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Latest News From The Secretariat

SOUTH AFRICA: May Day Festival 'What can the history of May Day teach us?' Saturday 25th April 2015 at Community House with LRS, ILRIG and WWMP

Speakers Sahra Ryklief of IFWEA, Leonard Gentle of ILRIG and Martin Jansen of WWMP discuss the question: 'Where to for the labour movment after NUMSA's expulsion from COSATU?'. read more about the programme which runs from 9h30 to 13h30...

SOUTH AFRICA: 'Call for applications for participants to attend APORDE 2015 African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics 31st of August to 11th of September 2015 Johannesburg'

'APORDE is a high-level training programme in development economics which aims to build capacity in economics and economic policy-making. The course is run for two weeks and consists of lectures and seminars taught by leading international and African economists. This call is directed at talented African, Asian and Latin American economists, policy makers, academics and civil society activists who, if selected, will be fully funded to participate in the course.'


'Greetings from the IFWEA Secretariat and General Secretary Sahra Ryklief: It is my great pleasure to invite you to the 22nd IFWEA International General Conference, which will be held at the Hotel Jose Antonio, in Lima, Peru, from Saturday 5th December to Monday 7th December 2015. IFWEA’s International General Conference is held every four years and provides the opportunity for worker educators and researchers to meet and share their opinions, work and resources. At the conference delegates from IFWEA affiliates review and renew our purpose and programme. All those interested in the development of educational resources and research which equips associations in the broader labour movement to engage with the contemporary 21st century challenges facing workers are welcome. Our 22nd General Conference is themed “PRECARITY OR SOLIDARITY”. It is a call to action on our part, for IFWEA affiliates to work concertedly to both re-inforce our common foundation and expand the frontiers of knowledge through a global programme for worker education and research. Some 100 to 150 delegates and observers from around the world will gather in Lima to set the policy and programme for IFWEA over the coming four years, and elect our new Executive Committee.'

EGYPT via Center for Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS): " Launching the Fifty-Day Campaign for Trade Unions’ Freedom and the Implementation of Social Justice from March 12 (Day of Trade Unions Freedom) until May 1st 2015 (Labor Day)"

'In a huge conference held at the Press Syndicate and attended by hundreds of participants representing independent trade unions as well as several sectors of workers from the private and public sectors, the Center of Trade Unions and Workers Services (CTUWS) has launched the fifty-day campaign for the freedom of trade unions and the implementation of social justice.'


'Climate action is a trade union issue. We have a vital role to play to protect jobs in existing workplaces and industries by demanding industrial transformation, to organise new quality jobs in the emerging green economy and to fight for the Just Transition measures that ensure we leave no one behind. We must mobilise to hold our leaders to account for the com - mitments that will ensure a strong global agreement on climate change in Paris this year. If we are to reverse the current trajectory governments cannot continue to be cowed by vested interests and a corporate lobby that is trying to protect a broken system.'

Labour News

GLOBAL via Equal Times: 'La desigualdad solamente se puede reducir con una mayor participación de los Estados y mejores políticas' por Janine Berg

'Durante las últimas décadas en muchos países, el Estado ha pasado lentamente a un segundo plano por la creencia de que dando más espacio a las fuerzas del mercado se generaría un mayor crecimiento económico y por lo tanto habría más oportunidades económicas.'

GLOBAL via Equal Times: 'Only more state engagement and better policies can lessen inequality' by Janine Berg

'For the past decades in many countries, the state has slowly retreated amidst the belief that by giving more space to market forces there would be greater economic growth and thus greater economic opportunities.'

PAKISTAN via The News: 'Lost to dust' by Shahzada Irfan Ahmed

'Hailing from Nutt Kallar Village, in Kamoke tehsil of Gujranwala district, 30 something years old, Muhammad Ilyas is a victim of the life-threatening and incurable disease called silicosis. Coincidently, all of them, including Ilyas, worked at the stone crushing factories in Gujranwala district, where they inhaled hazardous silica dust on a daily basis. Incapacitated by this lethal disease, Ilyas is hoping for a miracle to happen, and is expecting compensation and financial support from the state.'

WEST PAPUA via Equal Times: 'Papúa Occidental: actividades mineras bajo una ocupación olvidada por el mundo' by Nithin Coca

'Es una región rica en recursos naturales y la principal fuente de ingresos fiscales para el cuarto país más poblado del mundo. Asimismo, bajo un gobierno militar de facto, es un lugar donde se encarcela, tortura, desaparece y asesina a numerosos activistas.'

WEST PAPUA via Equal Times: ' West Papua: mining in an occupation forgotten by the world' by Nithin Coca

'It is a region rich in natural resources, the biggest source of tax revenue for the fourth most populous country in the world and, under de-facto military rule, it is a place where activists are jailed, tortured, disappeared and assassinated.'

MEDITERRANEAN SEA via Equal Times: 'El Mediterráneo bate en 2015 un récord horrendo' por Tom Rollins

'La temporada de más afluencia de migración irregular en el Mediterráneo (de abril a septiembre) comienza con una ignominia. El domingo fallecieron 950 personas ahogadas al volcar el pesquero procedente de Libia en el que intentaban llegar a Italia. Sólo hay 28 supervivientes en una de las peores tragedias marítimas en tiempos de paz de la historia moderna'

MEDITERRANEAN SEA via Equal Times: 'In 2015, a harrowing record is being set in the Mediterranean Sea' by Tom Rollins

'The peak season for irregular migration in the Mediterranean Sea (April to September) has begun in ignominy. On Sunday, as many as 950 people drowned when a boat from Libya sank on its way to Italy. Only 28 people survived what is thought to be one of the worst peacetime maritime disasters in modern history.'

GLOBAL via ITUC: ' End Corporate Greed Campaign'

This ITUC May Day statement this year focuses on our Frontline campaign on multinational supply chains. The campaign is taking shape at the national level with affiliates in Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, and we will be expanding the list of countries for targeted campaign and organising support as the campaign expands. Solidarity from affiliates in the home countries of multinational companies will be crucial to success in this campaign.'

THAILAND via Equal Times: 'Periodistas tailandeses sometidos a crecientes presiones' by por Daiva Repeckaite

'Desde el golpe de Estado militar perpetrado el pasado mes de mayo, las niveles de libertad de los medios de comunicación tailandeses han caído en picado, y el 25 de marzo de 2015 el líder de la Junta, Prayuth Chan-ocha, consiguió llamar la atención del mundo entero al anunciar de pasada que “es probable que simplemente ejecute” a los periodistas que “no comuniquen la verdad.”

THAILAND via Equal Times: 'Thai journalists under increasing pressure' by Daiva Repeckaite

'Since the military coup last May, Thailand’s media freedom ratings have plummeted, and the junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha got the world’s attention on 25 March 2015 when he casually announced he would “probably just execute” journalists who did “not report the truth.”'

USA via The Guardian: 'Fight for $15 swells into largest protest by low-wage workers in US history' by Steven Greenhouse and Jana Kasperkevic

'Workers in more than 200 cities walked out on jobs or joined protests bankrolled by organized labor on Wednesday in latest bid to raise minimum wage. Workers in Atlanta, Boston, New York, Los Angeles and more than 200 cities across the US walked out on their jobs or joined marches and protests on Wednesday during what organisers claimed was the largest protest by low-wage workers in US history.'

UK: 'Windsor Castle staff back industrial action in pay row ' by Caroline Davies

'Union claims staff have suffered years of pay restraint and are paid less than living wage. The Queen is to face industrial action by members of the royal household for the first time after staff at Windsor Castle voted for work to rule in a row over pay. Low-paid staff at the castle were balloted in a dispute about leading guided tours, with 84% voting for action short of a strike, on a turnout of 82%, the Public and Commercial Services union said. The action could start from the end of April.'

GLOBAL: 'It’s time to stop ignoring the link between women, work and poor health' by Rhoda Boateng

'Did you know that a substantial number of women’s health problems – including musculoskeletal disorders, breast and bladder cancers, reproductive health problems, psycho-social disorders, skin disorders, fatigue, stress and cognitive disorders – are associated with poor working conditions? This was just one of the many insights shared at the European Trade Union Institute’s (ETUI) three day conference on Women’s Health and Work held in Brussels in March 2015.'

PALESTINE: 'Thousands of workers strike in Gaza' by Ahmad Jaradat

'Gazan workers in the ministries of labour, justice, public works and women's affairs are conducting a one day strike, warning of future actions should their rights continue to be violated.'

LEBANON via Equal Times: 'Las heridas de la guerra civil del Líbano todavía no se han cerrado' por Emmanuel Haddad

'A pesar de su ausencia desde hace 31 años, Imad Ibrahim Abdallah siempre ha ocupado un lugar en el salón del apartamento de un barrio popular de Beirut donde vive Samia Abdallah, su hermana mayor. En la foto situada en un lugar destacado en la mesa baja, luce un bigote fino y una barba, los únicos elementos que le distinguen de un muchacho. Imad solamente tenía 18 años cuando fue secuestrado por las fuerzas armadas sirias, presentes en el Líbano durante y después de la guerra civil, que duró de 1975 a 1990.'

LEBANON via Equal Times: 'The open wounds of Lebanon’s civil war' by Emmanuel Haddad

'Despite his 31-year absence, Imad Ibrahim Abdallah still has a place in the living room of the Beirut apartment where his older sister Samia Abdallah lives. On the photo that takes pride of place on the low table, the young man sports a fine moustache and a chinstrap beard, the only signs that distinguish him from a child. Imad was only 18 years old when he was abducted by Syrian armed forces, which were present in Lebanon during and after the civil war that lasted from 1975 to 1990.'

UK: 'Los electores británicos quieren algo nuevo; ¿pueden dárselo los Verdes?' por Mischa Wilmers

'Menos de dos meses antes de las elecciones generales del Reino Unido, el 7 de mayo, el Partido de los Verdes sigue disfrutando de una ola de apoyo cada vez mayor. A principios de este año, tres encuestas independientes calcularon que alrededor del 10 por ciento del electorado tiene la intención de votar por el partido: el porcentaje más alto visto en años.'

UK: 'UK voters want something new; can the Greens give it to them?' by Mischa Wilmers

'With less than two months to go until the UK general elections on 7 May 2015, the Green Party is riding high on a wave of popular support. Earlier this year, three separate polls estimated that around 10 per cent of the electorate intended to vote for the party – its highest rating in years.'

EL SALVADOR: '¿Deberá El Salvador pagar 301 millones de USD por priorizar el agua limpia sobre el oro?' por Gabriel Labrador

'El Estado de El Salvador, en Centroamérica, podría perder 301 millones de USD por una demanda de OceanaGold Corp., una empresa minera australo-canadiense que exige una indemnización por la suspensión, en 2008, de sus permisos de operación en ese país.'

EL SALVADOR: 'Will El Salvador be forced to pay $301 million for valuing clean water over gold?' by Gabriel Labrador

'The Central American state of El Salvador could be forced to pay US$301 million in damages to an Australian-Canadian mining company, OceanaGold, after the company’s application for a mining license was rejected on the basis of the projected environmental damage it would cause.'


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



KENYA via International Transport Workers' Federation:

'They're chasing me away'

▶ watch the video here

BANGLADESH via International Labour Organisation:

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

▶ watch the video 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.'
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


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