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Equal Times: With claims of mass workers shortages and layoffs in the US, we must read between the lines   |   International Federation of Journalists: Iran: Heavy jail terms for journalists amid new arrests   |   The Progressive: Sick at Starbucks   |   Harvard Law School: Center for Labor and a Just Economy   |   Common Dreams: Mass Protests Across France Condemn Macron Attack on Pension System   |   NYC Nurse Strike Ends as NYSNA Declares Historic Victories at Montefiore and Mount Sinai   |   Equal Times: High value, low pay: the care sector in Spain   |   In These Times: Strikes Are Stronger Than Laws   |   International Federation of Journalists: 68 Journalists killed in 2022   |   The New Republic: This Right-Wing Think Tank Is Hell-Bent on Defunding Public-Sector Unions. Is It Working?   |   New Yorker: As Pro-Union Sentiment Reaches a Fifty-Year High, U.S. Law Remains Pro-Management

Updated News and Articles Relating to the Attempted Coup and to the Insurrection Against the United States of America on January 06, 2021 - *IMPORTANT* Latest Update January 26, 2023

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AFL-CIO Now Blog

LabourStart Solidarity Campaigns

USA: AFL-CIO Petition...
Write Your United States Senators - Pass the PRO Act

People Over Profit...
Public Services International

Justice for Fishers - Fishers' Rights Network...
International Transport Workers Federation

Pharmacare: A Plan for Everyone...
Canadian Labour Congress

Union Member Candidate Program...
American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations

Campaign to Organize Digital Employees...
Communications Workers of America

U.S. Mail Not for Sale...
American Postal Workers Union and National Association of Letter Carriers

Fight for $15...Low Pay is Not OK

One Fair Wage...
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United

Committee for Better Banks...
coalition of labor, community and consumer advocacy organizations

Union Yes

ITUC Global Rights Index

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) 2022 Global Rights Index rates the world's worst countries for workers -- 149 countries on a scale from 1 to 5+ relevant to respect of workers' rights.

ILO Labor Standards

The International Labor Organization (ILO) labor standards take the form of International Labor Conventions which are ratified by member countries. Of the total number of ILO Conventions, eight are considered core labor standards, fundamental to the rights of workers. The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Relevant NEWS and ARTICLES

Amnesty International

American Civil Liberties Union

USA: International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers General Counsel Carla M. Siegel explains the Railway Labor Act and its governing body called the National Mediation Board

Go public! Fund Education: Education International launches new global campaign

24 January 2023:   On 24 January 2023, International Day of Education, Education International is launching a new global campaign to fund public education and the teaching profession. The campaign Go public! Fund Education will support Education International's member organisations in their fight against budget cuts, austerity, and privatisation, and as they mobilise to build inclusive, quality public education for all.

"Go Public! Fund education will support the efforts of education unions everywhere to improve pay, working conditions, and ensure the respect our 32 million members deserve. We will stand united and mobilise to pressure governments to fully fund public education and invest in the teaching profession," explained David Edwards, General Secretary of Education International.

The alarming global teacher shortage is threatening the right to education everywhere. The world needs 69 million more teachers to achieve universal primary and secondary education, according to UNESCO estimates, with sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia most affected by the worldwide shortage. Research by Education International points to an overworked, underpaid, and undervalued teaching profession. Resignation rates are skyrocketing, new teachers are leaving the profession, and the number of people who want to join the teaching profession is in dramatic decline.

However, most governments have failed to make the necessary investments to provide the support teachers and education personnel desperately need. Education budgets have fallen in 65 per cent of low- and middle-income countries, and in 33 per cent of upper-middle- and high-income countries.

The United Nations Transforming Education Summit of 2022 was a first step towards building political will to prioritise education, increase education financing, and invest in teachers. The Summit called on governments to invest more and more equitably in education. At the Summit, the creation of a Global Commission on the Teaching Profession was announced. This High-Level Expert Group will give recommendations to address the global teacher shortage, amongst other issues.

In this context, Education International is launching a new campaign to mobilise at the local, national, regional, and global level, so that governments commit to the education funding necessary to implement the Commission's recommendations, to guarantee every student's right to have a well-supported qualified teacher and a quality learning environment.

Moving together: one union, one voice

Go Public! Fund Education is an urgent and needed call for governments to invest in public education, a fundamental human right and public good, key to pandemic recovery, and to invest more in teachers, the single most important factor in achieving quality education. This means guaranteeing labour rights and ensuring good working conditions, as well as manageable workloads and competitive salaries. It also means valuing teachers, ensuring they are central to decision-making and trusting their pedagogical expertise.

Edwards encouraged all member organisations to join the campaign as they mobilise in their local context. "We know that only by strengthening our profession, our union movement, will we achieve democratic, inclusive, just and sustainable societies. Let's act together in solidarity to go public and fund education. We are Education International."

To access the Go Public! Fund Education campaign hub please click here.

Source:  Education International--EI uniting 383 member organisations representing more than 32 million teachers and education support personnel in 178 countries and territories

Eswatini: Murder of Thulani Maseko is a "deplorable act of violence"

The ITUC deplores the murder of Thulani Maseko, a human and trade union rights lawyer and political activist in Eswatini.

24-01-2023:   He was shot dead in front of his family on 21 January at his home in Manzini by unknown gunmen.

From 2012 to 2015, Thulani Maseko defended the rights of the Trade Union Congress of Eswatini (TUCOSWA) following its deregistration by the government. Since then, he provided legal advice to the Eswatini trade union movement. He was also the chair of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) that represented progressive groups working for democracy in Eswatini following the banning of political parties. Eswatini is the only country in Africa ruled by an authoritarian, absolute monarch: King Mswati III.

ITUC Deputy General Secretary, Owen Tudor, said: "This is a deplorable act of violence that deserves international condemnation and action. "The global trade union movement extends its deepest condolences to the family of Thulani Maseko and the people of Eswatini for this appalling loss of a great human rights defender and campaigner for social justice. "We demand a full and independent investigation and no impunity: those responsible must be brought to justice."

"The Eswatini government must account for all the political killings that have occurred in the country since 2021. I call upon the UN Human Rights Council, the Commonwealth, the African Union, and the Southern African Development Community to act now, before more people are killed. "The people of Eswatini want the basic rights of peace and the right to elect their national leaders. The government must engage in social dialogue with the trade unions, and all stakeholders, to address the challenges facing the nation."

State-backed political violence is widespread in Eswatini:

  • Since a student protest in June 2021, more than 80 people have been reportedly murdered by security forces.
  • Many people, including trade union members, have been seriously injured in attacks on demonstrations by security forces, while others have fled the country and live in exile.
  • Two members of Parliament, Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube, have been in prison on false charges since 2021 following a public protest demanding good governance and a democratic state.
  • The ITUC sounded the alarm this month about recent attacks on trade unionists and pro-democracy campaigners.

Source:  International Trade Union Confederation--ITUC represents 207 million workers in 163 countries and territories and has 331 national affiliates

India: Union power yields collective bargaining agreements

19 January, 2023:   Unions in India's Pune region, who are members of IndustriALL affiliate Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, signed nine collective bargaining agreements with multinational companies in 2022.

For Shramik Ekta Mahasangh, 2022 was a year of successful struggles. Factory-level unions signed collective bargaining agreements with multinational conpanies (MNCs) that manufacture technological products used in several industries like electronics, automotive, power generation, healthcare, agricultural machinery, and oil and gas.

The agreement negotiated with Avery Dennison, based in the United States, increased workers' wages by INR29,400 (US$360). With the Swiss company Hoerbiger, the wage raise was INR27,660 (US$339).

Workers negotiated hard to include health check-ups, medical claims, leave allowances, shift allowances, performance bonuses, yearly increments, retirement benefits, canteen facilities, children's education, skill training and trade union rights in the collective bargaining agreements.

Union successfully bargained with a Finnish company, Wartsila, that workers must be allowed to take a short leave for an hour, during working hours for emergency union meetings that cannot be held after official factory working hours. The company will also allocate a desktop at a common place for union work.

Korean multinational, Myung Sung, agreed to provide educational assistance for workers' children. Brembo Brakes India, a subsidiary of Italian company Brembo, agreed to include unions in the process of introducing new technology or modernization of plants.

Apoorva Kaiwar, IndustriALL south Asia regional secretary, says: "IndustriALL congratulates the unions and Shramik Ekta Mahasangh for having successfully signed the collective bargaining agreements. The agreements show that healthy industrial relations are very much needed to advance workers' rights.

Source:  IndustriALL Global Union--IndustriALL represents 50 million workers in 140 countries

53 trade unionists graduate from IndustriALL MENA leadership academy

12 January, 2023:   The IndustriALL MENA leadership academy was established in 2018, responding to the need to develop a new generation of trade unionists, providing them with tools for organizing, building union power, implementing GFAs and just transition.

"IndustriALL is very proud of the outcome of leadership training academy in MENA and we would like to congratulate the 53 trade unionist who graduated in December 2022," says Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary

Since 2018, over 150 trade unionists from the Middle East and North Africa have graduated from the leadership academy. The academy started initially in collaboration with the youth and Sarah Flores, IndustriALL youth officer. Now, it also focuses on engaging more women and on cross sectoral issues.

IndustriALL regional secretary for the MENA region, Ahmed Kamel, explains that traditionally, trade union training focuses on organizing. "We wanted to go a step further and speak on specific issues like sectors, supply chains, Industry 4.0, GFAs, Just Transition and the future of work. It was difficult to find people trained on this in the union, which is why we developed the academy."

The training is structured around four main areas::

  1. Basic union education (ILO standards, national laws)
  2. Social security and collective bargaining
  3. Organizing through the supply chain
  4. Supply chains and the future of work (industry 4.0, digitalization just transition, gig economy)

The course, which lasts for two years, starts with 12-15 days training. Then participants develop a graduation project on a topic related to their union, using the knowledge from the course. After presenting the project, it is taken to the respective union where IndustriALL and the union discuss the integration of the project into their union. It could be through an organizing campaign, developing a leaflet, developing training materials for their union, etc.

In 2019, several unionists from the textile union in Tunisia, Fédération Générale du Textile, de l'Habillement, Chaussure et Cuir - FGTHCC-UGTT, joined the academy. The union established committees and ran a massive campaign on organizing, managing to organize 7,000 workers in one year.

"Since the academy started, we have seen so many young union activists becoming more involved in their unions and increasing their participation in union activities. We have several cases of young activists and women getting leadership positions within the national union structures. This is an encouraging outcome, and we are grateful to the experts and trainers from who have made this possible" says Ahmed Kamel.

The Academy and related activities are supported by Dutch FNV, Swedish Union to Union and German FES.

Source:  IndustriALL Global Union--IndustriALL represents 50 million workers in 140 countries

Belarus: Education International denounces the political trials against union leaders

21 December 2022:   Education International stands in solidarity with union leaders targeted in Belarus for their trade union activities and the anti-war stance taken by their organisation, the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Aliaksandr Yarashuk (Chairperson), Siarhei Antusevich (Vice-chairpeson), and Iryna But-Husaim (Press secretary and Accountant), were all arrested on 19 April 2022, when the Lukashenko regime further intensified its crackdown on independent unions, and have been in detention until now, waiting for trial. There are currently at least 23 unionists who are detained in Belarus. The trial began on 20 December in Minsk, Belarus.

"Democracy and unionism are interrelated. Trade unions can only fully and freely function in democracies. Democracies cannot be complete without independent trade unions. Education International stands firm with independent unions in that common fight, in Belarus and elsewhere," stated Education International's General Secretary David Edwards, who reaffirmed the support of Education International to the independent trade unions of Belarus in the defense of the rights and of democracy. "Education International will continue to support the workers, teachers and students of Belarus in their struggle for rights, freedoms and democracy. We call on the authorities for the release of all detained unionists and the end of the crackdown on independent trade unions," he added.

In July, the Supreme Court of Belarus liquidated and dissolved the BKDP and four other major unions. The authorities also engaged in a defamation campaign, threatening to prosecute anyone associated with BKDP and its affiliates.

Repression campaign against unions and activists

The repression against independent unions and activists is part of a continued effort by the Lukashenko regime to stay in power after losing the presidential election in August of 2020 and widespread demonstrations and nationwide protests that followed demanding the restoration of democracy.

Following the dissolution of BKDP, a new independent workers centre in Belarus, Salidarnast, was created to take over the mission and activities of its predecessor. As the legal successor of the BKDP, Salidarnast defines its primary missions as the restoration of an independent trade union movement in Belarus and the defense of all unionists and activists detained for political reasons. Salidarnast has launched an online campaign on the union platform Labourstart to call for the release of all the activists and the end to the prosecution of independent trade unionists in Belarus.

The gross violations of trade union rights by the Lukashenko regime have been condemned by the Governing Body of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), of which Aliaksandr Yarashuk is an acting member. Meeting in a special sitting in November and in view of the continuous disrespect for the international labour standards by the government of Belarus, the ILO initiated the most serious procedure within its mandate that will lead to sanctions on the government of Belarus.

Source:  Education International--EI uniting 383 member organisations representing more than 32 million teachers and education support personnel in 178 countries and territories

ILO complaint: it's time to halt South Korea's authoritarian approach to striking truckers

20 Dec 2022:   Global unions have taken legal action against the South Korean government for its extreme response to a truckers' strike in the country, which ended on 9 December.

The South Korean Government invoked emergency laws as a justification to issue 'return to work' orders against individual drivers, which legal experts say are unconstitutional and in violation of international law. Government agencies have used investigatory powers to intimidate union leaders and threatened strikers with criminal penalties and financial claims for damages. These actions are all subject to a complaint filed by unions to the International Labour Organization (ILO).

"None of these actions are appropriate behaviour for a legitimate democratic government," said Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF). "Truck drivers in South Korea took the decision to strike only after the government reneged on an agreement to continue a sensible law which protects road safety and decent rates of pay. Unions have been very open to negotiating but the government is determined to brow-beat them into submission, denying them their basic rights in the process. This is quite simply unacceptable."

Violating worker rights

A formal complaint against South Korea has been made to the ILO, covering government actions which violate principles of freedom of association guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Korea and ILO Core Conventions 87 and 98. The complaint has been made to the ILO's Committee on Freedom of Association (CFA) by The Korean Public Service and Transport Workers' Union (KPTU), the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU), the ITF, Public Services International (PSI) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

"The complaint outlines how the South Korean government is running roughshod over international law," said Cotton. "The premeditated, systematic and unjustified anti-union actions of the Yoon Suk-yeol Government clearly violate workers' most basic rights and the government's obligations to uphold international labour standards. A modern democratic government should recognise that and live up to its responsibilities."

In the complaint, the unions present clear evidence that the South Korean government planned to break the strike even before it started, and used the guise of a national emergency to justify its actions. The government treated an intervention by the ILO during the strike with contempt, the complaint says, and ignored obligations under international law. Government representatives have slandered and criminalised striking workers, and encouraged companies to file claims for damages against workers and their union.

Strike ends, government onslaught continues

The strike began on 24 November. On 9 December, in the face of the government's systematic suppression including the criminalisation of the strike and threat of criminal punishment for non-compliance with return to work orders, 62 percent of KPTU-TruckSol members voted to end the strike.

This vote followed an announcement by the opposition Democratic Party that they would pursue a three-year extension of the Safe Rates System to December 2025 the previous day. On 9 December a bill for the three-year extension passed the plenary meeting of the National Assembly Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee with only opposition lawmakers present.

However, on the same day, the Minister of Land, Infrastructure and Transport Won Hee-ryong revealed his intention to maintain a hardline stance saying, "It is time to end the vicious cycle of indulging strikes without punishing them, as seen under the previous government". Subsequently, the government and the ruling People Power Party have made clear they have no intention of cooperating with opposition lawmakers to pass the proposed legislation, saying their previous proposal for an extension was only valid before workers went on strike.

"It is intolerable that a government should use such heavy-handed tactics against a legitimate strike, but it is even more intolerable that the government is continuing to suppress the union and its members after the strike is over," said Cotton. "The government is holding hostage a law that protects workers and saves lives on Korean roads." "It's time that the government ended its authoritarian approach and engaged in good faith dialogue with TruckSol to keep its promise to workers and the public by continuing the Safe Rates system," added Cotton.

KPTU-TruckSol has continued to protest in front of the National Assembly. On 12 December KPTU President Bongju Lee began a hunger strike calling for extension of the Safe Rates system. "I hope this ILO complaint will bring about a change in the government's attitude," said Lee. "KPTU-TruckSol will not stop fighting to protect the lives of Korean citizens and workers on our road."

Source:  International Transport Workers Federation--ITF representing 20 million members in 700 affiliated trade unions from 150 countries

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