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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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

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

Trade unions join walkout of Warsaw climate talks

ITUC online

he International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joins major environmental and development groups in protest action at COP 19 in Warsaw where Governments are not acting responsibly to tackle the threat to lives, jobs and livelihoods that climate change represents.

he International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joins major environmental and development groups in protest action at COP 19 in Warsaw where Governments are not acting responsibly to tackle the threat to lives, jobs and livelihoods that climate change represents.

The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) joins major environmental and development groups in protest action at COP (Conference of the Parties) 19 in Warsaw where Governments are not acting responsibly to tackle the threat to lives, jobs and livelihoods that climate change represents.

Unions joined civil society groups in a voluntary withdrawal from the Warsaw climate talks. This is the first time there has been a mass walkout from a COP meeting.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC, said democratic leaders have failed us. Even as the climate science warns of escalation of climate change with devastating impacts, negotiations backtrack on emission reduction targets, financing for developing nations, technology sharing and the just transition workers demand. Continue reading

Climate change is putting jobs at risk – governments must act

ITUC OnLine

Photo Flickr  greenforall.org

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. Continue reading

New Bangladesh Law Fails Again to Protect Workers’ Rights

International Trade Union Confederation

Hundreds of Bangladesh workers in several garment factores were killed in a building collapse  Photo: Bangladesh Federation of Workers Solidarity (BFWS).

Hundreds of Bangladesh workers in several garment factores were killed in a building collapse Photo: Bangladesh Federation of Workers Solidarity (BFWS).

(20 July 2013)Long-awaited amendments to Bangladesh’s Labour Act passed by the parliament earlier this week fail to protect workers’ rights to freedom of association, falling well short of international labour standards. These obstacles to organising a union and bargaining collectively with employers will continue to make it exceedingly difficult for workers to negotiate for fair wages and safe and decent conditions.

The absence of unions in the vast majority of workplaces has up to now kept wages at poverty levels and has allowed employers to force workers to work in dangerous, even fatal conditions. The Rana Plaza and Tazreen Fashions disasters have shown how vulnerable workers can be without the protection of strong unions. Continue reading

L20 Summit Calls on G20 Labour and Finance Ministers to Deliver on a Jobs Plan

ITUC OnLine

International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

Trade union leaders are meeting in Moscow this week at the Labour 20 (L20) Summit ahead of a consultation with the G20 Labour Ministers.

John Evans, General Secretary, TUAC, said Labour 20 representatives will hold discussions on sustainable, green and inclusive growth, quality employment creation and financial regulation, and put forward a statement for G20 Labour and Finance Ministers urging them to translate past and future commitments into tangible policies.

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New ITUC Report on Violations of Trade Union Rights

ITUC

itucreportUnemployment rates and income inequality are increasing globally. Trade unionists continue to fight for jobs, rights and equality. This fight often costs them their jobs, and sometimes even their lives, in various parts of the world. Since 2006, the ITUC, the largest and most democratic social movement of the world, has been monitoring violations of trade union rights. This new ITUC report points at key findings in 87 countries with a special focus on seven countries where the existence of trade unions and other democratic institutions are under extreme risk: Burma/Myanmar, Bahrain, Fiji, Guatemala, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Georgia.

According to the ITUC report, despite international legal instruments that protect and promote freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining, unions and their members are still exposed to severe violations of their rights. Unions are increasingly under attack, fighting to maintain the ability to effectively promote and defend the interests of workers.

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Doha delays put people and the planet at risk

 International Trade Union Confederation
International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

(8 December 2012) The crucial boost to deliver green and decent jobs will have to wait is the message governments are sending to the worlds working people today, as they close the climate change conference in Doha, Qatar.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, ITUC, said despite weak expectations for this conference, the labour movement was convinced that recent scientific reports and the urgent need to transform economies could speed up the pace of negotiations.

“We leave this conference wondering when ambition will come back to the table. There will be no jobs in a dead planet, nor a Just Transition with this outcome” said Ms Burrow.

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