[Isocracy-members] The Universal Citizen March 2017

Lev Lafayette lev.lafayette at isocracy.org
Sat Apr 1 21:46:18 AEDT 2017

The Universal Citizen

Newsletter of the Isocracy Network, Inc., (A0054881M), March 2017


Our end-of-month newsletter is, alas, a day late. Making it truly a
"poisson d'avril". Nevertheless, here we are and with a quite a collection
of events and actions.

In this issue we have our regular selection of articles (two) and 'blogs
(eighteen) that have held over March. We
also have several labour action items in Australia and around the world,
and a new section of "labour victories".

Editor Wanted!

With the acquisition of ISBNs and with submissions pending from different
sources that wish to be published under the Isocracy name, it is necessary
for us to find an editor.

Not someone who checks spelling and grammar primarily, but rather one who
evaluates submissions and determines whether they are appropriate for
publication under our name.

If a member would like to volunteer or recommend someone, it would be

Articles and 'Blogs

Only two articles on the Isocracy website this month (please submit
more!), but an extraordinary 30(!) 'blog posts, 12 more than the record
breaking score from last month. At this rate we'll have to move to a
weekly newsletter...

Argumentum ad temperantiam by Bryan L. Jones

Okay, so I have a bone to pick with this popular image.

I know everyone likes it, but it is deeply troubling. My main problem with
this is that it presents us with a Balance Fallacy or an inverse false
dilemma wherein the truth is only to be found between two extremes. From
Rational wiki, which does a nice job explaining why this is a problem:

    "While the rational position on a topic is often between two extremes,
this cannot be assumed without actually considering the evidence.
Sometimes the extreme position is actually the correct one, and
sometimes the entire spectrum of belief is wrong, and truth exists in
an orthogonal direction that hasn't yet been considered."

Philosophically speaking this is where the problem of finding a true
source on political matters is problematic.

Read more: http://isocracy.org/content/argumentum-ad-temperantiam

The Four Horsemen of the 21st Century Apocalypse by Joe Toscano

Over the past four decades the world has been plunged into an economic
dark age. While the rich get richer and tighten their grip on power, the
poor find it increasingly difficult to survive and more importantly find
themselves excluded from the institutions that make the laws. It is no
accident after forty years of this failed experiment the level of
disillusionment with the political and economic process is rapidly

During the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century, the Age of
Revolution dramatically changed the role of the state. The state was
primarily the mechanism by which those with power and wealth maintained
that power and wealth in the most brutal fashion. The Age of Revolution
loosened the grip the ruling class held on the state and forced the state
to take an active interest in the welfare of its citizens. The state was
transformed from an instrument whose primary purpose was to ensure those
who exercised power continued to exercise power into an instrument by
which the basic human needs of its citizens were met. The provision of
public education, public health, the building of public infrastructure,
the growth of a dual economy where the public sector competed with the
private sector, the introduction of laws and regulations to protect
working people and the introduction of social security benefits for the
elderly, the disabled, the unemployed and single parents occurred as a
direct result of mass upheavals. The deaths and imprisonment of millions
of people around the globe was the price that was paid by those who
demanded the inalienable rights and liberties they believed they were born

Read more: http://isocracy.org/content/four-horsemen-21st-century-apocalypse


House Bill 610 makes some large changes. by  C.J.Chesser

All Guns Blazing by Joe Toscano

Thanks Julia by Joe Toscano

The Shambling Mound's Sixth Week by Lev Lafayette

Wow! A Trade Surplus by Joe Toscano

Movie Review: A Fistful of Rubles by Richard O'Brien

We the people are being sidetracked by C.J.Chesser

Poor Alan Tudge by Joe Toscano

The Future is Kinda Boring by Joe Toscano

Bad Media Habits by Steve Sprigis

Trevor Grant by Joe Toscano

Howard's Broad Church Self-Immolates by Joe Toscano

The Shambling Mound's Seventh Week by Lev Lafayette

Groper Lite by Joe Toscano

West Australian Election 2017: Bring your gauges by Lev Lafayette

Backfired by Joe Toscano

Blood Lust by Joe Toscano

Divided Nation and Little People  by Joe Toscano

Love It or Leave It by Joe Toscano

The Shambling Mound's Eighth Week by Lev Lafayette

Everything But The Kitchen Sink by Joe Toscano

Death and taxes by Joe Toscano

Reorganizing The Executive Branch  by Dean Edwards

Poor Sally by Joe Toscano

Hamma and Raqqa by Marshall Lewis

Equality of Opportunity by Joe Toscano

The Shambling Mound's Ninth Week by Lev Lafayette

The Cat's Out of the Bag

Hurting from the Unfair Work Commission by Joe Toscano

Insult, Offend, Humiliate by Joe Toscano


IFFCO Egypt union leaders acquitted of criminal charges face retrial

Workers at the IFFCO edible oils factory in Suez, Egypt are fighting to
defend their union against employer brutality and government repression.
Towards the end of 2016, the union formally requested a customary
end-of-year salary adjustment to help offset runaway inflation. On
December 26 workers were informed that money had been allocated, but the
bulk of it would be distributed to management, with workers receiving
little. Local management rejected the union’s request for formal
negotiations to discuss distribution of the salary adjustment, prompting
the union to organize a peaceful protest and declare its intention to hold
a strike.

On December 29, police raided the homes of the union president and general
secretary and four other workers. And on January 3, police stormed the
factory and arrested 13 striking workers. On January 29 the workers were
all acquitted in a Suez court of 'inciting' a strike, but the prosecution
has appealed the decision and the workers
will be tried again. Fifteen IFFCO workers including the union President
and General Secretary are barred from returning to work and union members
are under pressure to ‘resign’.

The IFFCO workers need your support - send a message to the company and
the president of Egypt:

Turkey: Union Leaders Face Prison

Fourteen leaders and members of Turkish union TÜMTİS’ Ankara branch
are facing imprisonment on politically-motivated charges dating back to

The 14 men are among 17 swept up in dawn raids in 2007 following a
complaint by a logistics company where TÜMTİS had just completed a
successful organisation drive.

Unbelievably, despite international protests and glaring inconsistencies
and irregularities in their treatment and the cases against them, they
were sentenced in 2012 to prison terms for the crimes of "founding an
organisation for the purpose of committing crime, violating the right to
peaceful work through coercion in order to obtain unfair pecuniary gain
and obstructing enjoyment of union rights".

The convictions and process have breached international law. TÜMTİS
and the International Transport Workers Federation appealed against the
sentence, but despite all the evidence of abuse of process, the appeal
court has upheld the

Please take a moment to send off your protest message to show your
solidarity with these workers:


Keep Cadbury Dunedin open!

Four hundred workers in Dunedin, New Zealand have been fighting to save
their Cadbury plant since parent company Mondelez announced on February 15
that it plans to close the facility. Cadbury Dunedin is the city’s largest
private sector employer, and indirectly supports a far larger number of

The former Kraft Foods Inc. bought UK-based Cadbury in 2010 in a takeover
that was financed with massive debt. When Mondelez was spun out of Kraft
in 2012, that debt remained on the new company’s books. Mondelez workers
around the world have been paying for the takeover with sell-offs,
closures, outsourcing and downsizing to fund outsize returns to top
shareholders and corporate executives. Last year alone, Mondelez
eliminated 9,000 jobs.

The Dunedin factory with its well-known brands produces healthy sales. But
for years, Mondelez has vacuumed equity out of the plant by extracting
‘dividends’ which exceed the company’s net income. Now they want to shut

Send a message to the company, calling on it to reverse its decision to
close the Dunedin factory.


Coca-Cola's bottler Suppresses Union in Indonesia

Coca-Cola's Australian-based bottler Coca-Cola Amatil is systematically
violating basic rights in an effort to stamp out independent and
democratic trade unions at its Indonesian operations. And Coca-Cola
corporate management in the US knows the full history but has failed to
remedy the abuses.

When  Coca-Cola workers in the Jakarta - Cibitung area in Central Java
began organizing an independent union in March 2015, management responded
by harassing members and taking disciplinary action against the leaders.
Union chairman Atra Narwantwo was suspended - the prelude to dismissal -
on June 30, 2015 in a procedure which egregiously violated basic legal
requirements and due process. When the local Labour Office issued a
recommendation for immediate reinstatement Coca-Cola management rejected
the recommendation and brought the case to the higher Industrial Court,
employing the services of a notorious union-busting legal firm. The Court
ruled for termination on October 5, 2016. Local management has rejected
the union's request for collective bargaining negotiations, and insists on
barring Narwanto from union-management meetings, despite the fact that he
remains the elected union chairman.

Amatil management reacted with similar brutality when Coca-Cola workers in
Bawen (West Java) began organizing an independent union in November 2016.
The union was legally registered on February 9, 2017, and held its first
general assembly on February 18, electing Lutfi Ariyanto as chairman.
Three days later, Ariyanto was transferred to a workplace 170 kilometers
away. Three days after this, he was issued an alleged 'second warning
letter' without having received a first. And on March 16 he was informed
that he was terminated, effective April 1.

The IUF has repeatedly called on Amatil management at all levels and the
Coca-Cola Company in the US to remedy these blatantly anti-union
practices. There has been no positive response from either company.
Coca-Cola Amatil is the sole bottler of Coca-Cola products in Australia,
New Zealand, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji and Samoa. The Coca-Cola
Company headquartered in the United States holds a 29% share in Coca-Cola
Amatil, licenses its brands to Amatil and supplies the proprietary
concentrate. The Coca-Cola Company bears responsibility for what goes on
inside the Coca-Cola system.

Send a message to The Coca-Cola Company in the US, telling them to act to
ensure that the two dismissed union leaders are immediately reinstated,
the company stops harassing and victimizing union leaders and enters into
good faith collective bargaining negotiations with the independent and
democratic unions working with the IUF at Indonesian facilities.


Good News

Bangladeshi Unionists Released

The 35 Bangladeshi unionists and garment workers arrested since December
last year have all been released, following an international campaign led
by IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union.  Over 10,742 of you
signed the online campaign on LabourStart, making it one of our largest
campaigns this year.

IndustriALL Global Union General Secretary Valter Sanches welcomed the
decision to release the jailed activists: "We have seen an incredible show
of global solidarity and this is an important victory for garment workers
in Bangladesh, sending a strong message to the country's industry to enter
into a constructive dialogue with the trade unions. The issue that sparked
the crackdown on unions at the end of last year still remains. We will
continue to support the fight for higher wages and will closely monitor
the situation until all charges are dropped."

IndustriALL has produced a very short video
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwoBm0YM8vE&feature=youtu.be) showing how
successful this campaign was.

Australian unions defeat lockout and strike new agreement

Lactalis/Parmalat have lifted their 61 day lockout and withdrawn
proceedings to terminate the existing enterprise bargaining agreement
after the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Electrical Trades
Union struck a new agreement with the company which strengthens protection
against precarious work.

Read more (http://www.iuf.org/w/?q=node/5448)

Uzbekistan labour defender Elena Urlaeva Released

Elena Urlaeva was released on March 24 after 23 days of forced psychiatric
'treatment', a success for the international campaign on her behalf.

Urlaeva, who has a long history of arrest and abuse at the hands of the
government, was detained by police on March 1 to prevent a scheduled
meeting with representatives of the International Trade Union
Confederation and the World Bank,
at which she planned to discuss the problem of human trafficking in
Uzbekistan. Thousands of people around the world rallied to her defense,
sending messages to the authorities demanding her release.



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Lev Lafayette, BA (Hons), GradCertTerAdEd (Murdoch), GradCertPM, MBA (Tech
Mngmnt) (Chifley)
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