International Development Matters - Issue 100 August 2011

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Articles for inclusion in International Development Matters should be sent to at [email protected]


East Africa - DEC appeal


TUC Aid requests affiliates, trade union members and general public to contribute generously to the DEC Appeal.

To make a donation, please click here

Haiti - Trade Union Roadmap gets off the ground


Haitian trade unions took part in a workshop on social protection in Haiti with a view to ensuring the observance of minimum standards in the on-going reconstruction programmes.

Read more about the workshop here

From Tunisia to Tolpuddle


Tunisia's revolution earlier this year sparked off uprisings that continue to reverberate across the Arab world. Malika Achour from the Tunisian union movement told festival goers at Tolpuddle exactly how it all began.

Read more here

TUC backs Palestinian statehood bid

The TUC is calling on the UK Government to support the Palestinian National Authority's bid to be recognised as a member state of the United Nations.

Read the full statement here

Global support for Korean strikers as they picket Standard Chartered UK headquarters


UNI, the global union for finance workers, Unite and the TUC are today (Wednesday 27th) holding a demonstration in London to show support for more than 3,000 Korean workers who are on a month-long strike at Standard Chartered First Bank over plans to impose a new pay system.

Read the TUC press release here

Union Support - Letter to Standard Chartered UK

Read the letter written by the General Secretaries of UNI, Unite and the TUC to Peter Sands, the Group Chief Executive, calling on him to press Standard Chartered First Bank in Korea to open up a positive and constructive dialogue with the union to resolve the dispute.


Norway: An Attack Against Democracy


The ITUC expresses its shock and solidarity with the Norwegian people following the bombings in central Oslo and the shootings at the island Utøya outside Oslo.

Read more here

Israel: Crisis escalates as unions weigh in

Described as the biggest crisis Netanyahu has faced, the Middle East protests have now spread to Israel. Today (27th) Histadrut, the national union federation joined in what is being called the "Israeli revolution" by standing in solidarity to the youngsters involved.

Read more here

Swazi unions set out on new wave of protest strikes

Union members took to the streets on Thursday (28th) in cities and towns around Swaziland to protest against government moves to cut civil servants' salaries amid a deepening financial crisis.

Read more here

Continuing Violations of Workers' Rights in Egypt


In its latest report to the World Trade Organisation's periodic Trade Policy Review, the International Trade Union Confederation condemns vicious violations of the right to organise and freedom of association in Egypt.

Read more here

Guatemala: Trade Unions Against Impunity


The second Conference against Impunity in Guatemala opened Thursday 21st July to the news of the assassination of yet another trade union Sister.

Read more here

Bangladesh Garment Workers' Take Hunger Strike Actions over Delinquent Employers

The National Garment Workers Federation of Bangladesh (NGWF) organised a hunger strike on 8 July in the capital city of Dhaka. The hunger protest was done due to appalling conditions for workers in the industry, and focused on four current disputes.

Read the full story here

Undocumented Domestic Workers Lack Protection

A new report by the European Union's Fundamental Rights Agency has exposed serious loopholes in legal protections for undocumented migrants who are domestic workers. The survey of 10 EU Member States reveals that despite international legal requirements, employers largely control the extent to which the rights of these workers are secured.

Trade unionists commit to building strong alliances for LGBT rights

More than 150 trade unionists and equality campaigners have concluded an historic meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, to celebrate the biggest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender event in Africa.

Read more here


Tax the rich - stop the cuts!


Tax havens - many of them British - are robbing the UK and developing countries alike of billions of pounds in government revenue every year, according to a new report launched this week by War on Want, civil service union PCS and the Tax Justice Network.

Read more and view the report here

New GLC column: Taxing finance

Read the latest Global Labour Column on the need for more countries to adopt a financial transactions tax (FTT) and other forms of financial sector taxation.

Trade Unions Call on FSB to Raise the Regulatory Bar for Global Banks

As the Plenary of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) met in Paris on 18 July, international trade union organisations had submitted their priorities for the FSB current programme of action as mandated by the G20. Read more here


ACT NOW: Ivory Coast - Free jailed trade union leader

Basile Mahan Gahe

Basile Mahan Gahé, general secretary of the national trade union center Dignité (whose food and hotel section is affiliated to the IUF) has been transferred from detention in Abidjan to a prison in Boundiali, where he is reportedly only given one meal a day. The trade union leader was kidnapped from his Abidjan home on April 26 and held without charges. Amnesty International believes it has credible reports that he was tortured, particularly in the early days of his detention.

Find out how to get involved with the appeal

ACT NOW: Release the Iranian Two

The TUC and Amnesty International UK have launched an online appeal demanding the immediate release from detention of Reza Shahabi Zakaria and Ebrahim Maddadi of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (Sherkat-e Vahed).

Read more here

ACT NOW: Botswana - Support 100,000 striking public sector workers

Around 100,000 public sector workers in Botswana have been on strike since 18 April 2011. After enduring a three year wage freeze, which has left salaries well below the cost of living, workers are demanding a 16% wage rise. All attempts at negotiation have ended in deadlock and the strike continues.

More details of the appeal can be found here


ITUC Spotlight interviews with Ebrahim H. Abdulla and Abdulla M. Hussain (GFBTU-Bahrain)

ITUC Spotlight
'We are calling for the dismissed workers to be reinstated and for an end to the attacks on trade unions'

In an interview published by the ITUC, senior Bahraini trade union officials have called for the reinstatement of some 2,000 workers sacked for supporting the country's pro-democracy movement, and an end to violent attacks on trade unions.

Struggling for workers' rights in Sri Lanka

Real lives: Sheran's experience of working for a Nike supplier in Sri Lanka

The Chosen, Nike's new global 'Just Do It' campaign says it will bring sports to the grassroots and represents the 'passing of the torch to the next generation'. However, The Chosen does not seem to include passing more of the company's profits onto the grassroots by paying workers making its products a living wage.

Read about a real life experience of an employee working for a Nike supplier in Sri Lanka here

Trade Unions' Role in New Tunisia

Read an article about the political and union developments in Tunisia from a teacher in Sidi Bouzid


Amnesty at the Edinburgh Festival, August 2011

Amnesty is back at the world's biggest arts festival in 2011 with a full programme celebrating freedom of expression in all its forms.

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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