The South Korean railway strike began when Korea Railroad Corporation (KORAIL) revealed plans to establish a new affiliate rail company to manage the bullet train line from Suseo to Pyeongtaek. The Korean Railway Workers Union (KRWU) claimed that this government initiative was the first step in privatisation of the rail company and called for the government to retract its plans. The South Korean government denied such plans for privatisation.
By 2013, pressure to use hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to release methane (natural gas) from shale rock formations in the UK began to grow. Prime Minister David Cameron endorsed pursuing this method of extracting natural gas. The government began issuing permits to companies to do test drilling across the UK, in spite of growing opposition from local communities. This campaign was one of the early campaigns to build community opposition with the long range goal of preventing fracking across the country.
Ecuadorian indigenous stage mass uprising against neo-liberal measures including privatizing water and taking communally held land, 1994
Starting with Ecuador’s founding as a republic in 1822, the country’s
economic policy oppressed Indigenous citizens through measures that led
to the concentration and destruction of Indigenous lands. In 1986,
Luis Macas founded the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of
Ecuador (CONAIE) to advocate for the underrepresented Indigenous
Ecuadorians. CONAIE focused particularly on protecting land and water
rights of Indigenous communities. CONAIE leaders of the 1990s emphasized
demands for a plurinational state, collective rights, and territorial
South Korean campaigners prevent government intention to weaken unions and facilitate lay-offs, 1997
President Kim Young Sam started his first attempt at changing labour laws in April, 1996. The government formed the Labour-Management Relations Reform committee composed of labour group leaders, management community, academics, and civic groups. It was the first attempt by the South Korean government to reform the country’s authoritarian labour relations, and labour unions were hopeful of structural changes that would guarantee their long-delayed rights.
In April of 1996, German Chancellor Helmut Kohl intended to implement an Austerity Plan which would limit benefits for Public Works employees and increase the hours in their work week without increasing pay. This plan would reduce Germany’s spending by $33 billion, contributing to a decrease in their budget deficit. A decreasing budget deficit would enable Germany to join other European nations in creating and using a single European currency (what would become the Euro).
Recep Tayyip Erdogan was first inaugurated as prime minister of Turkey in 2003 and enjoyed wide popular support, contributing to successive elections as prime minister. Erdogan gathered 47% of the vote in 2007, and he came into office in 2011 with 49.95% of the popular vote. However, public dissent began to rise against the increasingly authoritarian and anti-secular Turkish government. The government passed education bills reinforcing Islamism in high schools and elementary schools in 2012, and the sale and consumption of alcohol was banned on college grounds in 2013.
Anti-fracking movements in Romania originated in February 2012 when Bulgarian activists, enthused from their recent victory over their government in anti-fracking legislation, contacted their Romanian counterparts. The Bulgarians informed the Romanians of the potential impending fracking in Romania and from this point on, the Romanian activists began using their Facebook group page to increase awareness of, and actively campaign against the dangers of fracking.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Phulbari is a region in the northwest region of Bangladesh. It is an important agricultural region that is also home to low quality coal deposit. Several companies have proposed to use the open pit technique for mining the coal, which would displace thousands of people, many of them indigenous people. The proposed mining projects would destroy farmland, homes, and divert water sources to be used in the mining process.
At the start of the 21st century, the remote town of Barbacoas, in southern Colombia, was connected to the rest of the region by only one roadway. This 57 km highway between Barbacoas and the nearest town, Junin, was in major disrepair and could take between 14 and 24 hours to travel. Due to political instability, guerilla warfare by the FARC and other nongovernmental paramilitary groups, and the remoteness of the region, the government failed to maintain the condition of the highway and let it fall into disrepair.
Greenpeace pressures Unilever, gains moratorium on destructive palm oil production in Indonesia, 2008
Palm oil is a versatile and inexpensive oil used in many products, from ice cream and cookies to soap and lipstick. Expansion of palm oil plantations is the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Indonesia. Unilever is the world’s largest consumer of palm oil, which they use in many of their products such as Dove soap, Breyers Ice Cream, and Flora Margarine.
Greenpeace and Sea Shepherds force Japanese seafood company Nissui to sell stakes in whale hunting ships 2005-2006.
In 1985, the International Whaling Commission instituted a moratorium on commercial whaling, but in 1986, the Japanese government started a scientific whaling program to study whales. Many observers view the scientific whaling scheme as a way to continue commercial whaling because the whale meat is often sold after the whales are caught for study.
Chicago workers prevent factory closure by occupying, then buying it, February 2012 (Republic Windows & Doors)
In 2008, Republic Windows and Doors announced that it would be closing one of its Chicago factories in three days. Over 200 workers occupied the factory for 6 days until their demands for severance and healthcare benefits were met. In 2009, Serious Energy bought the factory and hired back many of the original workers. [In this database, see CHICAGO WORKERS SIT-IN, GAIN BENEFITS AFTER FACTORY SHUTDOWN, 2008.]
Environmentalists and human rights activists have long been concerned about the use of toxic chemicals and compounds in electronic equipment. Companies often use compounds such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs) in their electronic equipment to make them safer for the user, but they are very toxic materials that cause human health and environmental issues in areas the electronics are disposed of.