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Latest News From The Secretariat

SOUTH AFRICA: Community House, home of IFWEA Secretariat in Cape Town launch their website and Facebook group...

Learn more about the heritage, art, organisations and activities that shape Community House. Find links to the Facebook page, website and email contact right here

USA: Online Labour Academy debuts the course "Changing Climates - Changing Perspectives: Labor and the Environment" at Rutgers University, In solidarity Will Brucher

"Labor Education and Research Now (LEARN): This course will explore climate change from a labor perspective including the forces that shape labor and environmental policy and regulation in the U.S. and globally. Strategies to meet climate change challenges and opportunities will be examined." Click the link for details and registration

IFWEA Video Series part 3 'Global Network and Study Circles'

'In part 3 we explore the Global Network activities that IFWEA organisations took part in over a 10 year period on a regional basis - doing education, organising and campaigning to face the effects of informalisation of the economy. Here IFWEA also introduces the Study Circles project focusing on grassroots members doing participatory learning.' click on the link to view

IFWEA Video Series part 2 'Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)'

'In part 2 we share the Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP) which is a sharing between IFWEA affiliates in the North and South with young leaders from labour movement - featuring YGAP participants from 2012 and 2013 along with Niklas Skeppar, Conny Reuter and Sahra Ryklief' click the link to view the video

IFWEA Video Series part 1 'Lifelong Learning and Development of the Online Labour Academy (OLA)'

'IFWEA's main goal is the expansion of opportunities for lifelong learning for workers' and the organisations of the workers' movement. In this 3 part video, we learn about the role of IFWEA and start off with the development of the Online Labour Academy in part 1 - featuring IFWEA General Secretary Sahra Ryklief, Professor Susan Schurman of Rutgers, Hernan Bernites of PLADES, Alana Dave of ITF, Rey Rasing of LEARN, Tilak Jang Khadka of CLASS Nepal, Khalid Mahmood of LEF, Arnaldo Montero of CENAC, and Namrata Bali with the SEWA - Indian Academy for Self Employed Women' click on the link to view the video


'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.

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...

Labour News

MEXICO: "Mexico minimum wage debate highlights deepening inequality" by Emilio Godoy

'The news that Mexico is planning to increase its minimum wage may have attracted positive attention internationally, but in Mexico the debate is more nuanced.When the Mayor of Mexico City, Miguel Mancera, submitted a proposal to the federal government to increase the minimum wage paid to more than US$6 starting on January 2015, it sparked a national discussion about the need to do the same all over Mexico.'

GLOBAL: "The right to strike must be defended at all costs" by João Antonio Felicio

'The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) recently initiated a broad mobilisation in defence of the right to strike. It is a basic human right that has been the target of repeated attacks by big business – particularly the financial sector and multinationals – and authoritarian governments averse to dialogue. Thus, in each of the 161 countries in which it is rooted, the ITUC will reaffirm the importance of this working class/trade union achievement, which is – with the support of the control system of the International Labour Organization (ILO) – critical to increasing income, maintaining employment and guaranteeing rights.'

FRANCE: "We made a giant cave in" by Feriel Alouti

'A four-year battle is summarised in a single sentence on the back of a machine. "Those who do not fight have already lost whilst those who fight can cherish the hope of winning." It is a slogan 47-year-old Amar Hassani, who spent 30 years working for Unilever, is not about to forget. "We fought, we cried and, thanks to a great deal of determination and support, we have shown that a factory making a profit can be kept alive," he declares with pride and emotion.'

GLOBAL: "The new EU Commission must lead the fight against modern slavery" by Jeroen Beirnaert, Zuzanna Muskat-Gorska

'18 October marks the annual EU Anti-Trafficking Day. Since 2007, it has confronted us with an ever-increasing number of workers in forced labour situations, often as a result of trafficking. Today in Europe, there are more workers are in modern slavery than ever before. The ILO estimates that 880,000 workers are victims of forced labour, including forced sexual exploitation. That is one in every 500 EU citizens. The annual profits made on the backs of 1.5 million forced labourers in the EU and other developed economies are estimated at US$46.9 billion.' If there is one truly global issue that requires urgent action, it’s this one.

GLOBAL: "Here’s what inequality means to me" by Sharan Burrow

'Inequality can be defined in numbers by economists as the ever growing income gap between the rich and the poor. It can be defined by paparazzi photos of celebrities’ sun bathing on Mediterranean super-yachts. And it can be defined in words by those politicians who make speeches about the risk it poses to social stability. But for working people inequality is about power.'

EUROPE: "EU: can the Maternity Leave Directive be rescued?" by Christina Vasilaki

'As the new EU commissioners prepare to take office, a bill to reform a 22 year-old directive on maternity leave is fighting its way back onto the agenda. This July, the proposed Maternity Leave Directive was dismissed by the European Commission as “red tape” and was placed in a legislative graveyard known as the regulatory fitness and performance programme (REFIT).'

COLOMBIA: " New threats to trade unionists in Colombia" by IUF

'The IUF has called for urgent protective measures by the Colombian government following public threats by paramilitaries against trade union leaders it denounces as "guerillas in disguise". Threatening leaflets signed by a notorious paramilitary group have been distributed in the department of Magdelena, where 9 union leaders have been murdered so far this year.'

CHINA: "The rise of China’s workers movement" by Han Dongfang

'In early September, about 16,000 workers at two Chinese factories producing touch-screens for well-known brands such as Apple went on strike after management reneged on a promise to pay a US$100 holiday bonus. The strikes were quickly resolved but still hit the headlines in the West because the bonus was supposed to include a box of moon cakes, a traditional gift during the Mid-Autumn Festival in China. The New York Post issued a dire warning to Apple fans, “No cake, no iPhone 6!”'

KENYA / SAUDI ARABIA: "Kenyan government moves to combat migrant worker abuse in the Gulf" by Brian Ngugi

'The Kenyan government has launched a crackdown on rogue employment agencies in an attempt to curb the exploitation and abuse of its migrant workers in Gulf countries. In response to the alarming number of cases involving the mistreatment of Kenyans abroad, on 29 September the government revoked the licenses of 930 agencies recruiting Kenyans to work in the Middle East.'

USA: "Global support for UAW organizing in the South" by Industriall

'Massive international solidarity feeds in to the organizing drive of the UAW at Nissan in Canton, Mississippi. The six-country trade union delegation representing over 150,000 Nissan workers jointly demanded that Nissan allows the 4,000 workers in Canton to form a union local of UAW.'

AFRICA: "Ebola crisis: how health workers on west African frontline are paying with their lives" by Monica Mark

' The epidemic has exposed weak healthcare systems and left nearly 3,500 dead, but far more might have died if not for the courage of local health workers. The day, 21 July, began like any other Monday for Ameyo Adadevoh, a doctor in Africa’s most populous city, Lagos. In a crowded midtown district, the usual jumble of patients awaited at the hospital where Adadevoh was known to sometimes give free drugs to those who could not afford it. Among them was a patient who had been wheeled in the previous evening, feverish and vomiting, diagnosed with severe malaria.'

SWAZILAND: "Swaziland – Monarchy Bans All Union and Employer Federations" by ITUC

'Swaziland’s government, one of the world’s last remaining absolute monarchies, has announced an immediate ban on all trade union and employer federations. With one of the worst industrial relations records of any country, the decision announced yesterday constitutes an absolute violation of ILO Convention 87, which guarantees freedom of association for workers and employers.'

PHILIPPINES: “They tried to crush us, and failed,” say NXP unionists

'Workers in the Philippines are claiming victory against one of the country’s biggest electronics firms following a year-and-a-half long battle for the reinstatement of two dozen dismissed workers and a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).Twenty four employers at NXP Semiconductors based in Cabuyao,Laguna were dismissed on 5 May 2013, ostensibly for “organising an illegal strike” after failing to report for work on three public holidays on Heroes’ Day, Maundy Thursday and Good Friday respectively.'

PERU: 'Peruvian state fails to protect indigenous communities' by Audrey Cordova, Jérémy Joly

'On 1 September, Edwin Chota, a well-known leader of the Ashéninka community of Alto Tamaya-Saweto in the Ucayali region, was murdered along with three other indigenous leaders. The men were on their way to a meeting with a number of other community leaders to fight against deforestation, when they were killed by illegal loggers. For two years, Chota had been trying to call the authorities’ attention to the deforestation of community lands, filing repeated complaints. He had managed to gather photos and the names of several illegal loggers, information which had resulted in numerous death threats.'

GLOBAL: 'The UN General Assembly: a cacophony of noise and hope' by Jay Naidoo

'he blare of sirens escorting heads of state; the barricades outside the fortress-like luxury hotels they stay in; the innumerable security hacks, bureaucrats, secretaries and drivers milling around with an enhanced sense of urgency; the exotic circuit of canapés and champagne; the ballroom waltzes of our political elites discussing weighty subjects varying from the Ebola crisis to ending poverty to securing a climate agreement to the last gasp of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). And then there is the treadmill of civil society.'
IFWEA part 3 "Global Network and Study Circles"'

▶ watch the video at


IFWEA part 2 "Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)'

▶ watch the video at

IFWEA part 1 "Lifelong Learning and Development of the Online Labour Academy"

▶ watch the video at


NEPAL / QATAR: " Nepalese migrant worker shares story of labour abuses in Qatar"

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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.

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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