Adonis Diaries

Archive for December 9th, 2012

On Dec. 4, 2012, the UN general assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution calling on Israel to open its nuclear program for inspection.

The resolution, approved by a vote of 174 to 6, with six abstentions, calls on Israel to join the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) “without further delay” and open its nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Those voting against were Israel, the US, Canada, Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau. (Yes, Canada is under US mandated power like the other pseudo Island-States)

Resolutions adopted by the 193-member general assembly are not legally binding but they do reflect world opinion and carry moral and political weight.

And the resolution adds to pressure on Israel as it faces criticism over plans to increase settlement in the West Bank, a move seen as retaliation for the assembly recognizing Palestinian statehood.

Israel refuses to confirm or deny possessing nuclear bombs, though it is widely believed to have them.

Israel has refused to join the non-proliferation treaty along with three nuclear weapon states: India, Pakistan and North Korea.

Israel insists there must first be a Middle East peace agreement before the establishment of a proposed regional zone free of weapons of mass destruction. (sort of vying for unbalanced negotiation terms?)

Israel “rivals” in the region argue that Israel’s undeclared nuclear arsenal presents the greatest threat to peace in the region.

While the US voted against the resolution, it voted in favour of two paragraphs in it that were put to separate votes. Both support universal adherence to the NPT and call on those countries that aren’t parties to ratify it “at the earliest date”.

The only no votes on those paragraphs were Israel and India.

The vote came as a sequel to the cancellation of a high-level conference aimed at banning nuclear weapons from the Middle East.

All the Arab nations and Iran had planned to attend the summit in mid-December in Helsinki, Finland, but the US announced on 23 November that it would not take place, citing political turmoil in the region and Iran’s defiant stance on non-proliferation.

Iran and some Arab nations countered that the real reason for the cancellation was Israel’s refusal to attend.

Just before Monday’s vote, the Iranian diplomat Khodadad Seifi told the assembly “the truth is that the Israeli regime is the only party which rejected to conditions for a conference”.

Seifi called for “strong pressure on that regime to participate in the conference without any preconditions”.

The Guardian

Despite not having any nuclear warheads or even the capability to produce them, Iran has come under intense international pressure and sanctions — which affects civilians and is causing food insecurity and mass suffering.

In comparison, Israel, who has at least 200 nuclear warheads and does not allow inspectors into its secretive nuclear weapons program, has not been hit by any sanctions nor has come under any substantial international pressure.

Israel is the only country in the Middle East with nuclear weapons.

Stop abusing your employees Mr. Wright! Obey the Laws of the Land

Workers rights are finally making progress in Lebanon.

Syndicates in Lebanon were well-organized and engaged on the side of their workers before the civil war in 1975.

This long civil war that lasted 13 years has thrown all syndicates and associations in the laps of the warlords and the political leaders who emerged stronger from the massacres they perpetrated: The warlord leaders are still in power and controlling everything.

The warlord leaders are actually the ones instigating syndicates at their sold to demonstrate for the political leaders expediencies.

Dozens of demonstrations take place every week, but the government is playing the unconcerned and deaf to people’s demands, as long as the warlords demands are satisfied.

Recently, the British chief manager of Spinneys Supermarket chain in Lebanon made a mockery of the entire Lebanese pseudo central government, refused to pay taxes, refused the workers their rights to organize in a syndicate, refused to pay the wage increases that the government decreed… And refused to desist taking a portion of the tips that bag chariot carrier helpers were receiving.

Mind you that these “workers” are not paid anything: as if tips should cover all their hard work and dedication.

Charbel Nahass, the former minister of social affairs has been encouraging the employees at Spinneys to organize in a syndicate in order to reclaim their due rights. Nahas was the main catalyst in this resurgent zeal for employees in other industries to get together and reclaim their due rights..

After many months, and overcoming many problems and institutional barriers, the employees managed to form their syndicate.

Spinneys started to fire all the engaged employees on lame excuses, but the syndicate took hold, with the widest support from the citizens.

Dalia Hashad  of Avaaz.org posted:


Workers rights are finally making progress in Lebanon

Spinneys workers have stood outnumbered in the face of corruption, violence, and cronyism to form the first private sector union in Lebanon in decades.

Now that the State has recognised the union, it’s time for real change .

Only mass solidarity with the workers can bring Spinneys management to the negotiating table.

Public outcry has already helped kill terrible management practices, like refusal to implement minimum wage laws, and making laborers pay Spinneys 5,000 LL a day ($3) just to be able to bag groceries.

When the union was first formed, management went after the workers, firing and intimidating them.

Hired thugs even besieged a building the union council was meeting in, and on one occasion beat up a worker.

Although the union has finally been recognised by the Ministry of Labour, the intimidation continues.

Despite the behaviour of Spinneys management, the workers are not looking to sink the corporation. They want to stay onboard with their rights intact.

Spinneys can capitalise on this moment and become a real beacon for the workers’ rights movement in Lebanon.

Instead, union members told Avaaz that Wright had rejected every effort by the union to negotiate workers rights, refusing even to receive hand-delivered invitations.

Currently, the workers’ movement is unstoppable.

The company is already feeling the burn on their public image and this is our chance to ride that wave and pressure Spinneys to comply with basic workers’ rights.

If we reach 15,000 signatures in solidarity with the workers’ union, we will buy billboards in strategic locations around Beirut, shaming CEO Wright for allowing ongoing mistreatment and abuse of his employees.

Only a huge wave of support for the union will make CEO Wright realize that his company can’t jerk around their Lebanese employees anymore and finally come to the negotiating table for better workers’ rights.

If we reach 15,000 signatures in solidarity with the workers’ union, we will buy billboards in strategic locations around Beirut, shaming CEO Wright for allowing ongoing mistreatment and abuse of his employees.

Sign the petition now and share this with everyone:
http://www.avaaz.org/en/spinneys_stop_abusing_your_employees/?bFAfecb&v=19752

The International Labour Organisation has already condemned Spinneys’ practices and demanded action from the government but workers are still outnumbered and overpowered.

Avaaz members worldwide have campaigned to stamp out corporate corruption and promote workers rights around the world.
With hope and determination,
Dalia, Bissan, Rewan, Mais, Ricken, Mouhamad, and the entire Avaaz team

Note 1: Read yesterday, Jan. 8, 2013 that Wright was fired. Good riddence.

Note 2: On former minister Charbel Nahass https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/lebanon-charbel-nahas-best-ex-minister-of-labor-and-the-terrible-reforming-boy-on-the-block/

Related links:

Spinneys Workers’ Fight is Our Fight (Al-Akhbar) http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/13540
Court to tackle Spinneys dismissal row (Daily Star) http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Business/Lebanon/2012/Sep-07/187021-court-to-tackle-spinneys-dismissal-row.ashx#ixzz2BXwWBtvr
Spinneys Union Leader Assaulted (Al-Akhbar) http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/13100
Unionizing in Lebanon: The Struggle is Elsewhere (Jadaliyya) http://www.jadaliyya.com/pages/index/7799/unionizing-in-lebanon_the-struggle-is-elsewhere
Lebanon: Bitter battle of Spinneys union (Albawaba) http://www.albawaba.com/business/lebanon-spinneys-union-450841
Abi Hanna: Last Days at Spinneys (Al-Akhbar) http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/13483
After a long battle Spinneys staff elect first union leader (Albawaba) http://www.albawaba.com/business/spinneys-union-leader-451665


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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