International Development Education Fact Files

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Trade union international development education Fact Files

TUC Fact Files are designed to:

  • help trade union tutors educate union reps on the interconnection between the lives of working people in the developed and developing world;
  • enable readers to make informed links between international development, social justice and trade unionism; 
  • enable tutors and union officers to feel confident about tackling issues in the classroom or other learning forums;
  • build interest, understanding, activism and support for key campaigns on international development among trade union reps.

They contain a series of fact sheets and activities covering the key issues of international development and trade unions. Follow-up References and details of further information are provided to help readers pursue their interest and follow up new questions that will surely be formed as a result of discussion and work on the subject areas. These Fact Files are free to download and easily fit into trade union education courses while meeting accreditation requirements.

Fair Play? The global sporting goods industry and workers' rights

Behind the Beijing Olympics are workers producing sportswear and equipment, usually rewarded with poverty wages, bullying, unsafe working conditions and excessive overtime in factories, sweatshops and homes, from Bulgaria to China. This TUC Fact File contains a series of fact sheets and activities to help trade union tutors and activists inform others about the unfair labour practices in the global sporting goods industry and how to tackle them in the lead-up to London 2012..

Download Fair Play Fact File

Refugees and migrant workers

This Fact File covers why people move around the world and under what conditions, what their legal rights and protections are, and the links between migration, workers’ rights and development. There are teaching materials and tips on dispelling myths about migrant workers and on dealing with racism and xenophobia. This complements other TUC booklets such as Tackling Racism, Migrant Workers: a TUC Guide, and Busting the Myths: Getting the facts right about migrant workers

Download Refugees and migrant workers Fact File

International development and the trade union role

The Fact File explains the concepts, history and dilemmas of development and poverty, and how they relate to trade, aid and debt. Importantly it covers efforts to tackle these issues, including the creation of the Millennium Development Goals (the global targets for poverty reduction), and the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign (of which the TUC forms part), explaining why trade unionists can and should be central to efforts for socially just development.

Download International development and the trade union role Fact File

Trade and trade unions

This Fact File covers the concepts, politics and importance of international trade. Exploring how trade can either drive or undermine a country’s development, it covers how the global trading system works (including the roles of the World Trade Organisation, multinational companies and foreign direct investment), how it favours developed countries and what needs to change. These issues are explored through examining global supply chains, export processing zones, corruption, pensions, fair trade and trade justice as well as the trade union role in pursuing a just globalisation.

Download Trade and trade unions Fact File


Sweet FA? Football associations, workers' rights and the World Cup

The world's football associations will make over £200m from sponsorship and licensing arrangements in 2006. While their sponsors are expecting hundreds of millions of pounds in additional revenue from World Cup goods. Meanwhile, the people stitching the footballs, sewing the shirts and gluing the boots that will earn this money are working late into the night, six or seven days a week for poverty wages. Those that attempt to form trade unions to try to improve their working conditions are persecuted and often lose their jobs. This report from the TUC and Labour Behind the Label provides excellent material to complement the Play Fair at the Olympics Fact File.

Download Sweet FA Report

Slavery and forced labour in the twenty-first century

The International Labour Organisation estimates that after 200 years of the formal abolition of slavery, there are still 12 million women, children and men who are in various forms of slave and forced labour. A Fact File designed to enlighten, stimulate and inform debate about the slave trade and forced labour. It gives an excellent account of the history of slavery and links it to the causes and consequences of slavery and forced labour in today’s world.

Download Slavery and forced labour Fact File

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