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TUC E-Bulletins

International Development Matters

Issue Number 127 November 2013


Protest at killing in Colombia

The TUC General Secretary has written to the Colombian Ambassador to protest at the murder of transport union leader Fernando Florez.

Protest at derecognition of Korean Teachers Union

The TUC General Secretary has written to the Korean Ambassador on the de-recognition of the Korean Teachers and Education Workers Union.


Deadly factory fire again underlines importance of Bangladesh Accord


On 8 October, at least 9 people were killed in a factory fire at Aswad Composite Mills of the Palmal Group in the Gazipur district near Dhaka. IndustriALL Global Union and UNI Global Union confirm their commitment to the comprehensive 5-year plan of the Accord for Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh. Read how more than 100 global brands have now signed the Accord here

On 24 October, the families of workers who died during the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh held a candlelit vigil to mark six months since the day the tragedy occurred. Watch the video here

Iran remains a country without rights

 Journalists and actress Pegah Ahangarani (right)

Despite the optimism in the west surrounding the election of reformist Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier this year, little has changed on the ground for working people in Iran, and the leaders of independent trade unionists remain in jail, along with many others fighting for truth and justice.

Read more here

Global dispute over Qatar 2022 World Cup needs immediate settlement to save lives

FIFA’s offer of only a ‘courtesy visit’ to the Emir of Qatar is totally inadequate and fails to put in place any plan to stop more workers dying…says the ITUC. Supporters of the global campaign are also demanding FIFA President Sepp Blatter give a detailed report to next month’s Executive Committee meeting in Brazil about what FIFA has done in the two months since it finally acknowledged the problems facing workers constructing World Cup infrastructure in Qatar.

New Structure to strengthen democratic and independent trade unionism in the Arab countries

At the request of 17 national trade union centres from the Arab region (in Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine Tunisia and Yemen), the ITUC General Council meeting in Brussels (9-11 October) has endorsed the process of creating a new structure for the Arab countries.

Indonesians Strike for Minimum Wage and Fair Labour Laws

Hundreds of thousands of Indonesian workers are taking strike action and holding mass rallies to demand a fair minimum wage and protection for workers from phony employment arrangements which remove employer obligations through 'outsourcing' arrangements.

World Day for Decent Work - Focus on Building Workers’ Power

Workers from more than 100 countries took part in a global day of action on 7 October to demand stronger government action for economic recovery, job creation, decent working conditions and full respect for workers’ rights.

Read the latest ITUC global opinion poll

Read more here

Commonwealth needs to get serious on human rights at work

The Commonwealth’s ‘Committee of the Whole’ met in London in October. Their task is to draft the communique that will be formally adopted at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka later in November. The trade unionists will be demanding that the Commonwealth puts its commitment to human rights into practice, in a series of measures, set out in detail in the Commonwealth Trade Union Group submission


Why the World Bank must do better at Doing Business

On the eve of the release of the World Bank’s Doing Business 2014, civil society organisations called on the World Bank to implement the major recommendations delivered by an independent panel in June, which included ending the ranking of countries according to an “Ease of Doing Business” index and permanently removing the report’s controversial tax and labour indicators.

ITUC Economic Briefing Series

The second in a series of briefings from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) includes a review of the G20 agenda on tax avoidance and on long-term investment.

IMF gets emerging markets wrong, again


Amidst heightened risks of financial instability in major developing country economies, the Fund was forced to re-assess its global economic prognosis and risk assessment in an analysis provided to the G20 summit in September.

Towards a Post 2015 Sustainable Development Framework

During the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the governments of South Africa and Ireland convened a Special Event to follow up efforts made towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Read more here


ACT NOW! UN derecognizes staff unions, refuses to negotiate


On 11 July, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon derecognized the staff unions representing the organization's 65,000 staff, many working in dangerous locations and war zones.

ACT NOW and support the UN's staff unions are campaigning for Ban Ki-moon to reverse his decision by the end of the year.

ACT NOW! Starbucks: stop union busting now


Starbucks has lived up to its fame as the most anti-union business in Chile. In October, as it announced record profits, the company rejected all Starbucks Workers´ Union demands, included in a draft collective agreement.

Take action: Tell Starbucks to negotiate in good faith with workers in Chile.

ACT NOW: Qatar 2022: Re-run the vote

4000 migrant workers will die before a ball is kicked in the 2022 World Cup unless FIFA and the Qatar authorities take action. FIFA must break the conspiracy of silence over the treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and make workers’ rights a condition of Qatar hosting the World Cup in 2022.

Take action and tell FIFA to choose a World Cup venue where workers’ rights are respected.


RadioLabour Newscast: Domestic workers create a global union federation

The world's 53 million domestic workers (most of them women and girls) now have a new voice to represent them at the international level. The founding congress of the International Domestic Workers Federation was held in Montevideo Uruguay October 26 to 28.

Download  to listen (right click) or read the Script  here

Radio Labour Interview with Mariela Kohon, Director of Justice of Colombia


Huber Ballesteros, one of Colombia's most recognized unionists, was arrested in August for leading mass strikes. The international labour movement is organizing a global campaign for his release. Listen to the RadioLabour interview with Mariela Kohon, Director of Justice for Colombia.

Download (right click) to listen

ILO interview: Maria Helena André, Director of ACTRAV

“Our work with the trade union organizations must have an impact on ILO’s agenda”

Maria Helena André

The recently appointed Director of the Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV), Ms. Maria Helena André wants to strengthen her department’s services for ILO’s worker constituents.

Read the full interview here

Tribute to the trade unionist Basile Mahan Gahé

Basile Mahan Gahé

The general secretary of the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Côte d’Ivoire (Dignité), Basile Mahan Gahé, died in Abidjan on Monday 16th September 2013. In tribute to the recently departed African trade unionist, here is the last interview he gave to ACTRAV INFO, during his stay in Geneva.


Comedy Crackers - Supporting Stand Up For Women

Stand Up For Women

7 November , 7pm - 10pm

Wilton’s Music Hall, Whitechapel

Stand Up For Women aims to become the ‘Comic Relief for Women’ – with a massive TV comedy gala every year to raise money and awareness for women’s charities. This is their second comedy show, the first being a huge success in London’s West End earlier this year.
Full details here

Southern Africa: Human Rights and Democracy

Saturday, 9 November, 2-4.30pm

Public meeting, admission free

The Human Rights Action Centre, Amnesty International UK, 17-25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA

ACTSA's annual conference 'Southern Africa: Human Rights and Democracy' will include speakers from Swaziland and Zimbabwe. Hear from civil society leaders about the prospects for the future in Swaziland and Zimbabwe.

Full details here

VSC Film showing of "April: between peace and rage"

April: between peace and rage

Monday 11 November

7.00pm (doors open 6.30pm) Free entry

Bolivar Hall, 54-56 Grafton Way  London W1T 5DL

This short Venezuelan film looks at the violence of the right-wing opposition in Venezuela against supporters of the elected government in the afternath of Nicolas Maduro's election victory in April 2013, which led to the death of 13 people.

Film Screening – Swaziland: The King and the People

Thursday, 14 November, 6pm

UNISON, UNISON Centre, 130 Euston Road, London, NW1 2AY

Film screening and discussion. A fascinating and often violent journey into the last hundred years of Swazi history. Admission free. Registration essential.

Useful websites

There are a number of websites with useful information for trade unionists, policy makers and campaigners. Details here: Useful websites

Visit the address below to view the document in full, in print format or in text-only format.


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