The Belgian workers strike of 1960-61, often referred to as “Winter Strike” or “The Strike of the Century”, was considered to be one of the most important Belgian strikes of the 20th century. Strike history in Belgium had always been slightly unconventional compared to Northern European, North American, and French and Italian strikes. Differences existed in the frequency of strikes, the size of the strikes, as well as the duration. Belgium had frequent strikes pre World War II, and this history of striking contributed to the success of the Winter Strike.
As the nationwide struggle for civil rights in the United States, led by
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, continued into 1964, tension between civil
rights activists and the city government was rising in St. Augustine,
Florida. Public institutions remained segregated, and Klu Klux Klan
violence against African Americans increased, despite activists’
protests and pleas to the government.
At the beginning of May 2013, Brazil was seen internationally as a development success and was preparing for the first of three major international sporting events in four years. However, a twenty-cent price hike in Sao Paulo’s bus and metro tickets sparked the largest protests Brazil had seen in years. The MPL (Movimento Passe Livre/Free Fare Movement) started the protests in response to the fare hikes, but the protests came to represent popular discontent with the Brazilian government.
Jacques Chirac became president of France with a majority 53 to 47 vote in a close May 1995 presidential election. Chirac had little time to celebrate, however. Chirac faced the daunting tasks of fixing France’s waning economy and addressing widening social inequality. At the time, France’s economy was limping along with unemployment at 12.3% - higher than any other leading industrialised nation.
Black South Africans suffering under restrictive racially-based laws relied heavily on public transportation to commute to their jobs in the urban center of Johannesburg. One community, Alexandra Township of Johannesburg, experienced a fare hike from five cents to six cents in 1943, which put financial strain on local individuals and families, for whom transportation constituted a major household expense.
The Swedish General Strike of 1909 occurred near the beginning of a decades-long conflict between the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) and the Swedish Employers Association (SAF). It came after the successful two-day general strike in 1902 for universal suffrage emboldened organized labor. The depression of 1908 had depressed prices, creating surpluses in good stocks, and leading employers to repeatedly attempt to lower wages and cut back workers’ collective bargaining rights by threatening lockouts.
Florida wade-ins to end racial segregation of public beach and pools (Civil Rights Movement) 1945-1964
In a time that many considered the “post-Jim Crow” era, racial segregation of unequal public facilities remained the norm throughout Florida. First expressed in the Fort Lauderdale Daily News in 1927, African American communities were unhappy with being constrained to a single “colored leisure beach”; an uninhabited and inconvenient strip of land that was inferior to the “white beaches”. It was not until 1945 that African American leaders in Dade County began to plan action to challenge and draw attention to this injustice.
Gay rights advocates in the United Methodist Church had been arguing for decades, beginning at least since 1972, for changing the Church policy on gay rights, including their ban on officiating at same-sex weddings, and prohibiting openly gay clergy. The issues had been raised at each of the 2004 and 2008 General Conferences where policy for the Church could be debated and set.
On 9 June 1987 workers of the Sindicato de Trabajadores de Lunafil (Lunafil Thread Factory Workers Union, or SITRALU) were given unwelcome news by management.
The Lunafil factory was located on the main highway in Amatitlan, just 15 miles from Guatemala City (capital of Guatemala). In that factory workers spun cotton grown on Guatemalan plantations into thread. The thread was then shipped to other factories for Guatemalan workers to use in sewing garments for export, the so-called maquiladoras.
Organic Farmer and Shadbush Collective protest development of natural gas well on neighboring farm, 2012-2013.
Maggie Henry and her husband Dale have managed an 88-acre organic farm in North Beaver Township, Lawrence County—located in western Pennsylvania—for the past three decades. The Henry’s produce pork, poultry and eggs, and service Pittsburg area restaurants.
Ciba-Geigy was an international chemical corporation based in Europe, specializing in the production of dies and pharmaceuticals. During the 1930’s, Ciba-Geigy established a secluded factory in Toms River, Ocean County, New Jersey, where it synthesized vat dies and other pigments. The Tom’s River operation was a major employer in the community, while secretively disposing of toxic factory waste in unlined pits on site. The operation expanded over three decades, and, in 1966, Ciba-Geigy constructed a ten-mile long, subterranean pipeline to the Atlantic Ocean for disposing liquid waste.
Lehigh is a university of 5,000 students located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The University provides campus food services, maintenance of facilities and campus grounds through contracts with corporations Sodexho, One Source and Brickman respectively.
On 23 April 2005 an organizer for United Students against Sweatshop, Dawn Liberto, gave a speech at Lehigh, in which she encouraged students to take increased interest in campus workers. Liberto called for a campus living wage, suggesting that students begin with appreciation lunches and then pursue contract previsions.
The Mi’kmaq first nations people are indigenous to what is now New Brunswick, Canada. The provincial government of New Brunswick holds all mineral rights throughout the province, making mining allowable wherever it chooses, including on indigenous land.
In 2013, Fuel extraction companies South Western Energy Resources Canada and Irving Oil proposed natural gas exploration of traditional Mi'kma'ki territory in New Brunswick called Signigtog. Gas extracted from the area would mostly be sent to the United States, but the environmental effects would remain.
Visteon is a global automotive company that spun off from Ford Motor Company in June 2000. In the U.K., during this transition period, Ford and the trade union Unite made a deal to guarantee that all former Ford employees – now Visteon workers – would keep the same wage and pension conditions. However, Visteon placed all newly hired employees under inferior contracts.
United Kingdom Public and Commercial Services Union strikes against cuts to Civil Service Compensation Scheme 2010
In March 2009, British Prime Minister (PM) Gordon Brown of the Labor Government proposed to reform the Civil Service Compensation Scheme (CSCS). The Superannuation Act of 1972 governed the CSCS and provided cash compensation for civil servants who lost their jobs and established early retirement terms.
On 30 June 1998, the contract between Service Employees International Union Local 200A (SEIU) and Syracuse University (SU) expired. Preceded by two months of negotiation, SU made a final offer for a new contract before the 30 June deadline.
Beginning in 2008, the Obama Administration of the United States government accelerated the deportation of illegal immigrants from the United States, deporting roughly twice as many immigrants as the most recent previous presidential administrations.
Jackson was the largest city in Mississippi in 1960, with 250,000 residents, 50,000 of whom were black. Medgar Evers, a field secretary for the Jackson chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) began to build up NAACP Youth Councils at colleges and high schools in the area since 1961. Since the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) were in other parts of Mississippi, the NAACP was the only consistent nonviolent group in Jackson.
Rainforest Action Network forces Wells Fargo Bank to stop funding mountaintop removal coal mining 2005-2006
Mountaintop removal coal mining is an extremely destructive form of surface coal mining. Companies practice mountaintop removal coal mining in several places around the world, including the central Appalachian region of the United States. Mountaintop removal coal mining only produces about seven percent of the world’s coal, but causes huge environmental destruction and human health costs.
In January of 2009, protests broke out worldwide to condemn Israel’s military actions in Gaza. The weekend of the 10th and 11th of January, crowds gathered in cities worldwide for demonstrations of up to 250,000 people. In London, 100,000 people gathered to protest the war in Gaza. A couple of days following these demonstrations, student occupations at universities in the United Kingdom (UK) began to break out, starting with the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) on 13 January.
Students, faculty, and staff at the University of Virginia began the first of a series of campaigns to improve the wages and working conditions of the University’s lowest paid employees in 1997. In 2006, students and faculty who identified themselves as members of the Living Wage Campaign conducted a year-long nonviolent struggle to raise the wages of the lowest paid University workers, which culminated with 17 students staging a sit-in in the President of the University’s office for four days before being arrested.
Huntsville, Alabama, grew quickly during the United States’ Space Race with the Soviet Union. From 1950 to 1960, the population tripled from 16,000 to 72,000, with 30% black citizens. With Redstone Arsenal and the National Aeronautics (NASA) bringing scientists and middle class citizens to Huntsville, the city administration tried to present the city with a progressive image. However, instead of improving conditions for black citizens, the administration claimed that a racial inequality did not exist.
In 2001, in a southern Turkish village near Siirt, the water lines connecting to the public water supply broke down. This was not the first time that the 27-year-old system had malfunctioned and left the 600-person village without running water for a period of months. Women in the village were obligated to walk to a small public fountain in order to collect water to carry home—a distance of several miles, in some cases—in order to have water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
Greenpeace pressures Coca-Cola to phase out HFC refrigeration for Olympic Games in Australia 2000-2004
After the dramatic discovery of the ozone hole in 1986, activists, particularly working with Greenpeace, campaigned for an international ban on the use of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons, often used in refrigeration. In 1987 country representatives in the United Nations wrote the Montreal Protocol to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer as an international treaty calling on countries to phase out and ban chlorofluorocarbons.
In 2007, the University of California Board of Regents managed the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, two of the largest of the United States government’s nuclear weapons facilities at the time. The Board had managed these facilities since their creation in 1942 and 1952 respectively, and was the government’s largest nuclear contractor for over six decades.