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SMART-TD, BLET reach tentative agreement with railroads   |   Ohio Capital Journal: Ohio Supreme Court: 'Targeted picketing' ban unconstitutional   |   Maine Labor Alliance   |   Truthout: "Billionaires Have Got to Go": Labor Activists March to Bezos's NYC Penthouse   |   Common Dreams: Biden Adds Pressure on Newsom With 'Powerful' Backing of California Farmworkers Bill   |   International Transport Workers Federation, Fair Food Program announce collaboration to explore implementation of the award-winning WSR model in the UK fishing industry   |   Common Dreams: Behind Starbucks Union-Busting Stands CEO Who Got $940,000,000 Richer During Pandemic

Labor 2022 - FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY is on the Ballot This November

News and Articles Relating to the Insurrection Against the United States of America on January 06, 2021 - (Update September 26, 2022)

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

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

Union victory at Teksid Mexico

22 September, 2022:   Workers at Teksid Hierro in Mexico have re-elected the Los Mineros union as the holder of the collective bargaining agreement at the company, ending an eight-year long conflict over union representation.

Los Mineros, affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, won a resounding victory when almost 80 per cent of Teksid Hierro workers voted in favour of it being the sole legal representative of the collective bargaining agreement at the company.

The results of the vote were published on 20 September, Mexico's National Day of Trade Union Democracy. The day before, workers had been able to exercise their right to freedom of association and vote freely, secretly and directly on which union to represent them. 642 votes were in favour of Los Mineros, with only 172 in favour of the CTM union and two invalid votes. The counting of votes was carried out in the presence of representatives of the two participating unions, the Federal Conciliation and Arbitration Board (JFCA) and a representative from the National Human Rights Commission.

"This manifestation of the comrades at the ballot box is a conclusive and definitive proof of the firm conviction that the Mineros (Section 327) is the holder of the collective bargaining agreement. "This vote and the results obtained put an end to a long struggle of uncertainty, violations of trade union freedom (...) A further step towards the transformation of the trade union world is guaranteed, the company and employers' structure that prevented and limited trade union action has been dismantled," Los Mineros said in a statement.

Since 2014, Los Mineros' attempts to establish a democratic workplace union have been met with unionbusting.

A first ballot was held in 2018, where workers elected Los Mineros as their sole legal representative of the workers' collective bargaining agreement at Teksid. However, it was only in July 2022 that the company signed an agreement recognizing the victory of Los Mineros. This agreement was made possible by invoking the Rapid Response Labour Mechanism (RRM) of the Mexico-United States-Canada Free Trade Agreement (T-MEC). And yet, the Sindicato de Trabajadores de la Industria Metal-Mecánica del Estado (STIMME, of the Confederación de Trabajadores de México, CTM) ignored the agreement and asked the JFCA for a new vote to decide which union would represent workers at the Teksid plant.

"This vote for freedom of association not only concludes an eight-year long struggle, but is also a good example of international cooperation and solidarity," says IndustriALL automotive sector director Georg Leutert.

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

International Equal Pay Day

16 September, 2022:   On International Equal Pay Day, 18 September, IndustriALL calls for Pay Equity Now! Equal pay for jobs of equal value is a recognized human right, enshrined in international conventions. And yet, the gender pay gap remains a persisting and global problem and stands at an average of 20 per cent across the world.

According to the ILO's Global Wage Report 2020-21, the impact of the pandemic has disproportionately affected total wages of women compared to men. This greater wage reduction for women means that the already existing gender pay gap risks being widened.

Furthermore the projected deepening of the current cost-of living crisis is according to the WEF, Global Gender Gap Report 2022, also likely to impact women more severely than men, as women continue to earn and accumulate wealth at lower levels. Gender pay is a result of multiple factors.

The principle of equal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value is set out in the ILO Equal Remuneration Convention 100 and in the Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention 111. Both instruments aim at eliminating discriminatory practices, including discriminatory pay practices, in the world of word.

As highlighted in a recent ILO report, the need to address the gender pay gap is no longer a debate - but rather the question is rather how. Pay transparency measures can be effective in identifying existing pay differences between men and women, and as such be vehicles to address the gender pay gap.

Collective bargaining, gender neutral job classification and evaluation, raising the wage floor, and ensuring fair and inclusive career development for women are other ways and means that unions are using to close the gender pay.

IndustriALL affiliates are taking action! We need gender equity now!

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

Modern slavery figures show the 'urgent need' for a new social contract

A new global estimate that 49.6 million people are in modern slavery on any given day has shown the need for immediate international action to end this scandal.

12-09-2022:   Global Estimates of Modern Slavery: Forced Labour and Forced Marriage from the ILO, Walk Free and the IOM, calculates that the number has risen by ten million in five years.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: "These findings are horrifying. It's unimaginable what the daily reality is like for these people, and it's indefensible that this number keeps rising. "There are a lot of good recommendations in this report, particularly the recognition that respect for the freedom of workers to associate and to bargain collectively is a prerequisite for a world free from forced labour. Also, universal social protection, which would give working people the income security they need to potentially avoid losing their liberty to modern slavery.

"Both of these are key parts of the New Social Contract, along with climate-friendly jobs, wage justice, equality and inclusion. We need a New Social Contract now to shift power to working people to start undoing the damage of the current economic order that has led to this worsening global scandal of modern slavery. "As a matter of urgency we call for mandated due diligence for companies to eliminate the use of forced labour and other violations in supply chains, and for national governments to regulate the labour market through strong compliance and sanctions."

The report also calls for:

  • fair and ethical recruitment;
  • strengthened public labour inspectorates;
  • action to address migrants' vulnerability to forced labour and trafficking for forced labour;
  • action to address children trapped in forced labour;
  • an end to state-imposed forced labour;
  • partnership and international cooperation;
  • adequate civil and criminal protections in national legislation for victims of forced marriage;
  • investment in building the agency of women and girls.

The report found that:

  • forced labour accounts for 27.6 million of those in modern slavery and forced marriage for 22 million, or nearly one of every 150 people in the world;
  • no region of the world is spared from forced labour and forced labour is a concern regardless of a country's wealth;
  • most forced labour occurs in the private economy and touches virtually all parts of it;
  • 3.3 million children are in situations of forced labour;
  • women are more likely than men to face physical and sexual violence and threats against family members;
  • migrant workers are three times more likely to be in forced labour than other workers;
  • forced marriages take place in every region in the world and over two-thirds of those forced to marry are female.

The report defines forced marriage and forced labour as situations of exploitation that a person cannot refuse or cannot leave because of threats, violence, deception, abuse of power or other forms of coercion.

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

USA: MLBPA joins AFL-CIO with goal of helping strengthen labor movement

September 7, 2022 PRESS RELEASE:   The Major League Baseball Players Association announced today that it is formally affiliating with the AFL-CIO with a goal of supporting the efforts and strengthening the voice of the national labor movement.

"The MLBPA has a proud, 56-year history of success rooted in unity and a highly engaged membership," Executive Director Tony Clark said. "We look forward to bringing that history and experience to bear as a more formal part of the movement." The announcement was made during an appearance by AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler and Clark before the National Press Club.

The MLBPA and every single one of its 1,200 players have a home in our movement because this union understands and lives the meaning of the word solidarity by leveraging the power of sports and helping others," said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. "Together, with our 12.5 million members, we will bring our strength to their fights, including working to organize 5,400 minor league players."

Notably, the AFL-CIO and many of its member unions offered consistent support that helped the MLBPA withstand a 99-day lockout by Major League Baseball to achieve significant improvements in a five-year collective bargaining agreement reached on March 10.

The MLBPA will play an active role in the AFL-CIO's Sports Council, a working group of professional athletes unions founded to align interests in areas of common concern with service, hospitality and other workers who support the professional sports industries. The Sports Council founding unions include the NFL Players Association, the National Women's Soccer League Players Association, the United Soccer League Players Association-CWA, the U.S. Women's National Team Players Association and the newly organized United Football Players Association-USW.

Source:  American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations

World Day for Decent Work: Wage Justice

This year's World Day for Decent Work, 7 October, is dedicated to the millions of workers around the world seeking wage justice.

07-09-2022:   Rampant inflation, driven by profit-gouging by powerful corporations that control energy, transport, food and other vital commodities is sending yet more workers and their families into poverty. More than half of households are struggling to get by and 10% are unable to meet the cost of essentials.

The COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine have had dramatic impacts on supply of goods, and corporate profiteering from these crises continues unchecked.

This comes on top of a decades-long decline in the share of prosperity going to working people as suppression of union activity, in particular collective bargaining, meant that workers were already getting less that they were due. Minimum wages in most countries are inadequate, leading these workers to continue to lose ground.

Wage justice

Wage justice is a cornerstone of the social contract between workers, governments and employers that has been broken in the interests of corporate greed. 573 new billionaires have emerged since the start of the pandemic. They now control 13.9% of global GDP while every day more than 700,000 more people fall into poverty. The fracture of the social contract through deliberate decisions by governments threatens democracy itself as anti-union repression and failure to ensure fair labour laws reach new heights.

This is reinforced by the myth peddled by some economists and central bankers, as well as conservative politicians and media, that inflation is somehow the fault of working people and that any increases in people's incomes would be bad for the economy. That is simply untrue: inflation in the few remaining countries that have automatic wage indexation is around the same levels as comparable countries that have not raised wages.

Turning point

Workers in every part of the world have been left with no option but to go on strike to demand action to bridge the wages gap in the face of rampant inflation that is depriving households and communities of any chance of a decent life and a decent future. Many of them face violent repression by governments beholden to corporate interests, or the threat and reality of losing their jobs. The global trade union movement stands united for wage justice for all workers, formal and informal, wherever they live and whatever work they do.

The intersecting crises of global heating, armed conflict and corporate greed must become a turning point, where governments accept that they have to govern in the interests of people and no longer pander to the power of corporate elites.

The world needs a new social contract, with wage justice at its heart. The global deficit of 575 million jobs must be closed, fundamental workers' rights must be respected, discrimination must be replaced by equality, social protection must be extended to all and an inclusive world economy, unchained from the vestiges of colonialism, must be built. Upon those foundations, peace can be built and the pressing challenges of today and the future can be met and overcome.

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

Cambodia: Workers make history, form unions in brick kiln industry

9/02/2022:   BWI's Cambodian affiliate, the Building and Wood Workers' Trade Union Federation of Cambodia (BWTUC) made history on 30 August when it successfully formed the first ever local trade unions in the country's challenging brick kiln industry.

Through democratic elections, four trade unions were built, with women workers comprising 75 percent of leadership positions. According to BWTUC, child labour and debt bondage are some of the major issues faced by Cambodia's brick kiln industry. Through its historic success in the formation of unions in the industry, BWTUC asserted that it will deliver badly needed services and programs to workers and their families.

To formalise the workers' representation in the kilns, BWTUC is now busy preparing the registration of the said four unions.

Source:  Building and Woodworkers International--BWI uniting 12 million workers in 334 trade unions in 130 countries

USA: NLRB Region 21-Los Angeles Announces Settlement Agreement Resulting in Millions in Backpay to Workers and Proper Classification of Drivers

August 24, 2022:   On August 5, 2022, Region 21-Los Angeles Regional Director William B. Cowen announced the resolution of a multi-year labor dispute between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Universal Intermodal family of companies ("Companies"). In a private global settlement reached on the eve of trial and facilitated by Region 21, the parties were able to reach a comprehensive solution to their long-standing dispute about the proper classification of drivers as employees or independent contractors.

This settlement resolved 11 unfair labor practice charges that were at various stages of litigation, including seven cases pending review before the National Labor Relations Board on Exceptions and Cross-Exceptions to the October 19, 2021 Decision of Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") Michael A. Rosas finding that the Companies committed multiple violations of the National Labor Relations Act. A trial on another set of cases was set to begin on August 4, 2022. As trial preparations continued, representatives of the parties worked diligently behind the scenes to resolve their differences. The result was a private global settlement in which the Companies will:

  • Re-establish its closed Compton, California drayage business.
  • Provide offers of reinstatement to the approximately 66 affected drivers.
  • Pay millions in backpay to the approximately 66 affected drivers.
  • Recognize the Union as the representative of the unit of drayage drivers.
  • Enter into an agreed first collective bargaining agreement for the unit of drayage drivers.
  • Agree not to misclassify drivers as independent contractors.
  • Provide an option for other drivers at Universal Intermodal subsidiaries to transfer as full-time employees to the Union-represented drayage business.
  • Post at various facilities and mail to the drivers a notice that informs employees of their rights and remedies of unfair labor practices under the National Labor Relations Act.

The parties' global settlement fully resolves the issues raised by complaints issued in 2021 and 2022. The parties will seek to vacate the October 19, 2021 ALJ decision and ask the Board to remand those seven cases back to the Region 21 Regional Director William B. Cowen. The Union has requested withdrawal of charges currently pending before Region 21. Regional Director Cowen has approved those withdrawal requests, conditioned on the parties continued observance of the terms of their private global settlement.

"The resolution of these cases shows that it is never too late for parties to recognize that it is in their mutual interest to resolve their disputes without lengthy and expensive litigation," said Region 21 Regional Director Cowen. "Although this is a private settlement, it would not have been possible without the hard work of our investigative and litigation teams. Bringing the parties to the table where they can work out their differences is what the National Labor Relations Act is all about. I have great hopes that this settlement and initial collective bargaining agreement will be the cornerstone of a thriving trucking enterprise in Southern California providing well-paying jobs with quality union benefits."

Source:  United States National Labor Relations Board

ITF inspectors recover USD$37.6m in unpaid wages for seafarers, despite Covid restrictions

19 Aug 2022:   Last year, union ship inspectors recovered more than USD $37 million in unpaid wages owed to seafarers, the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has revealed in figures published today.

The ITF's 125 inspectors and coordinators completed 7,265 inspections in 2021 to support thousands of seafarers with wage claims and repatriation cases, despite Covid-19 restrictions preventing inspectors' ability to board ships for much of the year.

ITF Inspectors get their name because they board and 'inspect' ships. They educate seafarers about their rights and support crew to enforce these rights. The officials cover more than 100 ports across 50 countries. Inspectors are trained to look for exploitation, overwork - even for signs of forced labour and modern slavery. On many vessels, Inspectors have the right to examine wage accounts, employment contracts, and to review recorded hours of work and rest.

"It's not uncommon for crew to be paid at the wrong rate by a shipowner, or less than the rate set out in the employment agreement covering the ship," said Steve Trowsdale, the ITF's Inspectorate Coordinator. "Crew can generally work out when they're being underpaid. And that's when they contact us. ITF inspectors help seafarers recover what's owed to them."

Altogether, the ITF clawed back USD $37,591,331 in unpaid wages and entitlements from shipowners in 2021.

Trowsdale said the makeup of seafarers' wage claims was changing: "Concerningly, we're seeing a rise in the number of seafarers reporting non-payment of wages for periods of two months or longer, which actually meets the ILO's definition of abandonment." "Seafarers might think it's normal to go unpaid for a couple of months, waiting for a shipowner to sort out financing, but they need to be aware that non-payment can also be a sign that a shipowner is about to cut them loose and leave them abandoned."

The ITF reported 85 cases of abandonment to the International Labour Organization (ILO) last year, an historic high. In many of those cases, abandoned crew had already been waiting on several weeks or months of unpaid wages - including those aboard the storm-hit MV Lidia.

ITF inspector based in Hong Kong, Jason Lam, helped eight Burmese seafarers who were crewing the MV Lidia recover almost USD $30,000 in unpaid wages after they ran aground in October 2021, thanks to a typhoon that left them close to shipwrecked. The shipowner refused to pay the two months' wages he owed them, abandoning them and ruling out any assistance to get them home. Weeks of campaigning by Lam on behalf of the seafarers had an impact, and on 2 November 2021, the crew flew home 0 full wages in hand.

Amidst crew change crisis, ITF inspectors got thousands of seafarers home

Trowsdale said Inspectors did not let Covid-19 barriers stop them from supporting seafarers in need, instead adapting and finding new ways of working.

"I'm extremely proud of the work of our inspectors have done to support seafarers in the last year, often working in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances," he said. "It's always been incredibly important for our team to be able to physically get to seafarers - to board ships and educate crew on their rights. So, when Covid-19 restrictions presented a challenge to inspectors to board vessels, there was a real question: 'What will happen to the seafarers who need us?'"

As the crew change crisis worsened in early 2021, a flood of requests filled the ITF's inboxes from crew desperate to sign off and get home. Covid-related border restrictions were the underlying reason for the crew change crisis, which impacted an estimated 400,000 seafarers at the worst point of the crisis. But on some ships, other more sinister factors were at play in keeping crew from their families.

"There is evidence that some shipowners were using Covid-19 as an excuse to keep seafarers working beyond their initial contracts and in complete violation of those seafarers' human and labour rights," said Trowsdale. "Thankfully, our team was wise to what was going on and despite everything we got thousands of seafarers home." "Keeping crew onboard while pretending their hands were tied may have saved those employers a few dollars in flight fares, but in today's society that kind of conduct gets noticed. There are no shadows to hide in anymore when it comes to global supply chain accountability," he said.

Source:  International Transport Workers Federation--ITF representing 20 million members from 147 countries

Organizing success in COATS Morocco

17 August, 2022:   IndustriALL affiliate, Fédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Textile, du Cuir, des Chaussures et de L'habillement (FNTTCCL-UMT), has established a new union at COATS MAROC S-A, the Moroccan plant of British multinational thread manufacturer COATS.

IndustriALL has worked closely with FNTTCCL-UMT on union building and organizing for many years.

"The new union is considered a gain for the union movement and support for workers. It also reflects the progress made in the field of organizing support, which enables workers to gain more strength to defend their rights," says Ahmed Kamel, IndustriALL MENA regional secretary.

IndustriALL has set up a global COATS union network to organize and build strength to bargain collectively along the supply chain.

Alarbi Hammouk, general secretary of FNTTCCL-UMT, says: "This is the result of a two and a half months organizing campaign within the framework of the joint FNTTCCL-UMT and IndustriALL programme in which we targeted organizing COATs workers in Morocco. We have submitted the necessary documents to the relevant authorities and officially notified the management. In addition, we sent a letter to the general manager of the company seeking cooperation and the launch of social dialogue. We are still waiting for the company's response."

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

UNI Equal Opportunities launches new programme to train women leaders in South and Southeast Asia

12.08.22:   UNI Global Union's Equal Opportunities department recently launched an exciting new mentoring programme for women activists in South Asia and Southeast Asia. In partnership with the DGB Bildungswerk, the federal education institute of the German trade union confederation, UNI Equal Opportunities held a series of four workshops national and regional at UNI Apro region with leaders from 9 countries-Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Pakistan.

The programme's goal is to deepen these activists' involvement in their unions as well as help them develop their leadership skills. The last of the series of workshops was just wrapped up in Bangkok, Thailand, and included training sessions on gender mainstreaming, improving communications, ending violence and harassment on the job and building an action plan for leadership development.

In total, the 102 women activists who took part in the Southeast Asia workshops created 51 tandems-partnerships that reinforce the skills learned through one-on-one mentorship.

"The mentoring programme was a life changing experience for me. It helped me to develop as a leader to help others. Additionally, the opportunity to network was a great advantage which we all received from the programme," says Shanika Silva from the Ceylon Bank Employees' Union in Sri Lanka, who acts as a mentor.

UNI Asia & Pacific Regional Secretary Rajendra Acharya said, "The mentoring programme we have been conducting is instrumental towards the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal Five on gender equality. Attaining equality is integral to other development outcomes, and in recent years, there has been increasing recognition of the critical importance of gender equality and women's empowerment to sustainable development. As a result, there has been increased commitment to institutionalizing gender mainstreaming approaches across the workplaces."

The UNI Mentoring Program is a program created by UNI Equal Opportunities as part of the That's Why campaign, to inspire and empower more women to join the trade union movement. This new workshop increases the number of women taking part in mentoring to over 1,200 women in 56 countries around the world.

"There is nothing more rewarding than working with a group of strong, hard-working women who feel empowered to share their stories with each other," shared Veronica Fernandez Mendez, Head of UNI Equal Opportunities. "Women who laugh together and are not afraid to cry, women who are strong, tireless and enterprising; women who share the same obstacles and who work together to find solutions make our societies fairer and more equal."

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

10 workers still trapped following Mexico mine collapse

11 August, 2022:   10 workers remain trapped underground following a mine collapse on 3 August in the municipality of Sabinas, in Coahuila, northern Mexico. The mine workers were excavating with hand tools in a 60-metre-deep shaft in the Coahuila coalmine when the walls caved in, causing a 34-metre flood in three connected shafts, and trapping 10 mine workers.

Mexico's president, Andrés Manuel Lopes Obrador, said at a press conference on 9 August that the federal government had been working since the date of the collapse to rescue the workers trapped in the mine and that divers could be brought in to rescue in the coming hours. He reported that while 10 miners remained trapped, five workers who were rescued received medical attention.

The president gave assurances that he was acting in coordination with the Coahuila state government and the municipal authorities. He stressed that power plants had been installed at strategic points to access the mines, and pumps had been placed in each of the shafts to extract as much water as possible, to ensure immediate access to the mines and to rescue the workers as quickly as possible.

He also said that investigations into the incident were underway, and that information had already been gathered on who manages the mines, holds the permits, conducts the inspections, and sells the coal.

Meanwhile, Napoleón Gómez Urrutia, a Mexican senator and general secretary of the IndustriALL-affiliated Los Mineros union, said that the labour authorities were failing to meet their obligation to inspect or supervise employers in the coal sector, which explains why such tragedies are so frequent. Urrutia also explained that although he had pressed the Senate of the Republic to approve the International Labour Organization (ILO) Convention 176, which obliges companies to guarantee health and safety in mines, its ratification has been pending since 1995.

This is not the first time such an incident has occurred in Mexico's mining sector. Sixty-three men are still buried at the bottom of a coal mine that exploded 16 years ago in Pasta de Conchos, also in Coahuila. Sixty-five miners died in the incident.

IndustriALL general secretary, Atle Høie, deplored the incident, and said: "We urge the Mexican government to continue the efforts to get the workers out alive, to investigate the collapse and to hold those responsible to account, to ratify ILO Convention 176 and to ensure proper inspections of coal mining companies."

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

UNITE HERE Stands With Unfairly Fired Union Leaders in Peru

09.08.22:   In a powerful show of international solidarity, Las Vegas-based Culinary Workers Union Local 226, part of UNI affiliate UNITE HERE, is calling on the top leadership of Chilean gaming multinational Dreams, S.A., to stop union busting at its Fiesta Casino in Peru. The Las Vegas union also makes clear that similar anti-worker behaviour is not acceptable in the United States, where Dreams hopes to expand.

The letter, from Culinary Local 226's President Diana Valles-who is also President of Gaming for UNI Americas-and its Secretary Treasurer Ted Pappageorge, comes after Dreams management in Peru fired the leadership of the Sindicato Único de Trabajadores de Entretenimiento, Casinos y Afines (SUTECA) the day after it registered for recognition with the government.

The Culinary leaders write: We express our solidarity with the leaders and members of SUTECA. Please investigate the reports that new union officers and members were fired by the casino after the union filed its formative documents with the Peruvian Ministry of Labour on July 19, 2022, and ensure that Fiesta Casino reinstate immediately any workers fired for union activity. We also ask you to let Dreams employees at your several properties in Peru know they may join SUTECA without risk of intimidation or retaliation.

UNITE HERE is the largest hospitality and gaming union in the United States, and Culinary Local 226 is a powerhouse, who has helped workers win high standards through 90 per cent representation of the Las Vegas gaming industry.

The union hopes of resolving the unjust firing of union leaders in Peru can be the beginning of a productive relationship in the United States as well, saying: We understand that [Dreams Chairman of the Board] has long sought to enter the casino industry in the U.S. and has been approved to purchase a 10-acre parcel on the Las Vegas Strip. We also understand you are planning to develop a major resort on that parcel. We look forward to meeting with you soon to discuss how your new project here can provide good union jobs and other important benefits to the Las Vegas community. These would be issues of great interest to the Clark County Commissioners, who have zoning and planning jurisdiction over the Strip, and the gaming licensing regulators of the State of Nevada as well. We do hope our discussion can begin with news regarding Dreams' commitment to positive labour relations at its properties in Peru and elsewhere.

In recent days, the minister of labour of Peru has also come out in support of SUTECA members.

"We are energized by this solidarity in our fight for justice at Fiesta, and we feel stronger knowing that UNITE HERE has our backs. We simply want what the members of Culinary Local 226 have-a wage with dignity, a voice at work and the protections of collective bargaining," said Silvia Choqque, a Fiesta worker. "Together, we will keep fighting until we win that."

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

Unions want social dialogue on the Just Transition for workers

4 August, 2022:   There is emerging consensus amongst trade unions on what they expect from a Just Transition, and this is confirmed by country case studies from Australia, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, and Spain, that were made at the Just Transition and the energy sector initiative meeting on 29 July. The initiative, which is organised by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), LO Norway and IndustriALL Global Union held a workshop on country cases and is a platform for unions globally to exchange information on the Just Transition in the oil and gas value chain.

In Australia, the new labour government is now likely to agree to unions demands for the creation of a national Just Transition Authority. The longer-term role of natural gas in the energy transition is still being shaped.

ITUC General Secretary and former Australian Council of Trade Unions President Sharan Burrow said: "There is cause for optimism with the new government. Australian unions are doing a lot to make sure that they are part of this process and are pushing government to focus on investment and a Just Transition for workers."

Indonesia, whose government will host the G20 this year, has a net zero roadmap to phase out coal fired power by 2060. However, unions are concerned that there is no clear plan on how to reach these targets or what they mean for the 1.2 million workers in coal mining. Unions want a tripartite social dialogue to shape this plan and to include discussions on the future of the oil and natural gas industries.

In Iraq transition plans and investment have come to a halt due to instability in the country, while government remains hostile to union collaboration. Hashmeya Alsadawe, International Secretary of the Iraqi electricity sector unions, said: "There is so much opportunity for renewable energy in Iraq, yet there is flaring of gas all over the country. Climate change and global warming are universal problems, and we need global pressure on the Iraqi government."

Japanese unions reported on the country's ambitious roadmap to tackle climate change. Cooperation between unions and the government is strong. With tight electricity supply and high natural gas prices, the government and unions see roles for solar power and nuclear energy. To maintain security of supply, the Japanese government is seeking for natural gas suppliers.

New Zealand is the first country to announce a phaseout of offshore oil and gas drilling with an inclusive Just Transition plan for workers and communities. Further, there is support from unions on plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. But the E tu is optimistic. "We have the right framework and there are many positive developments. We are still learning; the transition process is not perfect... If there is a change of government, we are concerned about what it might mean for the process. said Irina Freilekhman, researcher at E tu.

"Just transition in the energy sector should not throw any worker under the bus, the human aspect is important" said Ayuba Wabba, President, ITUC and Nigeria Labour Congress who insisted that social dialogue, social protection, decent sustainable jobs, investment and innovation are key to ensure that workers see a real Just Transition no matter where they are in the world. In Nigeria, trade unions are part of a tripartite social dialogue process on delivering the country's commitments to the UN climate process, but more needs to be done especially on what unions can do collectively to have a seat at the table.

Afolabi Olawale, General Secretary of the Nigerian oil workers' union NUPENG, said: "We will not support an unconditional transition without decent jobs. He explained that despite the energy transition plan with many renewable energy jobs, the government still invests heavily in oil and gas exploration. Oil and gas exports account for 65 per cent of Nigeria's national revenue. While oil jobs are below 5 per cent of direct employment, they are the best quality jobs available.

In South Africa COSATU and its affiliates have developed a Just Transition Blueprint for Workers for the coal-energy value chain, agriculture, and transport. The Blueprint provides policy, collective bargaining, and other tools for unions to ensure that workers can drive the agenda of a radical transformation of the economy. South Africa's energy mix going forward is under discussion after recent announcements by the government. There will be more renewables, and potentially a greater role for natural gas.

Spain's Just Transition strategy for the energy sector is part of a larger decarbonization effort for the whole economy. Social dialogue is a big part of this process and unions are closely involved. Union confederations CCOO and UGT reported a complex yet positive start to the process, which started with a coal phaseout and a rapid buildup of renewable energy and last year expanded to include a ban on new oil and gas drilling.

The next workshop on country cases will be on 31 August 2022.

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

Commerce Organizers and Union Leaders in Nepal Get a Boost in Organizing Skills

03.08.22:   The Union of Commerce Employees (UNICOME) Nepal recently organised a workshop for over twenty union organisers and leaders from Nepal's Commerce Sector from 31 July to 2 August 2022. They were oriented on key topics during the program held at the Hotel Easton Blue in Ilam District. These include the organisers' role, tactics for organising, and how global trade union federations and solidarity organisations support trade union organising on the ground.

Speakers from the local labour office and the ILO Nepal office, respectively, provided input on relevant provisions of the Labour Act and the importance of Occupational Safety and Health. The participants were also provided with practical methods and training on workplace mapping techniques as part of a new module on Digital Organising. At the end of the three-day workshop, the participants received their certificate of completion from the Deputy Chief of the Ilam District Coordination Committee.

Ms Ritu Giri, a UNICOME member from Pokhara, said, "The training was very helpful to understand the key areas of organising skills, which is equally beneficial to union development as well as personal growth."

UNICOME Nepal expressed confidence that the skills and relationships built from the workshop would contribute to organising enterprise-level unions in departmental stores and expanding social dialogue coverage at the provincial level.

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

UK: Solidarity With CWU Members Striking at BT Group

29.07.22:   Some 40,000 members of UNI Global Union-affiliate Communication Workers Union (CWU) are striking at UK telecoms company BT Group on 29 July and 1 August. It is the first strike at the company in 35 years and is the latest in a worldwide wave of worker unrest in response to a global cost-of-living crisis.

The two-day national walkout comes after BT has refused to negotiate a pay rise that would compensate for increasing inflation. The company's current offer of £1,500 per year would be a dramatic real-terms pay cut when compared to inflation levels of over 11 per cent in the country. This effective pay cut comes as BT made £1.3 billion in annual profit, and its CEO Philip Jansen gained a fat £3.5 million pay package--a 32 per cent wage increase--while BT offices have reportedly established food banks to assist employees.

Those striking are largely Openreach engineers and BT call centre workers. Openreach is a subsidiary of BT, formerly British Telecom, that maintains the telephone cables, ducts, cabinets and exchanges that connect homes and businesses to the UK national broadband and telephone network. These members look after most of Britain's telecoms infrastructure, from mobile phone connection, broadband internet and back-up generators to national health systems, cyber security and data centres.

CWU General Secretary Dave Ward said: "These are the same workers who kept the country connected during the pandemic. Without CWU members in BT Group, there would have been no home-working revolution, and vital technical infrastructure may have malfunctioned or been broken when our country most needed it. Our members worked under great difficulty--and got a real-terms pay cut as a reward.

"The reason for the strike is simple: workers will not accept a massive deterioration in their living standards. We won't have bosses using Swiss banks while workers are using food banks. "BT Group workers are saying: enough is enough. We are not going to stop until we win." The announcement followed a strike ballot, in which Openreach engineers voted for action by 95.8 per cent and members in BT returned a 91.5 per cent majority for the walkout.

CWU Deputy General Secretary and Global President of UNI's ICT & Related Services sector Andy Kerr said, "The decision to take strike action was not made lightly. From the very beginning of this dispute, we have repeatedly expressed our wishes to sit down and negotiate a pay deal that treats BT Group workers with the respect they more than deserve."

Noting that the "hot strike summer" is not just a UK phenomenon, UNI Europa Regional Secretary Oliver Roethig said, "People realize that with no action, they will face dramatic cuts in their real term income, in what they can afford to pay for. By acting together, workers change that dynamic. By bargaining collectively through their unions, workers across the UK and Europe are winning major pay increases."

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

Hong Kong: UN Rights Body calls for end to repression of unions

In a wide-ranging report on violations of civil liberties in Hong Kong, the UN Human Rights Committee has called on the authorities to end their repression of trade unions.

28-07-2022:   It specifically called for the government to repeal the National Security Law (NSL), the NSL Implementation Rules and the sedition provision in the criminal law, and to discontinue all cases against trade unionists charged in connection with their union activities. This is the Committee's first report on the implementation of the ICCPR in Hong Kong since the NSL was imposed by China in July 2020. To date, 8 trade unionists have been imprisoned pending trials in relation to national security and sedition charges.

The Committee's report calls on the authorities to:

  • refrain from taking any action that is likely to curb the exercise of the freedom of association and ensure a safe environment for the activities of civil society organizations, including trade unions and student unions;
  • remove all the restrictive measures imposed on trade unions and discontinue all cases against trade unionists charged in connection with their union activities;
  • review the Societies Ordinance and other relevant legislation with a view to removing the procedural and substantive obstacles to register and run a society and bringing them in line with article 22 of the Covenant;
  • ensure that members and representatives of civil society organizations will not be charged under the National Security Law or victimized in any other form as a result of their engagement with the Committee for the current review as well as with other international human rights mechanisms, including other treaty bodies, the human Rights Council, the Special Procedures and the Universal Periodic Report as well as with international NGOs.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said "this is a stinging rebuke to the Hong Kong authorities, who have, at the behest of Beijing, imprisoned trade union leaders and other democracy supporters and eradicated workers' rights to trade union representation by de-registering unions and repressing legitimate trade union activities. The government's actions have made a complete mockery of the notion of 'one country, two systems', leaving workers without vital protections of their livelihoods and health and safety. We call on the government to respect international law and restore fundamental rights, including freedom of association, in full. The NSL is disgraceful and has to go, and the trade unionists and others who have been wrongfully imprisoned must be released and allowed to carry out their legitimate activities in full freedom."

The Human Rights Committee's report also calls on the government to respect other fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and assembly, rights of LGBTQI+ people and migrant workers, an independent judiciary and the right to vote in a democratic system.

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

USA: National Labor Relations Board and Department of Justice Announce New Partnership to Protect Workers

July 26, 2022:   Today, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) General Counsel Jennifer A. Abruzzo and the Justice Department (DOJ)'s Antitrust Division Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) creating a formal partnership between the two agencies to better protect free and fair labor markets and ensure that workers can freely exercise their rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

The Department of Justice and the NLRB share an interest in promoting the free flow of commerce and fair competition in labor markets, including through protecting American workers from collusive or anticompetitive employer practices and unlawful interference with employees' right to organize. The Agencies' collaboration will focus on protecting workers who have been harmed or may be at risk of being harmed as a result of conduct designed to evade legal obligation and accountability (such as misclassifying employees or fissuring workplaces); interference with the rights of workers to obtain fair market compensation and collectively bargain (through labor market concentration/labor monopsony or other anticompetitive practices); and the imposition of restrictive agreements or workplace rules, such as noncompete, nonsolicitation, and nondisclosure provisions.

Through greater coordination in information sharing, enforcement activity and training, the Agencies will maximize the enforcement of federal laws, including the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), under the NLRB's jurisdiction and the antitrust laws enforced by the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. In particular, this MOU will allow the Agencies to refer cases of potentially illegal activity to each other, as appropriate, and to coordinate on enforcement.

"Under the NLRA, workers have the right to organize to improve their pay and working conditions," said General Counsel Abruzzo. "When businesses interfere with worker organizing, either through creating structures designed to evade labor law or through anticompetitive practices, it hinders our economy and our democracy. This MOU will strengthen the federal government's ability to effectively stop this kind of unlawful activity, and therefore to better protect workers' right to freely associate with one another to improve their wages and working conditions and to collectively bargain through freely chosen representatives."

"Protecting competition in labor markets is fundamental to the ability of workers to earn just rewards for their work, to live out the American dream, and to provide for their families," said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter. "By cooperating more closely with our colleagues in the NLRB, we can share information on potential violations of the antitrust and labor laws, collaborate on new policies, and ensure that workers are protected from collusion and unlawful employer behavior. As the Department noted in the amicus brief we submitted in the NLRB's recent Atlanta Opera matter, we support the Board's ongoing efforts to update its guidance to ensure that workers are properly classified under the labor laws. Protecting the right of workers to earn a fair wage is core to the work of both our agencies, and it will continue to receive extraordinary vigilance from the Antitrust Division."

In February, General Counsel Abruzzo issued a memorandum to all field offices, committing to working closely with other federal agencies to ensure the government is co-functioning and co-enforcing all related laws in the most effective and efficient way to ensure workers are fully protected, while minimizing employers' compliance burdens.

Source:  United States National Labor Relations Board

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