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Amtrak workers' rally calls on Congress to preserve jobs, fund service   |   ***TRUMP SWAMP ALERT*** Common Dreams: Trump Refuses to Commit to Peaceful Transition of Power, Saying He Will 'Have to See What Happens'   |   Working in These Times: What's at Stake for the Labor Movement on Election Day? Everything.   |   Daily Kos: Cindy McCain endorses a 'good and honest man,' and it sure isn't Donald Trump   |   On Labor: Peter Robb's Vacuous Attack on Voluntary Recognition Agreements   |   National Nurses United: LARGEST HOSPITAL UNION VICTORY IN SOUTH SINCE 1975    |   The Nation: Faith and Labor Movements Are Bridging Trump's Racial Divide With Hope and Love   |   'Resign immediately' says National Education Association president to Azar, DeVos   |   Common Dreams: Family of Worker Who Died of Covid Slams Trump OSHA Over Paltry $15,600 Fine Against Meat Company   |   ILO calls on Belarus President to respect workers' rights and freedoms amid protests   |   Dissent: Belabored Podcast #205: Wildcat Sports Strike Wave, with Dave Zirin   |   NNU: Nurses Raise Caution Flag on COVID-19 Vaccine Push   |   Kentucky AFL-CIO: McGrath is 'the one that's going to support organized labor'   |   ILO: Dismantling the kafala system and introducing a minimum wage mark new era for Qatar labour market   |   Salon: Social Security fund would run out of money in 3 years if Trump eliminates payroll tax   |   ***TRUMP SWAMP ALERT*** Washington Post: Room rentals, resort fees and furniture removal: How Trump's company charged the U.S. government more than $900,000   |   Blue Green Alliance Announces Support for Joe Biden for President and Kamala Harris for Vice President   |   Labor Press: Mail Workers Rally To Stop 'Postal Apocalypse'.   |   Working in These Times: We Organize Domestic Workers. Here's Why We Decided We Need a Union, Too.   |   Jim Hightower: Save our Post Office...and our right to vote   |   Teamsters Endorse Biden--Harris   |   ***TRUMP SWAMP ALERT*** The Nation: Donald Trump and His Postmaster General Are Sabotaging Democracy in Plain Sight   |   On Labor: Yet Another Reason Why We Need a Clean Slate for Labor Law   |   Democracy Now: Is Trump Sabotaging U.S. Postal Service Ahead of Election as Part of His Attack on Mail-in Voting?   |   Common Dreams: Trump Just Admitted on Live Television He Will 'Terminate' Social Security and Medicare If Reelected in November   |   WORKERS AT THE PHILADELPHIA MUSEUM OF ART VOTE TO UNIONIZE IN HISTORIC LANDSLIDE WIN   |   Jim Hightower: Trump's one-word re-election campaign   |   Truthout: Is Trump Trying to Steal the Election to Escape Indictment?

USA: Labor 2020: Are You Registered to Vote???

***TRUMP SWAMP ALERT*** NYT: Long-Concealed Records Show Trump's Chronic Losses and Years of Tax Avoidance

When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something, do something. Our children and their children will ask us: What did you do? What did you say?.
United States Representative John Lewis, 1940-2020

RadioLabour DailyRadio Labour:  International Labour Movement's Radio Service, Bringing Labour's Voices to the World

AFL-CIO Now Blog

LabourStart Solidarity Campaigns

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

Making Change at Walmart...
United Food and Commercial Workers

Robin Hood Tax Campaign...
it's not a tax on the people, it's a tax for the people...United States

Justice for Port Drivers...
International Brotherhood of Teamsters

Union Yes

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

World Day for Decent Work 2020

USA: Trumka: We Will Not Tolerate Any Constitutional Breach

September 25, 2020:   Statement from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on President Trump's latest comments about the post-election transition:

The AFL-CIO categorically rejects all threats to the peaceful transition of power. The labor movement simply will not allow any breach of the U.S. Constitution or other effort to deny the will of the people. Union members across the political spectrum are united in our fundamental belief that the votes of the American people must always determine the presidency. America's workers will continue to be steadfast in defense of our democracy in the face of President Trump's antics, and we stand ready to do our part to ensure his defeat in this election is followed by his removal from office.

Source:  American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations--AFL-CIO is a federation of 56 national and international labor unions that represent 12.5 million working men and women

We will not be silent on state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe, say South African metalworkers

24 September, 2020:   The banning of protests, abductions and torture of activists and students, arrests of journalists and the intimidation of trade unions are not issues that we will be silent about, says the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA).

NUMSA, which is affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, organized a picket at the Zimbabwean Embassy in Pretoria, 23 September, to protest workers and human rights' abuses in the country. The picket is a response to the International Day of Action called by ITUC-Africa to protest labour and human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

The union was joined at the picket by civil society organizations that are protesting the violations using the online campaign #ZimbabweanLivesMatter that is highlighting the abuses and has received global support. The online campaign emerged after social media became one of the only ways to protest after the government of Zimbabwe banned demonstrations against Covid-19 procurement corruption and the deteriorating social and economic crisis in the country that were planned for 31 July.

Unemployment is high and wages for most workers are only US $30 per month, meaning that workers are living in poverty. When Zimbabwean unions campaigned for living wages to protect workers' wages against the low wages and hyperinflation, which is over 800 per cent, they were labelled "terrorist organizations." According to the UN World Food Programme, over eight million people need emergency relief support to avoid starvation.

Activists, students, journalists, and the organizers of the 31 July demonstration were arrested, abducted and tortured, charged in the courts with trying to overthrow the government and accused of "inciting violence" or disregarding Covid-19 regulations. The demonstrations were stifled by a heavy police and army presence and the few who took placards out to the streets were arrested. Booker prize nominee for 2020, Tsitsi Dangarembga, whose novel This Mournable Body has been shortlisted, was also arrested for "inciting violence" and "bigotry."

NUMSA demands include that the African Union must investigate the human rights violations and hold the government accountable. Further, the judiciary must be independent, and freedom of association respected. Media freedoms should also be respected and charges against journalists and other political prisoners withdrawn.

Andrew Chirwa, NUMSA president said: "Instead of addressing the crisis, the Zimbabwean government has responded with brutality and repression. The country is in the grip of state-sponsored violence against its people. We demand workers' freedom to participate in activities of any trade unions of their choice and that their right to strike be protected."

Paule France Ndessomin, IndustriALL regional secretary for Sub Saharan Africa said: "We call upon the government of Zimbabwe to respect international labour standards. Trade unions play an important role in improving the welfare of workers and working class communities, but they can only do so when their freedoms and rights are respected."

IndustriALL's 10 affiliates in Zimbabwe, that organize in the chemical and plastics, energy, engineering, metal, mining, manufacturing, and textile, garment shoe and leather sectors, welcomed the support from NUMSA which they said strengthened not only international solidarity, but their resolve to continue fighting for workers' and human rights.

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

Protect Jobs, protect democracy, protect print media: Global unions launch campaign to ensure journalism's future

18 September 2020:   A coalition of global unions, representing nearly 21 million workers worldwide, is launching a campaign today to save print journalism.

The International Federation of Journalists and UNI Global Union announced an effort today to push governments to adopt emergency rescue packages for the print media industry as a whole (journalism, publishing, printing and distribution) as well as introduce a digital services tax on tech giants such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook who have diverted advertising revenue from media outlets.

The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated a long-standing decline of media ad income. This year alone, revenue is down 20 per cent. Much of this money has been siphoned by tech companies. For example, in 2018, Google earned $4.7 billion from news-money not shared with the journalists who produced it.

"The current global health crisis is significantly increasing the great difficulties facing the print media sector," Anthony Bellanger, IFJ General Secretary warns. "Governments need to react urgently. The sector is a public good and a crucial pillar of our democracies. Governments are well aware of this. Indeed, with the COVID crisis they have identified the sector as essential. Today, they cannot just watch the ship sink from their balconies."

In light of the severe economic crisis that lies ahead, the unions want national governments to step in to protect media jobs safeguard a print media industry that stands for quality, ethics, solidarity, labour rights and fundamental freedoms.

"The health of our democracies rests on holding people in power accountable, and journalists are the ones who, more often than not, shine a spotlight on political and corporate power abuses of the public trust," says Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. "Print media plays a huge part in disseminating this information and supporting the online components of journalism."

Unless action is taken, thousands of media outlets risk being shuttered and hundreds-of-thousands jobs risk being lost due to the consolidation in the media sector and loss of advertising income. The IFJ and UNI have adopted a joint appeal addressed to National Governments titled "Rescue and future survival package for the print media industry." Unions who are members of these federations will use these points lobbying for support for the news media.

Nicola Konstantinou, Head of department of the UNI's Graphical & Packaging sector, says, "Print media is a social good, and its media supply chain is long and includes millions of people-journalists, editors, proof-readers, printers, designers, photographers, but also delivery people, postal workers, and booksellers. "These businesses-and the people who work for them-are put at a disadvantage by the unfair tax avoidance stealing of ad income by major tech companies. We are asking governments to intervene to make sure that the people who produce and distribute the news we depend on get a fair share."

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents more than 20 million workers from over 150 countries

Women fighting for democracy in Belarus

17 September, 2020:   On 12 September, around 10,000 women marched on the streets of Minsk, demanding the departure of Lukashenko. Since the protests began in August, and despite violent repression, women's peaceful marches and protests continue in Belarus.

On 13 and 15 August, women were the first to take to the streets, protesting against Lukashenko's claims to have won the presidential elections. Thousands of protesters were arrested, and the images of tortured and beaten prisoners brought women to the streets to protest against police terror. Strikes in many state-owned factories followed the peaceful protests. Since the beginning of the resistance against Lukashenko, women have been involved and women trade unionists continue to play an active role in the movement.

Patriarchy is deeply institutionalized in Belarus, reaching all the way to the top. When Lukashenko received news of the candidacy of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the wife of a jailed political opponent, he remarked that a housewife would never be a real competitor. In May, Lukashenko claimed that the Belarusian society "has not yet matured enough to vote for a woman", saying this was "because according to the constitution, our president has strong powers".

The candidate and her two female allies during the campaign, Veronika Tsepkalo, also spouse of a male presidential candidate, and Maria Kolesnikova, member of the election office of another male political opponent Viktor Babaryko, have shown the Belarus society that women can raise their voices and be leaders. Their actions have inspired many of the thousands of women taking to the streets for more than a month.

The images of the violent police repression show that women have not been spared. During the presidential campaign, Amnesty International denounced the Belarusian authorities for targeting women activists and family members of political opposition representatives. The night of the alleged re-election of the dictator, women protesters were arrested and there were reports of rape of female prisoners.

Zinaida Mikhniuk, chair of the Radio and Electronics Industry Workers' Union, an affiliate of IndustriALL, says: "I support Svetlana Tikhanovskaya because as women we should be able to decide for ourselves whether we want to be housewives or not, and not be forced to take a bank loan in order to equip our children for school when both parents are working. We, the women in Belarus, are a benchmark for many men; they cannot afford to be weak next to us. We are courageous, strong and determined, we stand with our husbands, brothers and especially our children and we will not stop fighting for ours and their future.'

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

Assassination of Konan Kouassi Bruno: CNDD, Côte d'Ivoire

14 Sep 2020:   It was with much sorrow and anger that the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) heard of the brutal murder of our comrade and brother Konan Kouassi Bruno, Deputy General Secretary of Collectif National des Dockers et Dockers Transit pour la Defense de Leurs Droits (CNDD): a key ITF Dockers' Section affiliate in the Côte d'Ivoire.

We understand that an investigation is currently taking place but early indications that his death was an assassination are deeply concerning. Without hesitation the ITF Dockers' Section offers our full and unconditional solidarity to Brother Konan Kouassi Bruno's union and our most sincere condolences to his family and loved ones.

Brother Konan Kouassi Bruno was an inspirational trade unionist and a true internationalist. It seems like only yesterday that he was bringing affiliates together and making a real impact at the ITF Congress 2018 in Singapore. Only last month he was making plans for transport workers at the local National Coordinating Committee (NCC) meeting.

A very committed, loyal and devoted comrade who was highly regarded by all who worked with him. The ITF Dockers family reaches out across countries, regions and continents with an unspoken understanding: touch one, touch all. We are all touched by this act of barbarity. It is unacceptable to the international dockers community that trade unionists, port workers and transport workers more generally are still not safe from threats and intimidation and are subject to violent crimes and assassination.

The Ministry of Transport and the government in the Côte d'Ivoire need to rectify this dangerous situation with some urgency. Once we ascertain all the facts and discuss this extensively with our comrades in the region, we will consider a request for an urgent intervention from the ILO DG and/or the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Killings. Moreover, the ITF will assist in whatever way it can to secure justice and a safe working environment for our sisters and brothers in the region.

We urge the Côte d'Ivoire and the judicial authorities to conduct the investigations needed to ascertain the facts and prosecute those responsible with the full force of the law.

The Dockers' Section asks our comrades in the region to convey our sincerest condolences and respects to the family of Brother Konan Kouassi Bruno. We understand the heartbreak and grief this must have caused, though we are determined that his death will not be in vain. Therefore, it needs to be recognised that even in the face of grave threats, intimidation and assassinations we stand committed to fighting for basic trade union rights: the freedom of association, the right to collectively bargain and the right to strike. Ensuring these human rights are protected is what defines us. No one should be targeted for their trade union activities, either by governments, employers or criminal interests.

"It is with anguish and sorrow that we have learnt of the death of our brother and comrade Konan Kouassi Bruno. A cowardly act against a man whose lifetime work was dedicated to fighting for the rights of dockers and maritime workers. He was a committed internationalist and true friend of the ITF. He made a difference. He stood up for his what he believed in: building the collective strength of dockers through democratic debate and hard work. His achievements were numerous and will stand the test of time. My heartfelt condolences go to his family, friends and loved ones," said ITF President and Dockers' Section Chair Paddy Crumlin.

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary made clear that the incredible work done by Brother Konan Kouassi Bruno will be of colossal benefit to future generations of port workers. "On behalf of the ITF, I offer the deep respect and the sympathies of the ITF's global family at this sad time. As well as being principled, he was talented, hard-working and an inspiration to those who came across him &#$5; this legacy will live on. Continuing his work to protect and promote the lives, rights and futures of dockers in the Côte d'Ivoire and beyond is exactly what he would have wanted," said Cotton.

Source:  International Transport Workers Federation--ITF representing 20 million members from 150 countries

Fighting for workers' rights in South East Asia

14 September, 2020:   Unions in South East Asia are planning ahead for defending workers' rights through struggle and advocacy, institutionalizing safety and health concerns in collective agreements, and building capacity for women and youth.

Since August, IndustriALL has organized country strategic planning meetings with affiliates from Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and Philippines, with more than one hundred union leaders participating.

Workers in South East Asia have been hit hard by the coronavirus with mass layoffs, furlough or terminations. Employers have used Covid-19 as a pretext to dismiss union leaders and members in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia. Trade unions have responded by staging strikes and demonstrations, requesting international solidarity campaign and using global framework agreements to exert pressure on manufacturers.

Unions in the Philippines and Indonesia are calling their governments to declare Covid-19 as occupational disease, which the Malaysian government did in April 2020. Unions in the three countries have been advocating for labour law reforms to defend workers' rights.

  • Malaysian unions formed a labour law reform coalition with other global union affiliates to campaign for a reform of colonial labour legislation.
  • Unions in the Philippines are working together with congressmen on the Security of tenure bill, urging the government to end contract work.
  • Indonesian affiliates are opposing the so called Omnibus bill on job creation, which they say will remove current rights and benefits.

Trade unions are increasingly concerned about health and safety as members contract Covid-19. Philippine metal sector unions are recommending strengthening safety and health provision in collective agreements. This was echoed in a recent meeting with young workers, where Singapore affiliates argued for improving collective agreements in term of safety and health, employment security and upskilling.

IndustriALL South East Asia regional secretary Annie Adviento says: "Affiliates in the region are active in women's rights campaigns, like the ratification of Conventions 183 and 190, and young workers are participating in annual exchange forums. We will continue to build capacity for women and youth, while building union power."

IndustriALL assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan says: "We need to overcome challenges with solidarity and commit to build a fair workplace, a sound health system and a democratic society. Let's use occupational safety and health as a tool to organize workers and protect their rights.

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

Union win: Swiss Uber Eats workers reclassified as genuine employees

10 Sep 2020:   The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) congratulates Swiss union Unia on their successful efforts to convert precariously-employed food delivery workers to genuine employees in Geneva.

More than 500 Uber Eats delivery workers will now be classified as employees rather than independent contractors. This means that delivery workers will immediately receive a base wage of 20.65 Swiss francs per hour (approximately US$22.50), four weeks of annual leave, protection in the event of illness or accident, and access to unemployment insurance.

"We are pleased to see that Uber Eats delivery workers in Geneva will finally be treated as real employees," said Unia secretary Umberto Bandiera. Unia has supported delivery riders since Uber Eats arrived in Switzerland in 2018. "Our wish is that the rest of Switzerland will follow suit and ensure compliance with our labour laws," added Bandiera.

Uber Eats sent an unexpected message to its delivery workers in Geneva in late August informing riders that they would all become regular employees of Chaskis SA, a Swiss company that Uber Eats has partnered with. The Canton of Geneva called on app-based food delivery services to "respect the law" by recognizing delivery workers as employees in June 2019. A subsequent court decision in June this year put further pressure on Uber Eats and its competitors.

"We will continue to push for the rights of Uber Eats workers. Food delivery workers should be receiving all the benefits and improved working conditions prescribed under the national sectoral agreement for the hotel and restaurant industries," said Bandiera.

"This is an important victory for these workers and for all of us," said Baker Khundakji, the ITF's Young Transport Workers' Officer. "Going forward, Uber Eats must not only require workers on their platform to be employees but employ them directly. We will use every opportunity whether it's dialogue or campaigning in order to influence policy regulations and support these workers become represented," added Khundakji.

Uber has filed an appeal to the Federal Court, whose ruling is expected early next year. The Court's decision will set a precedent that will apply to all of Switzerland.

Meanwhile in the United States, Uber and other gig economy companies have contributed over US$180 million towards their legislative campaign to overturn California's historic Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which prohibits the misclassification of workers, including food delivery workers, as independent contractors.

The ITF is working closely with its almost 700 union affiliates to address the impacts of the future of work on transport workers. This includes campaigning for decent working conditions for gig economy workers through supporting them to organise and mobilising to influence local, regional and global policy.

Source:  International Transport Workers Federation--ITF representing 20 million members from 150 countries

South Asia unions prioritize social protection, health and workers' rights

9 September, 2020:   In a series of meetings, IndustriALL's South Asia affiliates described the devastating impact of Covid-19, health and safety challenges and renewed attacks on workers' rights. Their response to overcome the crisis is universal social protection, defending workers' rights and unity.

As countries in South Asia experience a prolonged Covid-19 lockdown and containment measures, affiliates report job losses and increasing retrenchment of hundreds and thousands of workers. Large numbers of precarious workers have lost their jobs, and many have not been paid at all or have received reduced wages during lockdown. The devastating impact of job losses are evident in the garment and textile, home-based work and informal sectors, where the majority of workers are women.

Lacking effective social protection, workers and people in the region are facing a humanitarian crisis. While governments have announced relief measures, large numbers of people have not received them. IndustriALL affiliates are involved in mobilizing resources, working with local social organizations and providing relief by distributing cooked food and food grains.

As lockdown measures have eased and factories resume operations, workers are gradually returning to work. Most workplaces cannot provide space for physical distancing and pose an enhanced health and safety risk. Large numbers of workers and their families face the risk of Covid-19 infection every day. Unplanned stoppages and restarting industrial operations have led to a large number of accidents in India.

Many provincial governments in India have used Covid-19 as an excuse to announce anti-worker labour law changes. Labour law changes are also proposed in Sri Lanka. Retrenchment and lay off rules have not been followed and millions of workers across the region have not received their legally due compensation. Collective bargaining agreements have not been implemented. Implementation of IndustriALL's global framework agreements, particularly in the garment and textile sector have faced stiff challenges during this period.

Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary, says: "Covid-19 has caused unprecedented misery and despair and a dialogue with union representatives in the policymaking process is crucial. The increasing attacks on workers' rights particularly in India and Sri Lanka are deplorable. The democratic decision-making process and unity among working people at all levels are central for protecting workers' interests and a just future.

"IndustriALL will intensify the strategic efforts to strengthen solidarity support for our affiliates. We are working together with other global unions towards just economic and industrial polices, including universal social protection and ensuring the right to health and safety at the workplaces be considered a fundamental workers' right.

Apoorva Kaiwar, IndustriALL South Asia regional secretary, says: "These online events were used to seek input from our affiliates and plan activities that will protect workers' rights against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, strengthen union power, support affiliates' actions on sustainable trade and industrial policies.

The meetings to discuss national union actions and South Asia strategic plan started on 1 September with Sri Lankan affiliates, continued on 2 September with Bangladesh and Nepal, and subsequently Pakistan and India affiliates on 3 and 4 September respectively.

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

UNI Graphical and Packaging takes firm stance against dismissals of Thomas Greg & Sons de Colombia workers

8 September 2020:   This week, UNI Graphical and Packaging and UNI Americas expressed their firm opposition to the decision taken by Graphic company Thomas Greg & Sons de Colombia to dismiss 25 workers. The decision was made by the company using the excuse of Covid-19, even though the company continued to work during the pandemic, especially on large contracts with the Colombian government.

The vast majority of those who lost their jobs were women who had worked for the company for over 30 years, and UNI affiliate SINTRAPULCAR and UNI Americas has called for the government to investigate the company's violation of Colombian labour law. Head of UNI Graphical and Packaging Nicola Konstantinou said, "We are in complete support with our Colombian affiliate SINTRAPULCAR in their strong opposition to the company's dismissals of workers who have worked so many years for the company."

"Especially during a time of crisis, when employees worked through a global pandemic to keep the company going, Thomas and Greg should respect their workers' rights to dignity and decency. We demand that the Colombian government investigate these violations of labour rights and stand firmly with the dismissed workers.

Not only did workers continue to work during the pandemic, but the company received subsidies from the government in order to help protect jobs in a time of crisis. Due to its economic muscle, the company has been able to take advantage of measures designed to keep workers in a job, all at the same time as dismissing long-standing employees. UNI Graphical and Packaging, along with its Colombian affiliate SINTRAPULCAR will continue to fight to make sure these workers get the justice they deserve.

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents more than 20 million workers from over 150 countries

Amazon's Unrestrained Power Is a Threat to the European Social Model

7 September 2020:   Using Amazon as an example of how dominant online platforms use their vast market power to avoid taxes, squeeze small and medium-sized businesses, engage in price dumping and drag down labour conditions, UNI Global Union and UNI Europa submitted a sweeping set of recommendations to the European Commission to ensure that the Digital Services Act (DSA) protects workers' rights and upholds the European social model. To do so, the labour federations believe the DSA should curtail the dominant position of multinational digital conglomerates.

The policy paper, submitted as one of UNI Europa's three contributions to the European Commission's consultation, describes how Amazon's anticompetitive practices and lower labour standards pose a threat to the market in which the tech giant operates and erodes the European social economic model that the European institutions are mandated to uphold. Amazon's explosive growth has also exposed the company's notorious anti-union stance globally. After years of under-enforcement or inefficient application of existing competition laws, the combined and massively exploited market power of a small number of overly dominant gatekeepers has resulted in a global awakening in favor of regulating these powerful conglomerates to correct market disfunctions and benefit sellers, consumers and workers alike.

"Amazon is exhibit A of why we need strong regulation to counterbalance the rising market power of the 'Big Tech' players, in particular the "GAFA" group (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple). We are asking the Commission to step up so that future generations benefit from free and competitive online markets, but also that workers' conditions are not degraded by a handful of mammoth companies that can brush aside Europe's social partnership model," said Oliver Roethig of UNI Europa Regional Secretary.

"There are numerous, serious competition and social concerns that can only be addressed effectively through targeted regulation. It is critical for the European Commission to enact rules that further the goals of a social market economy. This includes the direct or indirect strengthening of workers' rights," Roethig continued.

The EU's Digital Services Act is the EU's attempt to regulate the online ecosystem, updating the 2000 eCommerce directive. The full coverage of the package is currently being negotiated but it will cover content and user moderation as well as new competition rules for so-called gatekeeper platforms. The European Commission is due to present its plans in December 2020. Public consultations on the plans are ongoing until 8 September.

"With a Digital Services Act that puts people-not multinational tech companies-first, the European Union will deepen its leadership in the urgent global push to put in check the growth and monopolistic power of Amazon and other giant digital platforms. In Europe and across the world, these corporation are squeezing hardworking people and hoarding our data while benefiting just the few," said Christy Hoffman UNI Global Union General Secretary. "The time to give the DSA the teeth it needs to police the 'digital Wild West' and create a level playing field is now."

Representing more than 20 million workers in 150 countries-including the 7 million workers of UNI Europa, the European services workers union -UNI Global Union is driven by the responsibility to ensure skills and service jobs are decent jobs and that workers' rights are protected, including the right of union representation and collective bargaining.

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents more than 20 million workers from over 150 countries

World Day for Decent Work: A New Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience

More than 850,000 deaths from COVID-19 pandemic, more than 25 million people infected. 400 million jobs lost. Hundreds of millions of informal economy livelihoods lost

04-09-2020:   A New Social Contract is required to ensure the global economy can recover and to build the resilience required to meet the convergent challenges of the pandemic, climate change and inequality.

This year marks the 13th World Day for Decent Work (#WDDW) on 7 October. Millions of people have taken part in WDDW events since 2008, and this year again it is a day for mobilisation all over the world: one day when all the trade unions in the world stand up for decent work. Decent work must be at the centre of government actions to bring back economic growth and build a new global economy that puts people first.

The effects of the pandemic on health, employment, incomes and gender equality are all the more catastrophic because the world was already fractured, with the deeply flawed model of globalisation causing entrenched inequality and insecurity for working people. A new social contract is central to charting the path to recovery from the effects COVID-19 as well as to building an economy of shared prosperity and sustainability.

This year, in many places the physical gatherings of people in WDDW events will not be possible due to the risk of spreading the virus. Since the onset of the pandemic, however, trade unions around the globe have reached new heights in how they deploy technology for virtual events and rapid communications. This will be a key element for the 2020 World Day for Decent Work.

The central theme for the ITUC is "A New Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience" and alongside this, trade unions and others celebrating the World Day will mobilise under their own topics and demands.

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

Indian unions oppose harmful environmental rules

3 September, 2020:   Unions are urging the government to withdraw the draft notification of Environmental Impact Assessment rules as it is in contravention to India's commitment to combat Climate Change and 2030 sustainable development goals.

The Environmental Impact Assessment rules play an important part in India's environmental regulatory frameworks. The rules are derived from the Environment Protection Act, 1986, which was enacted after Bhopal industrial disaster in 1984. Originally it aimed to ensure that environmental impact of industrial and infrastructure projects are appropriately assessed and project-affected population's views are obtained before being given approval.

The draft EIA 2020 has received widespread opposition and legal challenges. Trade unions are calling it a "great departure from rules enacted in 2006", with the draft seemingly facilitating corporate interests in some sectors like coal and other minerals mining.

The new draft seeks to restructure land use management in favour of corporates, while severely affecting environment. Vulnerable sections of the society, especially the scheduled tribes will face sever impact of the harmful rules. In addition, the draft EIA 2020 has not been translated into several of the Indian languages.

Dr G Sanjeeva Reddy, president of INTUC and IndustriALL affiliate INMF, says: "The current draft is not in line with international environmental standards and procedures, leading to catastrophic consequences for people. It is neither good economics nor sustainable development, and Indian unions are unified in demanding the withdrawal of the draft."

Shortcomings include:

  • Allowing industries to start operations without prior environmental clearances and proposes post-facto approvals
  • Not providing for adequate time period to collect all environmental impact data for proposed industrial projects
  • Reducing the notice period for public consultation
  • Project documents are not needed in local language, limiting a genuine public consultation process
  • Increasing validity of environmental clearances allowing project proponents to hold land for long durations, paving the way for land grab

Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary, says: "Diluting international labour standards and weakening environmental standards can trigger a race to bottom. With challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing industrial accidents, environmental sustainability should be given utmost priority and the government should reconsider EIA 2020 draft."

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

A new dawn for migrant workers in Qatar

New laws adopted today by the State of Qatar are a game changer in the protection of workers' rights.

30-08-2020:   Migrant workers are now free to leave their jobs and seek alternative employment following a notice period. This new law brings to an end the undue control that employers have had over workers' lives.

In addition, the establishment of the first minimum wage in the Gulf States is a historic milestone. 400,000 migrant workers will have a 33 percent increase in their wages. The minimum wage of QAR 1800 (USD 494) - including food and accommodation - will cover all workers, including domestic workers.

"Qatar has regularised its industrial relations system and dismantled the systematic power imbalance between workers and employers. These changes are a break with the past and offer a future for migrant workers in Qatar underpinned by laws which respect workers, along with grievance and remedy systems," said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation.

The minimum wage for migrant workers, including domestic workers, has three levels depending on employee contributions:

  • QAR 1000 with food and decent accommodation provided by the employer;
  • QAR 1500 with decent accommodation provided by the employer but without food;
  • QAR 1800 without accommodation or food provided by the employer.

"The first non-discriminatory minimum wage in the Gulf States, based on cost-of-living evidence, will see twenty percent of migrant workers in Qatar receive an increase in their wages. The new minimum wage will be applied regardless of the amount stated in a worker's employment contract.

Agriculture workers, cleaners, domestic workers and construction workers are amongst the lowest paid workers in Qatar who will see an increase in their monthly pay, bringing an end to the race-based system of wages that is prevalent across the region. Other Gulf countries should follow Qatar's lead in establishing minimum wages and in regularising their systems, including the dismantling of kafala," said Sharan Burrow.

Employers have six months to comply with the new regulations, with sanctions imposed by the government, including suspending the operations of the company and suspending individual operations for those employing domestic workers.

These changes are the culmination of a programme of work between the government of Qatar, the International Labour Organization and the ITUC. In addition, Qatar has established a Minimum Wage Commission that will periodically review the minimum wage rate, which is based on evidence of the cost of living and takes into account the responsibilities of migrant workers to their families at home.

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

G20: Global trade unions call for urgent and comprehensive action on jobs, recovery and resilience

The international trade union movement is calling on the G20 governments to act urgently and decisively to protect and promote employment as the world faces continuing destruction of jobs and economic activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

24-08-2020:   In a statement to the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting, the L20 unions set out a comprehensive plan to tackle the social and economic impacts of the crisis, with employment, social protection, fundamental rights and vital investment in recovery and resilience at the heart of the global response.

Central to the union demands are investment in care - healthcare, education, child care and aged care as well as in infrastructure and industry policy to drive climate action and just transition, along with fulfilling previous commitments concerning women and young people, ensuring fundamental rights for all workers in line with the ILO Centenary Declaration, and occupational health and safety at work.

"The scale and depth of this crisis everywhere require courageous action by governments, with 350 million jobs lost or under threat, and hundreds of millions of workers in the informal economy facing destitution. Partial measures, or even worse a retreat to the failed dogma of austerity, would be disastrous. Now is the time for governments to put in place a new social contract with financing for recovery that meets the test of realising the Sustainable Development Goals and climate action with social dialogue for just transition. Decisions made by the G20 will impact every country directly or indirectly, and we are looking to them to show the political will necessary to enable the global economy on a path of sustainability and of prosperity for all," said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Pierre Habbard, General Secretary of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee, said: "We need a recovery plan that delivers trust - trust in the health systems, in occupational health and safety protections for workers and in robust fiscal stimulus plans for sustainable recovery. The crisis has shown significant gaps between those with stable employment contracts and adequate social protection - and the rest.

Non-standard workers, young people, women and migrants in particular are hit hard by the crisis. G20 Labour Ministers have to set out a road map to restore and create more quality jobs and fill in the gaps in regulation and protection for workers."

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

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