Bololô Protests in Brazil

Delivery workers in Brazil have been resorting to ‘bololô’ protests in response to any harassment faced by them on the streets. Named after the sound of a revving motorbike, the bololô protests have become a common tactic to resist physical threat to their safety or racist attacks on the workers. Since the apps they work for do not have any safety measures laid out for the workers, the workers have resorted to the bololô protest as a last resort and a rallying cry, drawing together drivers in a noisy show of solidarity, where the delivery workers drive around in circles, honking, chanting, and often setting off fireworks. Brazilian cities have passed laws prohibiting workers from being forced inside buildings due to the controversy surrounding the issue.


The workers have said that these protests have had a significant impact on the society and has ensured driver safety. They said that there were about three to five cases every week, where delivery workers were being harassed and assaulted. However, with the bololô protests, common people have been sent a message that the delivery workers cannot be ill-treated. Those harassing or assaulting workers are now being condemned by their neighbours, which has had a significant impact, the workers feel.


Workers in Britain Vow to Defeat Anti-Strike Laws

The Tory Government of Great Britain has introduced an anti-strike law, against which the trade unions across the country have pledged to fight till it is withdrawn. The Trade Union Congress (TUC) voted unanimously against the law which would effectively prohibit strikes by allowing minimum service and penalising workers who are on strike, especially in essential sectors like health, railways and border security. Britain has seen a spate of strikes, especially since 2022, of unions working in several major sectors including railways, education, transport, health and communications. These massive strikes were held to demand an effective pay hike to combat the soaring inflation in the country. Through these protest actions the working class of Britain have been asserting that it has become extremely difficult for low-income households to survive in the economic crisis and that the Prime Minister, instead of listening to the woes of the common citizens, is passing anti-labour laws.



Delivery Workers Strike in Holiday Rush in US

The newly formed union of workers at DHL Express, a delivery company, went on strike recently over unfair labour practices and stalled contract negotiations with the company. The workers alleged that the company was harassing workers who are pro-union, and complaints to that extent were filed with the National Labour Relations Board, which was to take it up legally. Due to the strike, the delivery of packages has been halted, especially during the holiday season.


Day-Long Strike at Washington Post

More than 750 journalists and admin-staff of The Washington Post walked out of their office for a day-long strike against the ongoing job cuts. The journalists stated that contract negotiations were on, and despite the talks, the management was looking to cut jobs. The Washington Post was recently acquired by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who is one of the world’s wealthiest people and has invested tens of millions of dollars annually after acquiring the paper. However, the media house has been suffering financial losses recently. Reports states that the media industry in the United States of America has been suffering from job cuts, including in NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Gannet’s newspapers, NY Public Radio, Vox, Vice Media, Buzzfeed and Spotify as well.


Palestine Genocide: Protests Across UK & Europe at Arms Factories

Under the banner of “Workers for a Free Palestine”, thousands of workers, trade unionists and activists blockaded the BAE Systems factory in Glasgow demanding an end to arms manufacturing for Israel and sought for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. BAE Systems is a major defence contractor that provides technology-led defence systems.

The workers are compelling BAE Systems to sever all ties with Israel, including trade of weapons and all other supplies. They are also calling upon the UK Government to endorse a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and ensure all efforts to put an end to the occupation of Palestine. The protestors also called upon all workers and staff to refuse working on projects that manufacture weapons for Israel. The protestors also raised concerns about Scottish Enterprise which has extended financial support to arms companies.


Global ‘Black Friday’ Protests Against Amazon

Fighting for their right to unionise, uphold labour laws, adhere to tax laws, and to commit to higher environmental standards, lakhs of Amazon warehouse workers, employees and activists observed ‘Black Friday’ in November 2023. The protests were held in Brazil, United State of America, Germany, United Kingdome, Spain, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, India, Bangladesh, Philippines and Australia. About 3,000 workers in Germany struck work at six Amazon facilities. Garment workers of Bangladesh protested against the Amazon-sold clothes.


With the hashtag of #MakeAmazonPay, about 39 organisations highlighted the stark contrast between the company’s success and the treatment of its workers during the pandemic. They demanded higher wages, reinstatement of workers who were refused employment for speaking about workplace safety, allow access to unions, achieve zero emissions by 2030, end the sale of surveillance dependent devices like the ‘Amazon Ring’, along with demanding Amazon to pay full taxes.



Abolish Contract System:

Safai Karamcharis of MCG

Sanitation workers of Municipal Corporation, Gurugram (MCG) held several protests through 2023, demanding permanent jobs, timely disbursal of wages and abolition of the contract system. The MCG has outsourced the essential service of garbage collection to six private agencies in September 2023. As a result of this, about 3,480 workers lost their employment. The workers have stated that the supervisors had failed to deposit the EPF and PPF amounts deducted from the wages of the workers. They said that even if the workers were provided employment, the contractors pay a salary of Rs. 10,500, which is less than the minimum wages that stands at Rs. 16,000 (approximately). Therefore, the workers are demanding a complete abolition of the contract system in the municipal corporation.



Abolition of Bonded Labour, Dalit Rights Asserted

After marching to the capital from various states, thousands of protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar in Delhi on December 5th, 2023, to advocate social justice and Dalit rights. The protestors called for the repeal of laws that legitimised bonded labour, giving land to the landless, access to pattas that had previously been distributed to the people of the Dalit community, severe penalties in case of caste atrocities, rehabilitation of manual scavengers, among other demands. The protestors intended to march to Parliament Street with signs, banners, and posters endorsing a Charter of Demands, but were prevented by the police.


The protestors also said that the government is nullifying MGNREGA. Not only have there been fewer workdays, but many people who have worked have gone months without receiving their just compensation. Who is preventing the government from providing landless Dalits with jobs, they asked. They added that caste atrocities have been on the rise in the country. Most Dalits are still forced to work as bonded labourers. Socioeconomic boycotts and untouchability are practised till date, they said. The protestors demanded that special fast-track courts to handle cases of atrocities be established, areas where Dalits are frequently attacked be identified to prevent atrocities. The protesters also raised the demand of free and quality education for the children of Dalit communities.