- Trade Union International Public Service & Allied Workers – Joins millions across the World in Celebrating International Nurses Day
- WFTU condemnation statement on the assassination of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
- Killing of Palestinian journalist widely condemned in Africa
- Israel does not rule out that it's to blame to Abu Akleh's death, report says
- Germany’s Position on Palestine: Twice on the Wrong Side of History?
- Supreme Court Judges take on Swaziland News in MPs judgement,editor advises them to approach South African courts
- Women rights organizations meet MPs, want abortion legalized
- IMF grants aid to Mozambique, six years after a financial scandal
- Conflict and Successive Climate Shocks Worsen Crisis in Northern Mozambique
- Honduras Rejects Exclusion of Countries in Americas Summit
- UN To Restart Cuban Resolutions Against the Blockade
- Cuban Authorities Confirm 42 Dead From Saratoga Hotel Explosion
- Nonprofit Professional Employees Union Condemns Attack on Abortion Rights
Trade Union International Public Service & Allied Workers – Joins millions across the World in Celebrating International Nurses Day
12 May 2022
The class oriented Trade Union International for Public Service and Allied (TUI-PS&A) pays tribute to the millions of nurses, midwives and the general fraternity across the world who, daily face great odds in their endeavour to care for the sick and promote good health in communities.
The International Nurses Day commemorates the life and struggle of Florence Nightingale, born on the 12th of May 1820, in Florence, Italy. Like Florence Nightingale, the nurses and midwives of today continue to engage in an unending struggle to revolutionize nursing and save countless lives. In the year 2020, the international nurses’ day is celebrated by WHO under the theme: “Nurses a catalyst for a brighter future for health around the globe” which as the TUI PS&A aligned ourselves with.
The world is facing an unprecedented moment in human history, a moment probably not seen since the outbreak and spread of the Spanish flu of 1918 and the Great Depression of 1929. In most countries around the world we have seen inadequate responses to the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to these gallant white coat fighters. COVID-19 has also exposed the failures of the capitalist system in providing universal health care for humanity around the world. The effects of which will be worse is developing countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The world health organisation already predicts a tragedy in most African counties because of poverty inequality and pre-existing diseases like TB, diabetes, and HIV.
In a world dominated by imperialist greed which puts profit before people’s lives, the modern day healthcare system is not without its challenges. Currently, the healthcare systems of all capitalist countries are fighting a losing battle against COVID -19 because for years, the Neoliberal policies have compelled nation states to outsource important components of health care, reduce its workforce and cut the overall spending in the social functions of states.
Just like Florence Nightingale, the nurses and midwives of today are engaged in a relentless struggle for properly stocked hospitals, hygienic conditions in health facilities, adequate training of nurses, and proper treatment of patients and employment of adequate personnel. We have seen an increase in the number of nurses testing positive for COVID 19 due to lack of adequate protective gears, screening and testing in workplaces around the world. As a result, many lives of nurses have been lost.
Under the new conditions brought about by the Coronavirus, Nurses and Midwives are presently waging a twin struggle to improve healthcare while simultaneously being called upon to put their lives in danger as they take a lead in the fight against the global coronavirus, all without sufficient and adequate protective personal equipment.
As we salute the nursing profession for the vital role it continues to play in nursing the world, the TUI-PS&A calls upon all nurses and midwives to join it in the struggle to fight and defeat the twin evils of capitalism and its highest stage, imperialism, and in its place put a more people centered and a more human system-socialism. Like Nightingale who fought for properly stocked hospitals, hygienic conditions in health facilities, adequate training of nurses, and proper treatment of patients. Indeed, today nurses are still engaging in the same struggle waging in efforts to improve healthcare and their working conditions while simultaneously being called upon by circumstances to put their lives in danger and take a lead in the fight against the global coronavirus.
In this regard, TUI-PS&A condemns cuts in the public healthcare system cuts as such leads to shortage of beds and vital supplies in hospitals, and vehemently opposed the idea of regarding the sick as a business opportunity to be taken an advantage of through private healthcare provision. This has led to a situation in which only a few rich elites have access to the best quality healthcare in many countries.
The TUI PS&A as a component of the class oriented family of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) believes that in recognising the nursing fraternity and honouring contributions made by nurses in society, we should call on all workers to join in celebrating this international day to demand for:
- An end in cuts on public spending, healthcare and other social functions of nation states.
- Adequate stock and staff in all healthcare facilities
- A stop to the privatisation of healthcare
- Safe working conditions and decent wages salaries for all healthcare workers in particular nurses.
- Protection of the trade union rights for all healthcare workers.
- Collective bargaining and organisational rights for all trade unions in both the public and private health sectors.
- Provision of Personal Personal Equipment (PPEs) for all nurses, doctors, porters, cleaners, ambulance drivers, admin workers, contact tracers and community healthcare workers in fieldwork and many others who are frontline providers of essential health service that are detecting, testing, isolating and treating patients in the fight against COVID-19.
As the TUI-PS&A, we firmly believe that the realisation of these demands will not only make the work of nurses and other healthcare workers more safe and fulfilling but result in a better equipped quality public healthcare system able to respond to healthcare needs of everyone irrespective of their financial status. These demands address both the plight of nurses and the broader public, particularly the working class that relies on accessible quality public service for their health needs.
The best way that nurses across the world can put into practice the 2020 International Nurses Day theme, “Nurses a catalyst for a brighter future for health around the globe” is by taking up and leading the struggle for the provision of free universal healthcare for all
Long live Revolutionary Nurses Day!!!
Transform Nursing Fraternity Now!!!
Forward with Decent Work!!!
Free HealthCare for All Now!!!
Zola Saphetha Reference
WFTU condemnation statement on the assassination of the Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
12 May 2022
The World Federation of Trade Unions, representing 105 million workers who live, work, and struggle in 133 countries on the 5 continents, strongly condemns the heinous and deliberate assassination of the renowned Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in the city of Jenin on Wednesday, while reporting on an Israeli raid.
Both the assassinated Shireen Abu Akleh and her colleague Ali Al-Samoudi who was severely injured in the murderous attack were wearing the notable International Standard bulletproof blue vest with the obvious and clear indication “PRESS”. This murder is added to the endless list of the daily crimes of the Israeli occupation forces against the heroic and unbowed people of Palestine.
The international class-oriented trade union movement reiterates its firm and undivided solidarity with the Palestinians and demands the immediate end to the raid, murders, and crimes of Israel and the unconditional release of the Palestinian political prisoners. We once again reassure our brothers and sisters in Palestine that they can always rely on our support and solidarity with their struggle until the final victory.
Killing of Palestinian journalist widely condemned in Africa
12 May 2022
Several African journalist organisations and institutions, on Thursday, condemned the killing of a veteran Al-Jazeera journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, who was shot dead while covering an Israeli military raid in the occupied West Bank, Anadolu News Agency reports.
"The Zimbabwe Union of Journalists (ZUJ) joins the rest of the world in condemning the killing of the Palestinian-American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh," the Union said in a statement.
Abu Akleh, 51, was shot in the head while covering an Israeli raid in the city of Jenin on Wednesday. Palestinian authorities and the Doha-based network say she was killed by Israeli forces.
ZUJ said it supports international calls for thorough investigations into the matter, so that perpetrators of such atrocious acts are made to account.
The Media Review Network (MRN), a South African lobby group, also condemned the killing.
"(Abu Akleh was) killed in cold blood whilst covering yet another Zionist attack on resistance forces in the Jenin Refugee Camp. This assassination is meant to send a clear intimidatory message to journalists who aim to counter Zionist hasbara," the MRN said in a statement.
Meanwhile, a group of media outlets across the world, including the Pan-African Television in Ghana and New Frame Publication in South Africa, have signed a petition condemning the killing.
"We stand with the people of Palestine who continue to resist the violent Israeli apartheid regime and brave journalists who put their lives on the line to tell their stories," the group said.
South Africa's third-largest party in parliament, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), also condemned the murder, saying the continued occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel has led to untold suffering, torture and war crimes.
The governments of Namibia and South Africa also denounced the killing.
"The targeting of journalists in the occupied territories, and in conflict zones like Ukraine and Afghanistan, appears to be part of a pattern of silencing the free press and is an outright contravention of international law," said Zane Dangor, Director-General of South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO).
It called on governments to respect their commitment to Press and Media freedom by not harming journalists.
"The ability of journalists to cover events as they take place is essential, and efforts to intimidate and assassinate members of the media cannot be allowed to continue with impunity," DIRCO said in a statement.
Israel does not rule out that it's to blame to Abu Akleh's death, report says
12 May 2022
An Israeli army investigation into the targeting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh has not ruled out holding members of the Israeli army's undercover Duvdevan Unit responsible for her death, Israeli newspaper Haaretz revealed.
The paper reported that a preliminary examination confirmed that members of Duvdevan Unit fired bullets in the Jenin camp towards the northern area, where Abu Akleh and the press teams were present.
Following these developments, Amos Harel, a military analyst for the newspaper, reported: "Wednesday evening saw feverish rounds of communication between Israel and the Palestinian Authority regarding whether the bullet removed from Abu Akleh's body would be turned over for examination in Israel."
According to the newspaper, the investigation showed that "the bullet, which struck her in the head, is 5.56 millimetres in diameter and was shot from an M16 rifle." The investigation also indicated that she was 150 metres away when she was targeted by the Duvdevan forces, who fired dozens of bullets towards the area where the press teams were.
In spite of this, "the information is insufficient to determine which side fired the bullet" as both the Israeli army and Palestinian armed factions in the West Bank use the same guns, according to the summary of the initial examination by the occupation army, the paper added.
The Israeli army claimed that during its military operation on the outskirts of Jenin refugee camp, hundreds of shots were fired at its soldiers, who responded to the source of fire, specifically towards a gunman who was on the roof of one of the houses.
In an effort by the occupation army to escape responsibility for the involvement of its members and soldiers in the assassination of Abu Akleh, it claimed in its preliminary examination that "a Palestinian gunman was seen on the roof of a house, in addition to a gunman and other people who were looking out from a window."
The initial examination of the occupation army stated that most of the shootings by Israeli soldiers were direct southwards, while Abu Akleh and those with her were to the north of the military force that fired.
However, according to what the newspaper reported – based on the army's examination – "it appears that some Israeli fire was directed northwards as well".
The United Nations, US, UK and EU have called for a thorough investigation into 51-year-old's death.
Germany’s Position on Palestine: Twice on the Wrong Side of History?
09 May 2022
There is no doubt that Nazi Germany was on the wrong side of history, and it took an enormous amount of international effort to bring Germany over to the other side of history after the end of the Second World War. A noble way of doing it was by strengthening the democratic basis of post-Nazi Germany, and by re-writing its educational curricula as well as granting it a leading role in the struggle against racism at the heart of the continent. This was complemented by a noble attempt to regulate the local arms industry and arms exports so as to ensure as a comprehensive restitutive process as possible.
However, one important element of this restitution, still believed to be crucial by the German political system, is unconditional support for Israel. A position that creates the impression that Germany, as a State, might err again. This time, it is much less dramatic than the previous deviation from normalcy and humanity but, nonetheless, is highly worrying and deeply disappointing that Germany as a State – and hopefully not its society – did not deduce fully and honestly the moral lessons its darker history should have taught it.
Germany, that is West Germany until the late 1980s, and the West in general, believed that the road to West Germany’s rehabilitation and re-admission to the “civilized nations” had to go through the legitimization of the colonization of Palestine. Thus, within three years after the end of the Second World War, the West was asking the world to grant, simultaneously, legitimacy for the new Germany and for the creation of a Jewish State over much of historical Palestine, as if the two demands were logically and, worse still, morally connected. Hence, Israel became one of the first states to declare that there was a “new Germany”, in return for unconditional support for its policies, complemented by huge financial and military aid from West Germany.
After the unification of Germany and the hegemonic role it played since then in the EU foreign policies, the German position on Israel and Palestine became paramount and influenced the continent’s overall policy. It is only recently that those of us who are active for, and on behalf of, Palestine noted the slippery road on which Germany – as a state – slides once more onto the wrong side of history.
It was unavoidable that large sections of the German Civil society, especially among the younger generation, would navigate successfully between their acknowledgment of the Nazi past and their contemporary local and international moral agendas. In fact, the past produced a generation of conscientious young Germans joining others in the West in fighting for human and civil rights, wherever they are violated.
For any German with a modicum of decency in them, it would be impossible to exclude from this moral conversation the racist Israeli policies. The inevitable result was the emergence of a strong German solidarity movement with the Palestinian people and their just struggle for liberation.
As happened elsewhere, in particular after the First Intifada, and even more so in this century, Israel reacted forcefully to this shift in European public opinion. When this original solidarity impulse swelled into a massive social movement, galvanized and encouraged by initiatives such as the BDS – Israel went to war. Israel weaponized anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in order to prod the German political system to do its utmost to silence the more conscientious voices in its civil society.
I experienced the result of this campaign. Every now and then, my lectures in Germany were canceled at the last moment, and the organizers had to move me and other speakers to alternative venues, organized in haste and with little time to re-publicize the events, which was the main purpose of these acts of intimidation from above.
German politics deteriorated further and even deeper into a moral abyss when, on May 17, 2019, almost three years ago to date, the German federal parliament – the Bundestag – passed a resolution in which the BDS movement was condemned as anti-Semitic. Governmental institutions of Germany were called on not to support any activities of the BDS movement or any groups that “are anti-Semitic and/or demand the boycott of Israelis and Israeli companies and products”. This unusual move of the parliament was consensually endorsed by all the political parties: the Christian Union parties (CDU and CSU), the Social Democrats (SPD), the Liberal Party (FDP) and the Green Party.
The distorted logic of this resolution is based on equating anti-Semitism with criticism of Israel and Zionism. Since it was passed, it led to the cancellation of academic and cultural events associated with Palestine or – which is more draconian – it applied to any event organized by people known to be pro-Palestinian. Moreover, German citizens were in danger of losing their jobs and jeopardizing their career prospects if they take part in pro-Palestinian demonstrations or any act of solidarity.
In its overall foreign policy, Germany is no different from other member states of the EU. A policy which is a mixture of indifference towards Israel’s abuse of Palestinian rights, while solidifying strategic, military and economic ties with Israel. At the same time, it succumbs to pro-Israeli lobby groups in an attempt to bring down politicians who dare to identify with the Palestinian cause and stifles any significant debate on Zionism and Israel’s policy. In Germany, however, the policy of silencing is even more draconian, and the military aid and economic connections are even stronger than of any other EU member State.
This is not just fear of Israel or guilt about the Holocaust. These factors are important but there is another darker history that official Germany does not want to face. Even a relatively cursory discussion on Germany’s responsibility for the suffering of the Palestinians will show clearly that it was post-Nazi Germany that enabled the world to absolve, not only West Germany but Europe as a whole, from the Holocaust, by fully supporting the dispossession of the Palestinians. It was much easier to choose this road to rehabilitation than to properly deal, not only with anti-Semitism, but with all forms of European racism, manifested mainly nowadays as Islamophobia, but also as racism against “non-European” or “non-white” minorities all over the continent.
Israel’s policy towards the Palestinians is racist to its very core, and one cannot create hierarchies of racism or a club of “accepted” racism, or a legitimate one. You would have expected Germany to lead the anti-racist campaign, not only in Europe but in the world at large, instead of leading the support, as a state, to one of the longest racist projects in our times in the historical land of Palestine.
There is no telling when and how this erroneous and immoral German position will come back to haunt Germany. What is clear, and encouraging, is that there are a large number of Germans who do not want to slide on this slippery road and are doing all they can to stop this immoral deterioration and demanding the making of a real “new” Germany, which we are all craving for as conscientious and moral human beings.
Supreme Court Judges take on Swaziland News in MPs judgement,editor advises them to approach South African courts
12th May, 2022
. Judge Jacobus Annandale, in a judgement that was allegedly influenced came hard on this publication when dismissing the bail appeal of the incarcerated pro-democracy Members of Parliament(MPs) Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube.
This comes after this Swaziland News published a series of investigative articles exposing how Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala allegedly influenced the judgement to deny the pro-democracy MPs bail.
Evidence in our possession suggests that Judge Annandale wrote the judgement and subsequently handed it over to CJ Maphalala who ‘cooked’ it before being delivered on Thursday.
“To top it all, still in the process of drafting this judgement, we noted with grave concern that the social media(Swaziland News, 16 April 2022), driven from outside our jurisdiction, has severely scandalized this Court. Impropriety, collusion and judicial compromise is touted. Worse, equally unfounded allegations of division and undermining ethics by the members of this bench are also presented as the truth. His Lordship the Honorable Chief Justice is not spared either. Yellow journalism at its worst has not deterred this Court from exercising its constitutional, ethical and legal function without fear or favour, according to law,” reads the judgment in part.
On another note, Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini advised all the Supreme Court judges handling the matter including Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala to instruct Attorney General Sifiso Khumalo to take this publication and the editor to the South African courts if they felt scandalized.
“It’s important to remind these Judges that they are not immune to public criticism and investigative journalism. Swaziland News is a legal personna, registered in South Africa, these Judges have a right to take us to court, maybe we can get a fair platform to expose the corruption within the judiciary, particularly the injustice against the incarcerated pro-democracy MPs. These Judges do not even deserve to be referred to as “Honorable Judges”, they are corrupt to the core and compromised.I am armed with both electronic and documentary evidence substantiating that the MPs Supreme Court judgement was cooked. Any brave Judge who believes we scandalized the court must file an application and challenge us to justify our investigative articles,”said the editor.
The editor said it remains a shame that a Judicial system could be headed by a corrupt Chief Justice Bheki Maphalala whose fraud and corruption scandals are well documented.
Women rights organizations meet MPs, want abortion legalized
10 May 2022
Women rights organizations met with Members of Parliament(MPs)at Sibayeni Lodge, Matsapha on Monday to discuss provisions of the proposed Health Bill 2022.
These organisations include:SAFAIDS, SWAGAA, One Billion Rising, Women Unlimited, Journey of Hope for girls and women Eswatini, Liphimbo Labomake, Gender Links, CANGO, SNUS and FLAS.
Reached for comments, One Billion Rising Africa Coordinator Colani Hlatswako who was speaking on behalf of the organizations said they were concerned about the risks associated with unsafe abortion fueled by “conscientious objection” for religious or moral reasons.
“Unplanned pregnancies, fear of rejection by partner, the scourge of gender based violence in the country, these has resulted to a significant impact on maternal mortality rates or put lives in danger,”he said.
The One Billion Rising Coordinator said most women and girls resort to unsafe abortion when carrying a pregnancy that cause substantial pain or suffering.
“People also suffer from the physical and mental health risks associated with unsafe abortions. As organisations we want to make it known to Parliament that unsafe abortion affects both women and men, however, women are affected the most. Based on the above we call for legal, safe and accessible abortion for all women and girls,” said the One Billion Rising Coordinator.
IMF grants aid to Mozambique, six years after a financial scandal
10 May 2022
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday granted a 432 million euro loan to Mozambique, the first since it withdrew six years ago at the time of the so-called "hidden debt" scandal involving the government.
The outline of the deal was announced in late March. "The IMF said in a statement: "These provisions will support the economic recovery and the measures put in place to reduce public debt and financial vulnerabilities. "This programme supports the government's ambitious reform plan," it added.
In 2016, one of the country's biggest corruption scandals broke in Mozambique: secret loans worth almost two billion euros were granted by foreign banks to Mozambican public companies and guaranteed by the state.
After these revelations, the IMF suspended its budgetary aid, followed by all international donors. Since then, the financial institution has only granted emergency aid, after Cyclone Idai in 2019 and in 2020 in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
Deprived of international financing, Mozambique, a former Portuguese colony, defaulted on its debt and its currency, the metical, collapsed, causing the most serious financial crisis since its independence in 1975.
A subsequent independent audit uncovered the misappropriation of €426 million that remains unaccounted for.
Some 19 defendants are currently appearing before a special court in a high-security prison in Maputo. Mozambique's former president, Armando Guebuza, has been called as a witness.
Conflict and Successive Climate Shocks Worsen Crisis in Northern Mozambique
11 May 2022
Mozambique has been battered by five tropical storms along its northern coastal areas since the start of this year. Tens of thousands of families have been affected, including refugees and people internally displaced by ongoing violence in the oil-rich province of Cabo Delgado.
The last storm, Tropical Cyclone Gombe, made landfall on March 11. It affected some 736,000 people, including tens of thousands of refugees, asylum-seekers and the communities hosting them.
Grainne OHara, the Division of International Protection for the U.N. refugee agency, recently participated in a high-level mission to Mozambique to view the impact of the climate disasters and assess the needs.
She said a visit to Maratane, Mozambique's main refugee hosting settlement, was an eye-opening experience and that the devastation caused by Cyclone Gombe was huge. She noted that upward of 80 percent of the shelters of both the refugees and hosting communities have been damaged.
"We saw remnants of peoples' homes, which quite literally had just melted away with the force of the cyclone... and we met with many families who had nothing left but the contents of their kitchen and some bamboo and some small amounts of plastic that they were able to salvage," Ohara said.
She added that the impact of conflict in Cabo Delgado and extreme weather events have left people extremely vulnerable, and that they are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance as well as physical, material, and legal protection.
"Unfortunately, the situation on the ground is one of chronic underfunding," she said. "And I came away from this visit having had the opportunity to see with my own eyes how serious the situation is there with a sense that this is one of those hidden, overlooked, and forgotten emergencies."
OHara said the UNHCR needs $36.7 million to scale up its assistance and protection operation in Mozambique this year.
Honduras Rejects Exclusion of Countries in Americas Summit
12 May 2022
Several presidents of the region such as those of Bolivia and Mexico, as well as those of the CARICOM, have rejected the exclusion from the Summit and affirmed that they will not attend the event if some countries are excluded.
The president of Honduras, Xiomara Castro rejected the exclusion of countries such as Nicaragua, Cuba, and Venezuela from the Summit of the Americas to be held in Los Angeles, United States, between June 6 and 10.
"If all the nations are not present, it is not the Summit of the Americas", highlighted the Honduran president and added a phrase of the national politician and journalist José Cecilio del Valle that says: "The most worthy study of an American is America".
The statement of rejection is added to that of many other voices from the region that have been raised in one way or another against the exclusion promoted by the United States against Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua.
Presidents Andrés Manuel López Obrador and Luis Arce, of Mexico and Bolivia respectively, stated that they would not attend the event if the attempt to exclude the aforementioned nations continues.
For its part, the Community of Caribbean States (CARICOM) expressed its rejection and the Premier of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Trinidad and Tobago, Amery Browne, raised their voices against the U.S. action.
At the same time, the more than fifty leaders who form part of the Puebla Group called for unity in the region and stressed that "we do not want the division of Latin America and the Caribbean, much less that this be protocolized in a selective Summit managed by the United States".
From other latitudes, countries such as China denounced the unilateral policy of the United States and rejected the exclusion of Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela from the continental gathering.
The Summit of the Americas, which is scheduled for next June in Los Angeles, United States, will be held for the first time in this nation since its initial edition in 1994.
UN To Restart Cuban Resolutions Against the Blockade
11 May 2022
On Wednesday, the Cuban Foreign Minister announced that UN General Assembly would resume the Caribbean Island's resolution against the blockade.
Bruno Rodriguez, Cuban Foreign Minister said Wednesday that the United Nations General Assembly will proceed again with the Cuban resolution requesting the end of the blockade imposed against the island by the U.S.
The Cuban Minister highlighted in his Twitter account the “necessity of putting an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”
He said that this was scheduled in the provisional agenda for the 77th session of the international organization without taking it to a vote answering the Cuban proposal.
The matter has been established in the official agenda of the General Assembly, to begin next September, and to be held until the same month of 2023. The item is intended to treat the unilateral U.S. siege against the Cubans.
By official estimates, until the half of 2021, the U.S. blockade has represented more than 150 billion dollars in losses for the Cuban government.
Cuban Authorities Confirm 42 Dead From Saratoga Hotel Explosion
10 May 2022
Hopes of finding survivors in the rubble are diminishing as time goes by. Authorities stressed they will not stop searching until all the people disappeared are found.
On Tuesday, Cuba's Health Ministry (MINSAP) confirmed that the number of deaths from the explosion at the Saratoga hotel amounts to 42 and the number of injured is 96.
Seventeen injured remain hospitalized, including 7 people in critical condition and 2 citizens in serious condition. Over the last few hours, however, 37 people have been discharged.
The Fire Department Director Colonel Luis Guzman announced that at least three hotel workers are still missing. "The search is focused on high risk areas such as the kitchen and dining room. So rescuers and firefighters are also protected," he pointed out.
Hopes of finding survivors in the rubble, however, are diminishing as time goes by. Cuban authorities have reiterated that they will not stop searching until all the people disappeared are found. Most of the deceased are Cubans, except for a young Spanish tourist.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel's administration has reiterated that the cause of the accident was a leak when a liquefied gas tanker truck was recharging a tank at the establishment.
Although the hotel was not operational at the time of the accident, 51 workers were inside getting it ready for its reopening, which was expected to happen on Wednesday, May 11.
Built in 1880, the Saratoga building had been operating as a hotel since 1911. This five-star luxury accommodation is located on the Paseo del Prado avenue, in downtown Havana, the area most visited by tourists who come to Cuba.
Nonprofit Professional Employees Union Condemns Attack on Abortion Rights
10 May 2022
The following statement was published by the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union against the attacks on abortion rights. Statements like this are a key starting point and should be the foundation for taking action in the streets and in workplaces to fight for abortion rights.
The officers of the Nonprofit Professional Employees Union, IFPTE Local 70, AFL-CIO, CLC are outraged by the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that would end the constitutional right to abortion. We also unequivocally condemn abortion restrictions and bans.
All people deserve the fundamental right to make their own decisions. Reproductive justice is about supporting a person’s right to choose the circumstances, if any, under which they have children. Abortion restrictions and bans signal contempt for pregnant people’s bodily autonomy and decision-making capacity, and grant states undue control over what should be private medical decisions.
Reproductive rights are workers rights, and abortion access is a labor issue. Economic empowerment and family planning—the ability to control whether to have children, how many children to have, and when to have them—are invariably linked. This type of autonomy is fundamental to self-determination and financial security. The denial of abortion services disproportionately harms Black and brown people, poor people, people with disabilities, immigrants, and LGBTQ people. Restricting reproductive rights is an assault on working people.
The draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey is part of a coordinated effort to curtail even more of Americans’ rights despite the will of the public. Justice Alito has put forward a dangerous and regressive line of thinking that could have implications for other cases, including those involving trans rights, contraception, marriage equality, interracial marriage, and sexuality. This cannot stand.
Elected officials at every level must take immediate action to safeguard abortion rights. We support current efforts to codify abortion protections into law and urge lawmakers to remove any remaining legal barriers that could be used to delay or deny access to abortion care. This includes ensuring that reproductive health care, including abortion, is available to all, not just those who can afford to pay for it.
This draft decision is not yet law. Abortion is still legal, and NPEU stands unequivocally with the reproductive justice workers who continue to ensure access to abortion care. We are grateful for our members’ labor on the frontlines of this work.
As union members, we will do everything in our power to stand up for reproductive rights in and out of our workplaces, and we call on others within the labor movement to join us in this fight.
Issued by NEHAWU International Service Centre
For more information, please contact Head Office