Dennis' LaborSOLIDARITY    In The Struggle for Union, Labor, and Human Rights for Workers Worldwide

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Labor Press: Triangle Shirtwaist Fire memorial illuminates labor struggles of the present   |   Truthout: Chipotle Must Pay $240K to Workers After It Closed Unionizing Store in Maine   |   For Immediate Release: March 27, 2023 - Statement From US Union Leaders - We Support the Fight for Democracy in Israel   |   Michigan AFL-CIO: Governor Whitmer Signs Historic Bills Restoring Workers' Rights   |   Public Citizen: Action on Predatory Private Equity in Health Care 'Needed, Stat'   |   France: Confédération Générale du Travail, - Force Ouvrière, - Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail   |   Temple University Graduate Student Association: Strike is Over: Tentative Agreement Ratified 3/13/2023   |   Counter Punch: Why Temple University's Graduate Students are Striking   |   Truthout: Starbucks CEO Caves, Agrees to Testify in Senate After Sanders Subpoena Threat   |   Mother Jones: Norfolk Southern Employees Suffering From Lingering Illnesses, Scathing Union Letter Says   |   American Prospect: Private Health Care Companies Are Eating the American Economy   |   Labor Press: Musician's union performs in protest of production company's resistance to bargaining   |   American Prospect: Federal Court Tells Starbucks to Stop Illegal Union-Busting   |   AFSCME: I AM Story Podcast   |   In These Times: The Case for Nationalizing the Railroads

USA: Petition: Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize Act

Updated News and Articles Relating to the Attempted Coup and to the Insurrection Against the United States of America on January 06, 2021 - *IMPORTANT* Latest Update March 29, 2023

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...
Pass the Richard L. Trumka Protecting the Right to Organize Act

People Over Profit...
Public Services International

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

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

US Department of Labor Hosts Summit for Democracy Highlighting the Importance of Unions in Upholding Democratic Rights

News Release: March 28, 2023:   WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Thea Lee hosted representatives from the U.S. Department of State and worker organization leaders today for the discussion, "No Democracy Without Unions: Labor Movements as Defenders of Democratic Rights." This event, held at the department's Frances Perkins Building headquarters in Washington, was part of the Summit for Democracy and the Multilateral Partnership for Organizing, Worker Empowerment and Rights.

In keynote remarks, Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights at the State Department Uzra Zeya spoke about U.S. government efforts to strengthen unions and safeguard democracy, particularly by meeting with trade unions to hear directly from workers, defending trade unionists from discrimination, building union capacity, and working with likeminded partners to build coalitions.

The event convened a panel focusing on unions as essential components of democratic societies, which included Executive Director of the Bangladesh Center for Worker Solidarity Kalpona Akter, Department of State Special Representative for International Labor Affairs Kelly Fay Rodríguez, President of the National Education Association Becky Pringle, and President of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas and Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Fred Redmond.

"Even within ostensibly stable democracies, economic and social exclusion can force working families to the margins of civic and political life," said Deputy Undersecretary for International Labor Affairs Thea Lee. "Persistent inequity and unequal opportunity can undermine a fundamental promise of democracy-that all citizens should share in progress. Just as they've done for over a century, democratic labor movements today offer collective voice to workers standing up against disenfranchisement, racism, sexism, and xenophobia and advocating for their seat at the table."

During the event, participants also heard video testimony from labor leaders who remain under threat, including Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar President Maung Maung, and Salidarnast union leader Lizaveta Merliak in Belarus.

Source:  United States Department of Labor / Bureau of International Labor Affairs

USA: New York State AFL-CIO: Healthcare Workers Hold Historic Rally in Albany

World Water Day 2023

MAR 22, 2023:   PSI is working with unions and allies to critique the absurd UN policies for most SDGs that suggest that we use public subsidies to 'attract' private capital.

The United Nations designated by 22 March as the day to celebrate water around the world. 2023 will see thousands flock to UN headquarters in New York for the first UN-wide water conference since the one in Mar del Plata, Argentina in 1977. PSI will be there with affiliates FNV from the Netherlands, FNUM from Brazil and DC37 from the USA.

However, the UN Water Conference 2023 is a missed opportunity. It lasts only three days. It will not result in new policies based on a thorough review of past progress or failings. Instead, the UN wants to see governments, businesses and NGOs make voluntary, non-binding commitments of actions they will carry out in order to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goal on water and sanitation - SDG6. For example, agri-business giants might commit to reduce the amount they pollute water, or to help some communities close to their factories have better access to water.

The main problem with SDG6 is the way to pay for improvements in water and sanitation infrastructure. Many billions of people on the planet don't have access to safe drinking water or sanitation services. Existing water and sanitation infrastructure needs serious upgrading and improvements, both to extend services and ensure safety, but also to deal with the threats of the climate crisis. More staff need to be hired, trained and retained, and their wages and working conditions improved. Sanitation workers require major improvements, first moving from informal to formal employment, then reducing their massive health and safety risks.

All of this needs reliable, predictable long-term finance. But the UN policies for most SDGs, including water, suggest that we use public subsidies to 'attract' private capital. This implies that water services need to be made profitable enough to attract global finance capital. Projects need to be 'bankable'. Countries must change their laws and regulations to provide the 'enabling environment' to protect private investors. This ensures that the rights of investors dominate human rights or the rights of nature, including in the courts and in arbitrations.

PSI is working with unions and allies to critique these absurd policies. Our Water Justice Movement is committed to defend human rights, including by supporting public services, as well as other community-based formats. There is a common will to fight privatisation, which has a long list of structural problems that won't go away with new wording, such as innovative or blended finance.

Together, the Water Justice Movement published a Manifesto for release in New York. The Manifesto contains a set of core principles and values that can guide our work for the decades to come. Members of the Movement will participate in the debates in the UN, in side events and in a number of meetings around the city.

The Movement will call for reform of the UN's governance structures for the water sector. Amongst others, we insist that the UN meet more often to resolve issues on water; that more community activists, trade unions, public water operators and mayors are involved in these meetings, and that industry and agro-business are held accountable for their uses and misuses of our precious water resources - voluntary measures are not enough.

Source:  Pubic Services International --PSI uniting more than 30 million workers in 154 countries

Czech Union Wins Collective Agreement With Country's Largest Private Care Home Provider

22.03.23:   With support from UNI Global Union, care home workers in Czechia have signed the first ever company-wide collective agreement with Alzheimer Home, the country's largest for-profit nursing home provider.

Trade union, ALICE, which represents social services workers as part of UNI's Czech affiliate, UZO, signed the two-year collective bargaining agreement with the company in Prague on 21 March.

The agreement is arguably the strongest that's ever been established for private sector care workers in Czechia and applies to the company's nearly 1,500 employees in 32 care homes across the country. As well as offering a significant pay rise averaging 6 - 8 per cent, which brings the biggest pay increases to the lowest paid, it also gives workers a strong voice in health and safety policy and allows the union to engage with workers without interference in nursing homes that are not already organized.

ALICE President, Dana Búriková, who is also a worker at Alzheimer Home Jihlava, said: "This is a ground-breaking collective agreement in the private care sector in Czechia. We consider the result a success. It wouldn't have been possible without the courage and joint efforts of hundreds of caregivers, nurses, laundresses, receptionists, and other staff."

Hundreds of workers joined the campaign to achieve the collective agreement, which included mobilizations and a petition. The campaign also received wide support from the public.

"The negotiation was complex, but fair. Although it started at a time when our facilities were hit hard by the consequences of the sharp rise in energy prices and other inputs, we nevertheless managed to reach a mutual agreement together," said Alice Švehlová, Human Resources Director of the Penta Hospitals group, which owns Alzheimer Home. "We would like to thank everyone who took part in the negotiations for a very constructive approach."

This union victory comes on the heels of a rapid organizing campaign supported by UNI Global Union's Central European organizing centre, COZZ. Less than a year ago, in April 2022, ALICE signed its first collective agreement, which was made at a care home at Alzheimer Home. In October, the union's organizing efforts led to workers at four more Alzheimer Home facilities joining the union, and this has since grown to ten. While the new CBA will benefit all workers, it also leaves the door open to organize more workers at the remaining 20 or so Alzheimer Homes in the future.

UNI General Secretary, Christy Hoffman, said: "We are proud to stand with ALICE and the workers at Alzheimer Home whose determination and commitment to organizing, campaigning and standing up for better conditions and pay has been remarkable, and is an inspiration to private care home workers across Czechia. It's great to see UNI's support for organizing efforts in the region are paying off and making a real difference to workers lives."

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

Qatar must move forward on labour rights

The ITUC is deeply concerned at the situation facing migrant workers in Qatar now that the men's football FIFA World Cup 2022 is over.

17-03-2023:   If the labour law reforms made by the government at the ILO in November 2017, including those on the abolition of the kafala system of forced labour, are not fully implemented and built on there will be no positive and lasting legacy of the FIFA World Cup.

Implementation, particularly for construction, security and domestic migrant workers has fallen behind expectations and many rogue employers have been able to evade their legal responsibilities on wages, job transfers, working conditions, residency, and other provisions.

Inflation has overtaken the gains made through the introduction of a minimum wage, and the labour inspectorate and disputes settlement committees have not met the needs of all the country's migrant workforce of around two million people.

The legal foundations of the kafala system, which ties workers to employers, have been removed in Qatar and significant progress has been made on implementation. However, reports indicate that many workers still face problems, in particular when wanting to change employers.

In a country where freedom of association and the existence of trade unions is not accepted, social dialogue is far from being achieved, nor is the promotion of social justice. Passing laws in a country is a necessary but insufficient guarantee that workers' rights will be respected. The existence of trade unions is fundamental to the continuous promotion of better working and living conditions for workers.

"Qatar needs to ensure that the law reforms benefit every migrant worker, to accelerate reforms and take the most important step - ratification and implementation of the ILO Conventions on Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining. "This is the only way that a lasting legacy that benefits all workers, including migrant workers, can be ensured. The new Prime Minister, former Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, who was appointed this week, must make this a top priority for his government," said ITUC President Akiko Gono.

The ITUC is calling for a set of clear steps from the government of Qatar to consolidate reforms and go further:

  • A time bound plan for the ratification and effective implementation of ILO Conventions 87 and 98, following the commitment made to global unions by the government in October 2017 to start a dialogue on all Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.
  • Protection and enhanced roles for the Community Liaison Officers working with global unions in Qatar.
  • No retaliation against workers' rights advocates.
  • Demonstrable improvements in enforcement and inspection, especially in relation to 'Non-Objection Certificates' allowing labour mobility.
  • Engagement with global unions in the minimum wage council, with an urgent increase in the non-discriminatory minimum wage.
  • Constructive dialogue with global unions on proposals for a Migrant Workers' Centre and a legacy fund for former and current migrant workers who do not have access to such support.
  • A commitment to continue to work with the Global Unions and with the ILO in these areas, including evaluation and a road map for further action to ensure fundamental workers" rights.

"FIFA must also play its part, in particular on a legacy fund that is fit for purpose and meets the needs of those who have suffered for the World Cup. FIFA cannot simply walk away and evade its responsibilities. "Even though the World Cup is over, Qatar clearly wants to continue to host international events as part of its future. Accelerating and deepening reform must also be part of that future," said Akiko Gono.

The ITUC recognises the ILO's role in striving to ensure the rights of workers in Qatar, especially migrant workers as well as the work done by global unions in reducing the suffering of these workers. The ITUC will continue building alliances to fight precarious work in Qatar.

The ITUC will also fight to stop FIFA imposing conditions in the future, such as those enforced on world cup hosts Brazil and South Africa, which led to the exploitation of construction and service workers and excluded street vendors from fan parks and public viewing zones. All sports governing bodies must fully respect workers' and other human rights. The ITUC also wants to see progress repeated and exceeded in other Gulf States, including in Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Source:  International Trade Union Confederation--ITUC represents 200 million workers in 168 countries and territories and has 338 national affiliates

Independent union signs historic collective bargaining agreement with Saint-Gobain Mexico

16 March, 2023:   The Independent Union of Free and Democratic Workers of Saintt-Gobain Mexico has signed an historic collective bargaining agreement with the multinational building materials manufacturer.

It is the first time since the Saintt-Gobain plant in Morelos State, Mexico, was founded 24 years ago that an independent union has negotiated a collective bargaining agreement on behalf of the workers there. The workers now have every reason to celebrate: the collective bargaining process was a success and the new agreement will bring real benefits.

In an official statement, the union said: "We were able to achieve an historic outcome in the collective bargaining process and fulfil the commitment we made to deliver tangible benefits for our workers."

After a week of negotiations, the union signed the collective bargaining agreement on 4 March. The agreement must now be approved by workers at the Saint-Gobain plant in the city of Cuautla through a free, secret and direct ballot, in keeping with the provisions of Mexico's 2019 labour reform.

The signed agreement includes a 9% pay rise and a 2% increase in benefits, both above 2023 inflation, and will take retroactive effect from 1 January 2023. The union says these increases will help to improve workers' quality of life. Other key outcomes include:

  • protocols for dealing with discrimination and sexual harassment
  • an increase in the percentage allocated to the savings fund and the life insurance policy
  • insurance coverage for minor medical costs
  • an increase in the Christmas bonus, holiday bonus and length-of-service bonus
  • an increase in the study grants awarded to Saint-Gobain employees' children
  • an agreement on productivity
  • the reinstatement of a worker who was fired after forming the new union.

The Independent Union of Free and Democratic Workers of Saintt-Gobain Mexico won the right to represent workers at the plant in a ballot held in September 2022. They beat the Glass Workers Union, which was affiliated with the Confederation of Workers and Peasants and had negotiated an employer protection agreement with the company behind workers' backs.

Lastly, IndustriALL's regional secretary, Marino Vani, said: "We congratulate the Independent Union of Free and Democratic Workers of Saint-Gobain Mexico for democratically delivering a collective bargaining agreement that truly benefits its workers. Workers deserve to be represented by unions that negotiate in their interests. That is what has now happened at the plant in Morelos after 24 years."

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

International Domestic Workers Federation stands with our General Secretary, Elizabeth Tang

March 15, 2023:   On behalf of over 670,000 domestic workers members across the globe, the Executive Committee of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) extend our deepest respect and solidarity with Elizabeth Tang. Not only is she the General Secretary of IDWF, she is also a leader in the global labour movement, a sister to many, and a mother of the domestic workers movement worldwide.

On 9 March, 2023, Elizabeth was arrested by the Hong Kong National Security police under allegations of "endangering national security". She is currently out on bail awaiting to see how her case will unfold.

IDWF refutes all the allegations against Elizabeth. We stand in solidarity with Elizabeth, one of the world's most principled and prominent women trade union leaders and activists.

Elizabeth began her career in the 1980s and co-founded the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions in 1990 where she served as its Executive Director for 16 years. In 2009, Elizabeth joined the domestic and household workers' movement, supporting them in organizing to raise their voices and visibility while leading the global network of domestic workers in a campaign that led to the 2011 adoption of ILO Convention 189 concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers. This historic achievement has been a major step towards the protection and recognition of millions of domestic workers around the world, sparking a seismic shift in society towards respecting and valuing the vital contribution of these most vulnerable and 'invisible' workers. To date, the ILO Convention 189 has been ratified by 36 countries.

Through Elizabeth's work, the domestic workers' movement evolved into a global federation in 2013 with the primary goal of advocating for the rights of domestic workers worldwide. Over a decade, it has grown into a vibrant and dynamic global Federation representing 88 affiliates from 68 countries and close to 670,000 domestic, household and care workers. It is the only global union that is led by women and representing a predominately women membership.

The IDWF and its affiliates are closely following developments in Hong Kong and are documenting all reports. We are deeply grateful for all the messages of support and solidarity from our allies, partners, friends and our members from all corners of the globe.

Source:  International Domestic Workers Federation

Eswatini: end the repression against SWATCAWU and all Eswatini workers

09 Mar 2023:   The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) notes with deep concern the latest acts of repression against trade union and democratic forces in Eswatini, where the government of King Mswati III has been leading a brutal crackdown against opposition leaders.

This crackdown has already seen opposition politicians arrested, journalists driven into exile, trade union leaders and other workers assassinated and attacked, and police raids on trade union events.

Now, Comrade Sticks Nkambule, the General Secretary of the Swaziland Transport Communication and Allied Workers' Union (SWATCAWU) has been declared a 'wanted person' in a politically motivated and spurious contempt of court charge. This comes after SWATCAWU and other unions led national protests and strikes demanding democratic reform, the release of jailed political leaders, improved wages, and an end to police harassment of workers.

In December of last year, a team of heavily-armed state forces - led by the Senior Superintendent Clement Sihlongonyane, who the union and others accuse of being "a known serial killer of pro-democracy activists", led a militia-style raid on the home of the SWATCAWU General Secretary. Fortunately, on the first day of the crackdown, out of the country on pre-arranged travel, Comrade Nkambule was able to evade arrest, and has been forced to remain in exile since.

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the ITF, said: "The ITF will never tolerate the harassment and repression of union leaders, and we demand an immediate end to the Eswatini government's violent, autocratic attack on democratic forces. But as well as an attack on workers, this is an attack on all the people of Eswatini. Power-grabs and repression offer no solutions to the country's challenges, and only democratic reform offers a way forward. Workers and trade unions must be central to that process."

Mohammed Dauda Safiyanu, ITF Africa Regional Secretary, said: "The whole world has watched with shock the anti-democratic brutality of King Mswati's government, but we refuse to simply stand by while our comrades, brothers, and sisters are attacked, harassed, and even killed. As transport workers from around the world gather just across the border in South Africa next week for our Road, Rail and Urban Transport section conferences, we send a clear message to King Mswati III and his government that transport workers across Africa and around the world stand ready to support our affiliates in Eswatini in whatever way they need."

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

France: Unions reject anti-women pension reform

7 March, 2023:   On the eve of this year's International Women's Day, the French affiliates of BWI have once again took to the streets all over France to protest a pension reform project that is detrimental to women workers. The protesting workers underscored women workers' salaries and pensions, which they said remain lower than those of men.

The proposed pension reform seeks to fix the retirement age at 64, which trade unions said will only worsen workers' economic situation, particularly those of women. Trade unions explained that twice as many women work until the age of 67, and 40 percent retire with incomplete pensions. Women's pensions are 40 percent lower than men's, while their wages are still 25 percent lower on average than men in 2023. This is attributed to part-time work, occupational segregation, career interruptions and unequal compensation policies, among others.

BWI's affiliates called on the government to increase and promote the employment rate of women and realise equal pay.

Source:  Building and Woodworkers International--BWI uniting 12 million workers in 351 trade unions in 127 countries

IndustriALL Global Union: 5 steps for trade unions to close the Gender Pay Gap - Pay Equity Toolkit

Council of Global Unions expresses its solidarity with the UGTT in Tunisia

02 Mar 2023:   We, the Council of Global Unions (CGU), on behalf of 200 million workers around the world, expresses its support and solidarity with the UGTT and its affiliates in Tunisia over the arrest of Anis Al-Kaabi, General Secretary of the Tunisia's Highway Workers Union, and several other UGTT leaders and members who have been questioned and summoned by the police in the past few weeks

We condemn in the strongest possible terms the detention of Anis Kaabi, following the workers' strike demanding improvement of their working conditions. This detention, as well as the harassment and summons issues by the police to several UGTT leaders and union members, seriously undermines trade union activity, violates fundamental trade union rights, and contravenes international conventions ratified by Tunisia as well as the provisions of the Tunisian Constitution on trade union freedoms and the right to strike

Furthermore, we deplore the recent deportation of our comrade Esther Lynch, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) from Tunisia, which is a blatant attack on the UGTT, its international relations and the global trade union solidarity that we provide together with national centres

International labour solidarity is the corner stone of the global union work, and the UGTT is at the heart of it as it has showed the example of providing international solidarity throughout its proud history. UGTT stated that the deportation of comrade Esther Lynch is an indication of the shrinking democratic space in the country. International solidarity is part and parcel of union work and should not characterized as interference in state affairs

Therefore, we call to the Government of Tunisia to release immediately Anis Al-Kaabi and respect trade union rights and the international conventions ratified by the Tunisian State as well as the provisions of the Tunisian Constitution on trade union rights

It is imperative that the Government of Tunisia end immediately its persecution of trade union leaders and members. The Council of Global Unions fully supports the demonstration that the UGTT is organising on 4 March to protest the intensification of the attacks.

Source:  Council of Global Unions--includes the International Transport Workers Federation, UNI Global Union, International Trade Union Confederation, IndustriALL Global Union, Public Services International, Education International, International Arts and Entertainment Alliance, International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers Associations, International Federation of Journalists, Building and Wood Worker's International, and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to OECD

Public Service Workers on Frontline of Climate Crisis Fight for a Just and Equitable Transition

Small island countries are experiencing some of the most devastating impacts of the climate crisis, even though they only account for a tiny portion of the global carbon emissions. Workers in public services -- health workers, social and community workers, emergency services workers -- are in the frontlines of this crisis.

Produced at an important gathering of public service workers from small island states which took place in Melbourne, Australia in November 2022, this video highlights the need for quality public services to respond to the climate crisis as well as the role of unions in advancing just transition particularly in small islands states. The video was launched at the Fiji Nurses Association Professional Conference on March 1, 2023.

Indeed, climate justice is a union issue; it affects workers' rights, livelihood and overall well-being. Unions are thereby challenged to organise more, raise public awareness and build solidarity to confront the climate crisis. It is critical that public service workers and their unions are able to plan the response and ensure a just and equitable transition for all. We must continue to fight for a well-funded public services and more low-carbon jobs as antidote to the climate crisis. At the same time, we must put premium on the work of public service workers as we build a future that works for the people and our planet.

Source:  Pubic Services International--PSI uniting more than 30 million workers in 154 countries

USA: New Jersey State AFL-CIO Stands with Rutgers Unions in Fight for Fair Contract

02/28/2023:   Today, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO stood with over 200 union members and students at the Rutgers-Newark campus to demand that the Rutgers Administration and Board of Governors negotiate with Rutgers faculty and staff unions for a fair contract.

Our sisters and brothers have worked for eight months since their last contract expired. After refusing to negotiate for months, Rutgers has recently returned to the bargaining table with offers that fail to address major labor issues including: affordable healthcare, raises that reflect the drastic increase in cost-of-living, job security of part-time lecturers and living wages for graduate student workers. Due to the on-going dispute, Rutgers has earned the unfortunate designation of having the worst labor relations of any higher education institution in New Jersey.

Union members and leaders from across all trades and sectors joined our labor movement in support of a new contract for our members. In addition to AAUP / AFT, URA, HPAE and CWA Local 1031, we were joined by members of International Operating Engineers Local 825 who supported the rally by bringing their infamous blow-up rat.

Together, we stand united to support the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain.

Source:  New Jersey State American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations

Russia's war on Ukraine

One year since it launched its illegal and brutal invasion of Ukraine, Russia's campaign of murder and terror against the Ukrainian people continues, with the complicity of Belarus.

24-02-2023:   Over the past year tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and many more injured, as Russian forces have targeted cities, towns and critical infrastructure including hospitals and energy facilities. The futures of countless people have been irreversibly harmed. Hundreds of combatants are being killed every day. Several million refugees have had to flee to neighbouring countries, in particular Poland, and at least six million have been displaced internally within Ukraine.

"The war must end. Vladimir Putin must stop this senseless barbarity and remove all Russian forces from Ukrainian territory. A just and sustainable peace, based on international law, is required and those responsible for war crimes must be brought to justice. "We salute the courage of the Ukrainian people, we mourn with them for the loss of families and friends and we will continue to stand in solidarity with them. The task of reconstruction and recovery from the devastation will be enormous, with immediate humanitarian needs growing by the day," said ITUC Deputy General Secretary Owen Tudor.


The ITUC-affiliated national trade union centres FPU and KVPU have mobilised to deliver humanitarian assistance, supported by the ITUC through its public fundraising appeal, as well as by the ETUC and many other organisations, including trade unions from Europe and beyond.

This has included the provision of support for bereaved families, providing accommodation, food, medical supplies and other necessities for displaced people, repairing damaged buildings and providing psychosocial and other support to families. The union organisations continue to carry out their core trade union functions, under extremely difficult conditions.

Unions in neighbouring countries are active in providing advice and support to refugees. This includes accommodating them, meeting their needs, helping them to access services and benefits, ensuring their employment and other legal rights, integrating children into education, establishing information and communications networks and many other forms of support. Neighbouring unions have also continued to collect and transport vital goods into Ukraine.

The Russian invasion has had severe consequences in many other countries as well. Spiralling food and fuel costs, exacerbated by corporate profit gouging, continue to hit people hard and increase poverty, especially in many less wealthy countries.Shortages of fertiliser and other raw materials, traditionally supplied by Russia and Ukraine and also Belarus, have disrupted food production, as well as supply chains that were already impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Russia's invasion, with Vladimir Putin exercising absolute control over the country, is a blatant violation of the United Nations Charter. The impacts on the people of Ukraine are devastating, and the broader consequences for international relations and for the prospects for peaceful co-existence and cooperation globally are immense. The ITUC's solidarity with the people and unions of Ukraine is absolute and will remain so as we continue the quest for peace based on common security, for justice and for the full respect of human rights and international law," said Owen Tudor.

Source:  International Trade Union Confederation--ITUC represents 200 million workers in 168 countries and territories and has 338 national affiliates

Unions at ILO: Securing Decent Work in Arts and Entertainment

23.02.23:   After a week of negotiations at the International Labour Organization (ILO), unions, employers and governments have agreed to a set of conclusions that recognize and seek to redress the long hours, low pay, lack of social protection and inequalities that are creating 'decent work deficits' in the arts and entertainment industries.

The outcomes, issued in a document today, follow a five-day ILO technical meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 13 to 17 February on the future of work in arts and entertainment sector. The meeting brought together union leaders representing more than 1,000,000 workers in the industries under the umbrella of three global union federations: UNI Global Union, the International Federation of Actors (FIA) and the International Federation of Musicians (FIM).

Going forward, governments, in cooperation with employers' and unions, should promote and strengthen laws and regulations that limit working time; provide universal access to comprehensive social protections systems to all workers in the sector, including self-employed workers; and afford public funding to close the skills shortages in the sector. The conclusions also recognize that collective bargaining is key to achieving decent work and they include action points for governments to ensure effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining in the arts and entertainment industries, and for the ILO to provide policy guidance on its implementation in the sector.

Philippa Childs, Head of Bectu (UK) which represents workers in broadcasting, media and entertainment, also Vice President of UNI Global Union's Media Entertainment & Arts sector (UNI MEI), said: "We've made a lot of progress, and these conclusions will enable us to put pressure on employers and governments around the key items on our agenda, particularly the issue of long hours in our industries. The pandemic gave workers a chance to reflect, and really think about the impact of long and unsustainable hours on their work-life balance. Many have left the industry and it's uncertain they will return, leading to the skills shortage that we have in the UK and globally. We need to improve working conditions and opportunities if we are to turn this situation around."

As online streaming renders traditional licencing models out-of-date, the conclusions emphasize the importance of copyright and related rights in the arts and entertainment sector and require governments to ensure that these rights are implemented in a way that effectively remunerates producers, performers and authors through statutory remuneration and collective bargaining.

The ILO conclusions also call for a human-centred approach to the introduction of new technologies and artificial intelligence, which impact workers across the industry.

Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator, SAG-AFTRA (US) and member of the FIA Executive Committee, who was the spokesperson for the workers' group, said: "Artificial intelligence offers extraordinary possibilities but poses real threats. A human-centered approach to AI is crucial to the future of our industry. These transformative technologies must complement human creativity, not seek to replace it. Now is the time for the ILO to help take on this issue and further a framework that ensures fairness and sustainability, as part of the broader agenda to advance decent work and access to collective bargaining for all workers."

Governments should address the challenges in cross-border mobility of workers, including barriers to visas and work permits, as well as the cross-border portability of social security entitlements and dual taxation.

Benoît Machuel, General Secretary of FIM, said: "We can be particularly pleased that the conclusions adopted answer our core concerns by recommending the recognition of the right to collective bargaining and a universal access to social protection for all workers. The provisions on cross-border mobility and occupational diseases are also very positive for the professionals we represent."

Among other provisions, the conclusions call for all parties to ensure strong labour inspection systems to advance a safe and healthy working environment, including effectively addressing violence and harassment at work. Furthermore, the outcomes highlight the importance of public and private investments to enable a just transition to a greener industry that is also undergoing radical technological change.

Sonia Santana, President, SINDCINE, Brazil - UNI MEI Vice President said: "The outcomes go a long way in ensuring access to collective agreements, and they also give us other tools to defend workers' rights - particularly to push for equality of women, racial equality and for equality of indigenous people - and deepen relationships with employers." "This is a positive result. What this does is create a starting point to launch other discussions with nation governments to improve access to collective bargaining, to enhance copyright protection and to address long working hours, which impacts everybody across the globe working in this industry."

The document acknowledges inequalities in the sector particularly with respect to people vulnerable to discrimination and calls for the sector to approach all aspects of its work "through a lens of diversity, equality and inclusion."

John Lewis, International Vice President, IATSE, Canada - Member of UNI MEI Committee, concluded: "This is a positive result. What this does is create a starting point to launch other discussions with nation governments to improve access to collective bargaining, to enhance copyright protection and to address long working hours, which impacts everybody across the globe working in this industry."

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

Transport unions around the globe condemn crackdown on Tunisian workers

  • The International Transport Workers' Federation and the European Transport Workers' Federation, representing 20 million transport workers around the world, condemn Tunisian Government's attack on trade unions.
  • The crackdown, which has seen union leaders arrested and detained, comes in response to unprecedented protests against a power grab by President Kais Saied.
  • Unions also denounced the Tunisian Government's expulsion of European Trade Union Confederation General Secretary Esther Lynch.

21 Feb 2023 PRESS RELEASE:   Trade unions representing 20 million transport workers around the world have slammed a crackdown on trade union and civil rights which has seen union leaders, politicians, and journalists arrested and detained. Union leaders have accused President Saied of attempting to silence dissent in order to deflect attention and blame for the country's economic troubles.

Stephen Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF), has demanded the release of arrested union leaders and an end to the "autocratic power-grab" of President Saied. "We are demanding the immediate release of all jailed union and opposition leaders, and for the Tunisian Government to enter into serious, good-faith dialogue with unions on a way forward for the country."

"Cowardly Saied, the union is not afraid."

Union leaders from ITF affiliate the Fédération Nationale des Transports (FNT) have been targeted after the union took legal strike action over the government's failure to implement collective agreements. FNT leaders were summoned by police for questioning, with some held for over 12 hours of interrogations. Police have now issued fresh summons for the 24th of February.

ITF joined calls for the immediate release of Anis Kaabi, General Secretary of Tunisia's Highway Workers Union, who was arrested on the 1st of February.

"This kind of repression and bullying show the Saied Government's complete lack of respect for workers' fundamental rights to strike, to protest and for freedom of speech," said Cotton. "And this week, ITF affiliated unions from across the Arab World are meeting in Oran, Algeria, where we will collectively discuss how we support our Tunisian affiliates."

Members of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) union also defied bans and threats to their right to strike and protest to lead the biggest protests that the country has seen since the 2011 revolution, as well nationwide strikes that have brought the country to a standstill.

The Tunisian parliament was shut down in 2021, and the President recently granted himself the power to unilaterally dismiss judges, shortly before sacking 57 members of the judiciary. The move has been slammed by Amnesty International as striking a "hammer blow to judicial independence".

"President Saied is leading his country down the route of autocracy and totalitarianism. While ordinary working Tunisians suffer the consequences of Mr Saied's failed economic policies," said ITF President Paddy Crumlin. "His autocratic and draconian crackdown only seeks to protect himself by shutting down dissenting voices, but this dangerous attack on basic democratic freedoms offers no solutions to the country's woes." "You cannot resolve a country's economic troubles by attacking the very people who make the economy move. Trade unions and workers know better than anyone else what needs done. These moves from President Saied will make the situation worse, not better, and we call on the Tunisian Government to change course."

In what was seen by many as an escalation of the crackdown, Tunisian authorities have expelled Esther Lynch, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), for addressing a protest called by the UGTT.

"In any crisis, the voices of workers must be a part of the solution. Instead of listening to these voices, President Saied is attacking them. But this undemocratic and wrong-headed assault on workers will only make the situation worse," said Livia Spera, General Secretary of the European Transport Workers' Federation ETF, who joined the international condemnation of the Saied Government.

"The situation for working people in Tunisia is becoming unsustainable. Free and democratic trade unions are needed now more than ever. The expulsion of international trade unionists is short-sighted, and will only result in drawing yet more international attention to the President's undemocratic attempts to seize power and more support from trade unions in Europe and globally."

Frank Moreels, President of the ETF today demanded an immediate end to the repression of union Tunisian leaders: "The expulsion of the leader of the European trade union movement sheds light on how serious the situation in Tunisia is. Trade unions are all too often among the targets of undemocratic governments, and that is why it is so important that we stand by our comrades in Tunisia. And there is no doubt that we are going to do so."

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

The right to strike protects workers

20 February, 2023:   The right to strike is an essential part of freedom of association. While it's a last resort, without it, workers and unions lack the power to defend their positions against the economic and political power of employers. The right to strike is under attack in many countries and trade unions are fighting back.

In 2015 the International Labour Organization (ILO) employers' groups and certain governments challenged ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, which is ratified by 153 countries, and up-holds the right to strike. Unions around the world protested to protect this fundamental right. Even with this convention, the right to strike is still under threat around the world.

In the UK, the government is bidding to drive laws which restrict strikes for rightful pay demands, despite British workers' declining wages. The new anti-strike legislation led by, Conservative Party Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, is set to enforce minimum service levels during strikes. These laws will be enforced in key public sectors like the National Health Services (NHS) and education. Employers in these sectors will be able to sue unions and dismiss employees if minimum service levels are not met. British unions have called this new strike law, a full-frontal attack on workers' rights and trade unions. Unions have made it clear that they will defend workers despite the new schemes from government.

In Zimbabwe ILO conventions 87 and 98 on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining are ratified, yet government passed two laws violating the conventions. Among the two laws passed, the Health Services Amendment Act, states that strikes in the public health sector cannot go beyond 72 hours. If unions don't adhere to this, organizers will be fined and sentenced to three years in prison. Furthermore, the Criminal Law amendment bill will make it legal to arrest and prosecute people for wilfully injuring the state sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe. Unions in Zimbabwe are urging government to amend or cancel the laws.

In Turkey, a company used a government decree referring to 'national security' as a strategy to restrict a strike. Workers and trade unions rejected this and eventually received an increase in wages.

The right to strike is fundamental and often the last resort for workers. In a capitalist system, withholding labour, is a crucial negotiating tool during the bargaining process, its main objective is to change the balance of power between workers and the employer. If the right to strike is removed, governments could ban industrial action. Most strikes are for increased pay and better working conditions, if the right to strike is removed, corporations would make bigger profits and working conditions will worsen.

IndustriALL general secretary, Atle Høie says "industrial action is one of the most important tools that workers and trade unions have which can be used to improve workers' wages and working conditions. Calling a strike is a hard call, but it is an essential tool if negotiations are leading nowhere. If this right is reduced workers will be left with very little room for manoeuvre and all talk of democracy will be empty words. We must continue to protect workers and their right to strike."

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

Tunisia: ITUC Condemns Expulsion of ETUC General Secretary

The ITUC has condemned the decision of Tunisian President Kais Saied to expel Esther Lynch, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), from the country this weekend.

20-02-2023:   Esther Lynch was forced out of the country for addressing a rally organised by the ITUC-affiliated UGTT trade union centre to protest against Saied's failed policies, a wave of anti-union action by the authorities, and the continued detention of UGTT official Anis Kaabi who was arrested on 31 January following a strike.

Saied has, since his 2019 election, eroded and removed key institutions of democracy and assumed complete power for himself. His policies have done enormous damage to Tunisi's economy, society and the daily life of working people.

Owen Tudor, ITUC Deputy General Secretary, said: "This expulsion is a blatant interference in the legitimate activities of trade unionists who are exercising their freedom of association rights under international law. "It will do further damage to the international reputation of Kais Saied's regime at a time when the country needs international support due to the failure of his policies. "We call on him to release Anis Kaabi, respect fundamental rights, including trade union freedoms, and replace his autocratic approach with one that respects the Tunisian people and their democratic rights. The problems of Tunisia today can only be resolved through democracy, dialogue, cooperation and negotiation with the unions."

Source:  International Trade Union Confederation--ITUC represents 200 million workers in 168 countries and territories and has 338 national affiliates

Unions winning pay rises

A new report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) highlights successful union strategies for achieving minimum living wages.

13-02-2023:   Drawing on evidence from the ITUC campaign The World Needs A Pay Rise, the report looks at the tactics deployed by unions in eight countries to win and improve adequate national minimum wages.

The successful strategies outlined in the report include:

  • Public campaigns.
  • Industrial action.
  • Compiling evidence, including on the cost of living, to support their position during national wage negotiations.
  • Using international labour standards to support higher minimum wages.

The report provides practical examples of how higher minimum wages can complement and support collective bargaining on wages.

Owen Tudor, ITUC Deputy General Secretary, stressed: "This report comes at a critical time, as wages are stagnating and are not keeping pace with GDP growth or productivity, while rising inflation is dramatically eroding the real value of workers' wages and threatening their livelihoods. "Workers around the world deserve a pay rise, and unions around the world are at the forefront of efforts to win higher wages and better working conditions."

Source:  International Trade Union Confederation--ITUC represents 200 million workers in 168 countries and territories and has 338 national affiliates

Tech Workers' Response to Massive Layoffs: Strike, Organize, Unionize

08.02.23:   Tech workers are responding to widespread layoffs and inadequate working conditions with strikes, protests, and unionizing efforts across the globe. In Austin, Texas, a group of workers made history last week by becoming the first Alphabet subcontracted employees to go on strike. The YouTube Music strikers, who are staffed by Cognizant, recently voted to unionize, and according to Alphabet Workers Union "are paid as little as $19 dollars an hour."

In France, developers from Ubisoft held the company's first-ever strike after management announced the cancellation of three games due to worsening economic outlook, which the company's CEO blamed on workers.

Union membership in tech has also risen significantly in Sweden, with campaigns in Spotify led by Unionen. In German union ver.di is also growing its presence in the industry with campaigns to organize workers' councils in Spotify, SAP and TikTok. In Spain, UGT and CCOO rushed to demand that Twitter respects Spanish labour law after Elon Musk announced his plan to layoff over 80 per cent of the platform's staff in Spain.

UGT's General Secretary Pepe Álvarez made clear with a tweet that the unions won't sit on the sidelines: "@TwitterSpainSL is firing its 26 Spanish workers by mail. In our country a collective dismissal requires opening a consultation period, negotiating 15 days and communicating it to the labour authority. Not doing so makes the dismissals VOID."

These actions highlight tech workers' growing concerns about job security, the impact of layoffs on their livelihoods, and broader issues such as workplace diversity and tech companies' responsibility to support their workers.

"In this wave of inhumane layoffs, workers in the tech industry are showing the world that unions are must-have tools to promote fairness in the workplace," said Christy Hoffman, General Secretary of UNI Global Union. "Unions serve as a firewall against arbitrary and unjust actions of employers and help ensure fair compensation and benefits for all employees. By standing together and advocating for workers' rights, tech workers can play an essential role in creating a more just and equitable future for all."

Video game workers have also spoken out in recent years against working conditions in the industry, including low pay, insufficient benefits, rampant use of mandatory overtime or "crunch," and workplace cultures rife with harassment and discrimination. Workers have also begun to form and join unions, including at Nexon and Smilegate in South Korea, Paradox Interactive in Sweden, Ubisoft studios in France, and, most recently, Activision Blizzard's Raven Software in the U.S. Invited by UNI Global Union, representatives from video game workers unions from 20 countries met in Berlin last summer to discuss international efforts to mobilize in a global campaign to raise standards and ensure safe working hours and conditions worldwide.

According to a survey of video game workers across 29 countries by UNI Global Union, low pay (66%), excessive work hours (43%), inadequate benefits (43%), and workplace discrimination and/or sexual harassment (35%), among other work-related issues, are the driving forces behind employee dissatisfaction and their desire to form a union in the workplace. The vast majority of respondents (79%) expressed support or strong support for unionizing their workplace.

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

BWI supports strike wave that sweeps Europe

2/2/2023:   The Building and Woodworkers' International (BWI), together with its European affiliates, partners and allies, express their highest sense of solidarity to the trade unions and workers who are in the middle of extensive strike actions that hit many countries in Europe.

Just barely a month has passed in the new year, a massive wave of strikes is sweeping across Europe. Workers and their trade unions are demanding job security, better pay and working conditions, and pension protection amidst increasing cost of living and rising inflation. From the French workers' strike against plans to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, the British working people's push for wage increases, the Dutch public transportation workers' protest against a CBA deadlock, to the Spanish air traffic controllers' pushback against salary cuts, European workers are fighting back and sending a strong message to the region's employers that "enough is enough."

The labour strikes clearly expose the distressing living and working conditions of many workers in Europe, and the governments and employers' inept response to their legitimate demands and grievances. Battered by a pandemic, and now a global economic crisis, the workers of Europe have resorted to strike actions as a response to the systemic abuses and neglect they have continuously suffered through the years. The labour strike is one of the workers' most profound expressions of unity and solidarity. Everywhere the workers go on strike, it is always an answer to a great injustice.

BWI calls on the different European governments and employers to listen to the workers' voices and heed their just demands. We call on them to avail of the various social dialogue mechanisms and sit down with trade unions to come up with concrete policies and solutions that will fully satisfy the workers' demands. Good faith and mutual respect must reign in these processes. Europe cannot possibly rise from the pandemic and usher in a "new normal economy" by stripping workers of their rights, benefits and dignity. There is no genuine post-pandemic recovery without the workers. Only by providing workers what they truly deserve as the real wealth creators of societies will Europe be able to realise a better future for all.

Source:  Building and Woodworkers International--BWI uniting 12 million workers in 351 trade unions in 127 countries

Global Unions statement on the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar

1 February 2023:   On the second anniversary of the military coup in Myanmar, the Global Unions, representing 200 million workers worldwide, call for renewed global efforts to restore democracy. The Global Unions support the call by the Confederation of Trade Unions, Myanmar (CTUM) for a Global Day of Action to demand formal diplomatic recognition of the National Unity Government (NUG) as the legitimate representative of the people of Myanmar, and the release of political prisoners.

On 1 February 2021, the Myanmar military overthrew the country's newly elected government, interrupting Myanmar's journey towards democracy after decades of military rule. The military formed an illegitimate government under a body it calls the State Administration Council (SAC). Democratically elected politicians formed a government called the NUG.

The coup was widely resisted by the people of Myanmar, who formed a peaceful Civil Disobedience Movement. The response from the junta was brutal, with mass arrests and killings. To date, 17,481 people - including many trade unionists - have been arrested, with 13,680 still in detention. 2,892 people have been killed by the junta. The brutal suppression of non-violent protest led to the creation of armed groups, and Myanmar is now in a state of civil war. The regime banned most unions in Myanmar. Many union activists are in detention, others have been killed or are in hiding. It is impossible to exercise freedom of association.

On the anniversary of the coup, the CTUM is calling on unions around the world to organize pickets or demonstrations in front of Myanmar embassies and those of countries supporting the military junta, with the following demands:

  1. Tribute to heroes of Myanmar
  2. Free political prisoners
  3. Support people's democracy
  4. Restore legitimate government

A major demand of the Myanmar unions is for formal diplomatic recognition of the NUG. The junta is seeking to normalize its control by seeking diplomatic recognition as the de facto government of Myanmar. Despite being the legitimate, democratically elected representative of the people of Myanmar, formal diplomatic recognition of the NUG is not universal.

In December 2022, the United Nations General Assembly rejected a bid by the junta for recognition, and the NUG representative who had been in position before the coup, retained his seat. Lobbying by the global labour movement led the International Labour Conferences of the ILO in 2021 and 2022 to reject the junta. However, there is no universal position in UN organizations and other international bodies. Although ASEAN has limited SAC participation in summits, the junta controls embassies in the region and ASEAN governments interact with the regime at other meetings and forums.

SAC receives strong support from Russia and China, and some recognition from India and Thailand. Although the European Parliament adopted a resolution in 2021 recognizing the NUG as the legitimate representative of Myanmar, and NUG has diplomatic presence in many European countries, none of the NUG representatives have diplomatic accreditation.

In 2021, the Global Unions demanded that multinationals observe enhanced due diligence and cut direct and associated business ties with the Myanmar military to be in line with UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Divestment should be the business choice when due diligence cannot be exercised. Although some companies have stopped doing business in Myanmar, the military has been able to access a global supply chain from companies in the USA, Europe and Asia to manufacture weapons.

The Global Unions call on their affiliated unions to demand that their national governments recognize the NUG, and to put pressure on multinational companies they work with to cut all ties that benefit the junta directly or indirectly. On this second anniversary of the military coup, the global labour movement remains resolute in its solidarity with the people of Myanmar. We will not rest until democracy is restored.

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

Unions condemn anti-strike laws in Zimbabwe

1 February, 2023:   Trade unions in Zimbabwe are raising serious objections to recently passed laws that violate trade union rights.

The Health Services Amendment Act and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Amendment Bill) violate the Constitution of Zimbabwe and International Labour Organization (ILO) conventions that the country has ratified. The conventions include Convention 87 (freedom of association and protection of the right to organize) and Convention 98 (the right to organize and collective bargaining). The ILO sent a fact-finding mission to Zimbabwe last year after receiving numerous reports on labour violations.

The Health Services Amendment Act state that strikes in the public health sector, which is described as an essential service must not go beyond 72 hours. If unions fail to adhere to this limited time, the organizers will be fined and sentenced to three years in prison. According to a government gazette the Criminal Law amendment will make it legal to arrest and prosecute the country's populace for wilfully injuring the state sovereignty and national interest of Zimbabwe - a clause that legal experts say has wide interpretation that can lead to arbitrary arrests of human rights and trade union activists.

Joseph Tanyanyiwa, the chairperson of the Zimbabwe IndustriALL national coordinating council says: "Workers' rights are human rights that should neither be constrained nor compromised. What is even more worrisome to us is the criminalization of freedom of expression. The laws will have far-reaching negative impacts that will narrow our rights as protected in the country's constitution and ILO conventions, which were ratified by the government. We are imploring the government to urgently amend or repeal the laws which will instil fear in trade unions and their members. These laws will weaken the workers struggle for better working conditions."

With inflation reportedly at 229.8 percent in January 2023 and the highest in the world, Zimbabwean workers, whose average wages are US $62 per month, are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Health-care, energy, and mineworkers went on strike last year to demand living wages and the timely payment of wages. At Vumbachikwe gold mine in Gwanda, workers went on strike after non-payment of wages for over three months.

Paule France Ndessomin, IndustriALL regional secretary for Sub Saharan Africa says: "It is oppressive to pass laws that prohibit strikes amid a cost-of-living crisis, wage theft, and low wages. We urge the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the country's laws and the fundamental rights at work as defined by the ILO."

IndustriALL affiliates in Zimbabwe are the National Union of the Clothing Industry (NUCI), National Union of Metal and Allied Industries of Zimbabwe (NUMAIZ), Zimbabwe Chemical, Plastics and Allied Workers Union (ZCPAWU), Zimbabwe Diamond and Allied Minerals Workers Union (ZDAMWU), Zimbabwe Energy Workers Union (ZEWU), Zimbabwe Leather Shoe and Allied Workers Union (ZLSAWU) and Zimbabwe Textile Workers Union (ZTWU).

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

Great Britain: Action to protect the right to strike

Protect the Right to Strike

The British TUC has called for a 'protect the right to strike' day on 1 February, to defend the right to strike against a new law being considered by the British government.

30-01-2023:   The Strikes (Minimum Service Levels) Bill would mean that even if working people democratically voted to strike, they could be forced to work and sacked if they refused. Currently the right to strike is under attack in many places around the world.

Owen Tudor, ITUC Deputy General Secretary, said: "The global trade union movement stands firmly with the TUC in the UK, and all the working people who face the threat of losing this most fundamental of rights. An anti-strike law is an anti-worker law and must be stopped.

"The proposal is wrong, unworkable, and we believe it is contrary to the UK's commitments under international law. "The UK already has some of the democratic world's most restrictive laws on the right to strike. This would put it further outside of democratic norms and fundamental ILO workers' rights. "Rather than picking fights that will only make things worse for everyone, the UK government must work with trade unions to resolve the serious cost-of-living and staffing crises facing British working people."

The TUC has called for international solidarity to support its campaign and day of action. There is more information here, a full briefing on the anti-strike law here and a petition to protect the right to strike in the UK.

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

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