Climate report shows job growth linkage with climate action

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International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), issued yesterday in Berlin, gives renewed confidence that the world can still avoid catastrophic climate change with rapid and sustained cuts to carbon emissions.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “The world’s leading climate experts told us a week ago that climate is already changing in every part of the world, and that the costs of inaction would be catastrophic.  Yesterday’s report shows that the world has the capacity to meet the challenge.  Governments need to cease their prevarication and rise to that challenge now.”

The IPCC brought together hundreds of reports which show that investments in zero and low-carbon energy sources will need to at least triple by 2050.

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Welcoming China’s labor federation back into the global union family?

TU vs. workers

by Eric Lee

[Ed. Note: This image shows strikebreakers sent by the local union federation attacking young striking workers at a Honda parts plant in 2010  The local union  was forced to apologize and a higher level federation officer helped negotiate higher wages at the plant.  A wave of strikes at auto parts plants in China followed.  -Paul Garver]

At the end of March, the International Labour Organisation’s Bureau for Workers Activities (known as ILO-ACTRAV) and the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding “to promote Trade unions South-South Cooperation in the Asia- Pacific region”.

The Director-General of the ILO, Guy Ryder, said “we need to find a way which so that the ACFTU can work more closely with other parts of the international trade union movement, sharing common objectives.”

Ryder is a former General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, which has decided to invite the ACFTU to attend its upcoming World Congress in Berlin in May.

These two events illustrate the fact that the trade union leadership in much of the developed world now seems keen on putting the past behind us and welcoming China’s trade unions back into our “global family”.

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ITUC Report – The Case Against Qatar

ITUC OnLine

caseagaintQatarA new report from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) exposes how far Qatar will go to deny workers their rights, ahead of a critical FIFA Executive Committee meeting on Thursday  20th March in Zurich.

The Executive Committee will consider a FIFA investigation into labour rights problems in Qatar, after the ITUC estimated 4000 workers could die before a ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup.

The issue of migrant workers in Qatar, and initiatives that FIFA could take, will be on the Executive Committee agenda on 20 – 21 March.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said Qatar is a government which takes no responsibility for workers, and its response to criticism is focused on public relations. Continue reading

Ukraine: Trade Unions from Across Europe Endorse Five-Point Plan

ITUC OnLine

International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

(Brussels, 11 March 2014)  Trade unions from across Europe, meeting today in Brussels, have issued a call for a peaceful, efficient and socially-acceptable way out the crisis in Ukraine, pointing to the years of irresponsible policy-making, unaccountable economic management and systematic disregard of rights and freedoms.  The statement was issued from a meeting of the Pan-European Regional Council European which brings together ITUC affiliates from across Europe, including the Ukrainian trade union movement, as well as the members of the European Trade Union Confederation.

The five point plan calls for:

  • De-escalation of tensions, respect for the Ukrainian Constitution, territorial integrity and withdrawal of all armed forces;
  • Free and fair elections to shift to a genuine democratic political system, respect for the rights of all, and investigation of all acts of violence, illegal appropriation of public money and abuse of public office;
  • Economic assistance packages from the EU and international financial institutions, with a strong warning to avoid the discredited austerity approach pushed on EU member states by the “troika”;
  • Social dialogue with the guarantee that workers’ rights will be respected; and,
  • Support for efficient and affordable public services, including priority for stability measures.

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No more words – it’s time for action: ITUC International Women’s Day Statement

International Trade Union Confederation

stopGBVOn the occasion of International Women’s Day 2014, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is calling time on gender-based violence in the world of work. Violence against women at work, whether at their actual place of work or on the way to and from work, can take on multiple forms, including:

  •  Physical assault
  • Verbal abuse and threats of violence
  • Bullying
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual harassment
  • Economic violence Continue reading

Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

As International Women’s Day approaches, the global labor movement is mobilizing to put teeth into the celebration’s 2014 theme, “Equality for women is progress for all.” Solidarity Center allies around the world also are getting set to highlight the struggles of working women with actions that include rallies by banana workers who are members of the union SITRABI in Guatemala and a conference honoring women workers from Jordan and Palestine. (Follow Women’s Day actions on Twitter with the hashtag #IWD2014.)

Two days after International Women’s Day, commemorated annually on March 8, union activists will take part in the 58th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). There they will push for concrete goals to redress income inequality that focus on employment, well-being and security in large part by addressing gender inequality in the labor market and in social policies. Continue reading

Davos 2014: Unions call for leaders to reshape the world economy with jobs and decent wages

ITUC

International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

Working people and their families need an urgent shift in policies by leaders to investment in jobs, a minimum wage on which people can live and social protection.

The ITUC Global Poll of 13 countries found 87 percent of people say their wages are falling behind the cost of living or stagnant. One out of eight respondents said they are struggling financially and can no longer pay for basic living expenses.

John Evans, Chief Economist, International Trade Union Confederation, said financial forecasts point to stagnation – not recovery – with nearly 200 million people unemployed.

“The World Economic Forum’s own Global Risks Report identifies widening income disparities and structural unemployment as the most serious problems confronting the global economy this year, yet government policies are worsening these trends; we need a change in policy direction,” said John Evans, who is also General Secretary of the OECD Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC). Continue reading

Global Union Bodies Demand Justice for Cambodian Workers

ITUC OnLine

Cambodia Flag (wikicommons)

Cambodia Flag (wikicommons)

The ITUC , Global Union Federation IndustriALL and UNI Global Union  have expressed horror at the violent repression of garment worker strikes by security forces and government-backed vigilantes.  Workers had been demonstrating peacefully demanding an increase in the minimum wage. At least four workers were killed and 39 injured during a crackdown by security forces on Friday. Trade unionists and labour rights supporters have been targeted for attack as workers demanded a minimum wage above the government offer of US$100 per month, which is woefully insufficient to meet the rising cost of living. Over 23 have been arrested, their whereabouts unknown, and summonses have been issued for several union leaders. Continue reading

Korean Police Attack KCTU Headquarters

ITUC OnLine

Photo: ITUC

Photo: ITUC

(Dec 22) The ITUC and the International Transport Workers’ Federation are gravely concerned about the ongoing contraventions of human and trade union rights in South Korea.  Korean police attacked the offices of the national trade union centre KCTU with tear gas, detaining more than 100 striking railway workers today.

Transport is one of several sectors where workers’ rights are under attack; indeed, workers throughout the country are seeing their fundamental rights violated or ignored. The International Labour Organisation has on repeated occasions found the country’s laws wanting and have called on the government to respect the right to freedom of association in practice. However, the two global organisations are immediately concerned about the situation on Korea’s railways. Continue reading

Unions Call for ILO Standard on Gender-based Violence at Work

ITUC OnLine

stop_violenceThe ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation) is calling for a new international Convention on gender-based violence at the workplace, as the world observes the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women today.

The Governing Body of the International Labour Organization – made of representatives of governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations – has not yet given the green light to tripartite negotiations for an international legal instrument focusing on gender-based violence at the workplace.  Although several members of the ILO – including the workers’ group – have indicated their support for such a Convention, there are still voices against it, among them the employer representatives at the ILO.

“There are very few countries which have labour-law provisions to prevent, address and redress gender-based violence at the workplace.  An ILO Convention is absolutely necessary to close this gap and boost protection for women and girls generally against violence,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. Continue reading

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