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Latest News From The Secretariat

SOUTH AFRICA / SWEDEN / FINLAND: Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP) course concludes for 2014

The YGAP course which is run both online with the Online Labour Academy (OLA) and face-to-face in South Africa for 2 weeks, has just concluded for the third time in Cape Town, South Africa. The IFWEA Secretariat, along with ABF Sweden and TSL Finland co-ordinated and facilitated the course, with participants producing "Postcards from th South" telling the story of the North-South Solidarity exchange...

SOUTH AFRICA / GLOBAL: IFWEA member Labour Research Services (LRS) publish the booklet "The 2010 FIFA World Cup Campaign: The Lessons for Building Trade Unions" available online for download

"The LRS has published this booklet (The 2010 FIFA World Cup Campaign: The Lessons for Building Trade Unions)with the aim of creating awareness of the possibilities for organising and recruiting non-standard workers into the trade union movement. The “Campaign for Decent work Towards and Beyond 2010” that unfolded from 2007 to 2010 around the preparation for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, demonstrated the huge potential that the method of campaigning holds for organizing and uniting a fragmented workforce. Read further for the download link..."

PAKISTAN: IFWEA member Labour Education Foundation (LEF) organises Home Based Workers' (HBWs) Convention

"Women workers give November 20 deadline to government - Threaten with dharna outside Punjab Assembly if law not passed -Progressive Home Based Workers Federation comes into being, takes oath LAHORE: Women Home Based Workers (HBWs) from all over Punjab have warned the government of a dharna (sit-in) in front of the Punjab Assembly in case the draft law on HBWs is not approved by the assembly by November 20, 2014. The HBWs announced this decision at the National Convention of HBWs, organised by the Labour Education Foundation (LEF) at Mehfil Hall on Monday. They said this dharna will continue for an indefinite period and culminate only with the fulfillment of their demands."

SOUTH AFRICA: Community House, home of IFWEA Secretariat in Cape Town launch their website and Facebook group...

Learn more about the heritage, art, organisations and activities that shape Community House. Find links to the Facebook page, website and email contact right here

USA: Online Labour Academy debuts the course "Changing Climates - Changing Perspectives: Labor and the Environment" at Rutgers University, In solidarity Will Brucher

"Labor Education and Research Now (LEARN): This course will explore climate change from a labor perspective including the forces that shape labor and environmental policy and regulation in the U.S. and globally. Strategies to meet climate change challenges and opportunities will be examined." Click the link for details and registration

IFWEA Video Series part 3 'Global Network and Study Circles'

'In part 3 we explore the Global Network activities that IFWEA organisations took part in over a 10 year period on a regional basis - doing education, organising and campaigning to face the effects of informalisation of the economy. Here IFWEA also introduces the Study Circles project focusing on grassroots members doing participatory learning.' click on the link to view

IFWEA Video Series part 2 'Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)'

'In part 2 we share the Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP) which is a sharing between IFWEA affiliates in the North and South with young leaders from labour movement - featuring YGAP participants from 2012 and 2013 along with Niklas Skeppar, Conny Reuter and Sahra Ryklief' click the link to view the video

Labour News

PALESTINE: "Why is the Palestinian Authority waging a war on the Union of Public Employees?" By: Amon al-Sheikh

'The release of the two trade unionists who were detained by the Ramallah government last week does not mean the issue of the Union of Public Employees has been resolved. There is still a presidential decree stating that the union is an illegal entity even though, for years, it was a legitimate representative that reached agreements with successive governments. Suddenly, however, a war was declared on the union when its role of putting pressure on Hamas’ previous government ended and it started crossing the Palestinian Authority’s red lines.'

GLOBAL: "G20 Summit: a “missed opportunity,” say unions" by Mark Phillips

'The G20 Summit held in Brisbane, Australia over the weekend has been described as a “missed opportunity”, with unions lamenting that world leaders failed to deliver a concrete plan for a jobs and wages-led global economic recovery.'

LATIN AMERICA: "Working in Latin America’s Shadow Economy" by Jérémy Joly

'They are everywhere. You can’t miss them. They are on the streets, on buses, in restaurants, on building sites... Around 130 million people are working without contracts or social protection in Latin America and the Caribbean. That is 47.7 per cent of the economically active population according to the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Programme for the Promotion of Formalization in Latin America and the Caribbean (FORLAC).'

BURKINO FASO: "Burkinabé workers – between fear and hope" by Koffi Amétépé

'Last month, Burkina Faso – a name which roughly translates as “land of incorruptible people” –surprised the world with a popular uprising that brought an end, within a matter of days, to the regime of President Blaise Compaoré, who has been in power since 1987.'

EU: "Unions call on the new EU Commission to boost jobs pledge" by Maurizio Molinari

'As Jean-Claude Juncker takes the helm of the European Commission, trade unions and civil society organisations have expressed uncertainty about how the new executive body will lead Europe in the coming five years.'

GERMANY: "Eastern Germany’s trade union revival", by Rachel Knaebel

'On 9 November, Germany will celebrate 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which opened the way for German reunification. A quarter of a century after this event, however, an invisible border still separates East and West Germany: the income gap. Per capita, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is a third lower in the regions of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR), and the average salary is €800 less (US$1015) than in the western part of the country.'

GLOBAL: "The G20 needs to make the world’s economy work for working people" by John Evans

'The G20 leaders who will meet in Brisbane on 15 and 16 of November are still worried about a global economy that is faced with weak growth, high unemployment and rising income inequality.But they should remind themselves that this is not inevitable.'

AFGHANISTAN: "What will the new Afghan government bring the workers?" by Shadi Khan Saif

'Despite only having been office for one month, the new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has already under taken some popular reforms. But Ghani will need to do much more to address the pressing issue of decent work in this war-ravaged nation of 30 million people where the unemployment rate is currently over 50 per cent and almost 90 per cent of workers are engaged in vulnerable employment.'

KYRGYZSTAN: "Kyrgyzstan: where informality is a lifestyle" by Marion Biremon, Begimai Sataeva

'Every year, thousands of migrants and their families make their way to Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, in search of a better life. But what they find is usually far from what was expected.When crossing the Leo Tolstoy Bridge in the city centre, one can catch glimpses of such broken dreams. Here, Bishkek’s unemployed come to find piecework for a couple of hours, or, if they’re lucky, for a whole day.'

BAHRAIN: “Human rights abuses happen in the Gulf when allies stay silent” by Angelo Boccato

'Maryam Al-Khawaja is the daughter of the Bahraini human rights activist Abdulhadi al-Khawaja and the acting president for the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. A dual Danish-Bahraini citizen, she was arrested and imprisoned by the Bahraini regime, and still faces several years in prison on trumped-up charges of assault. She speaks to Equal Times about the long and hard fight for human rights in Bahrain.'

PALESTINE / ISRAEL: "Boycott win as Sodastream pulls out of West Bank Monday" by Asa Winstanley

'Israeli drink machine company SodaStream announced on October 29 that it will close its settlement-based factory in the occupied West Bank next year. The move was hailed as a victory by campaigners for the boycott of Israel, who said they would continue to target SodaStream for its other human rights violations.'

UK: "The UK’S only museum dedicated to working people faces ConDem cuts" by Mischa Wilmers

'An online campaign to save the only museum in England documenting the history of working people has received mass support following news that it faces £200,000 in government funding cuts. An online campaign to save the only museum in England documenting the history of working people has received mass support following news that it faces £200,000 in government funding cuts.'

GLOBAL: "Will the ILO take a stand against gender-based violence at work?" by Angelo Boccato , Tamara Gausi

'A global coalition of trade unionists is piling on the pressure for governments and employers to come out in support of a new international Convention to stop gender-based violence (GBV) in the world of work.'

GLOBAL: "Inequality is not inevitable: it’s time to Even it Up! by Winnie Byanyima

'This January, Oxfam revealed that the richest 85 people in the world possess the same amount of wealth as the world’s poorest 50 per cent. Our report caught the public’s imagination, and keyed into a conversation about inequality that was taken up by many players globally – amongst them Christine Lagarde of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), President Barack Obama and the Pope. The collective wealth of this tiny global elite has increased by US$668 million per day between 2013 and 2014. That’s almost half a million dollars every minute. Today Oxfam launches a new campaign, Even it Up.'

INDIA: "The Indian tea pickers starving to death" by Sindhu Menon

'The exploitation of labour in India’s tea industry goes back centuries but the news that almost 100 tea workers in the Dooars region of West Bengal have died over the last 12 months brings the feudal conditions under which these workers are forced to toil into sharp focus. India is the second-largest tea producing country in the world after China, and the tea industry is India’s second biggest employer after the railways.

GREECE: "Greek economic crisis stimulates social entrepreneurship" by Bryan Carter

'Earlier this month, the Hellenic Statistical Authority released new data showing that more than 2.5 million Greeks, or nearly a quarter of the population, are at risk of poverty. More than four years after the onset of the economic crisis and the introduction of the first austerity measures to Greece, it is still evident on the streets of Athens that people are struggling to make ends meet.'

VENEZUELA: "Thousands of youth march against right-wing terror" by Cory Fischer-Hoffman

'Thousands of Venezuelan youth and supporters of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) government took part in a march on October 18 against terrorism and for peace. The youth march was organised in response to the assassination of Robert Serra, a 27-year-old PSUV parliamentarian and Chavista. Serra was murdered along with his partner Maria Herrera in their home on October 1.'

TUNISIA: "Who are Tunisia's potential kingmakers?"

'As Tunisia's two major parties - Ennahdha and Nidaa Tounes – are unlikely to win an outright majority in parliament polls, a coalition government including small parties is likely. As Tunisia’s first election since the country’s new constitution is nearing, most focus has been on the two biggest parties, the Islamist Ennahdha and its opponent Nidaa Tounes. Both parties are set to dominate the election outcome. However, few expect either of these parties to gain the majority of votes. Instead, earlier opinion polls suggest a third of the electoral votes for each party respectively, which may mean that another political coalition is on the horizon. Cooperation, consensus and compromise have been key words during the country’s post-revolutionary political transition, praised by the international community.'

BANGLADESH: "C&F agents assoc leader shot dead in Shibganj Activities at Sonamasjid land port come to halt" Our Correspondent, The Daily Star

'Loading and unloading of goods at Sonamasjid land port came to a halt yesterday morning as port workers staged demonstration protesting the murder of a leader of Clearing and Forwarding Agents' Association (C&F) in Shibganj upazila on Friday night. Monirul Islam, 35, treasurer of the association and also general secretary of Ward No-1 of Shahbajpur union unit of Jubo League, was shot dead allegedly by his rivals in the association in Chaturpur area of Shibganj municipality around 7:00pm.'

GLOBAL: "Solidarity from ITF to transport unions impacted by Ebola outbreak" ITF Press

'The ITF is expressing strong support for its members in countries hit by the ongoing Ebola outbreak. ITF leadership, global section chairs and regional vice-presidents are meeting in London this week and have heard a report from African regional staff detailing the current challenges being faced by unions on the ground in impacted areas.'

ITALY: "Italy Strikes Kick Off to Protest Renzi’s Labor Measures" by Chiara Vasarri

'Italian workers started a 24-hour strike today to protest Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s proposed overhaul of labor market rules, disrupting air and ground transport in the country’s biggest cities. Easyjet Plc (EZJ) canceled an unidentified number of flights to and from Italy, according to the carrier’s website. Demonstrations organized by the USB union and two other labor federations are planned throughout Italy, potentially affecting the operations of schools, hospitals and public offices in cities such as Rome, Milan, Venice and Naples.'

BRAZIL: "Brazil: a nation at a crossroads" by Nicolò Giangrande

'On 5 October, more than 142 million Brazilians went to the polls to elect the president, 27 state and Federal District governors, a third of the senate, and numerous deputies. With none of the 11 presidential candidates managing to secure an absolute majority, the two leading candidates are now facing a second round run-off on 26 October.'

PALESTINE: "West Bank Bedouins resist forced relocation" by Ylenia Gostoli

'Some 12,000 Palestinian Bedouins living in West Bank communities around Jerusalem, Jericho and Ramallah are fighting against the prospect of eviction.The communities have been settled in the area for decades after fleeing their ancestral lands in the Negev desert following the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. But these villages are not recognised by the Israeli Civil Administration, and have demolition orders pending.'

EUROPEAN UNION: "The EU’s “self-scorched earth” foreign policy" by Juan Antonio Pavon Losada

'By blindly following the United States in its mission to bring the machinery of war to Russia’s borders – one could say that even the ghost of Ronald Reagan has showed up in the European External Action Service – millions of EU farmers will be forced to destroy their production to appease the gods of imperialism.From tons of milk being thrown into sewers in Finland to truckloads of vegetables from Andalusia being dumped on road sides, EU farmers could lose billions of euros following Russia’s decision to place an embargo on agricultural products from the European Union in response to US-EU economic sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.'

MYANMAR: "Where workers pay the price for FDI" by Se-Woong Koo

'On 9 October, 2014, the contents of a factory in Hlaing Tharyar, the largest industrial zone in Yangon, Myanmar, were tentatively auctioned off. It marked the end to a labour dispute that highlighted the topsy-turvy nature of South Korean investment abroad and Myanmar’s industrial landscape.'
Philippines: "About Popular Education And Training for Party Members" 4'20"

◘ watch the video on Olof Palmer International Center's Facebook group


IFWEA part 1 "Lifelong Learning and Development of the Online Labour Academy"

▶ watch the video at


IFWEA part 2 "Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)'

▶ watch the video at

IFWEA part 3 "Global Network and Study Circles"'

▶ watch the video at


NEPAL / QATAR: " Nepalese migrant worker shares story of labour abuses in Qatar"

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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