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Latest News From The Secretariat

GLOBAL: 'ENGAGE PROGRAMME: South Africa - Training Programme for Participants from Africa, Asia, South and North America & Europe / October - November 2015'

'The Global Labour University (GLU) offers a training programme for labour activists and trade unionists from Africa, Asia, South and North America and Europe from the beginning of October to the end of November, 2015 at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. Upon successful completion of the training programme, participants will receive a short-course certificate of competence.'

PALESTINE: 'Joint statement of Gaza labor movement condemning the ban of May Day demonstration & "solidarity" tax law in Gaza'

'Every year, the world celebrates the struggles of the international working class on May Day, in order to emphasize workers' demands, and their political visions and aspirations. On this day in Palestine, it has been a tradition to give workers a tribune to raise their voices. Demonstrations, labor festivals, events to raise labor and national demands are organized, which stress the right of our people to fight against the Israeli occupation and practices, reaffirm our right to freedom, independence and the establishment of an independent democratic State with Jerusalem as its capital, and enable the labor and trade union movement to call for national unity, for putting aside differences, ending division and discrimination in order to enhance the steadfastness of our people.'

GLOBAL SOLIDARITY with NEPAL: "SOLIDAR: Call for solidarity - Solidarity to Provide Aid to the Victims of the Earthquake that hit Nepal"

'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...'

NEPAL: Report from IFWEA member CLASS Nepal Secretary General Tilak Jang Khadka

'CLASS Action and Appeal: CLASS Nepal will have its emergency meeting tomorrow to review the situation and its action to overcome this tragedy. We may need some support to educate and create awareness on preparedness and safety on earthquake and natural disaster and token of financial assistance to the victims of CLASS Nepal’s members and their families who have lost their keens and properties. We will inform you in this after our emergency executive committee meetings, what support we may need and in what capacity we will work on this action.'

Labour News

SYRIA / LEBANON via Equal Times: 'Syrians forced into clandestinity in Lebanon' by Emmanuel Haddad

'Abu (not his real name) wets his tanned face under the trickle of water at the sink in the toilets at the school he has spent five months building. He is washed and ready to go. The school building is gleaming: 20,000 m² put together from A to Z by around a dozen Syrian workers, in a district of Beirut they have had no time to see. Having completed the job, Abu, a toothless and emaciated man in his forties, is getting ready to go and see his Lebanese employer for work on a new construction site.'

GLOBAL / IRAN: ' ITF and ITUC give guarded welcome to Iran releases'

'The ITF (International Transport Workers’ Federation) and ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) have given a guarded welcome to the news that Iranian trade unionists Davood Razavi and Ebrahim Madadi have been released on bail. The men had been imprisoned earlier this month.'

GREECE via Green Left Weekly: 'Greece: Negotiations hit crisis point, solidarity vital Saturday' by Dick Nichols

'Will Greece's SYRIZA-led government reach a last-minute deal with its creditors, the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - the “Troika” - to release the last €7.2 billion owed to the country under Greece's second bail-out agreement? If so, would any such agreement be accepted by a majority of Greeks in a national referendum? And even if it were, would SYRIZA’s Left Platform accept the deal, or would Left Platform MPs vote against it, effectively splitting the radical-left party and putting Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's government at risk?'

SPAIN via Equal Times: 'Podemos fuels hopes for Spain’s emigrated youth to return home' by Mischa Wilmers

'Over the last two years, Spain’s political landscape has been transformed by the emergence of the progressive, anti-austerity party, Podemos (“We Can”). Formed in 2014, the party has already built a membership of over 350,000. In opinions polls, it matches the country’s two establishment parties only a few months way from the general elections.'

IRELAND: Unions launch new platform for democratic and social renewal Monday' by Raul Connolly

'A special May Day conference was convened on May 1 and 2 by the five trade unions affiliated to the Right2Water campaign, which is leading the huge struggle against water charges in Ireland. The conference discussed a set of core principles that will underpin a “Platform for Renewal”, with the aim to unite left and progressive forces before the next general election.'

EU / LIBYA via Equal Times: 'EU targets smugglers in Libya, but migration policy gaps remain' by Tom Rollins

'European officials have approved on Monday controversial proposals to launch a “naval operation” against people smugglers and human traffickers operating on Libya’s Mediterranean coast. After the meeting, the European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said officials had approved a mission to “destroy the business model of the smugglers and the networks of traffickers in the Mediterranean.” '

BRAZIL: Where has São Paulo’s water gone?' by Anne Vigna

'The wine waiter in a smart restaurant in São Paulo, Brazil’s economic powerhouse, holds up a bottle for his customers. He handles it as lovingly as a baby, then pours the wine into plastic cups. The pipes under the washbasins in the spotless toilets have been removed, so the water collects in bowls beneath and a notice asks customers to “please use this water to flush the toilets”. In the past few months this city of superlatives – the richest, most densely populated, with the most cars – has seen many such oddities.'

QATAR via BBC: 'Arrested for reporting on Qatar's World Cup labourers' by Mark Lobel

'We were invited to Qatar by the prime minister's office to see new flagship accommodation for low-paid migrant workers in early May - but while gathering additional material for our report, we ended up being thrown into prison for doing our jobs. Our arrest was dramatic.'

Equal Times: 'Afrodescendientes en América Latina: un viaje de ida' por Diógenes Díaz

'La lucha de los afroamericanos y afroamericanas por el reconocimiento de sus derechos es más vigente que nunca. El racismo y la situación desventajada de esta comunidad persiste en muchos puntos del globo, desde Sudáfrica y los vestigios del Apartheid, pasando por el racismo cotidiano en Bélgica, hasta las reacciones ante una ministra negra en Italia. En los Estados Unidos, la persistente violencia hacia la comunidad afroamericana provee titulares casi a diario.'

AFRICA / LATIN AMERICA via Equal Times: 'People of African descent in Latin America: a one way ticket' by Diógenes Díaz

'The struggle of African descendants for the recognition of their rights is as relevant as ever. The racism and inequalities facing this community remain prevalent in many parts of the world, stretching from South Africa, still shaped by the vestiges of Apartheid, to Belgium, where racism is an everyday reality or as seen with the reactions to Italy’s first black minister. In the United States, the persistent violence against the African-American community makes headline news on an almost daily basis.'

ESPAÑA: 'La Ley Mordaza en España: Espectro de un pasado totalitario' por Carlos Delclós

'El viernes 10 de abril de 2015, las imágenes holográficas enviadas por cerca de 2.000 manifestantes de todo el mundo fueron proyectadas ante el Congreso de los Diputados español por la plataforma ciudadana No somos delito.'

SPAIN via Equal Times: 'Spain’s Gag Law: spectre of an authoritarian past' by Carlos Delclós

'On Friday 10 April 2015, holographic images of about 2,000 protestors from all over the world were projected onto the facade of the Spanish Parliament by the citizen platform No somos delito (“we are not a crime”).'

via Equal Times: 'El futuro del carbón divide a Alemania' by Rachel Knaebel

'El 25 de abril, 6.000 personas formaron una cadena humana de más de siete kilómetros en la cuenca minera renana, al Este de Alemania, como protesta contra la utilización del carbón en el país. Paralelamente, en Berlín, se manifestaban 15.000 personas, convocadas por el sindicato del sector minero Industriegewerkschaft Bergbau, Chemie, Energie (IG BCE), contra el proyecto del ministro alemán de Economía, Sigmar Gabriel, de imponer una exacción adicional a las centrales de carbón más antiguas del país.'

GERMANY via Equal Times: 'Germany divided over future of coal' by Rachel Knaebel

'On 25 April, 6000 people formed a human chain stretching over seven kilometres in the Rhineland mining area in western Germany to protest against the role of coal in the country. At the same time, in Berlin, 15,000 people were taking part in a demonstration called by the mining sector union IG BCE.'

USA: 'Obama at Nike headquarters: why push trade deal at an outsourcing giant?' by Jana Kasperkevic

'With the Nike logo in the background on Friday, President Obama sought to drum up support for a controversial trade agreement that is facing mounting opposition from Democrats and US labor unions. Speaking at a rally at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, the president attempted to address some of the criticisms against the 12-country Trans-Pacific trade deal he is currently trying to push through Congress.'

GLOBAL via Equal Times: 'LGBT equality is a trade union issue like any other' by Peter Purton

'In line with the International Trade Union Confederation’s (ITUC) 2014 congress resolution “to oppose oppression and discrimination on the grounds of ... sexual orientation, gender identity” and to “encourage ITUC affiliates to defend workers suffering such discrimination”, the ITUC has endorsed a trade union charter for International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Solidarity, published by the UK’s Trades Union Congress.'

HUNGARY: Act Now ! 'Hödlmayr does not respect trade union rights- In partnership with The Trade Union of Workers of Multinational Companies (TUWMC)'

SIGN THE ONLINE PETITION: 'Most recently they sacked the leader of the local organisation, László Benkó, after he made a statement during a trial concerning the wage system. László Benkó has worked for more than 20 years for the company and no objections had ever been raised concerning the quality of his work. We demand that Hödlmayr give László Benkó his job back and come to an agreement with TUWMC about the conditions of fair wages. '

Equal Times: 'Armas autóctonas para nuestra propia destrucción masiva' por Rami G. Khouri

'Si hubiera una razón que ayudara a explicar las numerosas situaciones de conflicto armado, violencia política y colapso estatal en toda la región de Oriente Medio y el Norte de África (MENA, por sus siglas en inglés) sería el hecho de que decenas de millones de jóvenes desesperados deambulan como fantasmas por sus propias sociedades, incapaces de gozar de un empleo satisfactorio o de una ciudadanía significativa.'

MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA (MENA) REGION via Equal Times: 'Homemade weapons of our own mass destruction' by Rami G. Khouri

'If there is one reason above others that helps explain the many situations of armed conflict, political violence and state collapse across the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, it must be that tens of millions of hopeless young men wander through their own societies like ghosts, unable to enjoy either satisfying employment or meaningful citizenship.'

Equal times: '¿Queremos terminar con la esclavitud? Introduzcamos una renta básica incondicional' por Neil Howard

'l pasado mes de mayo, afirmaba en un artículo para Al-Jazeera que el movimiento emergente anti-esclavitud corría el riesgo de convertirse en poco más que una hoja de parra para ocultar una injusticia político-económica estructural.'



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!



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:
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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:
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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:

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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