COVID-19 pandemic

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Wisborn Malaya, Secretary General of Zimbabwe Chamber of Informal Economy Associations (ZCIEA) and IFWEA Executive Committee member, Zimbabwe

July 2020: “The best advice I can give is that this whole process requires patience. It’s also useful to identify key people and equip those people to help manage online platforms.” Read more

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Myrtle Witbooi, Secretary General of the South African Domestic and Allied Workers’ Union (SADSAWU) and Chair of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF), South Africa

July 2020: “Workers are losing jobs. There is hunger and no food and workers expect the union to assist.” Read more

THEME: REPORTS

ITUC-Africa newsletter

June 2020: The second issue of ITUC-Africa’s Special Edition Newsletter on COVID-19 focuses on individual African country responses and trade union roles. There is also information on the pandemic effects on migrant and domestic workers, and on gender-based violence during the crisis. Read more

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

IFWEA and FES

June 2020: Saliem Patel, Programme Manager for IFWEA, has published “Emergency Online Solutions to the Covid-19 Pandemic for African Trade Unions: A report based on interviews with five Africa GUF General Secretaries”. The Friedrich Ebert Stiftung has released the report which you can access online. Read more


THEME: COVID-19 RESOURCES

WIEGO: Fighting COVID-19 together

June 2020: Domestic workers are at the frontline in the COVID-19 pandemic as their work requires them to be in others’ homes and in close contact with other people. WIEGO and IDWF present useful guidelines to help domestic workers and their employers. Read more

THEME: REPORTS

Equal Times

June 2020: Children around the globe have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but to differing degrees. There is no doubt that poverty, lack of easy online access, school closures and soaring unemployment rates will impact children from disadvantaged areas more harshly. Read more

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Nosipho Twala, Educator and Facilitator at Labour Research Service (LRS), South Africa

May 2020: “When having online meetings with our partners, we’ve found it’s essential to do a ‘dry run’ to familiarise participants with the technology we are using, before the actual meeting. It’s good that children are at home now, because they are able to help their parents to connect and can easily troubleshoot if there are challenges!” Read more

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Sheri Davis-Faulkner, Co-Director of the WILL Empower programme and Senior Programme Director with the Center for Innovation in Worker Organization (CIWO) in the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations, USA

May 2020: “The best part is that the cohort participants deeply appreciate the community/network we have built, and the sense that they are not alone.” Read more


THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Nina Benjamin, Project Leader: Gender Programme at Labour Research Service (LRS), South Africa

May 2020: “With online communication one needs one to be conscious that it is a different form of communication. For example: when do you put on your camera, what does it mean to speak into a void, how do understand how you are received?” Read more

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Maira Vannuchi, StreetNet International organizer for the Americas and IFWEA Executive Member, Brazil

May 2020: “The impact has been more about the urgency that street vendors are facing. The needs of the vendors have impacted me and the team because we have the feeling that we have to use all our resources to do as much as possible to help them.” Read more

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Khalid Mahmood, Labour Education Foundation (LEF) and IFWEA Executive Member, Pakistan

May 2020: “Trying new technology is not that difficult as it seems. We must try to involve workers in learning new things as the time requires. It takes some effort in the beginning but it is not impossible. Workers are also very interested to learn online skills.” Read more

THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

Holding an Online Board Meeting – how we did it. Trenton Elsley, Executive Director at Labour Research Service (LRS), South Africa

May 2020: “The board usually meets quarterly. This was an important board meeting as it was the first one of the year. The board had to sign off on audited financial statements, and make staff remuneration decisions.” Read more


THEME: ONLINE ORGANISING

ABF don’t cancel – we digitize!

March/April 2020: From ABF President and IFWEA Vice President, Helen Pettersson: “Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF) in Sweden holds more than 85 000 study circles every year. We are present all over Sweden, in all main cities, in small towns and rural areas.  With COVID-19 we had to use our method and digitize at the same time.” Read more

THEME: COLLECTIVE AGREEMENTS

Clothing workers agreement signed

April 2020: A COVID-19 Agreement was signed by SACTWU and other unions, and employers, to ensure workers get paid during the enforced shutdown of companies in the Clothing Manufacturing Sector in South Africa. It’s a good example of what unions can do in other Bargaining Councils, and to engage employers in sectors with no Bargaining Councils. Click here.

THEME: MESSAGES AND REPORTS

A brief report on the COVID-19 pandemic impact in Nepal from CLASS Nepal

April 2020: From CLASS Nepal General Secretary, Parshuram Pudasaini: “In this pandemic, protecting workers from disease transmission is central and most important. Temporary and low wage workers and workers in the informal sectors are hard-hit and at increased risk. Health workers and food and grocery store workers are in the frontline.” Read more

THEME: MESSAGES AND REPORTS

Cómo se vive la crisis provocada por la pandemia del Cov 19 en América Latina

Abril 2020: From PLADES Executive President and IFWEA Vice President, Giovanna Larco: “Los países de América Latina han respondido de manera distinta a la pandemia. Algunos países, como Brasil y México (las dos economías más grandes del continente) no han tomado medidas tempranas de aislamiento para no afectar la dinámica económica.” Lee mas


THEME: MESSAGES AND REPORTS

COVID-19, informal workers and WIEGO’s work in this crisis

April 2020: Message from IFWEA affiliate WIEGO: While members of our global team are self-isolating, we are working hard to ensure that informal workers’ issues are heard, understood and addressed in this dual health and economic crisis. We are in close and constant communication with informal worker organizations. Information is regularly updated here.

THEME: NEWS UPDATES

UNCTAD: UN calls for $2.5 trillion coronavirus crisis package for developing countries

April 2020: The consequences of a combined health pandemic and a global recession in 2020 will be catastrophic for many developing countries and halt their progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals, says UNCTAD. The UN is calling for a US$2.5 trillion package for these countries to turn expressions of solidarity into meaningful global action. Click here.

THEME: NEWS UPDATES

WIEGO: This new crisis underscores old injustices in the global economy

April 2020: For 23 years, the WIEGO Network and its allies have been calling attention to the precarious position of informal workers whose contributions are critically important yet woefully undervalued. Now COVID-19 is not just highlighting the existing problems — it is magnifying them, says Sally Roever, WIEGO’s International Coordinator here.