Affiliate Pages|IFWEA Executive Committee

Latest News From The Secretariat

IFWEA E-BULLETIN ISSUE 29 / Second Quarter 2015 / Register Now! On IFWEA's 22nd General Conference Website!

Greetings from the IFWEA Secretariat and General Secretary: "Registration for the IFWEA 22nd General Conference in Lima Peru, 5 – 7 December 2015 is now open! The theme of the Conference is “Precarity or Solidarity? The role of workers’ education in building the 21st Century global labor movement.” The 22nd General Conference theme flows directly from the theme of our 21st Global Conference in 2011 which was titled “Facing Flexibility”, and takes us to the next level of discussion. ▶ Read further for all links to 22nd General Conference, and to the rest of Issue 29

PALESTINE: "DWRC - The Democracy and Workers' Right Center releases report "Independent trade unions in Arab countries: situation, challenges and future perspectives"

'Do you want to know more about the challenges faced by ‪#‎independent‬ ‪#‎trade_unions‬ in the ‪#‎Arab_region‬? Read DWRC report about the regional meeting on “Independent trade unions in Arab countries: situation, challenges and future perspectives” held in Amman, Jordan, between September 20 and 23, 2014, with the participation of 34 trade unionists representing independent sectorial federations and trade unions from Palestine, Egypt, Lebanon, and Morocco. The report consists of the work papers submitted by participants in the meeting, which highlight the situation of the trade union movement in these countries, the nature of the challenges faced by independent trade unions, and the situation of freedom of association and the right to organize.'

NEPAL - Interview: "CLASS Nepal Report: The Post Earthquake Program and Impact on Workers" with Tilak Jang Khadka, Secretary General

"Mainly working population/workers died who lives in raw/weak homes for rent at Kathmandu. Even in rural areas all the working class/farmers died because they only had a shelter made by mud and stone, which is weak and not earthquake resistant. About 500 000 people took flight from Kathmandu. Now daily life and business activities are paused, there is no motion in the market. So it is causing the life of ordinary people to be more vulnerable."

SWEDEN / PALESTINE: "Interview: ABF Sweden Reports on Solidarity Trip to Gaza, Palestine" with Niklas Skeppar, International President

'The report covers ABF Sweden's visit to Gaza, Palestine to explore a partnership for a project, and the impressions of this experience. Niklas Skeppar also relates how he and a colleague were unknowingly filmed for a candid camera reality show 'Welcome to Gaza' at their last checkpoint stop. ▶ Interview includes links to the podcast by Niklas Skeppar and You Tube "Welcome to Gaza" show.

GLOBAL: via Streetnet "International Labour Organization adopts historical labour standard to tackle the Informal Economy" by Sharon Pillay

'The International Labour Organization (ILO) has adopted a new international labour standard that is expected to help hundreds of millions of workers and economic units move out of informality and into the formal economy. The Recommendation – the first ever-international labour standard specifically aimed at tackling the informal economy – was passed by 484 votes in favour and garnered outstanding support from the ILO’s tripartite constituents.'

Labour News

EQUAL TIMES: MACEDONIA "La angustia de los migrantes en Macedonia" by Tanja Milevska

'Decenas de miles de personas atraviesan cada mes la frontera greco-macedonia con la esperanza de llegar a la Unión Europea. Se trata de migrantes y refugiados, con frecuencia llegados de Siria o Eritrea, pero también desde Mali, Costa de Marfil, Irak o Afganistán. Macedonia es una de sus etapas en la “ruta de los Balcanes”.'

EQUAL TIMES: MACEDONIA "The anguish of migrants in Macedonia" by Tanja Milevska

'They cross the Greek-Macedonian border in their tens of thousands every month, in the hope of reaching the European Union. They are migrants and refugees, most often from Syria or Eritrea, but also from Mali, Côte d’Ivoire, Iraq or Afghanistan, and Macedonia is one of their transit countries on the ’Balkan route’.'

EQUAL TIMES: "Indonesia dobla su producción de aceite de palma" por Nithin Coca

'A principios del presente mes, Indonesia – el mayor productor mundial de aceite de palma – introdujo un subsidio al biocombustible de 4.000 IDR (0,30 USD) por litro, cotizándose a 50 USD el barril de aceite de palma crudo para la exportación. El aceite de palma es el principal producto básico que exporta Indonesia, pero los precios están cayendo, y el país busca incrementar la demanda interior – y fomentar al mismo tiempo su autosuficiencia energética – promoviendo el uso de biocombustibles.'

EQUAL TIMES: ASIA-PACIFIC "Indonesia doubles down on palm oil" by Nithin Coca

'Earlier this month, Indonesia – the world’s biggest producer of palm oil – introduced a biofuel subsidy of 4000 Indonesian rupiah per litre (US$0.31), paid for by a US$50 per barrel levy on crude palm oil (CPO) exports. Palm oil is Indonesia’s top commodity export but prices are down, and the country is seeking to increase domestic demand – and push for the energy independence – by promoting the use of biofuels. “Indonesia overplanted [palm oil],” said Dave McLaughlin, vice president for agriculture at the World Wildlife Fund. “Supply is greatly outpacing demand, and thus you have prices at a six year low right now.”'

EQUAL TIMES: "Los líderes europeos deben resolver el desempleo juvenil – no los jóvenes" por Johanna Nyman

'La penosa situación de los jóvenes en toda Europa es bien conocida: cinco millones de los nuestros no tienen trabajo y, pese a la mejora de algunas economías europeas, la juventud está quedando al margen de la recuperación. Los Gobiernos y líderes de la UE no deben, en cualquier caso, transferir la responsabilidad de resolver la crisis del desempleo juvenil a los propios jóvenes, o a las organizaciones que aportan trabajo con jóvenes – término que cubre un amplio abanico de actividades realizadas por, con y para la gente joven, combinando diversión y educación no formal.'

EQUAL TIMES: "It’s up to EU leaders to fix youth unemployment – not young people" by Johanna Nyman

'The plight of young people across Europe is well-recorded: five million of us are without jobs and despite the improvement of some European economies, young people are being left out of the recovery. 'Governments and EU leaders must not, however, pass the buck of solving the youth unemployment crisis to young people themselves, or to the organisations providing youth work – a term which covers a broad range of activities by, with and for young people combining fun and non-formal education.'

Equal Times: "La crisis de la deuda incita a los nacionalistas puertorriqueños a aprovechar el viento a favor" por Ari Paul

'María de Lourdes Santiago, la única senadora independentista de Puerto Rico, recuerda cuando sus padres trataron de disuadirla de abandonar la idea de nacionalismo. Argumentaron que la independencia traería desempleo, crisis, pobreza y emigración. “Pues bien, eso es precisamente lo que tenemos actualmente”, señala en una entrevista telefónica con Equal Times.'

PUERTO RICO via Equal Times: "Debt crisis spurs Puerto Ricans nationalists to seize the day" by Ari Paul

'María de Lourdes Santiago, Puerto Rico’s lone pro-independence senator, remembers when her parents tried to dissuade her from nationalism. They argued that independence would bring unemployment, crisis, poverty and emigration. “Well, that’s what’s happening now,” she said in a phone interview with Equal Times.'

via Solidarity Center "Zimbabwe Supreme Court Guts Worker Job Security" by Tula Connell

'The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe upheld a decision late last week stating that companies can now terminate workers’ contracts at any time, without offering them layoff benefits, by giving them three months’ notice. The unanimous decision “has grave consequences for anyone under formal employment,” according to one news source and comes “at time when business is crying for flexible labor laws in order to improve industrial competitiveness,” according to another analysis. Employers often use the term “flexible” as a euphemism to describe workplace policies that benefit management at the expense of working people.'

UK via The Guardian: "Biggest crackdown on trade unions for 30 years launched by Conservatives" by Patrick Wintour

'The biggest crackdown on trade union rights for 30 years will be unveiled on Wednesday, including new plans to criminalise picketing, permit employers to hire strike-breaking agency staff and choke off the flow of union funds to the Labour party. The scale of the reforms goes far wider than the previously trailed plan for strikes to be made unlawful unless 50% of those being asked to strike vote in the ballot.'

EQUAL TIMES: "El destructivo legado de las políticas racistas de vivienda en Estados Unidos" por Richard Rothstein

'En los últimos tiempos ha surgido un patrón en Estados Unidos: en Oakland, Nueva York, Cleveland, Baltimore, Ferguson (un suburbio de Saint Louis) y otras localidades. La policía, alegando sentirse amenazada, dispara y asesina a un hombre negro desarmado. A continuación se desatan las protestas, a veces incluso violentas. El Departamento de Justicia considera que existe un patrón y que se dieron prácticas policiales de discriminación racial. La ciudad accede a formar a los agentes de policía para evitar el uso excesivo de la fuerza y fomentar su sensibilidad; asimismo, prohíbe el uso de los perfiles raciales. Todas estas reformas son necesarias e importantes, pero ignoran una realidad obvia: las protestas realmente (o en su mayor parte) no tienen nada que ver con la policía.'

USA via Equal Times: "The destructive legacy of racist US housing policy" by Richard Rothstein

'A pattern has emerged—in Oakland, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore, the St Louis suburb of Ferguson, and beyond. Police claiming to feel threatened kill unarmed black men. Protests follow, sometimes including violence. The Department of Justice finds a pattern and practice of racially-biased policing. The city agrees to train officers not to use excessive force, encourage sensitivity, prohibit racial profiling. These reforms are all necessary and important, but ignore an obvious reality that the protests are not really (or primarily) about policing.'

EQUAL TIMES: "¿Permanecer Ghana en la oscuridad o apostará por el carbón o por la ecología?" por Roberto Valussi

'A medida que Gobiernos, organizaciones de la sociedad civil y ciudadanos se preparan para las decisivas discusiones sobre el clima que tendrán lugar en París el próximo mes de diciembre, se puede constatar un creciente apoyo internacional a favor de compromisos nacionales significativos para llevar a cabo una supresión gradual de los combustibles fósiles y efectuar una transición justa hacia una economía de bajas emisiones de carbono. Pero si “la era del carbón se ha terminado”, ¿por qué está entonces Ghana a punto de abrir la primera central eléctrica de carbón del país? La respuesta es sencilla: el dumsor, que es como se denominan localmente los cortes de electricidad crónicos que han causado estragos en la economía ghanesa a lo largo de los tres últimos años.'

GHANA via Equal Times: "Will Ghana stay dark, go coal – or go green?" by Roberto Valussi

'As governments, civil society organisations and citizens gear up for the critical climate talks in Paris this December, there has been growing international support for significant national commitments to phase-out fossil fuels and make a just transition towards a low-carbon economy. But if “the age of carbon is over”, why is Ghana poised to open the country’s first-ever coal-powered electricity plant? The simple answer is dumsor, the local name given to the chronic power outages that have wreaked havoc on the Ghanaian economy for the last three years.'

GLOBAL: "Ending the hidden scourge of violence against women at work" by Rachel Noble

'You may well have come across the shocking statistic that more than one in three women globally will experience some form of violence in their lifetime, the vast majority of which (30 per cent) will be at the hands of an intimate partner. The dire consequences of such violence – a daily occurrence for many women - can extend far beyond their physical, sexual and and mental health, to impact upon many other areas of their lives. This includes women’s working lives.'

EQUAL TIMES: "Juegos Olímpicos de Invierno 2022 en Beijing: un tremendo revés para el Tíbet" por Nithin Coca

'A principios de 2008, meses antes de que China diera la bienvenida al mundo con ocasión de los Juegos Olímpicos que se celebrarían en Beijing, se desató en Lhasa, la capital del territorio ocupado del Tíbet, un levantamiento popular que se extendió por todo el país. Esto saltó a los titulares de la prensa mundial, y seguidamente miles de defensores del Tíbet se congregaron para protestar durante el paso de la antorcha olímpica por Argentina, el Reino Unido, Francia, Estados Unidos, la India y Corea del Sur. “El pueblo tibetano sabía que el mundo entero tenia la mirada puesta en China, y aprovechó la oportunidad para repetir a las autoridades chinas que no pueden violar sus derechos”, explica Migmar Dolma, una activista tibetana nacida en Suiza, de padres exiliados en la India.'

EQUAL TIMES: "2022 Beijing Winter Games: an olympic-sized setback for Tibet" by Nithin Coca

'In early 2008, months before China was to welcome the world to the Olympic Games in Beijing, an uprising began in Lhasa, the capital of occupied Tibet, and spread across the country. It made headlines around the world, followed by thousands of pro-Tibet campaigners gathering to protest as the Olympic Torch was carried in Argentina, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, India and South Korea. "The Tibetan people knew the world was watching China, and took this opportunity to once again tell China they can’t oppress Tibetan people’s rights," said Migmar Dolma, a Tibetan activist born in Switzerland to parents who were exiles in India.'

EQUAL TIMES: "Amazon Alemania: el gigante de los precios y los salarios bajos" por Rachel Knaebel

'Hace dos años los empleados y empleadas alemanes de Amazon empezaron su lucha por mejores condiciones de salario y trabajo. Desde entonces, las huelgas se repiten. La última tuvo lugar a finales de junio, en cinco lugares diferentes del país. “Cuando el movimiento comenzó, teníamos problemas con los contratos precarios y la presión experimentada por los empleados y además los salarios no habían aumentado en absoluto desde hacía años”, cuenta a Equal Times Christian Krähling, trabajador de Amazon en la planta de Bad Hersfeld, que emplea a 3.000 personas.'

GERMANY via Equal Times: "Amazon Germany: the low price and low wage giant" by Rachel Knaebel

'It has been two years since Amazon employees in Germany embarked on their fight for better pay and working conditions. Since then, there has been one strike after another. The last one was at the end of June, at five different sites across the country. “When the movement started, we had problems with precarious contracts, in addition to the pressure put on staff and the wages that hadn’t been increased at all for years,” Christian Krähling, an Amazon employee at the Bad Hersfeld site, told Equal Times. Some 3000 people work at this site.'

BARBADOS via Public Services International (PSI): "Unions dig in" by Timothy Slinger

'THE ISLAND’S TWO MAIN trade unions, the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU) and the National Union of Public Workers (NUPW), are sending clear signals that major industrial unrest is around the corner. This is the latest development in a dispute that mushroomed from the Barbados Investment and Development Corporation’s (BIDC) decision to send home 13 workers from the state enterprise, ten of whom were 60 years and older and were forced into retirement.'



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!



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




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


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 >>



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



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 >>

BANGLADESH via International Labour Organisation:

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

▶ watch the video here