International sessions announcedWe've got a great selection of international sessions happening during Organise 2020, the TUC's online festival of unions and trade union organising, from 9 -11 July 2020.
All sessions are free to join, but you'll need to reserve a place, so get your bookings in now.
Union wins during the Covid-19 crisis - Thurs 9 July 13.00-14.00 Trade unions have played a fundamental role in protecting workers during the Covid-19 crisis. This session will hear of union successes both in the UK and internationally in winning for workers during the crisis, reaching safeguarding agreements and the strategies used to get there. Webinar with interpretation included.
Chair: Tony Burke (assistant general secretary, Unite) Speakers: Kate Bell (head of rights, international, social and economics, TUC), Simone Marinelli (FIOM-CGIL rep at Fiat FCA), Keith Jacobs, (regional director, UNI Global Africa)
Plenary Organising against the far right and challenging racism internationally - Thurs 9 July 15.00 – 17.00 Far right narratives are on the rise and are being mainstreamed as authoritarian Presidents from Trump to Bolsonaro use racism, sexism and anti-migrant narratives to sow division. The coronavirus pandemic has been increasingly used by regimes to crack down on human and union rights. The brutal murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests around the world has shown the ever-present need to organise internationally against systemic racism and oppression.
This session will explore strategies being used by trade unions and sister organisations to combat the far right in the workplace and communities and confront institutional racism and how we can build international solidarity.
Chair: Patrick Roach (general secretary, NASUWT) Speakers: Chidi King (director of equality, ITUC), Tefere Gebre (executive vice president, AFL-CIO), Carmen Foro (General Secretary CUT, Brazil), N H Priya Garnaik, (National working committee executive member youth INTUC)
Plenary: Building stronger unions around the globe - Fri 10 July 10.00 – 11.00 The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) represents 200 million workers in 163 countries and territories and has 332 national affiliates. It promotes workers’ and human rights, equality and international solidarity through international cooperation between trade unions, global campaigning and advocacy within the major global institutions.
Sharan Burrow, the ITUC’s first woman leader, comes from an organising background in the NSW Teacher’s Federation and was President of the Australian Education Union. She will share a global perspective on the current crisis and how trade unions are organising to grow the movement and to defend their members around the world.
Keynote speaker: Sharan Burrow (general secretary, ITUC) in conversation. Interview by Ellie Mae O'Hagan, (journalist)
Organising on the Climate Crisis and Just Transition - Friday 13:00-14:00 The climate crisis is now urgent. The UK, along with many other countries, have adopted a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. A just transition is necessary to ensure that we do not save the planet at the cost of workers' jobs and communities.
The Global South, meanwhile, suffers most from global warming, despite having contributed least to the problem. A just transition is needed for workers in both the Global North and the Global South. Climate change is a major trade union issue and, having galvanised young people like few other challenges in recent years, is an important organising opportunity for trade unions in the months and years ahead.
Chair: Tim Page, senior policy officer TUC, with responsibility for industrial strategy and energy and climate change. Tim represented the TUC at the COP25 UN climate change summit in Madrid in December 2019. Speakers: Lebogang Mulaisi, labour market policy co-ordinator, Cosatu, South Africa, Sue Ferns senior deputy general secretary, Prospect and the TUC general council lead on energy and climate change, chair of the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee, Sam Smith, Director of the Just Transition Centre. Before this, Sam was the global climate and energy leader for WWF.
Spotlight on women organisers - Friday 14:00-15:00 Session with a focus on women organisers . Panel discussion with Q&A.
Chair: Gail Cartmail, ASG, Unite Speakers: Vicky Smallman, Director of women and human rights, Canadian Labour Congress, Marissa Begonia, Coordinator of Justice for Domestic Workers – Unite, Shavanah Taj, General Secretary, Wales TUC, Christina McAnea, Assistant General Secretary, Unison
Building International Solidarity: Organising in the most dangerous places for workers in the world - Fri 15.00-16.00 In countries around the world, workers face murder, imprisonment and death threats for organising and defending their member’s rights. This session will hear from organisers working in some of the worst countries for workers in the world and explore how we can build international solidarity across borders. Speakers from Colombia, Turkey and Palestine will share their experiences and how they are organising to confront the longstanding abuses of rights and the current crisis. Interpretation provided.
Chair: Kevin Courtney, Joint General Secretary, NEU Speakers: Osman İşçi (International affairs officer, Confederation of Public Employees Trade Union - KESK) Turkey, Olga Quintero (Leader of ASCAMCAT Catatumbo Agricultural Workers Association, Colombia – an organisation which has had many leading activists murdered in recent years), Majd Samaroo, project coordinator, International Transport Federation (Palestine)
Amazon - global union organising within a multinational company - Fri 10 July 17.00-18.30 Organising in Amazon is one of the most challenging for unions around the world. This session will hear from key workers on the ground in Spain, the US and here in the UK to share the challenges and successes, as well as tech worker organising around the climate. Recent struggles with Amazon under Covid-19 will be shared as well as a roundup of the global situation.
Chair: Mick Rix (national officer, GMB) Speakers: Christy Hoffman (general secretary, UNI Global), Fátima Aguado Queipo, (CCOO, Spain), Liana Dalton, (Teamsters, US) Eliza Pan, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice
Tackling far right ideology - Sat 11 July, 2.00-3.00 Join us for a workshop discussion how best to tackle the mainstreaming of far-right ideology that has become increasingly rampant throughout society. What lessons can we learn and what workplace initiatives are available to win unity in workplaces and in our communities.
Speakers: Wilf Sullivan (race relations officer, TUC), Stiofán Nolan, (Trademark Belfast). Trademark has long been at the forefront of providing a trade union-based response to the challenges of racism, sectarianism and the legacy of ‘the Troubles’ in Ireland. Over the past number of years Trademark has identified a trend of far-right elements moving to take advantage of the current moment of economic and political instability and establish a foothold in workplaces and communities across Ireland. Richard Detje (journalist and academic with a research focus on trade unions). He is one of the authors of a recent book on right wing populism and trade unions in Germany. Others tbc