the shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, who was killed on a film set when he fired a prop gun. Baldwin had been rehearsing a scene for the Western film Rust when the shooting happened at a ranch near Sante Fe, New Mexico in October 2021. Hannah Gutierrez Reed, the film's armourer, will also be charged with involuntary manslaughter. A statement from Santa Fe's District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced charges would be filed by the end of the month. ‘After a thorough review of the evidence... I have determined that there is sufficient evidence. On my watch, no one is above the law, and everyone deserves justice,’ he said.

Source: BBC News Online

CHINA: SEVERAL DEAD IN CHEMICAL PLANT EXPLOSION 

China's State Security Commission has ordered an investigation into an explosion at Panjin Haoye Chemical Co Ltd's factory, according to a statement from the Liaoning provincial government on 19 January. Twelve people were killed and one was missing after the explosion on Sunday 15 January at the refinery and petrochemical complex in China's northern Liaoning province, the statement said. The incident is reported to have occurred during maintenance work at an alkylation plant.

Source: TUC Risks, Chemistry World

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