|International Development Matters|
|Issue number 160 January 2017|
|IDM - Monthly newsletter reporting international development matters and issues affecting trade unionists around the world. Including reports, statements, interviews and events.|
TUC General Secretary Frances O'Grady has written to the Kazakhstan Ambassador as part of a global trade union campaign calling for the government to abandon attempts to deregister the national trade union centre, the CNTUK.
There is a LabourStart campaign action that we are encouraging people to take here
The TUC joined other unions around Europe to mark International Migrants Day on 18 December by calling for undocumented migrants to have their rights respected.
Read more here
On 29 December an Indian coal mine collapsed when the overburden dump at the Lalmatia mine in the Jharkhand state of India, slid 35 metres, trapping workers and excavation equipment, including around 26 Volvo trucks, under an estimated 9.5 million cubic meters of earth. Currently there are 18 fatalities with many miners still missing.
Read more here
According to the ITUC, Qatar’s announcement in December, of labour law “reforms” leaves migrant workers under the total control of employers, perpetuating the system of modern slavery which underpins the huge infrastructure programme leading up to the 2022 World Cup. The new labour laws will not end abuse, warns Amnesty International, and FIFA must act to force real change.
Thousands of textile workers in the Dhaka suburb of Ashulia in Bangladesh have been sacked following protracted strikes during December over wages and other issues. The legitimate claims of workers in the country’s most important export industry – supplying high street stores across the developed world – were met by police and political harassment of trade unions, and the dismissal of between 1,600 and 3,500 workers.
On 16 November 2016 police officers prevented members of the Buenos Aires Teachers’ Union (Frente Gremial Docente Bonaerense) from putting posters up in the streets of La Plata. First the police sought to intimidate the workers, then a group of six men got out of two minivans and began to brutally attack them.
Read more here
The World Bank’s Doing Business Report (DBR) 2017, subtitled ‘Equal Opportunity for All’, continues to mislead despite the many criticisms, including from within, levelled against the bank’s most widely read publication and bank management promises of reform for many years.
Read more here
In December (2016), CAO, the independent recourse mechanism for projects supported by IFC and MIGA (the private sector lending arms of the World Bank Group) joined more than 50 civil society representatives, including trade unions, from across Colombia for a one-day workshop in Bogotá. The workshop is one of a series of outreach events where CAO has partnered with other mechanisms and civil society to raise awareness about access to recourse around development projects.
Read more here
In Brazil, as part of a wave of attacks on labour rights, the president of the largest University in Brazil, the University of São Paulo (USP), Marco Antônio Zago, is stubbornly pursuing his declared project to "eliminate trade unionism on campus". Management have also fired trade union leaders and have brought numerous absurd legal proceedings against SINTUSP leaders and militants.
Please show your support for these workers here
In recent years, the government of Kazakhstan has been limiting trade union rights and freedoms. It is bringing various forms of pressure to bear upon trade union organisations and individual activists. The Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KNPRK) and its affiliates are campaigning against the forced dissolution of the union and appeal to the international labour movement for solidarity.
Support their demands by signing and sending a letter to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Twelve workers are awaiting sentencing, and could receive up to three years in prison, for protesting against the dismissal of union representatives. The workers were arrested in June 2016 when riot police stormed a peaceful protest outside the Korean-owned SAE-A Tecnotex factory in a free trade zone in Tipitapa, Nicaragua. The union leaders were dismissed after raising concerns about drinking water and production targets.
Take action here
Listen to the Radio Labour news bulletin featuring; the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; workers’ rights are human rights and 50 million slaves need their rights protected.
The ILO Forced Labour Protocol, which was adopted by the International Labour Conference in 2014, entered into force on 9th November, a year after it gained its second ratification. Watch a video of ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, International Organisation of Employers (IOE) Secretary-General, Linda Kromjong, and Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, who in a joint statement called for an end to forced labour.
GLI Film: “The Power of Informal Transport Workers” – exploding the myth that informal workers can’t be organised
Watch GLI Manchester’s new short film, “The Power of Informal Transport Workers“. The film shows how informal transport workers across the world are organising in trade unions to fight back against precarious and dangerous working conditions. Produced as part of the ITF Informal Transport Workers Project, the film brings together interviews with union activists from seven different countries who talk about the challenges that informal workers face and the ways in which their unions are building informal worker power.
8 weeks from 12 January 2017
Online course – Free
The new GLU Massive Open Online Course on “decent work in global supply chains” is now open for enrolment here. This online course starts on 12 January 2017 and runs over 8 weeks. It offers opportunities to network with thousands of trade unionists and labour activists from around the world. Watch the course trailer here
2 February, 6.30pm -8.30pm
Unite the Union, 128 Theobalds Road, WC1X 8TN
Come to show your solidarity with the democracy and social progress in Brazil, and find out more about the current situation. An evening of films, speeches and eyewitness reports of resistance to the coup and neo-liberalism in Brazil with very special guests. Hosted by No Coup in Brazil.
4 February, 12.00pm to 4.00pm
NUT, Mander Hall, Hamilton House, Mabledon Place, WC1H 9BD
The TUC is working with Stand up to Racism to organise a mobilising event for the 18 March United Nations Day rally against Racism. The event will provide an opportunity for activists to discuss how they can help organise people to attend the demonstration and discuss some of the issues relating to racism and xenophobia that they are dealing with in their workplaces and communities.
Tickets are available here
Tel 0207 467 1307
E: [email protected]
Issued: 5 January, 2017