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Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

International Union Action Continues in Solidarity with UK Meat Workers

Posted to the IUF website 25-Apr-2008

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Following the recent round of demonstrations by IUF affiliates in Korea, Poland and Romania, IUF affiliates in Hong Kong and the Philippines again showed their solidarity with the campaign by the T&G section of the UK Unite for equal treatment for agency workers supplying meat to Marks & Spencer, joined this time by labour rights supporters in Thailand.

On April 17, 20 members of the Philippines Alliance of Progressive Labour (APL) activists picketed the Cebu M&S store but were driven away by mall security forces in less than 10 minutes. APL reports that the store seemed to be prepared for their action - IUF/APL members had picketed exactly one month previously. In Makati, 40 union activists picketed the store, distributed leaflets and talked to with M&S workers and staff as well as customers. Mall security was less well prepared for the union intervention, giving the group more time for the action before theguards were able to react.

In Thailand, labour rights supporters including Thai Labour Campaign responded to the IUF call for solidarity by picketing the showcase M&S outlet in Phuket on April 20, distributing leaflets in support of the UK union struggle.

On April 24 in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), the IUF-affiliated Catering And Hotels Industries Employees General Union (CHIEGU) and Swire Beverages (Hong Kong) Employees General Union, joined by the ITUC/GUF/HKCTU Hong Kong Liaison Office (IHLO) and Asia Monitor Resource Centre rallied at the flagship M&S outlet to display banners, distribute fliers and present an open letter to M&S head Stuart Rose.

In the UK, T&G/Unite continue to broaden pressure on the company through a variety of ongoing actions. To support the campaign, you can send a message to M&S corporate management by clicking here. Copies will be automatically sent to the T&G and to the IUF secretariat.