Posted on December 2, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Carl Finamore
Hated Security Police
By conducting a military coup on July 3, 2013 the Egyptian military acted to diffuse the near-insurrectionary outpouring of millions during June 30 Tamarod (Rebel) protests demanding an end to the discredited Muslim Brotherhood government of president Muhammad Morsi.
It is now five months since the generals “kidnapped” the revolution, as Fatma Ramadan, Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (EFITU) executive board member it, and confusion, disorientation and even demoralization is the dividend.
The mass movement to achieve real democratic reforms has definitely been sidetracked by military-annointed, plodding government bureaucrats, many from the Mubarak-era, continuously emphasizing work, discipline and order – for others, not themselves.
Polls indicate most Egyptians still cannot identify the names of these shadowy civilian apparatchiks, including neither the president nor the prime minister. (more…)
Filed under: Solidarity | Tagged: Egypt | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 28, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Laura Clawson
The number of Walmart workers striking on Black Friday will be small compared with the number of allies who come out to support them at an expected 1,500 protests across the country. But workers are making themselves heard ahead of the big day with small strikes across the country this week, making sure that Walmart’s PR department can’t pretend they don’t exist.Tuesday, workers in Columbia and Laurel, Maryland, bringing letters to managers calling for $25,000 a year wages and an end to retaliation against activists. Tuesday’s actions continued a string of strikes: Workers in a Miami and Minnesota Walmart walked off the job Monday, the Minnesota workers joined by Rep. Keith Ellison. Those followed strikes in Tampa, Florida, and Sacramento, California, in the previous days.
The continuing worker activism gains added momentum from recent stories detailing just how badly Walmart does by its workers, like asking workers to donate food to other Walmart workers or the news that the chain could give workers a big raise without raising prices. <a name=”laura”
Laura Clawson writes for Daily Kos Labor where this post first appeared
Filed under: Low wage workers, Solidarity, Strikes and work action | Tagged: #walmartstrikers, Black Friday protests, Walmart, Walmart workers | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 26, 2013 by dcampbell1
A review by Duane Campbell
The Right to Stay Home: How US Policy Drives Mexican Migration by David Bacon is a well written, well informed book that explains political and economic currents shaping the US immigration experience.
The U.S. public is engaged in a sustained and divisive debate over immigration. Unfortunately, at the same time , most U.S. do not recognize that U.S. economic policy, particularly NAFTA created many of the conditions that produce the very immigration of some 8 million people that many on the Right and the Tea Party so oppose.
The passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 accelerated a neo-liberal form of economic growth in Mexico that drove poor farmers, particularly in the indigenous south to lose their farms and their livelihood. In response young men, and increasingly the young women, made the dangerous trek to the U.S. in search of work and an income to feed their families and keep their families from losing their farms. (more…)
Filed under: Book Reviews, Fair Trade, Global organizing, Immigrant Workers, Solidarity | Tagged: Cananea, David Bacon, Mexican migration, Mexico, NAFTA, North American Free Trade Agreement, Smithfield Foods, United States | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 20, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
2nd ITUC World Women’s Conference will examine trade union actions to improve women’s job security and conditions, and to organize more women
300 women trade union delegates from 100 countries are gathering in Dakar, Senegal, this week to analyze the impacts of the global jobs crisis on women, find ways to organize more women and map out international trade union action to improve women’s job security, pay and conditions as the global economy remains highly unstable.
A major focus of the program will be on reaching out to the most vulnerable and exploited women such as domestic or home-based workers and map out different ways of organiing them all around the world. The Conference will also focus on promoting women in leadership, the Count Us In! Campaign, and mentorship programs to support younger women.
Women have been hardest hit by the crisis as their employment and income levels steadily deteriorate. The ITUC (2013) Global Poll shows that 65 % of women think the economic situation intheir country is bad.
The Conference discussion guide provides extensive and detailed coverage of priority issues for women at work. It points out to the steady rise of precarious and informal work in recent years in which women are overrepresented. The event is expected to end with strong commitments of the unions to organising women workers around their issues, and to campaigning for unpaid care work to be recognised, valued and more equally shared. (more…)
Filed under: Conferences and Events, Solidarity, Women | Tagged: ITUC, Women’s Organising Assembly | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 13, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
International Trade Union Confederation
International unions are calling on the Qatar authorities to give an immediate response to the request for urgent reforms for migrant workers following a ten-day UN investigation in the country.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation, welcomed the recommendations by Francois Crepeau, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, including the right to form and join trade unions, proper grievance procedures, a minimum wage and the abolishment of the kafala system.
“Despite claims by the Qatar authorities that they are cleaning up labour camps and clearing overcrowded deportation centres holding women and their babies, the UN Special Rapporteur has witnessed the horrific conditions facing migrant workers in Qatar and put forward strong recommendations that if implemented will make a real difference to the lives of migrant workers in Qatar,” said Sharan Burrow.
The UN recommendations were announced as FIFA President Sepp Blatter made his ‘courtesy’ visit to the Emir following the deaths of construction workers building World Cup infrastructure. (more…)
Filed under: Solidarity | Tagged: ILO, ITUC, migrant workers, Qatar | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 9, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Photo Flickr greenforall.org
(Nov. 9) With a new round of the United Nations climate negotiations starting this Monday in Warsaw, Poland, the labour movement expressed its concerns on the impacts a low ambition climate deal would mean for jobs globally.
“Science is telling us that all sectors of the economy will be heavily impacted by climate change if we do not succeed to maintain temperature increase below 2°C”, said Sharan Burrow, the general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation. “Governments have a small window of opportunity to show they have a vision for workers and their children… the time for transitioning peacefully and fairly to sustainability is starting to run out…” she added.
Burrow criticised the Polish government, which is hosting the talks, for failing to show leadership towards cutting carbon emissions, and organising a “coal and climate” conference at the beginning of the UN talks. (more…)
Filed under: Green Jobs/Green Economy, Solidarity | Tagged: climate change, climate change and jobs, International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 6, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
by Kenneth Quinnell
On Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that has become one of the biggest days of retail sales in the United States, Walmart workers and other working families are going to rally at the retail giant’s locations around the country, asking the country’s largest employer to pay its workers a living wage and allow them to come together and speak out for change without fear of retaliation.
Find an action near you at www.blackfridayprotests.com.
Despite making profits of $17 billion this year, Walmart pays its workers such low wages—the majority of the company’s employees in the United States make less than $25,000 a year—that taxpayers effectively provide massive subsidies to the company through food stamps and other programs. Additionally, the company is the biggest beneficiary of food stamp payments, taking in some 18% of the program’s outlays each year, or about $14 billion.
Filed under: Conferences and Events, Low wage workers, Solidarity, Strikes and work action | Tagged: Black Friday, Black Friday protests, Making Change at Walmart, Walmart | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 30, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
Hundreds of thousands of Indonesian workers are taking strike action and holding mass rallies to demand a fair minimum wage and protection for workers from phony employment arrangements which remove employer obligations through ‘outsourcing’ arrangements. The country-wide mobilisation, starting on 30 October will last for two days, with stop-work actions in several workplaces already underway in advance.
Public opinion in Indonesia strongly favours better labour protections and a decent minimum wage, as revealed in the ITUC Global Opinion Poll released in 2012 (http://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/120604_-_ituc_poll.pdf). The poll showed that 61% of Indonesians want better laws to protect job security, while only 43% of households are able to save any money. 90% support government action in favour of health care and education. (more…)
Filed under: Solidarity, Strikes and work action | Tagged: Indonesia, Indonesia strike, ITUC | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 26, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
By Lee Levin
The two great loves of my father’s life were the Green Bay Packers and golf. Every fall Sunday we worshipped at the altar of the Green and Gold. My brother and I learned, at an early age, that we could only talk during commercials and half time. Our Sunday routines created my love of armchair sports. Today, in addition to following pro football, I watch college basketball and football, pro basketball, baseball and tennis. Too often feminists and leftists dismiss the importance of sports in society and only focus on the machismo culture encouraged by professional/college athletics. Although that culture is real to an alarming extent, I dare say it is also an elitist attitude that is not conducive to mass organizing and needs to be re-considered.
Team sports are not just about competition and rarely about individuals but also about how talented individuals can band together and succeed. Players and coaches recognize this — the favorite saying is “There is no I in team.” Despite the use of hockey as an example of individual prowess, it is very much a team sport. The six players on the ice work as a unit to score goals. Each position has a specific assignment. If one player plays alone, the team loses. Professional hockey is a violent sport because the owners encourage fighting as a way to sell tickets. Fighting is rare at lower levels. (more…)
Filed under: Solidarity | Tagged: National Basketball Players Association, NBAPA, NFLPA, sports | Leave a Comment »
Posted on October 22, 2013 by dsalaborblogmoderator
11 October 2013: At the request of 17 national trade union centres from the Arab region (in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine Tunisia and Yemen), the ITUC General Council meeting in Brussels (9-11 October) has endorsed the process of creating a new structure for the Arab countries.
The founding instruments of the new structure will be submitted to the forthcoming 3rd ITUC World Congress in Berlin for adoption in conformity with the ITUC Constitution. (more…)
Filed under: Solidarity | Tagged: Arab unions, ITUC, UGTT Tunisia | 1 Comment »