PT Kizone, an apparel factory in Tangerang, Indonesia, held major contracts with Nike and Adidas. In September of 2010, the factory started to withhold its workers’ severance pay. In January 2011, the factory failed to pay its workers their monthly compensation. At the end of the month, the owner of PT Kizone, Jin Woo Kim, fled to his home country of South Korea. The factory declared bankruptcy and closed on 1 April 2011. PT Kizone fired all its workers, to whom the factory owed $3.4 million in severance compensation.
In 2014, Brown University, a private research university located in Providence, Rhode Island, enrolled nearly 9,000 students and employed over 1,500 workers, more than a hundred of whom worked in the school’s libraries. The United Service and Allied Workers of Rhode Island (USAW-RI) is the workers union that represented nearly half of these library workers in addition to the school’s dining employees, parking officers, service responders, and mailroom drivers.
Texas has consistently ranked poorly among other states with regard to education. In 2010, Texas ranked dead last in the percentage of adults with high school diplomas and ranked very low in spending per student in public schools, a problem that became exacerbated in 2011. During the Great Recession in 2007, Texas was able to avoid the housing industry meltdown and soaring unemployment rates that plagued the rest of the United States due to its booming oil and gas industries.
University of Glasgow students occupy Hetherington House protesting proposed education cuts (Free Hetherington Campaign), 2011
In January of 2011, reports began to circulate at the University of Glasgow that massive cuts were coming to academic programs, staff employment rates and student services. Student activists targeted the abandoned Hetherington Research club, a former post-graduate club that had been shut down in January of 2010 due to a previous round of budget cuts, as a potential place of occupation from which protesters could issue demands against austerity. The university was beginning renovations on the building that appeared geared towards the university selling it as private office space.
In 2010, Italy faced high levels of public debt due to a financial crisis. The Italian economy was near 2 trillion euros in outstanding debt and by 2011 the debt was projected to continue to rise. Thus, the Italian Parliament enacted austerity policies, which are utilized to decrease debt during unfavorable economic circumstances.
In the fall of 2009, the University of California Board of Regents met at UCLA to discuss and vote for a tuition hike necessary for them to deal with shrinking budget and spending cuts across the board. The Universities’ budget deficits were associated with those troubling the state of California. The proposed increase in tuition of 32% would force annual tuition costs above $10,000 for the first time in history.
On 14 June 2010, the High Court of Israel ruled to abolish state grants given to students at Jewish seminaries, or yeshivas. Prior to this decision married yeshiva students with children had received these grants to support their studies, but for nearly ten years secular students of higher education had not. The Knesset had passed a bill in 2000 ceasing stipends of secular students. Soon after this, Ornan Yekutieli, a Jerusalem councilman and activist, petitioned the Knesset to end the support of yeshiva students as well.
In February of 2010, Quebec Finance Minister Raymond Bachand called for what he deemed a "cultural revolution" to change the way the Quebecois populace used public services, including a tuition fee hike for post-secondary education.
French students and workers force government to abandon new sub-minimum wage policy for young workers, 1994
1993, the Conservative French government, under Prime Minister Édouard
Balladur, enacted the contrat d’insertion professionelle (professional
insertion contract, CIP), a new wage policy intended to address the extremely
high level of unemployment among French youth. At the time, one out of four
French youth between the ages of 18 and 26 were out of work. The French
government published decrees in late February 1994 that announced CIP and its
main provision: the establishment of new entry-level wages for young people
The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) is the largest university in Latin America, with over 270,000 enrolled students. It is credited with educating a number of Mexican presidents as well as prominent Latin American academics. In 1999, students attending UNAM paid approximately $0.02 for semester tuition.
In the spring and early summer of 2009, the Rochester City School District faced serious budget cuts to its schools. Among the schools to be affected was the magnet School of the Arts (SOTA), one of the highest performing schools in the district, which placed a special emphasis on the inclusion of arts in the student curriculum.
There was a scheduled School Board Meeting to be held regarding the budget cuts on June 10, at which time a vote on whether they were to pass was to take place.
January of 2006 in France was tense time. Economic growth in 2005 had been unexpectedly poor and national unemployment was at nearly 10%, totaling more than 2.5 million people. Youth unemployment was particularly problematic, with the under-26 population suffering a joblessness rate of 22-23% nationwide and 40% or 50% in France’s poorest communities. In fact, youth angst and dissatisfaction, significantly influenced by the high unemployment rate, was so high by the end of 2005 that urban riots forced France to declare a two month state of emergency.
Luis Fortuño was elected Governor of Puerto Rico and sworn in on January 2, 2009. Two months into his term, Fortuño announced his plan to repair Puerto Rico’s struggling economy. He called for severe budget cuts, which some speculated would result in the laying off of over 30,000 government employees. Fortuño’s economic plan would be met with much resistance from workers, teachers, and students. In May, workers organized a march to San Juan in protest against the plans. In October, workers organized a general strike to protest these same budget cuts.
In 2003, the government of South Korea announced a ban on beef imported from the United States. Prior to the ban, South Korea had been the third largest purchaser of U.S. beef product. The decision to ban the product came after an animal in Washington was discovered to suffer from mad-cow disease. All together, more than fifty countries decided to ban U.S. beef imports after the incident, and consequently, the value of U.S. beef exports declined by $2.4 billion dollars over a three-year period.
Post-WWI China was fraught with political turbulence and social unrest. The Qing Dynasty was overthrown in 1911 and the Republic of China was instated in its place, ending thousands of years of imperial rule in the country and generating a host of new streams of intellectual and political thought. However, warlords still ruled strong throughout many of the provinces, fueling a chaotic and backwards politics that an emerging intelligentsia sought to change.
In May of 2010, the United Kingdom held its general elections. The Conservative Party formed the new government by making an alliance with a smaller party, the Liberal Democrats.
In May of 2010, the United Kingdom held its general elections. One of the candidates, Nick Clegg, ran on a platform that included a promise to vote against any proposals to raise tuition fees for students. However, by October of the same year, Clegg changed his stance on the issue. The potential for a change in the cap on tuition fees from £3,290 to £9,000 was on the table. The government also announced substantial budget cuts, particularly for public services. The news of these issues resulted in an outcry of protest from the student population across the United Kingdom.
In the winter of 2004, the Charest Government of Quebec cut $103 million in grants for low-income students at Quebec universities and CEGEP (junior colleges). The Quebec people disliked the Charest government to begin with, and in early December, students threatened to go on strike.
Benin gained its independence from France in 1960 and was then named Dahomey. Colonel Mathieu Kérékou took power of the country in a coup in 1972 and later renamed the country the People’s Republic of Benin, organized the economy under a Marxist-Leninist ideology, and outlawed all political parties except his People’s Revolutionary Party of Benin. By the 1980s, Kérékou remained as the president of Benin, but the economy was failing. The government had to lower government aid to students and the salaries for civil servants and in 1988 the state owned banks crashed. Fa
Prior to 1997, students in Malta received a full stipend to attend a University or post-secondary school. In 1997, as a portion of the full budget reform meant to decrease the large deficit, the Labour party of Malta proposed the reduction of the student stipend from a yearly, incremental stipend to a flat Lm50 per month. This proposed reform would also make 50% of the stipend be paid in the form of a loan, as opposed to a grant (with the exception of students attending the Institute of Health Care).
In 2001, the state of Pennsylvania started a process that eventually led to a full state takeover of the School District of Philadelphia. Governor Tom Ridge, followed by Governor Mark Schweiker, sought this takeover due to the dismal track record of the public schools in Philadelphia. With the takeover came the privatization of many of Philadelphia's lowest achieving schools. Edison Schools, Inc., a for-profit school management firm, eventually received a contract to run 20 schools in Philadelphia.