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30 December 2004

Worldwide labour solidarity response to tsunami

LabourStart has a compendium of things being done to assist tsunami sufferers and survivors through trade union and labour organisations. The article also links to stories of some of the economic fallout from the disaster. In the immediate aftermath, you would think that 10,000 people losing jobs because the hotels they worked in were swept away or damaged beyond repair is not a big thing, in the context. But if someone is left homeless immediately by the tsunami, or becomes homeless a month later because they have no income or near-term possibility of getting any, they are still homeless. And economic hardships on such a massive scale will only contribute to the long-term toll from poverty, malnutrition and disease. Another example of the collateral damages - the Norwegian trade union and agency's mine clearance programme had 650 mine clearance workers in Sri Lanka, who are missing, fate unknown.

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