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Australia: People's Inquiry Into Privatisation - Report Launch 10/23/2017   |   Working in These Times: Workers Say NAFTA's Neoliberal Foundations Need to Be Dismantled from the Left-Not the Right   |   Common Dreams: Government Study Confirms $7.25 Minimum Wage Is Poverty Trap for Millions of Americans   |   Highlights from Day One of the AFL-CIO Convention   |   Can Labor Still Use the Wagner Act?   |   From NAFTA 1.0 to NAFTA 2.0, Council of Canadians' Maude Barlow outlines a NAFTA renegotiation agenda for the rest of us   |   Daily Kos: Poultry lobbyists hope Trump will okay dangerous chicken processing speed-up Obama rejected   |   OnLabor: Time to Aim Higher for Workers' Rights

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


AFL-CIO Now Blog

LabourStart Solidarity Campaigns



World Day For Decent Work

Fight for $15...Low Pay is Not OK
Re-Run the Vote: No World Cup Without Workers Rights...
International Trade Union Confederation
Decent Work...
three minute web movie overview of the concept of decent work in 29 languages...International Labor Organization
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

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.

The Union Edge
Workers Independent News

Amnesty International

American Civil Liberties Union


International Labour Organization: The Future of Work We Want: the Workers' Perspective (closing session)


Process agreed to prepare for future handover of Bangladesh Accord to a national regulator

21.10.2017:   Conditions on enforcement and capacity have been agreed to prepare for the handover of the Bangladesh Accord to a national regulatory body. This was announced following a high-level in meeting in Bangladesh, between IndustriALL, Uni Global Union, brand representatives and the BGMEA with the Bangladesh Ministers of Commerce and Labour.

The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh, was set up in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza collapse in 2013, and is valid until May 2018.

IndustriALL and Uni Global Union met with the country's factory owners association BGMEA in Dhaka on Thursday and agreed on a set of conditions for the handover from the Accord to a national regulatory committee. The conditions include provisions on transparency, enforcement, capacity, as well as confidential complaints mechanisms. In a further meeting with Bangladesh' Commerce and Labour Ministers, and the BGMEA, it was agreed that the Accord will be granted an extension to operate beyond May 2018, if at that point the national regulatory body is not yet ready to take over the Accord's work, as is widely anticipated.

The extension after May 2018 will initially be for six months. A joint committee comprising brands, global unions, BGMEA, ILO and the government will continue to monitor the readiness of the government program to take over from the Accord and further reviews will continue on a six-monthly basis. Once the conditions for handover are met, there will be a further handover period to the national regulatory body of six months.

IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Jenny Holdcroft says: The Accord has remedied thousands of safety issues for workers in Bangladesh' garment industry and is instrumental in protecting workers. It has also created a model that can be adopted by a national regulatory body to ensure compliance with safety standards into the future. Building capacity to meet the conditions for a handover of Accord functions is vital. We will continue to work with the Accord to support the Bangladesh government in this task and ensure that the requirements are met for a safe and sustainable garment industry.

Christy Hoffman, Deputy General Secretary of Uni Global Union says: A goal of the Accord has always been to transition to a credible regulatory regime by the Bangladeshi government. The talks with the government show that it recognizes the importance of a safe ready-made garment industry, and we will continue to work with regulators to help enhance their capacity. We have an agreement that the 2018 Accord will operate until the Bangladeshi government is prepared to take over the responsibilities, as measured by agreed criteria. We will review progress every six months.

In the meeting, it was also agreed that the 2018 Accord will be referred to as the Transition Accord.

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

EI consults teachers globally on professional status

17.10.2017:   Education International is currently carrying out an extensive and ground-breaking worldwide survey that explores teachers' realities and perceptions globally.

Global developments, marked simultaneously by the rapid diffusion of ideas, technological advances, and market-led approaches to public policy, have created new challenges for teachers across the world. Education International (EI), the global voice of educators, is carrying out a worldwide survey amongst its more than 30 million affiliates that has the potential to shine a new light on the professional status of teachers.

World view

Whilst there is widespread agreement in international and national education policies that learning is a crucial function, the challenges and opportunities faced by those at the core of knowledge acquisition are relatively unknown.

This triannual survey on the status of teachers will help to clarify the situation regarding teacher professionalism and sharpen arguments for evidence-based advocacy. Its results will be turned into statistical data and tangible proposals by internationally renowned academic Nelly Stromquist. This is the fourth such survey undertaken by EI and its strong participation by Hispanic and francophone unions will contribute to an unprecedented picture of teachers perceptions and realities globally.

Challenging the discourse

"Institutions like UNESCO and the International Labour Organization (ILO) have committed to protect the status of teachers and higher education teaching personnel through declarations and recommendations since 1966," said David Edwards, Deputy General Secretary of EI. "However, current international and national initiatives aimed at reinforcing learning tend to disregard the critical importance of a teaching labour force that is adequately prepared, constantly supported along pedagogical lines, and well remunerated." He noted that EI is uniquely positioned to coordinate and promote the voice of teachers around the world. "Teacher unions are the only organisations that have access to the experience of teachers on the ground. While governments define policy that often militates against the status of teachers, it is up to unions to challenge this discourse - with evidence."

Source:  Education International--EI uniting 32.5 million education workers in 396 associations and unions in 171 countries and territories

NNN strike ends with recognition and CBA at Norwegian fish processor Norse Production

16 October 2017:   The strike launched by the Norwegian Foodworkers' Union NNN at fish processor Norse Production on September 8 ended on October 12 with the company signing the Collective Bargaining Agreement for the fish processing sector. With union recognition secured, the local union will now be able to negotiate additional improvements with local management within the framework of the sectoral agreement.

Norwegian unions prepared for support action in solidarity with the NNN as the company dug in and attempted to employ strikebreakers. Industri Energi gave notice of sympathy action to block delivery of shipping material. The transport workers' union made preparations to halt transport and the NNN was prepared to shut down all salmon production.

In the course of the strike the union received solidarity messages from unions around the world and important support from Solidarity in Poland and the foodworkers' union LMPS in Lithuania, respectively, home countries to many of the migrant workers at Norse Production. The NNN has expressed its warm appreciation for the extensive international support it received during the long, tough struggle.

Source:  International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco, and Allied Workers' Associations--IUF uniting 10 million workers in 429 affiliated organizations in 130 countries

World Bank must stop promoting "dangerous" public-private partnerships - New Global Campaign launched!

October 12, 2017:   A new campaign aimed at reversing the dangerous rush to promote expensive and high-risk public-private partnerships (PPPs) was launched yesterday by Public Services International and by 151 civil society organisations from all over the globe.

The campaign's manifesto - launched during the World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Washington DC - demands that western governments, the World Bank and other development banks stop prioritising PPPs over traditional public borrowing to finance social and economic infrastructure and services.

The 151 organisations from 45 countries behind the manifesto point out that "experience of PPPs has been overwhelmingly negative and very few PPPs have delivered results in the public interest." PPPs often cost more in the long run than conventional public funding, expose governments to financial risk, and can have a disproportionally negative impact on women and children, and undermine democracy, human and environmental rights.

"Policy coherence, regulations, transparency and public investment should be the priorities for governments, through strong governance inspired by a democratic participatory process", says Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary.

"We are seeing increased promotion of PPPs by the World Bank, G20 and others," said Maria Jose Romero, Policy and Advocacy manager at Eurodad, the European Network on Debt and Development. "Until relatively recently PPPs were largely confined to developed economies, but now they are being aggressively pushed onto countries in the global south as the answer to development finance shortfalls." "This dangerous trend means the very countries which are already most vulnerable to debt and most in need of development aid are saddled with expensive, high risk, undemocratic and unaccountable projects," said Romero. "PPPs also encourage corruption and bad decision-making because contracts are often negotiated in secret and covered by commercial confidentiality."

Among the many examples of PPPs which have failed to live up their promises, the campaign highlights

  • a hospital in Lesotho which cost three times more than the one it replaced and has swallowed up a quarter of the country's health budget
  • a PPP road linking Brazil and Peru which rose from US$800m to US$2.3bn through corruptly secured renegotiation processes
  • the Bujagali Dam in Uganda - a US$860m PPP project which has damaged Lake Victoria and the livelihoods of local people
  • a hospital PPP in the UK with an initial private sector investment of £1.149 billion, but which has left the public sector having to pay six times more - £7.194 billion - between 2007 and 2048.

Rosa Pavanelli continues: "To serve the purpose of the 2030 Agenda, the contradiction between the need for the right-based social inclusion and the current profit-oriented economic model needs to be solved. We have broad-based evidence that PPPs do not deliver on their promises.

Source:  Public Services International--PSI uniting more than 20 million workers in 154 countries

Chilean DHL Express workers achieve collective agreement

The ITF union Sindicato No. 1 DHL Express has finally achieved a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with DHL Express Chile after three months of standstill.

11/10/ 2017:   DHL's rejection of two of the 31 points presented by the Sindicato No. 1, on settlement and salary readjustment, resulted in strike action by 101 workers which lasted for four days.

Eventually, thanks to the determination of the union's leaders, the participation of the workers and the solidarity of the ITF and other trade union organisations in Chile, negotiations with the company were resumed for the remaining points over improving employees' working and economic conditions. The talks concluded successfully on 30 September.

Pedro Jara, president of Sindicato No. 1, said: "We have achieved almost 100 percent of what we proposed. This was only possible with the participation and commitment of our members, the solidarity of our brothers and sisters from other unions in Chile, the ITF, and the arbitration of SEREMI (the regional labour ministerial secretary). It is a clear sign that DHL workers are not alone."

Antonio Rodriguez Fritz, head of ITF Americas, congratulated the Sindicato No. 1 on their win, and said it was evidence of the growing power of the solidarity network of unions representing DHL employees in Latin America, which had been key to mobilising support for the Chilean workers. He added that this successful demonstration of international and regional trade union unity should serve as a warning to DHL that it has to respect workers' rights across all its Latin American operations.

Source:  International Transport Workers Federation--ITF representing over 16.5 million transport workers in 654 unions from 148 countries

France: Educators unite in defence of public service

09.10.2017:   The French affiliates of Education International are mobilising on 10 October to defend civil servants' purchasing power and working conditions as they press for improvements in the quality of public services.

A day of strikes and demonstrations in France has been called for 10 October, the date set by the Ministry of Public Accounts and Action for salary talks. The mobilisation is at the behest of nine public workers' federations, including the Education International (EI) affiliates, the Confédération générale du travail, the Confédération française démocratique du travail, Force Ouvrière, the Fédération syndicale unitaire, and the Union nationale des syndicats autonomes.

This united front bodes well for a massive turnout in defence of public services, allowing union members to express their "profound disagreement" with the "unfair and ineffective" measures taken. Public services have been consistently targeted by the new government.

Negative measures

"Since the new government came to power, there has been a steady stream of negative measures affecting public employees: the freezing of the index value, the return of the one-day delay in payment, the prospect of 120,000 job losses in the three areas of the civil service," says a joint press release from the trade union federations. "All these measures will hit the purchasing power of over 5.4 million public employees hard, and will undermine the public services provided to users" - this is "unacceptable", according to the unions.

Recognition

The federations are calling for real pay negotiations that recognise the work, sense of purpose, and professional commitment of public servants. This will be manifested through increased purchasing power, a higher valuation of their profession, dropping the one-day delay in pay, and by taking all means necessary to enable public employees to fulfil their task of providing a public service.

Please click here to read the joint press release (in French).

Source:  Education International--EI uniting 32.5 million education workers in 396 associations and unions in 171 countries and territories

Amazon hit with 250 million euro tax bill by the European Union

6 October 2017:   Global e-commerce giant Amazon has been slapped with a 250 million euro tax bill by the European Union after it was alleged that the company had been given an unfair tax deal in Luxembourg. At the UNI Amazon Organising meeting in Barcelona, union leaders applauded the EU decision to force Amazon to pay their fair share of tax.

UNI Global Union General Secretary said, "We welcome the European Union decision to force these digi-sharks to pay their fair share of taxes. We condemn the unethical tax dodging of corporate globalisation - whether corporations are digital or not, they operate in a geographical space and must pay their taxes in the countries they operate in. Tax dodging is symptomatic of Amazon's casual and irresponsible attitude to its workers, its consumers and society at large."

However, something is happening at Amazon - workers and trade unions across Europe are looking for ways to organise. In Barcelona this week, UNI and FES are organising with unionists from over 10 countries. The goal is to convince Amazon to sit down and negotiate with trade unions so that workers can enjoy what they are entitled to - decent wages, decent working conditions and decent work-life balance.

Amazon's mistreatment of workers and history of tax dodging is well-documented, as is their virulent anti-union stance. There has already been strike action in Germany - all around the world, workers and trade unions are uniting to stand up against Amazon's bad labour practices. Working for Amazon in one of their "fulfilment centres" has been described by many workers as stressful, intrusive and intimidating.

Amazon has been under investigation by the European Commission since 2014 after allegations that their tax deals in Luxembourg had broken EU rules. Companies such as Amazon, Apple and Facebook have come in for a great deal of criticism in the past few years due to paying substantially less tax than other businesses.

In the UK, Amazon's tax bill fell 50% in the last year, even though the company recorded a 54% increase in turnover for the same time period.

According to NYU Stern Professor of Business Scott Galloway, the "Four Horsemen", Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple employ about 418,000 employees worldwide, but have a combined stock market value of 2.3 trillion, roughly the same GDP as France, a developed nation of 67 million citizens. UNI Global Union welcomes the move by the EU to make Amazon and other digital corporations pay their fair share of taxes.

On Monday UNI Global Union is organising a summit on the Future World of Work, where we will be looking closer at the broader consequences of the domination of data ownership and flows by just a handful of companies.

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions worldwide


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