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International Matters E-Bulletin
 
International Development Matters
 
Issue number 18 January/February 2019
 
IDM - Monthly newsletter reporting international development matters and issues affecting trade unionists around the world. Including reports, statements, interviews and events.
 

TUC NEWS

TUC organises solidarity protest for Zimbabwe trade unionists

TUC calls on Iranian Ambassador to end oppression of Iranian workers

TUC takes part in global action for garment workers in Bangladesh

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

#SaveHakeem: Bahrain must cease and desist extradition

Brazilian metalworkers announce global action against General Motors’ threats

Timberland workers in the Philippines strike over union busting

Workers’ Activism Rises as China’s Economy Slows

IFI NEWS

New publication: The cost of delivering on the SDGs

UN expert issues new guiding principles on economic reforms and human rights

“E-commerce” push at WTO threatens to undermine labour standards

CALLS TO ACTION

Philippines: Teacher unionists under threat

Guatemala: Union leaders imprisoned for having negotiated a collective agreement

Iran: Stop jailing teachers now

FOCUS ON TRADE UNIONISTS

Africa Mining Indaba: Decent and Sustainable work must be the future of mining in 2050

ILO video: Advancing human rights at work - A look back at 2018

EVENTS

Nicaragua, the social economy & Fairtrade: empowering women and protecting the environment

 

TUC NEWS

TUC organises solidarity protest for Zimbabwe trade unionists

The TUC continues to take part in international solidarity actions alongside our affiliated unions. Most recently the International Unit organised a protest , (as part of an ITUC global action)and alongside affiliates called for the release of senior Zimbabwe trade unionists and an end to arrests, intimidation and violence towards the people of Zimbabwe.

Read a TUC blog about the issues here

TUC calls on Iranian Ambassador to end oppression of Iranian workers

The TUC continues to call for the end of oppression that workers and activists in Iran are facing at the hand of the Iranian authorities. In solidarity, we joined Amnesty International’s protest outside the Iranian Embassy in London recently to raise the immediate concerns of the human and trade union rights abuses in Iran.

TUC takes part in global action for garment workers in Bangladesh

The TUC joined Labour Behind the Label, UNISON and War On Want and took to the street outside the Bangladesh High Commission recently to support Bangladesh’s workers over labour rights, a living wage and the continuation of the vital Bangladesh Accord fire & safety.

Read the TUC blog about the issues here

INTERNATIONAL NEWS

#SaveHakeem: Bahrain must cease and desist extradition

The ITUC says “Bahrain must stop its attempts to extradite refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi from Thailand, and the Thai government needs to release him in line with its own laws that forbid political extraditions”.

Read more here

Brazilian metalworkers announce global action against General Motors’ threats

Brazilian metalworkers came up with a plan of action at their meeting in São Paulo on 1 February. They agreed to take global action against the threats made by General Motors and to participate in campaigns in support of retirement and the victims of the Brumadinho dam disaster.

Read more here

Timberland workers in the Philippines strike over union busting

Workers at Pulido Apparel Company Inc in the Philippines, which supplies global brands including Timberland, UGG, The North Face and J-Crew, have been on strike since 21 January after the company temporarily shut down its main factory to break the workers’ union.

Read more here

Workers’ Activism Rises as China’s Economy Slows

Factory workers across China are staging sit-ins demanding unpaid wages for “blood and sweat.” Taxi drivers are surrounding government offices to call for better treatment. Construction workers are threatening to jump from buildings if they don’t get paid. Several prominent activists were detained in Shenzhen late last month.

Read more here

IFI NEWS

New Publication: The cost of delivering on the SDGs
Source: IMF A recent IMF study estimates that delivering on the SDGs will require additional spending in 2030 of as much as USD 0.5 trillion for low-income developing countries and USD 2.1 trillion for emerging market economies.
Download this study

UN expert issues new guiding principles on economic reforms and human rights

Juan Pablo Bohoslavsky, the Independent Expert on foreign debt and human rights, published the Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments of Economic Reforms to assist States, international financial institutions, creditors, civil society and others to ensure that economic policies are embedded in human rights.  They will be presented to the Human Rights Council on 28 February 2019.

“E-commerce” push at WTO threatens to undermine labour standards

At the Davos World Economic Forum held in January, several governments, predominantly from advanced economies, have announced their intention to launch trade negotiations on e-commerce. Through these negotiations, they would aim to consolidate market access for digital companies. Amazon, Alphabet (Google), Facebook, and other online multi-national corporations stand to gain the most.

Read the ITUC’s response here

CALLS TO ACTION

ACT NOW! Philippines: Teacher unionists under threat

Education International has launched an urgent action appeal encouraging the global community of educators and activists to express outrage at the death threats received by the General Secretary of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers Raymond Basilio, and at the unlawful profiling of ACT members by the authorities.

Click here to take action

ACT NOW! Guatemala: Union leaders imprisoned for having negotiated a collective agreement

Guatemala has been going through an institutional crisis in recent months that has now become more acute. The Jimmy Morales government has systematically increased the persecution of community leaders, activists, journalists and trade unionists. Most recently, Luis Alpirez Guzmán, General Secretary of the National Union of Health Workers of Guatemala (SNTSG), and Dora Regina Ruano, from the same union, were detained for nearly ten days for negotiating and signing a collective agreement between the union and the Ministry of Health authorities back in 2013. 
Please support the campaign by clicking here.

ACT NOW! Iran: Stop jailing teachers now!

Iranian teachers and education workers continue to face severe repression for peacefully defending their rights and freedoms. At least 15 teachers were arrested and many others were summoned for questioning or threatened by the security services for their participation in a two-day peaceful strike action called by the Coordination Council of Iranian Teacher Trade Associations (CCITTA) in many cities across Iran towards the end of last year.

Read more and sign the LabourStart petition here

FOCUS ON TRADE UNIONISTS

African Mining Indaba: decent and sustainable work must be the future of mining in 2050

“What does the future of work entail when mining is done through automation, and how will workers and mine-affected communities’ benefit?”. These are some of the questions that framed the debate at the African Mining Indaba and Alternative African Mining Indaba, held in Cape Town 4-7 February.

Read more here

ILO video: Advancing human rights at work - A look back at 2018

2018 has been a significant year in advancing fundamental principles and rights at work. Working with governments, social partners and communities, the ILO FUNDAMENTALS Branch has helped those who cannot organise and bargain collectively, those suffering from discrimination, and those who are trapped in child labour and forced labour. There is much more to be done, and we look forward to accelerating progress and coordinating action towards our common goals over the coming years.

Watch the ILO’s video here

EVENTS

Nicaragua, the social economy & Fairtrade: empowering women and protecting the environment

Thursday 21 February, Time: 7-8.30pm

Venue: Bread and Roses Pub, 62 Clapham Manor Rd, London SW4 6DZ (underground Clapham North & Clapham Common)

Food available from the bar

Junieth Leiva is a Fairtrade coffee and cacao farmer and member of an agricultural co-operative called SOPPEXCCA. Join Junieth for a discussion about the benefits of Fairtrade to her family and community, how climate change is affecting them, and how we can help to make Fairtrade even fairer. Organised by Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign  www.nicaraguasc.org.uk FB nicaraguasc  twitter NSCAG_UK  tel: 020 7561 4836

Click here for more details

  The person responsible for the e-bulletin is:
Tanya Warlock
Tel 0207 467 1357
E: twarlock@tuc.org.uk
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