Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Abi Hanna

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

October 2020
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