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Latest News From The Secretariat

IFWEA Secretariat: YOUTH GLOBALISATION AWARENESS PROGRAMME (YGAP) 2015: Sweden, Finland and Norway in South Africa

IFWEA​ and Community House​ hosts trade union and labour activists on the 4th annual Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP). In the first week the seminar programme was held in Imam Haron Hall. In the second week internships with various organisations and union meetings took place. Participants also produced their "Postcards from the South", a reflection on organising and solidarity between North and South.

SOUTH AFRICA: IFWEA Secretariat presents "The Power of Change Lies Within Us" Video - Study Circles Project

IFWEA presents 'The Power of Change Lies Within Us' - looking at the establishment of study circles in Cape Town South Africa in the last period - using popular education to organise and campaign against poverty and equality...

EGYPT: "The Center for Trade Union and Worker Services Opposes the Anti Terrorism law Confronting terrorism can only be achieved by inviting all of the sectors and strata of society to participate and not to threaten them or exclude them."

'After the amendment of some of the articles in the first draft of the law approved by the cabinet in the beginning of last July a decree law number 94 for the year 2015 came out issuing an anti terrorism law dated August 15, 2015 and it was published in issue 33 repeated of the official newspaper. As usual everyone was surprised by the law published in the official newspaper on Sunday August 16. Thus surfaced once more a wave of arguments, objections and fears that the first draft had also raised. The government was content with partial amendments of its project that had been done in response to the notes of the Higher Council of Judiciary that were worth noting.'

AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD: "New ILO handbook on Education for the Unions" launched by ILO's ACTRAV (Bureau for Workers' Activities)

'The handbook emphasizes the importance of training educators and focuses on ‘educating the union educator’ to implement education activities that are learner focused and based on the principles of solidarity and collectivism. It recognizes that education is a vital part of a union strategy and action plans because it encourages the involvement and confidence of workers to play a role in the union strengthening negotiations, representation and campaigns.

REGISTER NOW for IFWEA's 22nd General Conference... NOTE: update on Conference Fee

1) Category 2 – 3 affiliates in good standing can apply for a reduced concessionary conference fee if they register by 30th September 2015. 2) On application to the IFWEA Secretariat, Category 4 affiliates in good standing can apply for the waiving of conference fees and four nights shared accommodation costs for one delegate per organisation. This application should be made directly to the IFWEA Secretariat at the following email address:

Weekly Labour News

EQUAL TIMES: "La rebelión de estudiantes y trabajadores de Sudáfrica continúa" por Luso Mnthali

'Empezó este año como una campaña para retirar la estatua del colonizador Cecil Rhodes de la University of Cape Town (UCT), pero en los últimos meses las universidades de Sudáfrica se han convertido en un campo de batalla para la lucha por la justicia racial y económica tras la era del apartheid. En octubre, el hashtag #RhodesMustFall (Rhodes debe caer) fue sustituido por #FeesMustFall (las tasas deben disminuir) y #EndOutsourcing (basta a la externalización) cuando los estudiantes universitarios y el personal no académico aunaron sus fuerzas en todo el país para frenar una propuesta para aumentar las tasas de matrícula en un 10-12%.'

EQUAL TIMES: SOUTH AFRICA "South Africa’s student-worker rebellion continues" by Luso Mnthali

'It started earlier this year as a campaign to remove the statue of colonialist Cecil Rhodes from the University of Cape Town (UCT), but in recent months South Africa’s universities have become a battleground for the quest for post-apartheid racial and economic justice. This October, the #RhodesMustFall hashtag was replaced with #FeesMustFall and #EndOutsourcing as university students and mostly non-academic staff joined forces across the country to stop a proposed hike in tuition fees of between 10 and 12 per cent.'

EQUAL TIMES: "La contraproducente ley británica sobre la esclavitud moderna" by Tamara Gausi

'A primera vista, Reino Unido parece encabezar la lucha mundial contra el trabajo forzoso y la trata de seres humanos. En marzo aprobó la Ley sobre la Esclavitud Moderna, convirtiéndose así en el primer país de la Unión Europea y en una de las primeras naciones del mundo que intentan enfrentarse jurídicamente a las formas modernas de la esclavitud. La esclavitud moderna afecta a unas 13.000 personas en Reino Unido y a alrededor de 21 millones de seres humanos en todo el mundo.'

EQUAKL TIMES: UK / GLOBAL "Has the Modern Slavery Act left the UK’s most exploited workers even more vulnerable?" by Tamara Gausi

'At first glance, the United Kingdom appears to be at the forefront of the international fight against forced labour and trafficking. This March, it passed the Modern Slavery Act, becoming the first country in the European Union and one of the first countries in the world to attempt to tackle – in law – the modern manifestations of slavery, which affect as many as 13,000 people in the UK and an estimated 21 million people globally.'

Equal Times: "¿Ha llegado el momento de repensar el Comercio Justo?" by Helen Clifton

'Este año, millones de estadounidenses participaron en el mes del Comercio Justo, en el que se pidió a los consumidores “mostrarse equitativos” y comprar durante el mes de octubre productos que llevan el sello de Comercio Justo (comercializado en los EE.UU. con la marca “Fair Trade”). Sin embargo, un número creciente de productores y activistas éticos están poniendo en tela de juicio cuán capaz es el sistema de comercio justo de hacer frente a las enormes desigualdades presentes en los mercados mundiales tanto de materias primas como de trabajo.'

via EQUAL TIMES: "Is it time to rethink Fairtrade?" by Helen Clifton

'This year millions of Americans joined in Fair Trade Month, where consumers were asked in October to “be fair” and buy Fairtrade products. However, a growing number of ethical producers and campaigners question how capable the Fairtrade system is of tackling the vast inequalities of the global commodities and labour markets.'

EQUAL TIMES: UZBEKISTAN "Home of Uzbek Labor Rights Activist Burned" by Tula Connell

' Uzbek labor rights activist Dimitry Tikhonov says his home office has been burned and all the equipment and documentation he collected on Uzbekistan’s use of forced labor in the country’s cotton harvests has been destroyed. No other room in his home was touched by the fire, he says. “All papers and files containing materials from my human rights work, including forced labor, were completely burned,” he says. “My entire legal library, which I have collected over years, is completely destroyed." '

EQUAL TIMES: "Médicos y pacientes en Rusia luchan por resucitar el sistema de sanidad moribund" por Alexander Nurik

'Las autoridades rusas revocarán una serie de medidas polémicas para reducir costes tras protestas, interrupción del trabajo e incluso huelgas de hambre llevadas a cabo por parte del acosado personal sanitario.'

EQUAL TIMES: "Doctors and patients battle to resuscitate Russia’s dying healthcare system" by Alexander Nurik

'Russian authorities will reverse a number of controversial cost-cutting measures following protests, work stoppages and even hunger strike action by beleaguered health care staff.'

FRANCE: "Striking maids at luxury Paris hotel hold ‘fashion week for the poor’ by

'As Paris switched into fashion high-gear yesterday a group of chambermaids working for the luxury Park Hyatt hotel staged a “fashion week for the poor” to celebrate victory in a labour dispute. Dressed up with splashes of colour and sequins about 60 chambermaids and various other workers from the Park Hyatt marched to another hotel, the W Paris Opera, where workers were still striking for better working conditions. The Hyatt workers were celebrating their victory after a strike on Monday saw them obtain double pay for public holidays worked, and increased meal and travel allowances.'

REUTERS / FRANCE: "Air France managers flee as staff storm meeting on job cuts" by Simon Carraud and Cyril Altmeyer

'Air France managers fled a meeting on Monday about mass job cuts after angry staff waving banners and flags stormed the room, according to Reuters journalists at the scene. The airline's human resources and labor relations chief Xavier Broseta had his shirt ripped off and his tie hanging from his neck as he battled through crowds of workers, some of whom shouted "clothes off". Broseta and Air France Chief Executive Frederic Gagey had been outlining a drastic cost cutting plan, described by the company as "Plan B" after it failed to persuade its pilots to accept a less radical one earlier this year.'

GUATEMALA "Crisis política en Guatemala: ¿albor de un nuevo comienzo, o más de lo mismo?" por Louisa Reynolds

'Jimmy Morales, un actor cómico que alguna vez protagonizó una disparatada comedia en la que un campesino accedía por accidente a la presidencia, es el ganador sorpresa de las elecciones celebradas en Guatemala el 6 de septiembre de 2015. Morales, del minúsculo Frente de Convergencia Nacional (FCN), se ha presentado como candidato en medio de la mayor crisis política en la historia reciente del país, y ha conseguido mostrarse como elemento ajeno al poder.'

GUATAMALA: "Guatemala’s political crisis: the start of a new beginning – or more of the same?" by Louisa Reynolds

'immy Morales, a comic actor who once starred in a slapstick comedy as a cowboy who ran for president, is the surprise winner of the Guatemalan elections held on 6 September 2015. Morales won 23.99 per cent of the vote, while the second place was a tight race between National Unity of Hope (UNE) candidate Sandra Torres, with 19.75 per cent and Manuel Baldizón, of the Renewed Democratic Liberty party (LIDER) with 19.38 per cent. Since none of the candidates secured more than 50 per cent of the vote, Morales and Torres will face off on 25 October 2015.'

EQUAL TIMES: "Yemen: la guerra que el mundo ignora y la crisis de refugiados que no podrá desdeñar" por Juan Cole

'Muchos de los miles de refugiados/as que ahora cruzan Grecia y Hungría de camino a países más acogedores como Alemania son sirios y kurdos que huyen de las guerras y la represión política en Oriente Medio.'

EQUAL TIMES: "Yemen: the war the world ignores, the refugee crisis it won’t be able to" by Juan Cole

'Many of the thousands of refugees now crossing from Greece and Hungary on their way to more welcoming countries such as Germany are Syrians and Kurds, fleeing the wars and political repression in the Levant. However, another large-scale refugee problem may be looming, and it is unlikely to leave Europe unaffected. The war in Yemen, already highly destructive, may be getting hotter as it reaches an endgame, with the potential for putting a large proportion of its 24 million people—a slightly larger population than pre-war Syria—on the road (or, more likely, the seas).'

EQUAL TIMES: "Vaca Muerta: posible Eldorado energético en Argentina para unos pocos" por María del Valle Guerra

'El hallazgo del gas de esquisto en Vaca Muerta, en la Patagonia argentina representaba la mayor promesa de progreso para la región en las últimas décadas, posicionando nuevamente al país en el primer plano mundial. Pero transcurrido un tiempo, los sueños se ensombrecieron.'

EQUAL TIMES: "Vaca Muerta: Argentina’s budding energy Eldorado…for a select few" by María del Valle Guerra

'The discovery of shale gas in Vaca Muerta, in Argentine Patagonia, was the greatest promise of progress for the region in recent decades, repositioning the country as a major global player. But with the passing of time, the dream has faded.

EQUAL TIMES: "Empresas europeas acusadas de explotar a obreros norcoreanos" por Tanja Milevska

'Se niega a dar su nombre y ni siquiera da un seudónimo, por miedo a lo que pueda suceder a su familia, que dejó atrás en Corea del Norte. Es uno de los 50.000 trabajadores que el régimen de Pyongyang « alquila » en todo el mundo a (muy) bajo costo a empresas privadas y públicas, según las informaciones reveladas por la base de datos sobre derechos humanos en Corea del Norte (Database on Human Rights Violations in North Korea (NKDB)).'

EQUAL TIMESEUROPE / NORTH KOREA / SOUTH KOREA: "European enterprises accused of exploiting North Korean workers" by Tanja Milevska

'He refuses to give his name, not even a pseudonym, so great is his fear for his family who have stayed in North Korea. He is one of 50,000 workers that the Pyonyang regime “leases” throughout the world for a (very) low price to both private and public enterprises, according to information revealed by the Database on Human Rights Violations in North Korea (NKDB).'

EQUAL TIMES: "Trabajo forzoso rampante en la cosecha del algodón de Uzbekistán" por Tula Connell

'Al personal sanitario que faena en los campos de algodón uzbekos se unirán estudiantes de tercero y cuarto de universidad, obligados por el gobierno a trabajar en la cosecha anual de otoño, según datos recopilados por el Foro Uzbeco-alemán de Derechos Humanos.'



Solidar: Call for Solidarity

Solidarity to Provide Aid to the Victims of the Earthquake that hit Nepal

A powerful magnitude 7.9 earthquake has struck Nepal and caused major destruction in the whole country. According to official numbers more than at least 3,900 people and injured 7,000people have lost their lives. It is feared that the number of deaths will keep rising. The epicentre of the earthquake was located only about 80 kilometres west of the capital Kathmandu. This was the strongest earthquake in the last 80 years. The Nepalese government has declared a state of emergency.

SOLIDAR members AWO International, ASB Germany, Danish People’s Aid, SOLIDAR Suisse, Samaritan Austria, Volkshilfe Austria, Norwegian People’s Aid together with their Nepalese partners, are working to raise funds and to deploy missions to the epicentre to help those people in need with first aid, shelter, medications, food and other support.

You can help the people in Nepal by making a donation to the SOLIDAR Foundation for Humanitarian Cooperation:
IBAN: BE53 7310 0861 1753
ACCOUNT HOLDER: SOLIDAR Foundation for humanitarian, development and European cooperation ASBL
Mentioning the following sentence when doing the payment: Nepal Solidarity

The incoming funds will be channelled to our members and their partners active in Nepal. SOLIDAR Foundation will regularly update on the use of the funds.

Do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions or remarks. The Nepalese count on your solidarity!



EQUAL TIMES  Video Series on Informal Work:

▶ In Morocco, some 70,000 people work in call centres, mostly for French companies. But another 30,000 endure hard working conditions in informal call centres.In English:
En français:
En Español: this story? Then share it! And don't forget to like our Facebook page >> or follow us on Twitter >>

EQUAL TIMES  Video Series on Informal Work:

▶ In Rwanda, moto-taxi drivers have secured better wages and social protection, thanks to the organising efforts of cooperatives and trade unions.
In English:
En français:
En Español:
(Like this story? Then share it! And don't forget to like our Facebook page >> or follow us on Twitter >>


EQUAL TIMES  Video Series on Informal Work:

in India : 'Twelve-year-old Muhammad earns US$ 8 per month working in India gemstone industry. Nobody knows how many other children do the same. In English:  En français:  En Español:

(Like this story? Then share it! And don't forget to like our Facebook page >> or follow us on Twitter >>

via IFWEA: SOUTH AFRICA "IFWEA presents 'The Power of Change Lies Within Us' - looking at the establishment of study circles in Cape Town South Africa

▶ watch here



via WIEGO: THAILAND, INDIA and SOUTH AFRICA "This video by WIEGO and partners, Asiye eTafuleni(AeT) in South Africa; HomeNet Thailand; and the Self-Employed Women's Association in India tells the stories of informal workers and the difficulties they face in accessing health services in their respective countries. It also presents some of the solutions that each of these organizations has developed to mitigate against these barriers to access.
If you are interested in learning more on this topic, please read the accompanying blog post on our blog at"

▶ watch here


via Soundz of the South: SOUTH AFRICA "Performance Tribute to Marikana martyrs at the Zolani center. w/ Kusta, Mawethu Gejies and Karl Myx. Shot by Cde Anele"

▶ watch here



via Equal Times: Brazil: "Waste pickers of Brazil unite"

'In Ourinhos, Brazil, waste pickers got organised, got out of the informal economy and, in the process, managed to secure a better standard of living.'

▶ watch here


via Equal Times:  India "Child labour and exploitation in India's cotton fields"

"Some 20 per cent of workers in Gujurat's cotton fields in India are thought to be children. They are unwilling recruits of a massive forgotten army of child labourers, who work alongside their mothers and fathers from day to hard-scrabble day, families at the very base of India’s labour pyramid."

▶ watch here

via International Labour Organisation (ILO): "Very few of the estimated 53 million domestic workers worldwide are covered by labour laws. In 2011, the ILO's Member States adopted the Domestic Workers' Convention (N°189) to protect their rights, promote equality of opportunity and treatment, and improve working and living conditions. So far, 17 countries have ratified this convention. Let's keep the momentum!"

▶ watch here




International Labour Organisation's World Employment Social Outlook:
'It's not just employment trends which are changing. It's the very nature of jobs. Here's what that means.'

▶ watch here


TURKEY via ILO: 'Like hazelnuts? In Turkey, they're often harvested by children. But that's starting to change.'
TURKEY via ILO: 'Like hazelnuts? In Turkey, they're often harvested by children.But that's starting to change.'

▶ watch here



INDONESIA via LO-TCO Biståndsnämnd 'Indonesian workers need stronger unions, increased minimum wages and social security, according to Prihanani Boenadi of the Indonesian metalworkers union FSPMI.'
watch the interview here



BANGLADESH via International Labour Organisation:

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

▶ watch the video here

SOUNDZ OF THE SOUTH: 'Train Cypher against Xeno/afrophobia attacks in Azania'

in South Africa : 'Train Cypher against Xeno/afrophobia attacks in Azania [uncut video] by  Soundz of the South Sos  With Khusta, Java, Bongs, Ntska Freeze, Anela, Phillippi High Speaks Shot by C'de Anele, Organised by Solitude and C'de Anele'

watch the video at