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Latest News From The Secretariat

PORTUGAL : "Os Resultados das Eleições Europeias e o seu Impacto no Movimento Sindical em Portugal" Catarina Tavares Secretária Internacional da UGT

"Uma análise dos países da União Europeia nos últimos 5 anos, mostra um padrão consistente: redução da negociação colectiva, cortes na despesa em pensões, cuidados de saúde e educação, e aumento da pressão sobre os trabalhadores (quer sob a forma de diminuição dos salários reais, quer pelos aumentos de impostos). A “austeridade” conquistou a agenda europeia e Portugal foi fortemente afetado com isso."

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."


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."

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...

SOLIDAR - EUROPE: "Strategic agenda – Who decides on future orientations?"

'By the end of this week the European Council has decided on the next President of the European Commission who although he was “Spitzenkandidat” for his political family had not the unanimous support from the own heads of State. But the summit dealt with a document called the “Strategic Agenda for the Union in Times of Change which is in a sense a guideline that was decided on by the head of States becoming a sort of “lettre de mission” (i.e. “mission letter”) before the new Commission’s proposal and the consultation of the European Parliament.'

Labour News

GLOBAL: "Another world is possible, let's build it now" by Sarah Hathway

'Resistance: Young Socialist Alliance has created a new zine called Another World is Possible. Let’s Build it Now! It covers a number of issues important to young people today including ecosocialism, racism, feminism, LGBTI liberation, education and class.'

ASIA-PACIFIC: "Asia-Pacific socialists: 'Stop Israel's war crimes in Gaza!"

" - Strongly condemn Israel's latest attack on Gaza, Palestine and demand that it stop its attacks on Gaza and respect international law including the UN resolution 242 which demands Israel withdraw from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories which Israel has illegally occupied since 1967. - Call upon all governments to immediately withdraw their ambassadors from Israel, cut diplomatic ties and end all military and defence ties with Israel. - Call for the intensification of the economic boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign against Israel."

EQUAL TIMES: PALESTINE "Can international law provide justice for Palestinians?" by Richard Falk

'What has been happening in Gaza cannot usefully be described as "warfare". The daily reports of atrocities situate this latest Israeli assault on common humanity within the domain of what the great Catholic thinker and poet, Thomas Merton, caIled "the unspeakable". Its horror exceeds our capacity to render the events through language.'

LINKS International Journal of Socialist Renewal : "Spain’s Podemos: An inside view of a radical left sensation" by Iñigo Errejón, head of Podemos' European election campaign

"In Spain, the surge of discontent caused by structural adjustment policies and hostage taking of popular sovereignty by the oligarchic powers gave rise to a series of protests and created spaces for social cooperation. However, it had no effect on the political system and its internal balance. Until now, despite its difficulties and its crisis of hegemony, the dominant power bloc has been leading an adjustment process (we should not reduce this to economic policies because it also has a political horizon to transform the state to bring about the domination of a smaller oligarchy and to a post-political governance which reduces the scope of the issues being debated in the political system)."

RADIO ZAMANEH:IRAN "Prosecutor agrees to jailed activist’s demands"

'Jailed Iranian labour activist Reza Shahabi has ended his 50-day hunger strike after the Tehran Prosecutor agreed to his demands. Reports indicate that one of prosecutor’s deputies, Mehdi Khodabakhshi, visited Shahabi in hospital on Sunday July 20 and accepted his demands for ending his strike.'

GLOBAL LABOUR COLUMN: "Chinese Construction Companies in Africa: A Challenge for Trade Unions" by Eddie Cottle

'The recently Chinese-built African Union (AU) headquarters, in Addis Ababa, is a bold symbol of China's rapidly changing role in Africa. China-African relations run as far deep as China being the biggest supporter of Africa’s anti-colonial struggle and the first to assist reconstruction efforts for the newly formed African States. The most famous example is the 1,800 kilometre Tanzania-Zambia Railway (Tazara) that was built in the 1970’s by some 50,000 Chinese engineers and workers, during which 64 of these workers died. China had provided a US $400m interest free loan to build the railway; even at a time when it was poorer than most African countries.'

GLOBAL LABOUR COLUMN: "Turkey seen through the Prism of Occupational Diseases: Success Story or Hidden Disaster?" by Ahmet Tellioglu

'It is hard to diagnose and recognise an occupational disease (OD) because the diagnosis must prove the occupational factors which caused it. The diagnosis of ODs in a workplace has important consequences for employees and employers: The employer has to pay compensation; An increasing number of ODs diagnosed lead workers to demand higher wages; The workplace will be inspected more frequently and more carefully. '

GLOBAL LABOUR COLUMN: "Labour Issues in Indonesian Plantations: from Indenture to Entrepreneurship" by Stéphanie Barral

'This article documents the labor issues in Indonesian plantations focusing on how changes in agrarian capitalism and state regulation have affected plantation workers.'


Watch Videos ...

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


in Australia from Green Left Weekly "We Have To Block The Budget"

Tony Abbott's horror budget will destroy Medicare, trash education, undermine the pension, and impoverish young people. We need a huge movement to stop it.

▶ watch here