World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


MAYDAY2K: New Holiday Declared In East Timor

Timor Loro Sae Comisaun Loron Maio
East Timor May Day Committee

MEDIA ADVISORY 28 APRIL 2000, DILI, EAST TIMOR

spokesperson: Eusebio Guterres 0419 417 327

WORKERS ORGANISE FIRST EAST TIMOR MAY DAY

UNTAET Declares New National Public Holiday in Response

In the midst of these early days of Timor Loro Sae's transition to independence, and at a time of endemic unemployment and growing labour strife, East Timorese have won their first new national public holiday.

Following months of preparation and with broad community support, the East Timor May Day Committee has received a declaration from Transitional Administrator Sergio de Mello proclaiming Monday, May 1 as May Day.

The Committee, comprised of emerging workers' associations, the Labor Advocacy Institute, many representatives of civil society and the unemployed, will now join all East Timorese and their counterparts around the world in an international day of celebration, education and advocacy for workers' rights.

"The UN Transitional Administration is not only the temporary government of East Timor but is the biggest employer of our people", stated May Day Committee Coordinator Nino Periera. "While they are so often the source of labor strife in these conflicting roles, we are encouraged by their support for a day which brings together all workers, the unemployed and their families."

The May Day declaration also follows a two day forum on employment and labor relations sponsored by the ILO (International Labour Organisation) and UNTAET. According to Eusebio Guterres of LAIFET, the Labour Advocacy Institute of East Timor, these two events may signal a shift in the UN's previous attitudes towards labor issues and of the process of creating legislation during the transition period.

"For months, East Timorese have struggled with 90% unemployment. Those lucky to work receive subsistence wages, endure poor working conditions and have no health and safety protections, social benefits or contracts, even when they work for wealthy overseas companies or United Nations organisations", said Guterres.

As a result of the ILO/UNTAET forum, East Timorese will be now be full participants in the formulation of labour and employment laws and the creation of interim measures which will set minimum standards, protect workers' rights, consider price controls and settle disputes.

"The UN has agreed to implement a ILO-based Tripartite Plus participatory process, including representatives from workers, employers, government and civil society. Together with the May Day Declaration, East Timorese can finally participate in meaningful job creation and in the planning of their own economic future," according to the LAIFET coordinator.

"As the best expression of their support, we hope that the UN will authorise their overseas employees to join with all East Timorese workers, employed, unemployed and their families, in celebrating our new national holiday," concluded Guterres.

East Timorese workers and the unemployed will be joined in East Timor on May Day by international labour officials and leaders of Aboriginal organisations in Australia.

- end -

MESSAGES OF SOLIDARITY CAN BE SENT:

Messages to the Union movement here would be most welcome - they can be faxed to:

(0)011 6729 390 323 527

Or e-mail to LAIFET and the Unions c/o

apheda@topend.com.au

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

At The UN: Paris Climate Agreement Moves Closer To Entry Into Force

The Paris Agreement on climate change moved closer toward entering into force in 2016 as 31 more countries joined the agreement today at a special event hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. More>>

ALSO:

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news