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Latest News From The Secretariat

EGYPT via Center for Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS): " Launching the Fifty-Day Campaign for Trade Unions’ Freedom and the Implementation of Social Justice from March 12 (Day of Trade Unions Freedom) until May 1st 2015 (Labor Day)"

'In a huge conference held at the Press Syndicate and attended by hundreds of participants representing independent trade unions as well as several sectors of workers from the private and public sectors, the Center of Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS) has launched the fifty-day campaign for the freedom of trade unions and the implementation of social justice.'


'Climate action is a trade union issue. We have a vital role to play to protect jobs in existing workplaces and industries by demanding industrial transformation, to organise new quality jobs in the emerging green economy and to fight for the Just Transition measures that ensure we leave no one behind. We must mobilise to hold our leaders to account for the com - mitments that will ensure a strong global agreement on climate change in Paris this year. If we are to reverse the current trajectory governments cannot continue to be cowed by vested interests and a corporate lobby that is trying to protect a broken system.'

INVITATION: IFWEA's 22nd International General Conference 'PRECARITY OR SOLIDARITY' Lima, Peru Saturday 5 December - Monday 7th December 2015

General Secretary Sahra Ryklief: 'The IFWEA Secretariat has pleasure in inviting you to this event. Our 22nd General Conference is themed “Precarity or Solidarity - The role of Workers’ Education in building the 21st Century global labour movement”. It is a call to action on our part, for IFWEA to work concertedly to both re-inforce our common foundation and expand the frontiers of knowledge through a global programme for worker education and research. Some 150 to 200 delegates and observers from around the world will gather in Lima to set the policy and programme for IFWEA over the coming four years.'

JOB ALERT: IndustriALL Global Union is looking for a REGIONAL OFFICER for its Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Office DEADLINE 30 March 2015

Dear IFWEA affiliates. Please circulate through your e-bulletins and news sites.Thank you, Sahra Ryklief, General Secretary "At the end of June 2015, Thabo Tshabalala will retire after a long and proud trade union career, and having worked the past three years as Regional Officer in IndustriALL’s Sub-Saharan African Regional Office in Johannesburg. While we wish Thabo a happy retirement and good health, we now need to look for a new Regional Officer to start work as of 1 July 2015." read further for Job Specofications

USA: United Association for Labor Education (UALE) 'Check out the Conference 2015 page on the UALE website for all the latest info about our upcoming conference...'

'• 2105 Award winners • pre-conference labor tour of historic Ybor "Cigar City" • latest updates on schedule: plenary sessions., papers, workshops and other activities'

Labour News

USA via Solidarity Center: - Violence at the Workplace: They Treated Us Like Slaves’ by Tula Connell

'The TUC (launched) a new Charter for International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Solidarity. The central message of the Charter is that solidarity is at the core of trade union values, but that decisions regarding when, whether and how to act must be firmly in the hands of the LGBT communities in each country. The Charter explains how unions can best support the struggles of LGBT people in the many countries where homosexuality is illegal, and subject to popular prejudice. It is still a crime to be lesbian, gay or bisexual in over 70 countries, with punishments including life imprisonment, flogging and the death penalty.'

SOUTH AFRICA via GroundUp: 'Free State health workers on trial for protesting dismissals' by Mary-Anne Gontsana

There are protests outside the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court this morning, as a trial of health workers resumes amidst widespread dissatisfaction with the Free State health system and MEC Benny Malakoane. “Life is very tough; sometimes I wonder where I will get my next meal." My husband is unemployed so our source of income is my child's support grant. R300 is not enough for a family of five.”

IRELAND via Equal Times: 'Ireland’s president supports national ethical workplace debate' by Clare Speak

'Workers in Ireland are being asked to speak out about ethics in the workplace this month after President Michael D. Higgins called for an inquiry into the importance of ethics in business and society in response to the destructive impact of the economic crisis. In response, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) launched a campaign and website asking Irish workers to explore what an ethical workplace means to them.'

PHILLIPINES via Equal Times: 'Philippines murder highlights the threat facing trade unionists' by Estrella Torres

'Filipino workers and trade unionists are still in shock following the murder of labour leader Florencio “Bong” Romano on 8 March. The 63-year-old was an organiser for the National Coalition for the Protection of Workers’ Rights, an affiliate of the Kilusang Mayo Uno (May 1st Movement, or KMU) trade union at the food manufacturing firm RFM in Laguna, south of capital Manila.Romano was found dead in Batangas City, also south of Manila, with a single bullet wound to the chest. According to police reports, he also had bruises all over his body.'

INDONESIA: "AP Investigation: Men forced to work as slaves to catch seafood for global supply " by Robin McDowell, Margie Mason And Martha M

' The Burmese slaves sat on the floor and stared through the rusty bars of their locked cage, hidden on a tiny tropical island thousands of miles from home. Just a few yards away, other workers loaded cargo ships with slave-caught seafood that clouds the supply networks of major supermarkets, restaurants and even pet stores in the United States. But the eight imprisoned men were considered flight risks — labourers who might dare run away. They lived on a few bites of rice and curry a day in a space barely big enough to lie down, stuck until the next trawler forces them back to sea.'

PALESTINE: 'Gaza conflict in 2014 caused hefty Palestinian job losses through destruction of workplaces and productive assets' by ILO News

'New ILO study assesses how the Israeli military operation during the latest Gaza conflict caused widespread “disemployment” in the Palestinian territory’s private sector through the destruction of land, structures, capital equipment and tools. The Israeli military operation during last summer’s conflict in Gaza resulted in hefty job losses in the Palestinian enclave’s private sector, and increased already critical unemployment and poverty rates, a new International Labour Organization study has found.'

SOUTH AFRICA via GroundUp: ' Eskom: a wake-up call to government and unions' by Terry Bell

'OPINION - Deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa persists in referring to the mess that is Eskom as “a challenge”. He did so in his Q&A session in parliament last week. But the situation at Eskom is perhaps the greatest crisis ever to face our fragile, non-racist democracy, especially given the global economic climate.'

KOREA: "'Chimney protest' ends - Ex-Ssangyong worker back on ground" by Jung Min-ho

'Former Ssangyong Motor worker Lee Chang-geun waves to supporters as he comes down from a chimney after finishing a 101-day protest at the company's plant in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, Monday. / Yonhap A "chimney protest" that highlighted the plight of 187 workers laid off by Ssangyong Motor in 2009 is over. Lee Chang-geun, who demanded their reinstatement from atop a 70-meter chimney at the company's plant in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, came down Monday. "With negotiations between the union and management in progress, I thought it wouldn't be necessary to continue this protest," he said. "I hope no other workers will have to come up here ever again. It is extremely painful and lonely."

UK: 'Unions must be able to fight for workers – even if it means breaking bad laws' by Len McCluskey

'Unite’s rule book sounds just the sort of dusty tome to give employment lawyers headaches. Last week our governing body, Unite’s executive, unanimously agreed to make it shorter. It recommended the deletion from our rules of six little words that have governed our union’s actions: “so far as may be lawful”. So far, so mundane, you would be forgiven for thinking.'

TUNISIA: ' ITUC Condemns Tunisia Terror Attack'

'The ITUC has condemned yesterday’s barbaric terrorist attack in Tunis, which cost the lives of 19 people and left many more injured, and expressed its deepest condolences to all those affected.'

COSTA RICA: 'Banana Workers’ Strike Highlights Abuses by Corporations in Costa Rica' by Diego Arguedas Ortiz

''San Jose - A strike that has brought activity to a halt since January on three major banana plantations on Costa Rica’s southern Caribbean coast, along the border with Panama, has highlighted the abuses in a sector in the hands of transnational corporations and has forced the governments of both countries to intervene."

AFRICA: 'Ethiopia on track for new light rail transit system' by Jacey Fortin

'All across Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, groups of young day labourers are hard at work on city’s flagship infrastructural project. Most are men in their twenties, wearing hats and scarves to protect their faces from the dust and sun. They say the job is monotonous, but rewarding. Bit by bit, these young workers are constructing the first urban light rail transit system in sub-Saharan Africa.'

SWAZILAND: " 'TUCOSWA disguised meeting’ crushed" by Qondile Ntiwane

'It seems the war between police and the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland is far from over as the police barred the federation’s National Executive Committee (NEC) from meeting yesterday. The meeting was scheduled to begin at 10am at the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) Centre in Manzini. Plain-clothed police arrived at the SNAT Centre just after 9am and told those present to vacate the premises as the meeting would not go on. The uncompromising police officers also took over the gates at the Centre where they made it clear that no one would be allowed to enter the premises. The police are said to have notified the NEC led by President Quinton Dlamini that they have been given an order to stop all the federation’s meetings from taking place as they are not registered.'

GLOBAL: 'The global plight of domestic workers: few rights, little freedom, frequent abuse' by Rebecca Falconer and Annie Kelly

'A quarter of the world’s 53 million domestic staff have no labour rights, leaving them vulnerable to exploitation, beatings and sexual assault. While domestic workers are now considered crucial to the smooth running of national economies, as a workforce they remain one of the most vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and modern-day slavery.'

MEXICO: 'Los intérpretes de lengua de señas mexicana intentan afrontar la discriminación por discapacidad' by Emilio Godoy

'La discapacidad auditiva presenta en México una faz dual respecto al derecho a contar con un intérprete en diversos ámbitos, uno de los principales derechos de ese grupo. Por un lado, no hay suficientes intérpretes certificados y calificados y, por otro, éstos padecen violaciones de sus derechos laborales, lo que contribuye a la discriminación de los discapacitados auditivos.'

MEXICO: 'Mexican sign language interpreters navigate disability discrimination' by Emilio Godoy

'People with hearing disabilities in Mexico suffer on two levels when it comes to access to an interpreter, one of their key rights. One the hand, there is a shortage of certified and qualified interpreters and, on the other, the labour rights of these interpreters are not respected, further contributing to the discrimination faced by the deaf and hard of hearing.'

GLOBAL: 'PSI calls for UN WOMEN to cancel its partnership with UBER. '

'During the annual UNCSW, the UN’s leading agency for women’s rights, UN WOMEN, announced a strategic partnership with UBER to “create 1,000,000 jobs for women as drivers on the Uber platform by 2020.” PSI, other global unions and civil society express deep concerns at the partnership announced between UN Women and Uber. Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary, says: “We call on UN WOMEN to cancel its partnership with UBER and to stop cooperation with companies that do not respect workers’ rights. The economic empowerment of women can be realized through decent work, not by the creation of low-paid, unprotected and dangerous casual jobs.” Read the statement by Global Unions...

MYANMAR: 'Myanmar – building a level playing field for labour' by IndustriAll

'At a meeting with Myanmar’s labour minister on 9 March, Jyrki Raina, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, called for a minimum living wage and funds for social welfare programs.'

GUATAMELA: 'Badly paid work will not save Guatemalans from poverty' by Alistair Smith

'While British unions campaigned for decent wages during Fair Pay Fortnight, Guatemala faced a threat to one of the few protections it has for workers – the minimum wage. However, while the government pursues a race to the bottom, Guatemala’s unions are working hard to improve workers’ pay.'

SOUTH AFRICA: 'South African soap stars fight for better pay' by Luso Mnthali / Read all about the Generations pay dispute, here on Equal Times: In English: En français: En Español:

'It’s a labour dispute worthy of a soap opera, but now the cast of South Africa’s most successful soapie is entering a new phase in their fight for better pay.In August 2014, all 16 cast members of Generations were fired by series creator and executive producer Mfundi Vundla for going on strike.'

BANGLADESH via International Labour Organisation:

'Who says a woman can't be an electrician?'

▶ watch the video here

Giving Voice to Migrant Workers 'A new film by JustJobs takes a close-up look at those who, like Syamsul, travel far from their Indonesian villages to support their families. “Pulang Pergi” (“Going Home to Leave Again”), based on research supported by the Solidarity Center, illustrates the cost and opportunities for migrant workers and their communities.'
NEPAL / QATAR: " Nepalese migrant worker shares story of labour abuses in Qatar"

watch the video at



Who Pays The Price? The Human Cost of Electronics

Documenting the human costs of electronics: this film follows the stories and struggles of workers injured in electronics factories in China.

▶ see more at

Asia Monitor Resource Centre presents: "China - Perils of Labor"

The video documented the story of Yi Yeting, an occupational disease patient turned worker activist. It is a story of the unequal battle waged between workers and capital, between individual and the state; yet it is also a story of personal growth and empowerment, of overcoming one’s suffering and gaining collective consciousness.

▶ watch here


SWEDEN via TCO 'Business Like a Swede: Det här är berättelsen om den svenska partsmodellen - ett vinnande samarbete mellan fackförbund och arbetsgivarorganisationer sedan 1938. ‪#‎likeaswede‬ Läs mer på

Business Like a Swede: this is the story of the Swedish party model-a winning collaboration between trade unions and employers ' organisations since 1938. #likeaswede read more at'

▶ watch here

SWEDEN via TCO 'Business Like a Swede: Det här är berättelsen om den svenska partsmodellen - ett vinnande samarbete mellan fackförbund och arbetsgivarorganisationer sedan 1938. ‪#‎likeaswede‬ Läs mer på

Business Like a Swede: this is the story of the Swedish party model-a winning collaboration between trade unions and employers ' organisations since 1938. #likeaswede read more at'

▶ watch here