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Latest News From The Secretariat

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)

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

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”

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...


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

"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."

Labour News

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.'

CAMBODIA: "Cambodian court goes after union leaders as new wage campaign looms" by Lauren Crothers

'The Cambodian garment industry is facing fresh turmoil after six of the country’s most high-profile union leaders were charged in relation to a series of minimum-wage protests. The strikes, which began last December, were brought to a violent halt by government forces who opened fire on protesters. Five protestors were killed, bringing an end to one of the bloodiest chapters in the workers’ fight for a US$60 increase to the US$100 minimum wage.'
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