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In this issue:
TUC Congress 2020 - Jobs, security, dignity
Solidarity with Brazilian workers
Peace and Human Rights in Colombia
Solidarity with Indonesian trade unions
Solidarity with Zimbabwean trade unionists
OTHER INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Brazil postal workers end strike but vow to fight on
Indian parliament passes laws that attack the rights of working people
South African sister trade unions stage national strike
World Teachers Day: Stop repression against teacher trade unionists in Haiti and Zimbabwe
World Day for Decent Work: A New Social Contract for Recovery and Resilience
Global Unions call upon the World Bank and the IMF to support public investment
Global Unions join global call for social protection fund to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and to build a better future
CALLS TO ACTION
ACT NOW! Cambodia: Free jailed union leaders now
ACT NOW! Colombia: Support miners striking against the 'death shift' at Cerrejón
ACT NOW! Jordan: Release leaders of the Jordanian Teacher Association
ACT NOW! Solidarity with Saharawi people
FOCUS ON TRADE UNIONISTS
TUC and Unite feature on ICC Podcast on Trade and Development: Making Trade Work for Everyone
Trade unions urge EU to investigate Amazon effort to spy on workers
Stand Up to Racism International Conference – 17-18 October
UNI Youth launches new campaign to fight growing mental health crisis
The TUC held its 2020 Congress online on 14-15 September. The theme centred around Jobs, security, dignity. Motions were agreed on campaigning for a new deal post Covid-19, economic recovery, decolonising, organising, challenging and ending racism and systemic inequality, new deal for women workers and many more. An international motion was agreed on Palestine calling for solidarity with Palestine and resisting annexation. TUC international team members spoke at Congress fringes organised by Justice for Colombia and Palestine Solidarity Campaign
Read more about TUC Congress 2020 here
Early in October, the TUC and Labour MPs met with CUT Brazil trade union and held a useful discussion on the critical situation for Brazilian workers about human rights abuses, environmental crisis, attack on equalities and what we can do to support them.
In September, trade unions in Britain and Ireland wrote to Colombia’s Human Rights Commissioner to express their ‘extreme concern’ following an increase in massacres and murders of social activists and former guerrillas who entered into the peace process. On 24 September, the TUC and JFC held a joint event to discuss peace and human rights in Colombia. With Shadow International Trade Secretary, Emily Thornberry, UN officials and Colombian senators.
The TUC wrote this letter to the Indonesian Ambassador to demand the government repeals the Omnibus Law on Job Creation which undermines Indonesian labour rights, and to engage in constructive dialogue with the national trade unions.
Read more here
In solidarity with the ZCTU, the TUC wrote this letter to the President of Zimbabwe regarding the brutal repression and persecution of our trade union sisters and brothers in Zimbabwe and raised wider concerns pertaining to labour and human rights abuses.
Postal workers in Brazil have now ended their month-long strike emerging more united and determined to battle against privatization of the post office. It follows a ruling by the Supreme Labour Court on 21 September that gave workers a 2.6 per cent pay rise but led to certain benefits being withdrawn.
Read more here
Delivery employees in Colombia who work for the online platform Rappi joined protests across Latin America on 8 October calling for decent wages, job safety and health protections for gig economy workers. Largely migrant workers from Venezuela, they provide essential services delivering food from restaurants and grocery stores to homes, including during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Read more here
The ITUC is appalled at the three new bills passed by the Lok Sabha, the parliament of India, which trade unions in the country have called an open attack on the rights of working people. The changes have been driven by the business community that seeks to improve India’s ranking in the ‘ease of doing business’ index. In reality, the changes end much of the hard-won protection enjoyed by working people since independence.
For the first time, The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) was joined in its national strike on 7 October by sister trade union federations, South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu), Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) and National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu). Thousands of workers took part in marches countrywide to protest against corruption, retrenchments, and gender-based violence.
Read more here
On World Teacher Day, (5 October) Education International and its member organisations were monitoring the situation for teacher trade unionists fighting for free, quality public education for all in Haiti. Meanwhile, the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) has criticised President Emmerson Mnangagwa over plans to withhold salaries of all Zimbabwean teachers on strike.
On 7 October, World Day for Decent Work, the ITUC called for a New Social Contract, which is required to ensure the global economy can recover and to build the resilience required to meet the convergent challenges of the pandemic, climate change and inequality.
Read more here
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held their Annual Meetings on 16-18 October. The International Financial Institutions can play a critical role in ensuring that there is a real and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The International Trade Union Confederation and Global Union Federations, while recognising positive action by both institution to the crisis, in a statement, call on them to lead an effort for global solidarity that reduces poverty and leads to more just development.
Read the Global Unions statement here
The Global Coalition for Social Protection Floors (GCSPF), a group of over a 100 civil society organizations and trade unions, is calling on the world’s governments support low-income countries to expand and improve their social protection systems through the establishment of a Global Fund for Social Protection.
Act now and call on the Cambodian government to release Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions (CCU), who was arrested on 31 July for speaking on the issues of farmland loss and border demarcation irregularities with Vietnam, and Sor Saknika, president of the Cambodian Informal Labourers’ Association (CILA), who joined protests to demand his release. Their rights to free expression, opinion and peaceful assembly are at the core of the principle of freedom of association.
Take action here
The National Union of Coal Industry Workers (Sintracarbón) is involved in a bitter strike at the Cerrejón coal mine in Colombia, jointly owned by three multinational mining companies, Anglo American, BHP and Glencore.
Read more and take action here
Education International (EI) calls on workers and unionists to urge the Jordanian authorities to immediately release the education union leaders and revoke the unlawful suspension of all union work by the Jordanian Teacher Association.
Read more and take action here
As the UNSC prepares to vote on the renewal of MINURSO, the Western Sahara international solidarity movement must put pressure on the UN Security Council to immediately take the necessary steps to bring about a just and lasting peace for the people of Western Sahara.
Join Western Sahara Campaign in writing to UNSC members to urge them to fulfil their responsibilities to the people of Western Sahara. More information here
Listen to the TUC, Unite and Trade Justice Movement take part in an International Chambers of Commerce podcast on why it's crucial for workers everywhere that the UK secures a deal with EU that enforces high standards of workers' rights and promotes good jobs.
Read statements from European trade union leaders, including three UK unions, who have called on the European commission to open an investigation into Amazon’s “potentially illegal” effort to spy on workers for union activities. The heads of some of Europe’s biggest unions, representing more than 12 million workers, wrote to the commission to demand an investigation into Amazon’s work practices across the continent.
The TUC recently issued a report criticising Amazon’s employment practices
Stand Up to Racism is holding its International Conference online via Zoom and Facebook Live events over the weekend of Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 October, with the theme ‘Black Lives Matter – No to Trump and Johnson’s Racist Offensive’. Speakers from the TUC and some of our union affiliates feature on the bill.
Full details and to book your place, click here
On World Mental Health Day, 10 October, UNI Youth launched a campaign to help unions combat the growing mental health crisis around the world. As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, workers from India to Brazil to France to the United States are increasingly suffering from mental health issues such as stress, burnout, anxiety, substance abuse, and depression.
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