Update MST support campaign

Stop closing schools for the landless

Join the action to support MST. Sign the petition! Take action!

The result so far in the action to support MST and WSF that started this tuesday March 3. There are signitures from all continents mainly on

http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/support-mst-and-wsf.html

organisations also sent the signitures by email:

By organisations or representatives of organisations from:

Africa:
GroundWork / Friends of the Earth South Africa

Americas:
CENSAT Agua Viva – Friends of the Earth Colombia
NAT Núcleo Amigos da Terra – Friends of the Earth Brazil
REDES – Friends of the Earth Uruguay

Asia:
CACIM, India
Subhash Lomte, National coordinator, National Campaign Committee for Rural Workers

Australia/Oceania:
Friends of the Earth Australia
Latin American Solidarity Network – Australia

Europe:
ATTAC Hungary
Amigos de la Tierra Espana – Friends of the Earth Spain
Friends of the MST Finland
Maan Ystävät – Friends of the Earth Finland
Miljöförbundet Jordens Vänner – Friends of the Earth Sweden
Svenska stödgruppen för MST i Brasilien – Friends of the MST Sweden

Global: Friends of the Earth International – Amigos de la Tierra International

Individuals have also signed so far from following countries:

Africa: Togo, Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Uruguay, USA, Asia: Iran, Australia: Australia, Europe: Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Spain, Ucraine

By number

Swedish 74 (mainly on a Swedish petition at http://upprop.nu/7318)
Finnish and Spanish 9
German 4
All other countries mostly 1 some 2-3.

In total 116 individual signitures which shows that it is useful to start signiture campaigns in a national language.

So far the reach out in the environmental movement have been well although we hope for a broader range of organisations. Peasant, indigeneous and rural workers organisation have only been very marginally reached, The Latin American and Third World solidarity movement very little as well, Latin American migrant organisations or educational organisation have not yet been called. MST is a strong cooperation partner with trade unions, social initiatives by religious institutions, humna rights organisations, cultural workers and for the whole World Social Forum process. There ought to be some support also among these organisations and UN associations and UNICEF. In Sweden the International Womens day will be used to make an appeal to womens organisations to support the struggle of fmela landless MST workers in their struggle on March 8 by participating in manifestations and a national appeal.

At March 9 protests will be handed over at some Brazilian embassies, among them according to plans in Helsinki, Vienna and Stockholm.

In short the potential is there for a growing action. Together with systematic dissemination an translation of the petition and appeals to sign it also action as on March 9 and April 17 at Brazilian embassies and consulates is of importance. Also to get more news and information and pictures from Brazil and from MST support actions in different countries. In Sweden a post card campaign against Stora Enso has started in support of MST. In Brazil letters of support is coming from many while auhtorities in diffrenet parts of countries tries to delegitimize MST.

The pressure also grows against the opponent to the MST, Stora Enso. In Brazil in the state of Bahia a strike started against the Stora Enso owned company Veracell in protest against the companies disinterest in the health of the workers and in Helsinki Greenpeace occupied the main office of Stora Enso in protests against the ecologically damaging forestry in indigenous areas in Northern Finland

We hope you can contribute to this struggle!

Tord Björk

Friends of the Earth Sweden

International campaign coordination: MSTsupport (at) mjv.se

International campaign information:

www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney

Enclosed

Link to Greenpeace action against Stora Enso In Helsinki:

http://www.greenpeace.org/finland/fi/

Material about the strike, first in english, than in portuguese, photos at
http://www.aktivism.info/socialforumjourney/?p=247

Mechanized cutting machine workers and tree nursery workers from Veracel Celulose on strike

Workers active in the cutting of eucalyptus trees and in the tree nursery of Veracel Celulose [owned by Stora-Enso ˆ 50% and Aracruz ˆ 50%]. stopped activities this morning after 11 negotiations with the company They demand for better salaries and better working conditions. The working day of a worker of a cutting machine is 12 hours and this has caused many occupational diseases. 58% of the workers suffer from repetitive strain injuries. Many are scared of asking for a leave to treat their disease, once, after they return, the company dismisses the ill worker, without giving any support. Only in the mechanized harvest, several workers have been dismissed and 4 returned to work because of a legal order from the Labor Court.

These diseases are a consequence of the high productivity that is demanded from the workers. The productivity of a Veracel Celulose worker is 34% higher than of any other company in the sector. A worker of Aracruz Celulose, one of Veracel´s shareholders, Votorantim and Suzano Bahia Sul, cut 18 m3 of wood per hour, while a Veracel worker in the harvesting activities cuts 34 m3 of wood per hour.

Even with this high productivity, the Veracel workers receive the lowest salaries compared with other companies of the sector. Almost 50% less than the salaries of the Aracruz Celulose workers who, besides of the salary receive other benefits like a holiday grant, health plan and free dental support, different from Veracel that charges these services from their workers. The salaries are 34% out of step. In 2004, they received the equivalent of 4 minimum salaries and now they receive the equivalent of 2,5 minimum salaries.

In spite of the world crisis, Veracel is producing beyond its capacity and it is investing in technology. Recently, it bought 2 cutting machines worth R$ 2 million each. It invested about R$ 16 million in the tree nursery. Now, the tree nursery of the Veracel company is one of the most modern ones in Latin America. Moreover, Veracel is investing in duplicating its pulp mill and already requested the license for the construction of one more mill and the planting of another 108 thousand hectares of eucalyptus, through which, according to the company, it will create 3,000 jobs.

Association of Mechanized Cutting Machine workers from the state of Bahia and the Trade Union of Workers in the Pulp and Paper Industry.
6 March 2009

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