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Latest News From The Secretariat

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

13.8.2014
'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)

8.8.2014
"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)

Invitation to IFWEA affiliates to colloborate with IDEA Cambodia for The International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) World Congress in Cape Town September 2015

31.7.2014
Dear IFWEA friends, The International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA) World Congress will be held in Cape Town in September next year. They have not yet published a date for submission of abstracts but it will be soon. Is anyone in this group interested in collaborating on a paper for submission to the Congress? Please reply to express interest and we can start an offline discussion about what to cover.

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”

30.7.2014
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...

PALESTINE, GAZA: SOLIDARITY WITH DEMOCRACY AND WORKERS' RIGHTS CENTER (DWRC)

28.7.2014
The DWRC posted this message on Facebook: "Today, our #Gaza office is closed, and will remain so as long as the Israeli airstrikes against the Gaza Strip continue, because it is not safe to be out in the streets, but neither are workplaces or homes. We can only hope that our colleagues and their families, their neighbors and loved ones, will not be targeted by the bombs that are being dropped on civilian houses all over the Gaza Strip for the second day on a row. Once again, the Israeli occupation army is using deadly weapons on one of the most densely populated areas in the world, a place there is no escape from since the Gaza Strip remains under tight blockade, and where there are no shelters for the population to take cover. The number of victims is rising by the hour. By 10:00 a.m. this morning, 22 Gaza residents had already been killed, 17 of them civilians, including 6 children and 3 women, and 255 injured, including 88 children and 46 women. Gaza counts 1.82 million inhabitants, more than half of them children, who are kept hostage in the 365 square kilometres territory, and whose lives have come to a stillstand as the explosions rock the ground under their feet. More than ever, they need your solidarity and your mobilization to stop this madness. Circulate information, address letters to your governments, join the BDS campaign if you have not done so before. There are many ways for you to get involved."

IFWEA's member UGT-P writes on PORTUGAL: "The outcomes of European elections and it’s impact on the labour movement in Portugal' by Catarina Tavares, International Secretary, UGT Portugal

27.7.2014
"An assessment of European Union countries' situation during the last 5 years shows a consistent pattern: reduce the bargaining power of labour, cut spending on pensions, health care, education, and increased pressure over labor supply (either by a decrease of real wage, or by raising taxes). “Austerity” has conquered Europe’s agenda, and Portugal was strongly affected by it. Economic and social policies have been in the very centre of euro zone unrest. Economic crisis and unemployment are threatening European unity and consequently, citizen’s trust in the European project."

PORTUGAL : "Os Resultados das Eleições Europeias e o seu Impacto no Movimento Sindical em Portugal" Catarina Tavares Secretária Internacional da UGT

26.7.2014
"Uma análise dos países da União Europeia nos últimos 5 anos, mostra um padrão consistente: redução da negociação colectiva, cortes na despesa em pensões, cuidados de saúde e educação, e aumento da pressão sobre os trabalhadores (quer sob a forma de diminuição dos salários reais, quer pelos aumentos de impostos). A “austeridade” conquistou a agenda europeia e Portugal foi fortemente afetado com isso."

Labour News

ARGENTINA: "Argentine Workers in National Strike as Economic Woes Mount" by Charlie Devereux

28.8.2014
'Argentine labor unions are staging a second national strike in less than five months as July’s bond default threatens to fuel inflation and undermine growth. Truckers, train conductors, port workers and waiters walked off their jobs today in a 24-hour strike to demand higher wages and in protest at dismissals. While strikers blocked some of the main entrances to Buenos Aires, most bus and metro services worked as normal, according to TV channel TN. “There’s a great desire to take part and show the government that people are fed up, tired and seeking answers to these demands that haven’t been met,” Hugo Moyano, secretary general of the General Workers Confederation and a former government ally, told reporters yesterday.'

COLOMBIA: "330 000 teachers to gather in Colombia’s capitals for nationwide strike" by Christoffer Frendesen

26.8.2014
'Teachers will assemble in every state capital of Colombia on Wednesday for a national strike organized by Colombian Federation of Educators (Fecode). Approximately 330,000 teachers are expected to go on strike in a move to pressure the national government into “compliance with the agreements and commitments it made in May.” According to a statement by Fecode, the teacher’s union is calling for “the immediate solution to the problem of the provision of health services, in keeping with contract conditions; timely payment of debts for various purchases; the progress of the operation of the Tripartite Commission; the implementation of wage adjustment; guarantees for teachers and union workers; and respect for the life and physical integrity of educators.'

EQUAL TIMES: USA/ AFRICA "US-Africa Leaders Summit – how was it for the unions?" by Clare Speak

25.8.2014
'After three days of passionate debate at the first-ever US-Africa Leaders Summit earlier this month in Washington DC, trade union delegates report mixed feelings about the success of the talks. The summit was initiated by US president Barack Obama, and attended by 51 heads of state from African countries, joined by business and trade union delegates from both continents.'

POLAND: "ITF and ETF urge action over dismissed aviation union leader in Poland"

23.8.2014
'The ITF and ETF are urging their affiliates to take action over the unlawful dismissal of an aviation trade union leader in Poland. Andrzej Jeżewski, vice president of ITF and ETF affiliate Cabin Crew Union ZZPP, has been sacked by LOT Polish Airlines during collective bargaining negotiations. This is in breach of Polish law, under which a certain number of trade union board members enjoy particular job security rights and cannot be dismissed without the consent of their board. Jeżewski is in this category but the airline terminated his contract without ZZPP’s consent.'

INDIA: " Tea garden workers seek minimum wage" by The Hindu

22.8.2014
' Thousands of workers from tea gardens affiliated to 22 labour unions of north Bengal organised a rally at Siliguri in Darjeeling on Wednesday demanding a minimum wage structure for workers of tea gardens. The workers who had assembled from nearly 300 tea gardens in Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri , Alipurduar and even from smaller tea gardens of Uttar Dinajpur district walked a three-km stretch in Siliguri town. The representatives of the 22 labour unions submitted a memorandum to the Joint Labour Commissioner, North Bengal Zone.'

EQUAL TIMES: USA 'A “European-style” works council in the United States?' by Cécile Fandos

21.8.2014
'The creation of a “European-style” works council at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee, is fuelling controversy in a US region hostile to unions. After numerous setbacks, the supporters of organised social dialogue at the plant – the group’s only factory in the world without a works council – are on the verge of achieving their goal.'

EQUAL TIMES: "If we can have minimum wages, why not maximum wages?" by Simon Wren-Lewis

19.8.2014
'I was at a gathering of academics the other day, and we were discussing minimum wages. The debate moved on to increasing inequality, and the difficulty of doing anything about it. I said “why not have a maximum wage?” To say that the idea was greeted with incredulity would be an understatement. “So you want to bring back price controls?” was one response. “How could you possibly decide on what a maximum wage should be?” was another. So why the asymmetry? Why is the idea of setting a maximum wage considered outlandish among economists? The problem is clear enough. All the evidence, in the US and UK, points to the income of the top one per cent rising much faster than the average.'

EQUAL TIMES: HUNGARY " Independent journalism under increasing threat in Hungary" by Daiva Repeckaite

17.8.2014
'While the democracy watchdog Freedom House ranks Hungary’s press as only partially free, for the country’s journalists, the situation feels far worse.Since the introduction of a new Media Law in 2010, the Hungarian media has been subject to the legal requirements of ‘balanced reporting’. Failure to abide by the government’s interpretation of something that is a basic tenet of journalism results in heavy fines, proportional to the popularity of the media outlet.'
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   www.youtube.com/ChinaPerilsofLabor

 

 

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 www.youtube.com

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  www.youtube.com