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This bumper December edition of the TUC’s Global Solidarity Update bulletin contains the latest international solidarity news and issues affecting trade unionists around the world, including reports, statements, blogs, interviews and events from a wide range of reputable sources. 

To end this unprecedented year, we would like to wish all our subscribers a well-deserved break over the festive season – stay safe and well comrades!

In this issue: 



Solidarity with unions in Turkey on Human Rights Day

On 10 November #HumanRightsDay we called on repressive authoritarian governments to stop human and labour rights abuses of trade unionists and wider civil society. We sent a message of solidarity to trade unionists in Turkey who are experiencing a sharp rise in violence and oppression.

Read our blog and watch our video in solidarity with unions in Turkey.


African trade unions connecting with Labour shadow ministers

On 9 December, the TUC held a virtual roundtable to build and strengthen relationships with Labour shadow ministers and representatives from ITUC Africa and sister trade union centres from a number of African nations.

Trade unions challenging the far right

On Friday 4 December, we organised a launch event for our new report on the far right. Read the full report here which contains case studies on Hungary and Poland; Turkey’s authoritarianism and right-wing nationalism; the rise of the far right and wide spread racism in Brazil and the anti-democratic government actions and the killings of leaders in Colombia.
Read this article by TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady on the new report about tackling right-wing extremism in our workplaces and communities.

Read this IndustriALL feature on Black Lives Matter – on our streets, in our workplaces, in our unions.


The TUC stands in solidarity with the Palestinian people

On 29 November, the UN International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, the TUC published a report, a blog and shared a solidarity message by TUC President, Gail Cartmail.

Solidarity with Colombian trade unionists

The 24 November marked four years since the signing of the Colombian peace agreement. Yet hundreds of activists are still being murdered every year. We stood with all those struggling for justice and peace. Colombia is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for trade unionists.

Watch our solidarity video on Colombia here

Sign this LabourStart petition condemning the death threats against Colombian leaders of the education union FECODE here


The campaign to promote workers’ rights in trade deals must be global

Multinational business is lobbying for trade deals that will increase their profits at the expense of workers' rights. But trade unions across the world are fighting back.

Read our blog on why the campaign to promote workers’ rights in trade deals must be global.


Over 250 million workers join national strike in India

Despite repression, a joint general strike by workers and farmers has shut down India. Over 250 million workers took part in the 26 November strike.

Read more here


Make Amazon Pay

The pandemic has exposed how Amazon places profits ahead of workers, society, and our planet. Amazon takes too much and gives back too little; it is time to Make Amazon Pay. On Black Friday, 27 November, the biggest retail sales day in the United States, as well as in other parts of the world, workers, unions, global unions and activists took action.

Read the TUC’s recent Challenging Amazon report here


Solidarity with Belarus – human rights must be respected

Today, on 10 December, we celebrate International Human Rights Day, but even after four months of struggle for freedom and democracy, most Belarusians cannot fully enjoy this day.

Read more from global union IndustriALL here

Watch TUC President Gail Cartmail’s message of solidarity with independent trade unions in Belarus here

Domestic violence is a trade union issue

Domestic violence has increased during the pandemic, exacerbated by lockdowns and economic pressure. The new ILO Convention 190 is a key instrument, stressing that “governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations and labour market institutions can help, as part of other measures, to recognize, respond to and address the impacts of domestic violence”.

Join the global collective call for the wide ratification of C190 and the 2020 Global 16 Days Campaign

Read how unions in countries such as South Africa and Tunisia are campaigning for an end to violence against women.

Listen to this seven-minute RadioLabour interview with Jodi Evans, the Women Transport Workers and Gender Equality Officer for the International Transport Workers Federation, on stopping violence against women working in the transport sector.


Action needed on Uyghur slave labour

The Chinese government continues to hold members of the Uyghur minority group in forced labour camps. Goods produced by these enslaved workers – particularly cotton – are entering global supply chains.

Read more here



Unions raise alarm over alleged retaliatory firing at IFC-financed Guinea hotel

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector investment arm, has come under fire after an apparent violation of its performance standards at the five-star Marriott-Sheraton Grand in Conakry, Guinea, following the alleged retaliatory dismissal of two employees after they raised workplace concerns.

Read more here



ACT NOW! Brazil: End the anti-union attacks in the city of São Paulo!

Join the Municipal Workers' Union of São Paulo SINDSEP, in its demands for respect for health professionals, an end to anti-union practices and transparency in management of the pandemic response.

Take action here


ACT NOW! Kyrgyzstan: Stop pressure on trade unions

For two years, unions in Kyrgyzstan have been under threat and authorities are now increasing pressure. Global unions have launched a LabourStart campaign to support Kyrgyz unions.

Read more and support here



EqualTimes blog by FESTU’s Secretary General Omar Faruk

After nine years of indefatigable struggle, Somalia’s free trade union movement has been totally vindicated. Read this EqualTimes blog by FESTU’s Secretary General Omar Faruk. Osman tells about the last nine years of indefatigable struggle for free and independent trade unionism and journalism in Somalia.

Video of TUCA’s Secretary General Rafael Freire underlining the importance of 2030 Agenda in fight against Covid-19 crisis

Rafael Freire, the Secretary General of the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA), delivered a message on the central role of the 2030 programme in trade unions’ work for the recovery and resilience of the region.

Unions support Time for 8 campaign

Listen to Diógenes Orjuela, Gilberto Martínez CUT Colombia’s President and Director for International Relations and Japhet Moyo, ZCTU Secretary General speak about their support for the ITUC’s TUDCN #timefor8 campaign.


Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival, Friday 16 to Sunday 18 July 2021

Every year in July, thousands of people attend to enjoy the Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival. The Tolpuddle Martyrs were a group of six agricultural labourers in the village of Tolpuddle in Dorset, England, who were convicted (and sent to Australia) of swearing a secret oath as members of the Friendly Society of Agricultural Labourers in 1834.
Click here for more information

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