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Latest News From The Secretariat

UPDATE: REVISED DEADLINES Invitation: ILWCH - International Labor And Working-Class History with IFWEA - International Federation of Worker Education Associations Call For Papers on “Workers’ Education and Global Labor Movements”

We have learned a great deal about the history of global working class in the modern era and about the economic, political, and social struggles that accompanied its rise. But we still know comparatively little about the educational institutions, relationships and practices working class movements have used to develop the capacity for sustained struggle, not to mention the ability to survive their defeats and institutionalize their victories. read further for background to issue, examples, deadlines and contacts for the Editors...

PAKISTAN: "Organising home based women workers" by Labour Education Foundation (LEF)

'Home Based Women Workers Union Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the provincial union of home based women workers registered in KPK with support of LEF. LEF organised a seminar on 24th September in Peshawar Press Club to discuss problems faced by women workers in KPK province and role of union in future. LEF is working with home based women workers in KPK province since last 8 years. This union is result of hard work done by LEF team in difficult situation in KPK.'

PALESTINE - Democracy and Workers' Rights Center (DWRC) Press Release: 'The Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip caused full or partial damages to 75 kindergartens and day-care centers'

'Gaza, Palestine: The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center field teams have documented full or partial damages to 75 kindergartens and day-care centers caused during the 51 day Israeli offensive against the Gaza Strip this summer. DWRC’s field workers conducted field visits to all the kindergartens that suffered damages and collected information through filling questionnaires and affidavits from kindergarten owners in the five Gaza governorates, with a particular focus on eastern areas, where these damages were concentrated.'


'Swedish YGAPpers 2014, ready to go"

SOUTH AFRICA: Remembering Steve Biko Black Consciousness Leader December 18, 1946 – September 12, 1977


PALESTINE: "Testimonies about Israeli crimes against civilians in Gaza" by Democracy and Workers' Rights Center. Read testimonies about destroyed business, factories and civilians killed...

'As soon as the temporary ceasefires were declared, DWRC team in Gaza started collecting testimonies from parents and other family members about the circumstances of the death of their loved ones. These testimonies demonstrate without doubt that Palestinian civilians have been targeted by the Israeli armed forces, in their homes, in their shelters, in the streets, while fleeing the shelling and bombing. They further show that “principles of distinction between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives; proportionality; and precautions in attack” have not been respected.'

PALESTINE: Global appeal from The Democracy and Workers' Rights Center (DWRC)

"Dear partners and friends, sisters and brothers from the labor movement, #Gaza needs you. Find out what you can do to help. The 28-day long Israeli military aggression against the population of the Gaza Strip has caused tremendous human loss and suffering, and material damage. Over 1,843 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 1,354 civilians, of whom 415 are children and 214 are women. More than 10,000 people have been injured; although they have themselves been targeted, hospitals, health facilities and providers in Gaza continue their efforts to provide care for the overwhelming number of injured, as well other patients." by Carine Metz (DWRC)

Labour News

USA: "The Working Life: For a Worker With Little Time Between 3 Jobs, a Nap Has Fatal Consequences" by Rachel L. Swarns

"She would give anyone anything she could.” — Glen Carter, 33. 'Maybe she poured you a cup of hot coffee, right before you rushed off to catch your afternoon train. Maybe you noticed her huddled over an empty table in the station, dozing in the lonesome hours between one shift and another. Her name was Maria Fernandes. She was 32 years old. And long before her face flashed across the evening news, she worked amid the throngs of passengers in the heart of Newark’s Pennsylvania Station, serving pumpkin lattes and toasted bagels, and dreaming of life somewhere else."

COMOROS and MAYOTTE: 'Mayotte: home to the “biggest marine cemetery in the world”' by Maggy Donaldson

'Mayotte — one of four main islands that comprise Comoros, an Indian Ocean island group — became an overseas department of France in 2011, at the wish of its inhabitants. Yet its three sister islands form the separate, sovereign Union of the Comoros. And on these other islands, not everyone is happy. “What have we, the Comorian people, done that is so bad that history doesn’t treat us like other people of the world?” the Union president, Ikililou Dhonine, asked last year. “Why must we ... justify the unity of our people, our history, our geography and our culture?” So now that, for the 39th time, the future of Comoros is on the UN General Assembly’s docket, it’s a safe bet the Union president will again ask world leaders to press France to stop governing Mayotte.'

'Justice for South Africa’s domestic violence victims is a long way off' by Luso Mnthali

"Every day in South Africa three women are killed by their partners. These grim statistics have given the country a reputation for having one of the highest rates of violence against women in the world. Intimate femicide is the leading cause of unnatural death amongst women and we will never know the names of most victims. Reeva Steenkamp’s death at the hands of her boyfriend, the Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius only serves to highlight how prevalent domestic violence is."

PAKISTAN: “We’ve lost everything,” say Punjab farmers by Aoun Sahi

'Tahir Mehmud is a 40-year-old farmer from a village in Sialkot district in Punjab province, Pakistan. This year he was set to get bumper crop of paddy rice –then the rains came. I had sown 50 acres of paddy. The crop was in good shape. Then in the first week of September it started raining heavily. I was happy as rains are good for the paddy but it turned into a disaster within a few days,” he said. By 5 September, his fields were completely flooded. His village, which is situated 15 kilometres away from the Indian border, remained under flood water for two weeks.'

GREECE: "Armed only with rubber gloves, Greek cleaners fight the iron fist of austerity" by Christina Vasilaki

'A group of 30 Greek cleaners attended the first European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg on 16 September, exactly one year after they were unexpectedly fired by the Greek Ministry of Finance. Wearing matching pink T-shirts, they raised their red-gloved fists to call for European solidarity in support of their struggle to win their jobs back. “One year ago someone decided to ruin our lives. Someone decided that we are just numbers not human beings,” said Dimitra Manoli, one of the 30 cleaners invited to the Parliament by MEPs from the left-wing Greek party Syriza.'

SWEDEN: "The Swedish elections delivered a great result for the left – but now the real work begins" by Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson

'Sweden went to the polls last week and the Social Democrats came out top with 31.2 per cent of the vote. It was a remarkable achievement by the Social Democrats and their leader, former welder and IF Metall President Stefan Löfven, considering that only two years ago an election victory seemed almost impossible.'

ZIMBABWE: 'Harare’s street vendors given tax ultimatum' by Christopher Mahove

"Zimbabwe may have 5.7 million informal workers contributing US$7.4 billion to the country’s economy annually, but they have received little recognition or support from the state.However, this August, the Zimbabwean government rolled out a new pilot programme in the capital city of Harare to collect taxes from street vendors who will be forced to operate in specially-allocated trading zones in a bid to boost the government’s dwindling revenue base.'

GLOBAL: "Here’s why the unions are mobilising for climate action this Sunday" by Sharan Burrow

'From the streets of New York to the boulevards of Paris, working people, their families and their unions will turn out on Sunday 21 September for climate action. The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called world leaders together for a summit at UN HQ on climate. All eyes will be on New York and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) flag will be there along with many other union groups. From Kolkata to Khartoum, from Rome to Rio de Janeiro, cities around the world are planning to join the action, so look for your unions at a rally near you. There are no jobs on a dead planet and if we are to meet the challenge of de-carbonising our world we demand both government leadership and business responsibility.'

USA: "President Obama’s broken promise on undocumented migrants" by David Bacon

'US President Barack Obama recently announced that he will not take any action to suspend the deportation of undocumented migrants until after the November election. On 6 September 2014, a White House official told the New York Times: “Because of the Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue, the President believes it would be harmful to the policy itself and to the long-term prospects for comprehensive immigration reform to announce administrative action before the elections.”

ASIA: "Young workers in Asia and the Pacific face instability and vulnerability" by ILO news

'Nearly half of workers aged 15 to 29 in Asia and the Pacific are self-employed and two in three youth are in paid work without a written contract, says a new report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). According to the study Labour market transitions of young women and men in Asia and the Pacific, informality and vulnerable employment are the reality for the vast majority of young workers in region.'

GLOBAL / CAMBODIA: " Join the International day of Solidarity with Cambodian workers on 17 Sept."

' A coalition of Cambodian garment workers’ unions has called on workers and labor rights supporters around the world to demand multinational apparel brands producing in Cambodia raise the wages. Today, Cambodian garment workers sewing products for brands like H&M, The Gap, and Adidas suffer malnourishment and mass faintings -- symptoms of the unlivable minimum wage of $100 USD per month. When workers held protests in the fall of 2013 and early 2014 to demand a wage raise, 5 workers were shot and killed by police and another 25 union activists were thrown in jail on criminal charges that still have not been dropped.'

BAHRAIN: " “The world must carry the voice of Maryam” by Ahmed Ali

'On 30 August 2014, a dictator’s nightmare arrived in Bahrain. Prominent activist Maryam al-Khawaja flew home to visit her father Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, a renowned human rights defender and prisoner of conscience who has been serving a life sentence in Bahrain since 2011. bdulhadi had just entered his second hunger strike to protest against his detention, which the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention found to be arbitrary in 2012. Maryam, who holds dual Danish-Bahraini citizenship, was arrested shortly after she landed in Bahrain and told that she was no longer Bahraini. Maryam predicted her arrest a few months ago'

TURKEY: "Turkey: calls for urgent work safety improvements following construction deaths" by Caleb Lauer

'Protests are continuing in Turkey following the deaths of ten construction workers in Istanbul last Sunday, an incident which has renewed focus on Turkey’s appalling worker safety record. The workers, who were building a luxury high-rise in Istanbul, fell 32 storeys to their deaths when the brake mechanism in their elevator failed.' It is alleged that site authorities repeatedly ignored warnings about problems with the lift and other safety issues at the site prior to the 6 September accident. Police used force to disperse protestors gathered near the site the day after the deaths, while demonstrations were also reported in Izmir, in western Turkey.'

GLOBAL: "Stick with austerity and stifle job growth, warns L20" by Equal Times Newsdesk

'The labour and employment ministers of the G20 are meeting in Melbourne, Australia, on 10 and 11 September, a day after being handed a report on the dire state of the global job market.'

GLOBAL: "Closing the gap on inequality" by Victor Báez Mosqueira , Yasmin Fahimi

'Social inequality has become the focus of political interest in the wake of the financial crisis. The costs are primarily borne by medium to low wage earners, especially in those countries in which strict austerity measures have been adopted.'
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.

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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



India from Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA)

'IFWEA Online Labour Academy (OLA) "Developing and strengthening Member Based Organisation of the Poor"' -  a video produced by The Gujarat Women's Video Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) Information and Communication Co-operative Society Ltd. shows the experiences of SEWA's trainers and members as they participate in this online course, including the development of animation!  IFWEA and SEWA's collaboration in the online trainer and member training included the IFWEA affiliate Labour Education Foundation (LEF) in Pakistan's Khalid Mahmood. 

see video here

in South Africa from Uhuru Productions  "Miners Shot Down"

'In August 2012, mineworkers in one of South Africa's biggest platinum mines began a wildcat strike for better wages. Six days into the strike, the police used live ammunition to brutally suppress the strike, killing 34 and injuring many more. Using the POV of the Marikana miners, Miners Shot Down, follows the strike from day one, showing the courageous but isolated fight waged by a group of low paid workers against the combined forces of the mining company, Lonmin, the ANC government and their allies in the National Union of Mineworkers. What emerges is collusion at the top, spiraling violence and the country's first post-colonial massacre. South Africa will never be the same again.'
 ▶ watch trailer at