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Latest News From The Secretariat


''We're very pleased to announce the 21ST General Conference of IFWEA will be held on Saturday 5th to Monday 7th December 2015, in Lima Peru. We are in the process of assembling an exciting conference program that includes several prominent keynote speakers and useful workshops for worker educators.'

EGYPT: Center for Trade Union and Workers Services '2014 - Assassination of Union Freedom'

'Introduction - Year 2014 has been stuffed with all the pain left behind during year 2013, a year that have been marked with bloodsheds. Nevertheless, lots of people imagined that year 2014 would be a year of political participation and would witness the realization of democratic rights guaranteed by the road map declared after the overthrowing of Muslim Brotherhood on the 30th of July. However, the contrary has taken place. Although 2014 has witnessed the completion of the constitution drafted by the “50 committee” whereby a referendum has been passed in January 2014, the referendum result was 98% in favor of the constitution, and though the same year has also witnessed presidential elections, this year was the year of politics mortality, when security solutions became and exclusive approach to deal with all crisis powered by the slogan of “War against Terrorism” '

PALESTINE: Democracy and Workers Rights Center Press Release

'‪#‎Palestine‬ ‪#‎tradeunionrights‬: Upcoming court hearings in case of banned Union of Public Employees and arbitrarily transferred unionists On 14/01/2015 and 19/01/2015, the Palestinian High Court of Justice in Ramallah will examine the appeals filed earlier in the year by the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights against the arbitrary transfer of several unionists at the Ministry of Finance, and the closure of the Union of Public Employees by the executive authority, which took place on the background of a labor dispute between the Union of Public Employees and the Palestinian government. '

General Secretary Sahra Ryklief: New Year Greeting

'On this first day of 2015, I have but one New Year's resolution. That is to meet, face to face, a representative from every IFWEA affiliate in good standing at our 22nd General Conference in Lima, Peru 5 - 7 December 2015. Make attending the General Conference your organisation's priority of the year and begin the budgeting and planning NOW! You can do it.'

IFWEA E-bulletin Issue 26 / December 2014

Greetings from the IFWEA Secretariat and General Secretary Sahra Ryklief: On behalf of the IFWEA Executive Committee, I would like to extend the season’s greetings to all members. We have had a busy and successful 2014. A brief summary of the year’s highlights in striving to fulfill IFWEA’s strategic objectives for 2012 – 2015 follows:... click the link for the full e-bulletin

PALESTINE: Season's greetings from DWRC Democracy and Workers' Rights Center

'The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center in Palestine wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May we work hand in hand to make 2015 a year of justice, equity and freedom from want and oppression.'

IFWEA General Secretary Sahra Ryklief: Highlights of 2014 and End of Year Greeting

'On behalf of the IFWEA Executive Committee, I would like to extend the season’s greetings to all members. We have had a busy and successful 2014. A brief summary of the year’s highlights in striving to fulfil IFWEA’s strategic objectives for 2012 – 2015 follows...'


Margie Marman / South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers' Union (SADSAWU):“Out of our SADSAWU study circle the choir was born, that was our activity and the reason for that is well...they can sing...the choir is part of our recruitment campaign. It wasn’t easy because the domestic worker – the most difficult part in their lives is time, they don’t have it. And those who do have time, the employers can change their mind quickly. When we want to come together, we can’t! But the whole idea of the choir is to recruit our workers to make them aware, look here we are come and join. The lessons we learnt were ‘together we can do it’ and commitment is very important. And we really want to go forward with it!"

EGYPT via Center for Trade Union & Workers Services CTUWS "The Egyptian Trade Union Federation Was Always An Institution for Mubarak’s Regime and One of Its Tools For Oppression, Domination and Corruption"

'The last few days and weeks witnessed a series of governmental and semi-official practices which raise questions and cause concern regarding trade union freedoms and the workers’ rights especially when monitored and viewed with the escalated attack on independent trade unions in some media and TV channels owned by Mubarak’s aides.'

CAMPAIGN - SEND A MESSAGE! HONG KONG: 'Free arrested Hong Kong union leaders'

At least three leaders of the independent Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) were arrested today as police moved to break up the democracy encampment in the Admiralty section of the city.'

Labour News

GLOBAL: 'Unions mobilize globally for workers’ rights at Holcim Lafarge'

'Last week, on 15 January Lafarge and Holcim workers and their supporters in 30 countries organized a series of actions as part of a global campaign launched by the Building and Wood Workers International (BWI), European Federation of Building and Woodworkers (EFBWW) and IndustriALL Global Union.'

VIETNAM: 'Justice still sought for Vichea

'On the 11th anniversary of labour leader Chea Vichea’s assassination yesterday, about 200 people attended a memorial service as many continued to call on authorities to find and arrest those responsible for Vichea’s 2004 murder. Opposition party leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, along with the likes of Beehive Radio host Mam Sonando and Cambodian Confederation of Unions president Rong Chhun, demanded that the government and police prioritise the investigation.'

URUGUAY: 'What now for Uruguay’s drug reforms?' by Nicolò Giangrande

'Amongst the many measures that have placed outgoing Uruguayan president José “Pepe” Mujica on the world map, one of the best-known is undoubtedly Law 19172. Passed on 20 December 2013, it established a regulatory framework for the production chain of cannabis, for both therapeutic and recreational use.'

TURKEY: CAMPAIGN Act Now! '98 health care workers sacked for joining a union' In partnership with DISK, the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey, Public Services International and the European Federation of Public Service Unions.

'The hospital of Maltepe University in Istanbul dismissed 98 workers, for being members of the Progressive Union of Health Workers on 6 December 2014. The workers joined the union to seek to improve their working conditions in the hospital. They demanded higher wages, promised for several years, and shorter working hours. Several of the sacked workers were working in the hospital for more than 10 years and received several awards. There are disabled workers as well as couples among them, leaving families without income. '

GREECE: 'The EU must face facts: austerity has failed Greece' by Paul De Grauwe

'That crisis was the result of two factors. First, an unbridled spending drift of both the private and the public sectors in Greece during the boom years of 2000-2010, which led to unsustainable large levels of debt. Second, reckless lending to Greece by northern eurozone banks. At no time did the northern bankers asked themselves whether the Greeks would repay the loans.'

ECUADOR: 'Ecuador’s 20-year-old mining conflict' by Grégory Salomonovitch , Caroline Pothie

'The communities living in Intag Valley in northern Ecuador have been opposing attempts to introduce an open-pit copper mine for 20 years. Such a mine would endanger one of the world’s richest areas in terms of biodiversity, known as cloud forest, part of which is old-growth forest. These unique ecosystems are home to rare and endangered animal and plant species. As early as 1995, the region’s 17,000 inhabitants held firm against the Japanese mining company BishiMetals and, in 2008, managed to expel the Canadian corporation Ascendant Copper.'

HONG KONG: "Arrest of Hong Kong Union Leaders Imminent"

' The ITUC has been informed that top officials of the Hong Kong trade union movement are facing imminent arrest for their support for the “Umbrella” movement. The names of HKCTU officials Lee Cheuk-yan (General Secretary) and Mung Siu-tat (Executive Director) are included on a list of persons who are to be summoned to police stations where they will be arrested.'

USA: "When water is privatised, injustice flows freely" by Michelle Chen

'In this uncertain economy, whether you think the glass is half full or half empty, you probably take for granted the fact you can fill it by turning on the tap. Last summer, that basic service vanished for Detroit’s working-class households. Neighbourhoods awoke to the humiliating reality that in the world’s richest nation, this impoverished city’s water had run dry—the city’s stopgap “emergency” response to fiscal collapse.'

RUSSIA: "Russia’s calling fades for Tajik migrants" by Alin Kor, Florian Coppenrath

'ccording to the World Bank, Tajikistan is more dependent on remittances than any other country in the world. 42 per cent of the country’s economy relies on the money sent by Tajik migrants working mostly in Russia.'

EUROPE: "Juncker’s investment plan is received with uncertainty" by Christina Vasilaki

'European leaders gave the “green light” to Jean-Claude Juncker’s €315 billion investment plan during the last European Union (EU) Council of the year, which took place in Brussels on 18 December.The aim of the plan is to boost growth in the EU by mobilising €315 billion of public and private investment.'

MACEDONIA: "Macedonian government ignores historic student mobilisation by Tanja Milevska

'On 10 December, thousands of Macedonian students took to the streets of the capital Skopje for the second time in two months to express their anger at a new draft law on higher education, known as “external testing” or “state exam”.'

PERU: "A Roadmap to Global Burning: COP20 Closes With Even Weaker Climate Pact, Climate campaigners lament: "It sucks. It is taking us backwards."' by Lauren McCauley

'After two weeks of negotiations, the world community has yet again failed to take any meaningful actions to prevent landmark global warming and instead has produced a "roadmap to global burning," leading climate campaigners lamented upon the close of the United Nations COP20 climate talks in Lima, Peru on Sunday. In the wee hours of the morning, two days past the intended close of the conference, delegates from 195 nations cemented the text intended to serve as the building blocks for the next round of international climate negotiations in Paris next year.'

GLOBAL: "Inequality often starts in the labour market" by Patrick Belser

'The latest Global Wage report by the International Labour Organization (ILO), entitled “Wages and income inequality”, finds that the most recent global wage growth was driven almost entirely by emerging and developing economies, where real wages have been rising – sometimes rapidly – since 2007.'

ITALY: "Italian workers strike against Renzi’s Jobs Act" by Angelo Boccato

'This Friday, two of Italy’s biggest national trade union centres, CGIL (the Italian General Confederation of Labour) and UIL, (the Italian General Union of Labour) will go on strike against the labour reforms being implemented by the government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The main point of contention is Renzi’s Jobs Act, a raft of reforms passed by the Senate on 3 December, designed to overhaul the country’s labour market and make the hiring and firing workers easier. Unions are also protesting against the Stability Law, a €36 billion budget package which will introduce massive public spending cuts, particularly in the education and health sectors, without – say the unions – allowing for the investments needed to tackle the country’s youth unemployment crisis (43.3 per cent in October 2014).'

SOUTH AFRICA: "Murder exposes rampant sexism in South African mines" by Industriall News

'A verdict of two life sentences handed down on 27 November 2014 nearly three years after miner Pinky Mosaine’s rape and murder underground at Anglo Platinum’s Khomanani mine is only a partial victory as women still suffer systemic violence, exploitation and abuse in South Africa’s mines.'

GLOBAL: "A proud day" by Stephen Benedict

'Yesterday was the UN International Day to recognise Human Rights. And of course, we all know that the ILO Convention 87 and UN Covenant on Social, Political and Economic Rights recognise the right of workers to collectively withhold their labour as a fundamental right, one which balances that to private property in the capitalist system.'

USA: "To serve and protect whom? The militarisation of US police" by Ari Paul

"With militarisation, police don’t see themselves as public servants but as warriors in an endless conflict." Remembering Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Rumain Brisbon on this Human Rights Day, Ari Paul draws attention to the militarisation of U.S. police and its tragic consequences for African-Americans especially.

CHINA: "Labor movement 'concertmaster' tests Beijing's boundaries" by John Ruwitch

'When local officials warned striking shoe factory workers in China's Pearl River Delta this summer that they were breaking the law, a slight, bespectacled figure barely 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 meters) tall faced them down. "Where is the law that says striking is illegal? If this activity is prohibited by the law, then you need to say so with crystal clarity. Which law is it?" labor lawyer Duan Yi said he told them, with his characteristic growl. They had no answer.'

GLOBAL: "Fiscal redistribution: yes, but inequality starts in the labour market: Findings from the ILO Global Wage Report 2014/2015" by Patrick Belser

'The International Labour Organisation (ILO) Global Wage Report[1], a publication released every two years, has been issued on the 5th of December 2014. The report is titled “Wages and income inequality” and, as usual, it has three parts. The first part analyses the evolution of real wages around the world. The second part, examines the link between wages and household income inequality, and also looks at wage gaps between certain groups: women and men; migrants and nationals; workers in the formal and the informal economy. The last part challenges the reader on what could be appropriate policy responses. The purpose of this column is to therefore highlight and discuss some of the crucial findings of the report. '

INDIA: "Trade unions go on the offensive in India" by David Browne

'This week’s 30th anniversary of the Bhopal disaster is stark reminder that India’s relationship with capitalism has not always been a happy one. As the world’s largest democracy again remembers those who died from the toxic gas leak at the US-owned Union Carbide factory on the night of 3 December, 1984, India’s labour movement is marshalling its forces to challenge the neo-liberal economic policies of the country’s new right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government.'

CHILE: "Chilean Activists Change the Rules of the Game" by Sebastian Rosemont

'Graduating from protesters to politicians, Chile's student leaders achieved the legislative wins that have eluded their Occupy counterparts. In 2011, students in Chile made headlines when they launched a nationwide strike lasting almost eight months...Before long, the marches became multifaceted. Opponents of the massive HidroAysén dam project in Patagonia joined in. Students and trade unions joined forces when workers staged strikes and marched in Santiago and other major cities.'

BELGIUM: 'Cricketer wrongly labelled a “terrorist” still battling deportation' by Tanja Milevska

'A photo in the media was all it took to turn the life of the Abbassi family upside down. On 18 November, the Belgian daily newspaper La Dernière Heure ran a picture of a young man of Asian descent carrying something assumed to be a weapon under his coat, with the headline “An anti-Semitic killer on the loose?” The “killer” turned out to be Assim Abbassi, the 22-year-old son of a Pakistani diplomat; his “rifle”, a cricket bat, as Assim was protecting his bat from the rain on his way to cricket practice.'

INDIA: "Bhopal at 30: Dow shareholders demand justice" by Clare Speak

'As survivors mark the 30th anniversary of the Bhopal gas disaster, shareholders in the US-based chemical company held liable by the Indian courts say justice must finally be done. For three decades, campaign groups have been demanding that the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) and parent company Dow Chemical be brought to justice for what is the worst industrial disaster in history.'

SOUTH AFRICA: "South Africa’s "gold slaves"' by Ray Mhondera

'Nineteen-year-old Agrippa Machako recounts the day a ‘recruiter’ promised him a job as a hotel chef in Johannesburg, South Africa, over 1000 kilometres away from his hometown of Chipinge in Zimbabwe. Today, the teenager’s otherwise youthful face and body bears all the scars of the five months he spent toiling as a “gold slave”, 200 metres underground in one of Johannesburg’s derelict mines.'

HONG KONG: "Calls for HKCTU leader on #OccupyHK frontlines to replace Hong Kong Chief Executive" by Andrew Casey

'A new round of sometimes violent clashes has erupted in Hong Kong, where #OccupyHK protests, demanding universal suffrage, are now in their third month. Riot police used pepper spray and batons this morning to stop hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists from storming the government’s headquarters.'
Giving Voice to Migrant Workers 'A new film by JustJobs takes a close-up look at those who, like Syamsul, travel far from their Indonesian villages to support their families. “Pulang Pergi” (“Going Home to Leave Again”), based on research supported by the Solidarity Center, illustrates the cost and opportunities for migrant workers and their communities.'
Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)
"Support YiPSA" by Johanna Ekblad and Rafael Reinoso "Who are the youngsters in prison? They have dreams like you and me so help Young in Prison and support"
◘ watch the video on You Tube


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"

▶ 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.

▶ see more at

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