WikiLeaks Reveals True Intent of Secret TiSA Trade Talks

ITUC OnLine

International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

A WikiLeaks exposé has revealed the true intent behind secret 50-country negotiations on a new “financial services” chapter of the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) at the WTO in Geneva.  The draft agreement being discussed by government officials is aimed at weakening financial regulation and giving extra market access to hedge funds, banks, insurers and other providers.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, “Governments are negotiating away financial regulation in secret, instead of tackling the unfinished regulation task that triggered the current global economic crisis in 2007.  It defies belief that they are actually planning to help the already ‘too big to fail’ banks and other financial conglomerates to expand.”

“It is deeply disturbing to find out that governments are getting ready to exempt from or expedite the approval of some of the most toxic insurance products, like Credit Default Swaps, and also allow hedge funds and banks to launch ‘unlimited new products’ without proper controls.”

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New Legal Report: Right to Strike Backed by International Law

by ITUC OnLine

NY garment workers on strike 1913--(wikimedia)

NY garment workers on strike 1913–(wikimedia)

(Brussels, 3 June 2014 ): A new 122-page ITUC legal report, confirming that the right to strike is protected under international law, has been released today as employers try to overturn decades of jurisprudence at the International Labour Organisation.  Employer representatives at the ILO are continuing their efforts to strip back ILO Convention 87 on Freedom of Association, which guarantees workers the right to take strike action, as the UN agency holds its 103rd International Labour Conference in Geneva this month. Continue reading

ITUC World Congress – Poll: Governments told to tame corporate power

3rd International Trade Union Confederation Congress opens in Berlin representing the world’s working people.

ITUC

International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

Workers across the globe are losing faith in their national governments whom they see as putting the interests of big corporations ahead of their own, according to a new international public opinion poll from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Released at the opening of the 3rd ITUC World Congress in Berlin, Sunday 18th May, the ITUC Global Poll 2014 commissioned from market research company TNS Opinion, covers the general public of fourteen countries which have half the world’s population.

The global economy needs co-ordinated action to raise living standards around the world. Seven years into the economic crisis has left structural damage to the global economy and the global workforce with more than 200 million people unemployed and many more struggling with low wages. Governments are in the grip of corporate power and are failing their people”  said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation.

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ITUC May Day Statement: Tame corporate power – reduce inequality

ITUC OnLine

International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

Building Workers’ Power is vital to drive economic, industrial and social transformation.   The international system today is heavily stacked against workers and their families, and governments are increasingly cowered by big finance and big business.   A tiny proportion of the world’s population holds vast power and wealth, while millions upon millions of people have no job or work in precarious and exploitative conditions for little reward.

Corporate power must be tamed at home and through their international operations and supply chains.  It is working people, together, who hold the key to a future of common and sustainable prosperity. Continue reading

Sherpa Union Leader Killed in Everest Avalanche

ITUC OnLine

Sherpa Dorje Khatri

Dorje Khatri, Sherpa union leader plants ICTU flag on Everest

(18 April 2014)  Nepalese Sherpa Dorje Khatri, leader of Nepal’s trade union of Sherpas and a committed defender of the environment, was reportedly amongst 12 people killed in one of the worst disasters on Mount Everest ever recorded.  In 2011 Khatri planted the ITUC flag atop the peak of Everest as part of global mobilisation by unions pushing for action on climate change leading up to the Durban Climate Summit, which he attended.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary said, “Dorje Khatri has left an indelible footprint as a man committed to the wellbeing of others, and an activist on the frontline of climate action.  We are devastated by the loss of this gentle but determined leader, one of the very elite of mountain climbers, and those who lost their lives with him.”

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Climate report shows job growth linkage with climate action

OnLine

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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