Issue date
01 Feb 2018
IDM - Monthly newsletter reporting international development matters and issues affecting trade unionists around the world. Including reports, statements, interviews and events.
International Matters E-Bulletin
 
International Development Matters
 
Issue number 172 Jan-Feb 2018
 
IDM - Monthly newsletter reporting international development matters and issues affecting trade unionists around the world. Including reports, statements, interviews and events.
 

TUC NEWS

TUC condemns threats made against senior Argentinian trade unionist Roberto Baradel

TUC joins global solidarity action in support of Lula

TUC Aid: Zimbabwe Appeal (closing soon)

TUC Blog: With international solidarity, Guatemalan unions can seize a new change for workers’ rights

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Global unions reach $2.3 million Bangladesh Accord settlement with multinational brand

Nigeria: Teachers’ dismissal sparks strike action in Kaduna

Workers killed at cement factory in India

Imminent nationwide strike in Togo as health workers demand government to address healthcare challenges

IFI NEWS

World Bank’s Chief Economist quits after criticism of Doing Business; New research on corporate influence at World Bank

Zimbabwe trade unions engaging institutional actors on SDG implementation

How international financial institutions undercut human rights and impede public health

CALLS TO ACTION

ACT NOW! Iran: Esmail Abdi back in prison - free him now!

ACT NOW! Coca-Cola brings the taste of Zero Rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics!

ACT NOW! Algeria: New government attack on independent energy union

ACT NOW! Iran: Sugar workers on strike, over four months with no wages!

FOCUS ON TRADE UNIONISTS

Radio interview, Felix Anthony, National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress

CNBC Africa interview with Philip Jennings, UNI General Secretary

RadioLabour news bulletin, 19 January

EVENTS & COURSES

TUC rally: Solidarity with jailed Korean trade unionists

2018 GLU Master’s Programmes in India, U.S. and Germany open for application

TUC NEWS

TUC condemns threats made against senior Argentinian trade unionist Roberto Baradel

The TUC has written to the Argentinian ambassador to the UK, expressing our concerns around the death threats to Roberto Baradel, the DGS of education union CTERA and the International Secretary of ITUC affiliate CTA and demanding immediate action to protect Roberto and his family.

Read more here

TUC joins global solidarity action in support of Lula

The TUC took part in the ITUC’s global call for solidarity with former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. On 24 January, a regional appeals court decided on politically motivated and false charges against Lula. The judgement is largely seen as an attempt to stop him from standing for election again as well as to destroy his reputation.

The TUC sent a letter to the Brazilian Embassy in London, put out this press statement and wrote this blog here

TUC Aid: Zimbabwe Appeal (closing soon)

TUC Aid, the trade union charity for working people in need around the world has been raising funds to help Zimbabwe’s trade unions support ordinary Zimbabweans’ rights during the current politically precarious time. We have just exceeded our target of £5,000 and the appeal will remain open for a few more weeks for anyone else who still wishes to make a donation.

Read more and support the appeal here

TUC Blog: With international solidarity, Guatemalan unions can seize a new change for workers’ rights

Unions are still under fire in Guatemala, while its government faces renewed anger on the streets, but there’s compromise at the ILO.

Read the full TUC blog here

 

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

Global unions reach $2.3 million Bangladesh Accord settlement with multinational brand

IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union have reached a US$2.3 million settlement with a multinational apparel brand to remedy life-threatening workplace hazards. The settlement, reached through an arbitration process under the legally-binding Bangladesh Accord for Fire and Building Safety, represents one of the largest payments made by a brand to remedy workplace dangers in its supply chain.

Read more here

Nigeria: Teachers’ dismissal sparks strike action in Kaduna

The Nigeria Union of Teachers and other labour unions in Kaduna State have gone on strike after thousands of teachers had their employment terminated by the state’s government, despite a court order preventing such an action.

Read more here  

Workers killed at cement factory in India

Contract worker, Arun Singh lost his life in an accident on 27 January 2018 in the Chandrapur district, at the Maratha Cement Works plant of Ambuja Cement Ltd, owned by the cement giant LafargeHolcim. On 30 January, just few days after, another similar incident happened again at the same factory. The company is yet to release the fatality figures for 2017, but in 2016, 86 workers were killed at LafargeHolcim operations worldwide.

Read more here

Imminent nationwide strike in Togo as health workers demand government to address healthcare challenges

Health workers in Togo have, for the second time in January 2018, gone on a sit-down strike to further mount pressure on the government to come to the discussion table with them to deliberate on issues affecting proper healthcare provision in the country.

Read more here

 

IFI NEWS

World Bank’s Chief Economist quits after criticism of Doing Business; New research on corporate influence at World Bank

The World Bank’s Chief Economist Paul Romer has resigned.  His abrupt departure stems from comments on flawed methodology and political manipulation in the World Bank’s Doing Business report. The ITUC has called on the World Bank to end its association with Doing Business.

Zimbabwe trade unions engaging institutional actors on SDG implementation

The Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe (LEDRIZ) and the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) recently organised a National Stakeholders Conference on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Bringing together various implementing ministries and UN representatives, the two-day event continued to cement the role of unions in achieving the SDGs, which has been increasingly recognised since the trade union SDG Zimbabwe country profile was released last year.

Read more here

How international financial institutions undercut human rights and impede public health

A review recently published in Public Health Reviews finds that people’s enjoyment of human rights are consistently undermined by policy reforms established by international financial institutions (IFIs). Read here, as authors of the study explain how these reforms, which are aimed at balancing the budget, impact health, labour and democratic rights.

CALLS TO ACTION

ACT NOW! Iran: Esmail Abdi back in prison - free him now!

Iranian teacher union leader Esmail Abdi was taken back to the notorious Evin prison on Saturday 20 January. He had been released on 9 January, but this was only a temporary reprieve from his six-year sentence, which started in 2016. The authorities refused to extend his furlough, despite his poor health which resulted from harsh detention conditions. Esmail Abdi has been targeted for his union activism and campaigns for teachers' rights and for free public education.

Read the TUC blog for more information and take action here

ACT NOW! Coca-Cola brings the taste of Zero Rights to the 2018 Winter Olympics!

Coca-Cola is a major sponsor of this year's Winter Olympics, a huge opportunity for the world's largest beverage company to promote its brands, its images and its sales. However, since March 2015 Coca-Cola Amatil has been busy bashing rights of workers at their Indonesian operations. Workers are suspended and dismissed for forming legally registered unions and are pressured to withdraw their support for their organisations, and their unions are shut out of the collective bargaining process.

Take action here

ACT NOW! Algeria: New government attack on independent energy union

The government of Algeria is escalating its war on the independent union of electricity and gas workers SNATEGS, which organizes workers at the state energy company SONELGAZ.

Hundreds of union members, delegates and officers have been dismissed, harassed and persecuted on bogus legal charges for exercising their fundamental rights.

Read more and take action here

ACT NOW! Iran: Sugar workers on strike, over four months with no wages!

On December 2, workers at the giant Haft Tapeh sugar cane plantation and mill complex in the southern city of Shush launched a new round of strikes and demonstrations after more than four months without wages or benefits. The workers and their families are hungry, and they need your support.

Click here to read more and send a message to the Iranian authorities

FOCUS ON TRADE UNIONISTS

Radio interview, Felix Anthony, National Secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress

In a radio interview, Felix Anthony, national secretary of the Fiji Trades Union Congress speaks about people in Fiji not having freedom to exercise their democratic rights as enshrined in the country's constitution. Felix had been taken in for questioning by Fijian police on Wednesday, January 24, for making comments about a national strike following a protest march in support of striking workers.

Listen to his interview here and read the ITUC statement on the issues here

CNBC Africa interview with Philip Jennings, UNI General Secretary

In an interview with CNBC Africa, UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings demanded that Davos, the annual meeting of global political and business elites (World Economic Forum) finds a cure for the world’s wealth distribution disease.

Watch the interview here

RadioLabour news bulletin, 19 January

Listen to RadioLabours’ news bulletin from 19 January, which includes these stories:

  • How workers are prepared to be migrant slaves
  • Why labour supports the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals
  • The LabourStart report about union events around the world

EVENTS & COURSES

TUC rally: Solidarity with jailed Korean trade unionists

Friday 9 February, 12-1pm

Outside the South Korean embassy

60 Buckingham Gate

London, SW1E 6AJ

On the opening day of the Winter Olympics being hosted by South Korea, the TUC will be taking part in the ITUC global union day of action to protest about repression of trade unionism (and in particular the imprisonment of Korean union leaders). We will be organising a rally outside the South Korean embassy, on Friday 9 February, from 12-1pm (Address: Embassy of the Republic of Korea, 60 Buckingham Gate, SW1E 6AJ, click map for directions) and would welcome your attendance in a show of solidarity with our colleagues at the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).

Send an email to twarlock@tuc.org.uk to confirm your attendance.

2018 GLU Masters Programmes in India, U.S. and Germany open for application

The Global Labour University (GLU) – a network of trade unions, universities, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the ILO - invites trade unionists and labour activists to apply for its Masters’ Programmes in Germany, India and the USA. The Masters’ programmes focus on policies for social justice including global governance, international labour standards, development, economics, trade and multinational enterprises. Trade unionists with a trade union recommendation letter can apply for scholarships.

For more information on the programmes, please click on each of the hyperlinked words in the above paragraph. 

  The person responsible for the e-bulletin is:
Tanya Warlock
Tel 0207 467 1307
E: twarlock@tuc.org.uk
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