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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.'

GLOBAL SOLIDARITY via Clean Clothes Campaign: 'Benetton to show true colors at Milan Fashion week'

'Clean Clothes Campaign marks Milan Fashion Week, which opens today, with actions across Europe calling on Benetton to stop delaying payments to the Rana Plaza victims by immediately contributing at least $5 million into the Rana Plaza Donors Trust Fund.'

BELGIUM / GLOBAL: #RightToStrike

'This morning, Sharan Burrow and the ITUC took part to a joint action with Belgian unions and the ETUC in defense of the ‪#‎RightToStrike‬'

UK / GLOBAL: Workers' Education Association - 'Everyone in the UK deserves a good education' ‪#‎WEAManifesto‬

or the first time in its 111 year history, the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) has launched a manifesto with key recommendations for the adult education sector. The move marks a return to the charity’s campaigning roots, with the aim of putting lifelong learning firmly back on the public agenda ahead of the 2015 General Election. We often focus on the educational outcomes of children and young people. However, with a UK adult skills shortage and an ageing population, ignoring the needs of older learners seems somewhat short-sighted. While we have seen positive signs of economic recovery in the last year, investment in human infrastructure continues to decline at an alarming rate, with the amount spent by businesses on training falling by £2.5 billion since 2011 according to the latest research from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. By helping those who are unemployed to boost their skills and supporting development opportunities for those in work, adult education can help people progress into better paid and more secure work.'


'ACT NOW! The ITF is joining the ITUC, PSI and other GUFs in calling for unions to act in defence of the right to strike, which is under attack by employer groups at the ILO. Here’s what you can do on 18 February and up to the ILO Governing Body meeting which starts 12 March ...

Labour News

IRAN: 'Iranian nurses demonstrate for fair pay' by Public Services International

'Hundreds of nurses from all over Iran travelled to Tehran to protest in front of parliament. They renewed their demand for the implementation of the ‘Nursing Tariff Act’, ratified in 2007, which limits the amount of overtime nurses can work, among other benefits. Nurses also called for a reform of the payment system within the different groups of medical, paramedical and nursing staff.'

USA: "Want to be happy? Join a union' by John Guida

'Fewer and fewer Americans belong to a union. Membership is down to a historic low of 11.2 percent of the work force, and only 6.7 percent of workers in the private sector. And if the nation’s confidence in the institution is any measure, not many people are mourning its diminishment. According to a Gallup poll, organized labor inspires less confidence than banks. But a recent study may give some workers reason to reconsider. For those who belong to a union, membership seems to bring a benefit that perhaps surpasses better wages or generous health insurance: higher life satisfaction.'

USA / INDIA: '$14M Verdict Vindicates H-2B Guestworkers' by National Guestworker Alliance

'On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, a federal jury awarded $14 million in damages to five H-2B guestworkers from India who joined the National Guestworker Alliance (NGA) and launched a nationwide campaign in 2008 to expose human trafficking and forced labor by Gulf Coast marine services company Signal International, together with its labor recruiters.'

NORWAY: ' Norway's Muslims form protective human ring around synagogue'

'(Reuters) - More than 1000 Muslims formed a human shield around Oslo's synagogue on Saturday, offering symbolic protection for the city's Jewish community and condemning an attack on a synagogue in neighboring Denmark last weekend. Chanting "No to anti-Semitism, no to Islamophobia," Norway's Muslims formed what they called a ring of peace a week after Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, a Danish-born son of Palestinian immigrants, killed two people at a synagogue and an event promoting free speech in Copenhagen last weekend. '

BAHRAIN: 'The 2015 Arthur Svensson Prize to leaders of Bahrain Teachers Association'

'For the sixth consecutive year Norwegian unions award the Arthur Svensson International Price for Trade Union Rights. The price provides powerful recognition of the work that the prize winners do, in countries where union work all too often is dangerous. The prize money amounts to NOK 500 000. The 2015 Arthur Svensson Prize is awarded to the Bahrain Teachers Association (BTA) by leader Mahdi Abu Dheeb and deputy Jalila al-Salman. They were imprisoned in 2011, tortured and humiliated because they encouraged strikes among teachers.'

SOUTH AFRICA: 'Repositioning Social Dialogue - The South African Case' by Edward Webster and Katherine Joynt

' Edward Webster Introduction A crucial moment in South Africa’s transition to democracy was the signing of the Laboria Minute in 1990 between unions, employers and government where it was agreed that no laws on labour market issues would be passed without the agreement of all three social partners. This led to the establishment of the National Economic Forum (NEF) in 1992 and its merging with the National Manpower Commission (NMC) to create South Africa’s premier social dialogue institution, the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). In many ways the Laboria Minute was to pre-figure the political negotiations that led to South Africa’s first democratic elections in April 1994.'

POLAND: 'Shots fired against striking miners in Poland' by IndsutriAll

'Police in Poland have used firearms against striking miners, injuring more than 20 people. The violent clashes occurred as protestors demanded the immediate resignation of the CEO of Poland’s largest coking coal producer Jastrzebska Spolka Weglowa (JSW).'

GREECE: 'Greece heading for big collision with Europe's elites' by Green :eft Weekly

'On February 9, European leaders lined up to warn the SYRIZA government that its proposals, which have included a partial write-off of the country's immense foreign debt, would be rejected by other European nations. But SYRIZA won a landslide victory in elections on January 25 on the strength of its commitment to reverse the austerity agenda that has inflicted so much suffering in Greece. Members of SYRIZA report that support for the new government is strong after its first two weeks. Below is a comment piece by Stathis Kouvelakis, a member of SYRIZA's Central Committee, that first appeared at Jacobin magazine. Visit here for details of a national speaking tour of Green Left's European correspondent Dick Nichols, who was in Athens for SYRIZA's electoral win.'

TURKEY: 'Democracy on trial in Turkey' by Caleb Lauer, Equal Times Newsdesk

'Last Friday afternoon in Istanbul’s massive Çagalayan courthouse, five leaders of four different Turkish labour and professional groups faced charges for their call to assemble in Istanbul’s Taksim Square on 1 May 2014. Lami Özgen, co-president of the Confederation of Public Workers’ Unions (KESK), Kani Beko, president of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), Arzu Çerkezoğlu, general secretary of DİSK, Mehmet Soğancı, president of the Turkish Chamber of Architectures and Engineers (TMMOB) Executive Committee, and Ahmet Özdemir Aktan, president of the Turkish Medical Association Central Council, are facing two to four years for “inciting the public to illegally assemble and demonstrate”.'

GLOBAL: 'Campaigners call on jewellery giant to ‘clean up’ this Valentine’s Day' by Clare Speak

'A new campaign is challenging the world’s biggest jewellery retailer to clean up its supply chain and stop the sale of dirty diamonds and gold.In the US alone, jewellery sales of nearly US$5 billion are expected in the run-up to Valentine’s Day this Saturday. But campaigners say much of the jewellery sold will be tarnished by human rights violations and environmental damage. IndustriALL Global Union, London Mining Network, Earthworks, and LabourStart are calling on Signet, which owns jewellers including Kay, Jared, H. Samuel and Ernest Jones, to demand that its key supplier changes its ways. Signet sources its diamonds and gold from the multinational mining company Rio Tinto, which has a long history of human rights and environmental violations.'

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: ' Thousands of workers at risk of expulsion in the Dominican Republic'

'he ITUC and the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) have condemned the serious attack on human rights in the Dominican Republic, affecting thousands of Haitian migrants and Dominicans of Haitian descent and their families.'

USA / PACIFIC: 'The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Written in Secrecy, Could Cost U.S. Jobs' by Stan Sorscher

'Sometime this year, President Obama will ask Congress to approve a new trade agreement, called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. Everyone I know is in favor of trade. We take pride when Washington State produces and exports airplanes, apples, soft white wheat and software. It should be obvious, however, that we can have good trade policy or bad trade policy. We should understand that the TPP has been negotiated in secrecy. More than 600 corporate lobbyists have had direct access to the negotiating texts. They serve as formal advisers in the negotiations and have constant communication with U.S. negotiators. Meanwhile, Congress and the public are unable to get or discuss copies of the deal.'

CHINA: 'China Strikes on The Rise in China Ahead of Lunar New Year Holiday'

'Chinese workers have staged hundreds of strikes in recent months, many of them over unpaid wages ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday, according to a recent report.Construction workers, teachers and miners joined factory workers in a wave of strikes and protests across China in the final quarter of 2014, the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin (CLB) said in a January report on its website.'

BANGLADESH: 'Rana Plaza, Tazreen victims demand compensation'

'Relatives of garment workers who died in the Rana Plaza collapse and Tazreen Fashions fire and the injured workers formed a human chain beside the Dhaka-Aricha highway at Savar bus stand yesterday, demanding compensation. The demonstrators formed the human chain under the banners “Rana Plaza Garment Workers' Union” and “Tazreen Fashions Garment Workers' Union”.'

TURKEY: 'L20 Launch 2015: Turkish unions push for safe workplaces, fighting informality, good working conditions for migrants & training through the G20'

'The official L20 Launch took place in Ankara with the participation of Turkish government officials including the Deputy Prime Minister, Ali Babacan; the Turkish Sherpa; the Chair of the Employment Working Group (EWG); ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow; TUAC General Secretary John Evans; the L20 Turkish Steering Committee, including the general secretaries of TÜRK-IS, DISK and HAK-IS; and B20, T20 and C20 representatives.'

GLOBAL: 'Stand up for the right to strike on 18 February'

' IndustriALL is urging all affiliates to participate in the 18 February 2015 global day of action in defence of the right to strike. This global day of action was called for by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).'

GLOBAL: 'Act Now! Don't tarnish your love with Rop Tinto's dirty diamonds and gold!'

In Partnership with IndustriALL, Earthworks and the London Mining Network: 'On Valentine's Day, many people around the world say "I love you" with jewellery. But Signet, the world's largest jewellery retailer (owner of Kay, Jared, Zales, H. Samuel, and Ernest Jones), sources its diamonds and gold from multinational mining company Rio Tinto -- which has a history of human rights and environmental violations. Don’t tarnish your love with dirty gold and diamonds! Tell Signet to put its money where its mouth is on responsible sourcing, and insist Rio Tinto change its ways and respect workers' rights, indigenous peoples, and the environment.'

UZBEKISTAN: 'World Bank Declines To Probe Uzbek Forced Labor Abuses' by RFE/RL

'The World Bank has declined to investigate whether agriculture-sector loans to Uzbekistan could perpetuate child and forced labor in the Central Asian country's cotton industry.' The Washington-based lender says the January 23 decision was made, in part, due to "considerable progress" Tashkent has made "in addressing the systemic issues necessary for the eradication of child and forced labor in Uzbekistan's cotton sector."

UK / GLOBAL: 'We will never forget” – union anger at plans to allow ship named after SS officer to dock in UK' Tim Lezard

'Unite has denounced the plans by one of the UK’s major companies to allow a ship named after a Nazi war criminal to operate in British waters. The ship, which is the world’s largest vessel, and is to be deployed by Shell on the decommissioning of three oil platforms, is named after a Waffen SS officer who fought for the Nazis on the Eastern front and was later imprisoned for war crimes.'

CANADA / MEXICO: 'Evidence Pointing to Mexico Blacklisting Migrant Workers in Canada Stands, Says BC Court of Appeal' - Press Release

For the second time, Mexico's claim of sovereign immunity has failed to convince a BC court to quash evidence that pointed to the Mexican government blacklisting Mexican migrant workers from returning to Canada because they were suspected of being union sympathizers. "This is a victory for the workers," says Ivan Limpright, the president of UFCW Canada Local 1518, "and a warning to Mexico that sovereign immunity is not a license to abuse the rights of workers in our country."

SWEDEN via TCO 'Business Like a Swede: Det här är berättelsen om den svenska partsmodellen - ett vinnande samarbete mellan fackförbund och arbetsgivarorganisationer sedan 1938. ‪#‎likeaswede‬ Läs mer på

Business Like a Swede: this is the story of the Swedish party model-a winning collaboration between trade unions and employers ' organisations since 1938. #likeaswede read more at'

▶ watch here

UK via WEA: Workers' Educational Association 'Watch General Secretary and Chief Executive Ruth Spellman share a message of thanks to our wonderful volunteers and underline the importance of our mission and values: 'A message to all WEA volunteers'

▶ click here

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