International Development Matters - Issue 99 July 2011

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ILO Conference News: CBI and government isolated over rights for domestic workers

Read TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber's comments on the CBI and the UK government's decision to vote against the adoption of a convention on the rights of domestic workers at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference in Geneva.

ILO Conference News: Iranian workers: determined to live in dignity

Read the remarks made by Shane Enright, Amnesty International Global Trade Union Adviser at the launch of Determined to Live in Dignity: Iranian trade unionists struggle for rights and the global Iran Workers' Rights Campaign at the ILO conference in Geneva.

ILO Conference News: Labour administration and inspection in the modern world

Sam Gurney of the TUC, workers' group spokesperson in the committee looking at labour administration and inspection, made the following speech in moving the adoption of the report of the committee at the International Labour Organisation conference today.

Read the full speech here

EU - India Free Trade Agreement

The European Union is currently negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with India. These negotiations include Mode 4 provisions which will give limited access to the EU to Indian Companies providing services and to independent professionals.

Read a report of the TUC's concerns and policies to ensure Indian workers undergo no exploitation.

Stop violent repression of legitimate workers' protest action

The TUC is supporting the International Trade Union Confederation's call to show solidarity to fellow workers in Sri Lanka, in calling on the Sri Lankan government to withdraw the 'Employees' Pensions Benefit Fund Bill' which was presented to its Parliament on 08 April. Read TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber's letter to the Acting High Commissioner at the Sri Lankan High Commission to urge its Government to withdraw the Bill with immediate effect.

Indonesian agreement could be the start of a 'sweat-free' London Olympics

A new agreement signed in Indonesia between major sportswear brands and textile, clothing and footwear unions in the country has raised hopes that merchandise produced for the London 2012 Games can be produced in factories free from exploitation, says the TUC.

Read more here

Take action to support Indonesian workers now

Joining forces to improve working conditions in Sri Lanka's garment industry

For the first time in the history of Sri Lanka's garment industry, representatives from global sports and leisure wear brands, trade unions, a supplier and the Ministry of Labour came together on 26 and 27 March 2011 in Katunayake to agree on how to work together to improve conditions for workers.

Read more here

TUC mourns passing of Palestinian friend and trade unionist


Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, has today written to Shaher Sae'd, the General Secretary of the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions (PGFTU) expressing the deep sorrow of the British trade union movement at the passing of Brother Fathi Nasser, the PGFTU's legal advisor.

TUC backs Zimbabwe Vigil

The TUC supported the lunchtime Vigil organised by Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) outside the Embassy of Zimbabwe, on 27 June 2011 to mark the anniversary of the 2008 presidential run-off election when the ZANU-PF ran a brutal campaign of violence in a bid to remain in power. There has been a resurgence of violence amidst speculation on elections being held within a year.

Find out more about ACTSA's work on Zimbabwe.

One Hundred Women: The Unseen Powerful Women Who Change The World

One world action

One World Action are launching a new campaign - 'One Hundred Women: The Unseen Powerful Women Who Change the World' highlighting the innovative modes of leadership and the powerful women who might not be in conventional positions of power but who use their resources creatively to challenge, question and change their lives and the lives of those around them.

Find out how to get involved in the campaign here


ITUC survey reveals 90 trade unionists murdered around the world in 2010


The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) has revealed that last year was another difficult and dangerous year for trade unionists around the world, with 90 murdered for their efforts defending workers' rights.

Read the survey here

Watch the ITUC 2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights video here

World Day Against Child Labour


On World Day Against Child Labour (12 June) the UN's labor agency, the International Labor Organisation, heard reports from both workers and employers in regards to millions of children forced from school into hazardous work in the cotton fields of Uzbekistan.

Nigeria: 15 million child labourers and violent union-busting


The International Trade Union Confederation has denounced the alarming level of child labour in Nigeria and anti-trade union violence in a report to the World Trade Organisation. Some 15 million children are at work, many in dangerous jobs.

Read more here

The ITUC condemns the murders of two more teachers in Colombia


The ITUC condemns and expresses its deep sorrow at the murders of two more teachers in Colombia: Dionis Alfredo Sierra Vergara was murdered on 15 May and Alejandro José Peñata López on 20 June. Both were members of the Asociación de Maestros de Córdoba - ADEMACOR (teachers' association of Córdoba), affiliated to the CUT.

Read more here

Read the ITUC's letter to President Santos in response to the deaths of two other teachers murdered in Colombia. Their killings add to the long list of trade unionists and teachers murdered this year.

Guatemala: Workers Dismissed for Exercising Right to Organise


The ITUC has joined with its affiliated organisations in Guatemala in firmly denouncing the dismissal of TOMZA Group employees for simply exercising their right to organise and collective bargaining.

Read more here

El Salvador: A strike leads to the imprisonment of the SELSA General Secretary


The ITUC strongly condemns the illegal imprisonment of Atilio Jaimes Pérez, General Secretary of the Lido Limited company trade union (Sindicato de Empresa LIDO S.A. - SELSA) and leader of the Trade Union Confederation of El Salvador Workers (Confederación Sindical de Trabajadores y Trabajadores de El Salvador - CSTS).

Read more here

US$ 8 Billion More Needed to Fight HIV-AIDS, Unions Call for More Workplace Action


Trade unions are telling a key meeting of the United Nations body UNAIDS this week (24 June) that, along with real commitments from governments to fill the US$ 8 billion funding gap, the potential impact of workplace-based activities in tackling the HIV and AIDS pandemic is still not being realised.

Read more here

ITUC calls on FIFA and Qatar 2022 to end exploitation of migrant workers

A new report uncovering the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates is being published today (31 May) by the International Trade Union Confederation.

Read more here


Christine Lagarde named head of IMF

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The IMF's executive board today selected French finance minister Christine Lagarde to become the Fund's new managing director starting 5 July. In the past 24 hours China and the US publicly endorsed Lagarde for the post, in preference to Mexican candidate Agustín Carstens, adding to Lagarde's support from Europe. The IMF's statement is available here.

UN Environment Talks: Financial Transactions Tax Needed to Fund Climate Action


Trade unions and civil society allies are calling on this week's (14 June) UN climate meeting in Bonn to endorse a financial transactions tax to help meet the cost of action against climate change.

$605trillion of derivatives speculation in 2010 - it's time the finance markets paid their way in global economy, says international union body

Political support grows for Financial Transactions Tax


Pressure is growing on global economic decision makers to make the financial markets pay their way in the global economy, as unemployment grows following the Global Financial Crisis and workers across the world reject cutbacks as the next stage of bailing out an increasing broken financial system.

Read more here


ACT NOW: Appeal for the release of Côte d'Ivoire trade union leader

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) is joining with Amnesty International in expressing our concerns for the safety of Basile Mahan Gahé, General Secretary of Ivorian trade union federation DIGNITÉ, affiliated to the International Trade Union Federation (ITUC).

Find out how to get involved with the appeal

ACT NOW: Back Iranian workers' struggle for rights

The TUC is joining with Amnesty International and global union federations to support a new campaign for Iranian workers' rights. Visit the website, order and send the campaign postcards, and take the email action here

ACT NOW! Defend Iraqi oil union leader

The TUC is supporting a Labour Start appeal to defend the President of the Kirkuk Oil and Gas Workers Union, Jamal Abdul-Jabbar who has been forcibly relocated by his employers.

More details of the appeal can be found here

Mansour Osanloo leader of the bus workers' union in Tehran, is finally free

The online LabourStart campaign started four years ago was one of the largest we ever did. We are enormously pleased to learn the good news.

You can read an account of his release here.


HardTalk interview with Sharan Burrow (ITUC General Secretary)

HardTalk talks to General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Sharan Burrow, about the future of the union movement.

The interview is available here

ITUC Spotlight interview with Anthony Jones (ITUC/TUCA - Haiti)

"The decent work agenda is a primary need when we talk about reconstruction"


Anthony Jones, the resident representative of the ITUC and the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) in Haiti highlights the urgency of placing decent work at the heart of the reconstruction programme and insists on the importance of training in the strategy to support the Haitian trade union movement.

Read Anthony's full interview here

See ITUC publication: Reconstruction in Haiti: The urgency of decent work

ITUC Spotlight interview with Marieke Koning (ITUC-Equality)

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The 100th session of the International Labour Conference was adopted, on 16 June, a Convention accompanied by a Recommendation on decent work for domestic workers."A historic victory for domestic workers".

Read Marieke's full interview here

ITUC Spotlight interview with Ath Thorn (CLC/CCAWDU-Cambodia)

Spotlight Haiti

"Export companies use subcontractors to avoid complying with the labour legislation"

Ath Thorn, president of the Cambodian Labour Confederation (CLC) and the Coalition of Cambodian Apparel Workers Democratic Union (CCAWDU), exposes the tactics used, such as yellow unions and short-term contracts, to stop workers from organising. He is also appealing for international pressure to secure the reintegration of the workers dismissed and to stop the lawsuits against their union representatives.

Read Ath's full interview here

Aung San Suu Kyi gives Reith Lectures

Aung San Suu Kyi will be giving two of the 2011 Reith Lectures on the subject of 'Securing Freedom'. Her lectures, which were recorded in Burma and smuggled out of the country, focus on the struggle for freedom and democracy, the meaning of freedom and dissent and the responsibility of the international community.

Details of the recordings can be found here


Tolpuddle Festival 2011

Spotlight Equality

Friday 15th July - Sunday 17th July 2011

More details here

Useful websites

There are a number of websites with useful information for trade unionists, policy makers and campaigners. Details here: Useful websites

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