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
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
USA: Battle for the Soul of the Nation BIDEN - HARRIS 2020
Thailand: Imprisonment of Railway Union Leaders a Travesty of Justice
Brussels, 22 October 2020: (ITUC OnLine): The three-year prison terms imposed yesterday by a Thai court on thirteen leaders of the State Railway Workers' Union (SRUT) is a travesty of justice. The SRUT workers have been ruthlessly pursued by the State Railway of Thailand through the legal system for carrying out a national rail safety campaign following a fatal train derailment in October 2009 at Khao Tao Station. The Thai authorities also pursued a vendetta against the workers, including through the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said "It is an utter disgrace that state authorities are prepared to upturn the rule of law to persecute railway workers who have simply been trying to protect the travelling public and their fellow workers from dangerous incompetence on the part of top management of the railway system. This is a brazen attack on fundamental workers' rights, a misuse of the courts and dishonest behaviour by the very body which is supposed to root out corruption. We stand with the International Transport Workers' Federation in demanding the immediate release of the workers, the dropping of all charges against them, and the return of the wages that were fraudulently taken from seven of the workers by the authorities."
Both the Thai National Human Rights Commission and an internal fact-finding investigation concluded that the derailment was primarily caused by the poor maintenance and condition of the locomotive.
Since November 2018, the monthly salaries of seven SRUT leaders have been deducted to pay fines of Baht 24 million (US$726,116) to SRT for the 2009 initiative they took based on the decision of the Supreme Labour Court in 2017. This is tantamount to collective punishment of the workers and their families. The SRT must now withdraw the fines and reimburse the seven SRUT leaders. They must also ensure that the SRUT leaders receive full compensation for lost wages and benefits which they have not received since their reinstatement. The ITUC and ITF will continue to support the SRUT 13 and their families, as they post bail to appeal this ruling.
Union wins right to organize in Myanmar through ACT guidelines
20 October, 2020: Since the global outbreak of Covid-19, ACT brands and IndustriALL have observed an increased level of union busting in the global garment and footwear supply chain. To protect and promote Freedom of Association in Myanmar, an ongoing collaboration between IndustriALL, Myanmar-based union IWFM and ACT brands plays a critical role in protecting workers' rights.
The collective effort has led to a number of successful negotiations and dispute resolutions between Myanmar-based suppliers and local trade unions. Transparent and good-faith social dialogue, proactive engagement of negotiating parties and support from international brands have set a practical example in Myanmar, showing that when suppliers engage with unions and brands to find solutions to correct and prevent labour rights' violations, constructive industrial relations develop.
One example is a dispute resolution at Kamcaine Manufacturing, a supplier for ACT brands, where recently a negotiated settlement was reached with the Industrial Workers' Federation of Myanmar (IWFM), after the employer had dismissed 57 workers, including all seven executive members of the union. Another successful dispute resolution is the three union leaders at Glory Fashion, who were reinstated with backpay.
"This is a good example of how unions are working with brands to develop supply chain industrial relations as an alternative to the corporate-led audit and code of conduct programmes that other brands are using instead of directly engaging with unions," says IndustriALL textile director Christina Hajagos-Clausen.
While supply chain industrial relations between unions and ACT brands are getting stronger in Myanmar, there are still cases suppliers who fail to engage in transparent and constructive negotiations. As an example, Yongan Myanmar Fashion Company, has refused to engage in negotiations around the case of unrightful dismissal of workers and to comply with the decision of local arbitration council.
ACT brands have been working with IWFM and IndustriALL to achieve a just result, however the supplier has refused to get involved. As a consequence, and as a last resort, brands sourcing from the factory had to apply their respective zero-tolerance policies, demonstrating that violation of workers' rights will not be tolerated.
To promote freedom of association (FOA) in Myanmar and help workers and suppliers build stronger industrial relations, ACT brands and IndustriALL have supported suppliers and trade unions in developing a Guideline on Freedom of Association. The guideline is designed to help prevent and manage conflicts that may arise over FOA and help to position Myanmar as a world-class responsible production location. To scale up the work around FOA in Myanmar, ACT brands have made compliance with the FOA Guideline a business requirement, ranked as zero-tolerance in case of violation starting 1 April, 2020.
"We truly believe that freedom of association and collective bargaining are the best way to deal with conflicting interests and to achieve mutual respect and joint responsibility. We will continue our joint efforts among ACT signatories to work closely with local unions and employers to establish higher industrial relations standards in Myanmar," says Bestseller's responsible sourcing social impact manager Andrei Vasiliev.
While significant progress has been achieved by ACT brands, IndustriALL and IWFM in Myanmar, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done in the country to protect FOA, promote collective bargaining and build sustainable and responsible industrial relations. ACT signatories will continue their work in Myanmar and closely monitor the supply chain. Together with IMFW and IndustriALL, ACT has a critical role to play in protecting workers' rights.
Freedom of association is a fundamental worker's right and must be respected and guaranteed everywhere. This is a step towards sustainable industrial relations in Myanmar where all stakeholders contribute through the FOA Guidelines. I hope all brands sourcing in Myanmar will see the benefits of the guidelines and sign up immediately," says IWFM President Khaing Zar.
World Food Day 2020: COVID-19 reveals shocking inequalities in global food systems
15.10.20: Classed as essential workers due to the pandemic, agricultural and food workers, many of them migrant workers, have continued to work - or risk losing their jobs - on farms and plantations, and in meat and food processing plants to provide essential food supplies to people worldwide.
They and their families have paid, and continue to pay, a high price in providing essential food supplies to consumers. Tens of thousands of workers in meat and food processing plants, and on farms and plantations around the world have been infected with coronavirus. Many have died. Yet agricultural and food workers who work to feed the world everyday do not earn enough to properly feed themselves and their families and endure chronic food insecurity.
On World Food Day, October 16, 2020, the IUF is calling for a trade union and human rights based approach for agricultural and food workers to be the basis of global food security policies. These policies must recognize them as essential/critical workers for global food security and resilient food supply chains. Agricultural and food workers, including migrant workers, must have the same labour and human rights as workers in industry/commerce.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has confirmed that agricultural and food workers are essential but we are still treated as expendable. The pandemic must be a turning point - we must not return to the bad working and living conditions and precarious employment, as before the pandemic," urged Anja Westberg, President of the IUF AWTG Board.
These sentiments were echoed by Michael Fakhri, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food who commented, "We should always be prioritising the livelihood and well-being of agricultural and food workers, as they are essential".
World Day for Decent Work 2020 - Sharan Burrow
World Day for Decent Work 2020: Raising youth voices
07 Oct 2020: On the World Day for Decent Work, young transport workers are speaking out about the urgent need to confront youth unemployment and job insecurity. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on young workers' employment, incomes, training, and social protection have been catastrophic, and today young transport workers are raising their voices to demand that global economic recovery efforts prioritise youth.
Young workers have experienced staggering job losses and cuts to pay and conditions during the pandemic, and more than 70 per cent of youth have faced disruptions to their education and training.
The employment outlook for young workers was already precarious before the Covid-19 crisis. The ILO's pre-Covid-19 global labour market overview showed that only 41 per cent of the global youth population were included in the labour force and that 30 per cent of employed youth remained in extreme or moderate poverty. The most recent ILO monitoring report shows that one in six young workers have stopped working since the pandemic, while 42 per cent of those still in employment have seen their incomes reduced.
Covid-19 has further illuminated the critical vulnerabilities of the youth workforce, increasingly engaged in underpaid and under-protected jobs due to precarious employment relationships, hazardous living conditions, unsafe workplaces, and discrimination.
This year's World Day for Decent Work offers an opportunity for us to unite together as a global trade union movement. The rights of workers are under threat across the world in a time when governments should be doing everything in their power to support workers. Unions in many countries are fighting against privatisation efforts, anti-worker legislation and negligent oversight that has allowed employers to exploit this crisis for their own benefit.
During our recent Young Aviation Workers' Summer School, union activists denounced the shameful behaviour of UK flag carrier British Airways, who threatened to fire their entire workforce and rehire them under significantly worse working conditions, before backtracking due to a union-led public pressure campaign. Young workers are particularly vulnerable to these attacks due to the relatively short length of their tenure and their overrepresentation in precarious employment contracts.
We insist that young workers must not be left behind. Today we call on all young workers to demand that governments and employers act to protect the futures of young workers and generations to come. With the right support, youth can be catalysts for a global economic recovery. Join us in calling for global action to create and protect quality job opportunities for youth and all workers. This is trade union business.
IUF warns G20 Tourism ministers that COVID-19 is being used as cover to suppress workers' rights
07.10.20: The IUF has again called on G20 Tourism Ministers to work with trade unions to protect both the livelihoods and the health and safety of tourism workers.
In a statement to the annual meeting of Tourism Ministers (virtual, October 7, 2020) the IUF warned that under the cover of COVID-19, trade union rights, enshrined in ILO Conventions, were being suppressed. "There are frequent dismissals of trade union leaders aimed at eliminating the union from workplaces. Employers in tourism too often decide unilaterally on 'survival' plans. Wage cuts and reduced hours are imposed not negotiated. Safety protocols are developed and implemented with little or no negotiation with unions".
The statement concludes with a call to the G20 to "adopt an agenda that puts workers first and that fully protects workers' right starting with the application of ILO Conventions 87 on freedom of association and 98 on collective bargaining".
Australian wharfies' rights must be respected - ITF
30 Sep 2020: The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) has intervened in the emerging industrial dispute between Patrick Stevedores and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) to remind Patrick, a number of international shipping companies, and even the Australian government, that they are undermining the human rights of the port workers to collectively bargain for a fair industrial agreement.
Patrick should accept MUA 'olive branch' and end conflict
"We have a situation where these dock workers have followed the letter of the law. They have worked round-the-clock to keep supply chains flowing during this pandemic and keep shelves stocked. Now it comes time for these workers to stand up to stop their employer's deep cuts to their workplace conditions, and they have their own government piling on against them, frankly, in an hysterical and anti-democratic manner." "As I understand it, the MUA has not once, but three times now, offered to roll over the existing agreement to avoid unnecessary conflict at a difficult time for Australia and the world," said Cotton.
Cotton said the MUA had worked hard to ensure the dispute did not adversely affect the Australian people, "the same people that these dockers have proudly kept supplied through the pandemic". On 2 September 2020, the MUA wrote to Patrick requesting measures to ensure medical supplies could make it through any protected industrial action.
"More than a fortnight ago, the MUA offered to suspend all industrial action at Patrick terminals if the company would suspend its attempts to strip away existing workplace conditions and resume meaningful negotiations. The company rejected this offer." "It is clear to international observers that while the MUA is extending olive branches, Patrick Stevedores and their allies in the Morrison government are intent on escalating this conflict as part of Patrick's plot to slash the wages and conditions of these essential workers."
"It appears that Patrick Stevedores is attempting to manufacture a crisis at Port Botany, so that the company can advance its plans to slash 30 pages of workplace conditions." "This dispute carries the long shadow of the 1998 Waterfront Dispute when a previous Liberal Party government supported the covert training of a strike-breaking workforce and Liberal ministers used their platforms to demonise dockers and their families."
"Let us be extremely clear: the international union movement will not idly stand by and allow a repeat of what was attempted in 1998. We will use all our global strength and extensive networks to defend the rights of these Australian workers, even if the Australian government will not," said Cotton.
Global shipping lines put on notice
"There is a risk that these companies could create the false impression that the dockers of Port Botany are somehow responsible for the companies' decisions to divert their ships. The dockers are not responsible."
"We encourage all companies in the maritime sector to uphold workers' fundamental rights to collectively bargain and defend their hard-fought workplace conditions: on and off the water. Conduct by shipping companies which suggests that they may be supporting one side or the other undermines the reputation of these companies in a significant and irreparable way," said Smith.
Dockers solidarity to stop 'virus-like' pay cuts from spreading
"It is very telling that Patrick Stevedores have so far been unwilling to roll over the existing contract and instead are demanding big cuts to the workers' conditions." "For the best part of a century, dock workers have been the front line of bringing all working people better wages and conditions. It seems now, in the midst of this pandemic, that dockers are once more asked to hold the line and stop wage and condition cuts from spreading like a virus through society," said Tortolano.
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.
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.
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."
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.'
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.
VoteVets - Trump War on United States Postal Service