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LabourStart Solidarity Campaigns

World Day For Decent Work

Fast Food Global...Low Pay is Not OK
Re-Run the Vote: No World Cup Without Workers Rights...
International Trade Union Confederation
Decent Work...
three minute web movie overview of the concept of decent work in 29 languages...International Labor Organization
Making Change at Walmart...
United Food and Commercial Workers
Robin Hood Tax Campaign...
it's not a tax on the people, it's a tax for the people...United States
Fix My Job...Working America AFL-CIO
Warehouse Workers United...
Change to Win Coalition
T-Mobile Workers United...
Communications Workers of America


Union Yes

ILO Labor Standards

The International Labor Organization (ILO) labor standards take the form of International Labor Conventions which are ratified by member countries. Of the total number of ILO Conventions, eight are considered core labor standards, fundamental to the rights of workers. The ILO is a specialized agency of the United Nations.

The Union Edge
Workers Independent News

Amnesty International

American Civil Liberties Union

Qatar Buys Time at the ILO

Brussels, 30 March 2015 (ITUC OnLine):   Qatar has been given until November to reform its kafala system of modern slavery and bring its labour laws into line with international standards, after a decision of the International Labour Organization's Governing Body.

Government blocs from Asia, Africa and Latin America refused to back calls for immediate action by worker and employer representatives. EU/Nordic governments and the USA supported the worker and employer position.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, "Qatar used its financial muscle over other governments to buy yet more time, after years of empty promises to bring its system of slave labour to an end. Worst of all, governments from Asia and Africa, where most of the 1.5 million migrant workers in Qatar come from, refused to stand up for their own people. A further six-month delay will cost scores of lives as workers are forced to work through the incredibly hot summer months without basic protection and at the mercy of kafala employers.

"Qatar's leaders knowingly choose to impose modern day slavery on migrant workers who are forced to borrow to pay for illegal recruitment fees, forced to live in squalor and paid poverty wages. They have no effective means to have grievances settled or disputes resolved, no right to change jobs even to escape from abusive employers, and their bosses can force them to stay in the country for years by denying an exit visa. Our recent visits to Qatar's notorious labour camps revealed that wages for many are actually falling, and more cases of workers who are imported into the country only to be left without a job, destitute and with no way home. The combined death rate of migrant workers from India and Nepal alone still stands at one every day.

"The richest country in the world could choose to change, but has opted instead to deploy its economic power to shore up its corrupt system for yet another six months."

Source:  International Trade Union Confederation--ITUC represents 176 million workers in 161 countries and territories and has 325 national affiliates

Jennings to UN: "close the inequality gap and fight for decent work"

27 March 2015:   UNI Global Union General Secretary Philip Jennings will take part in a high level UN meeting in New York on Monday which will gather heads of states, politicians and other leaders, including ILO Director General Guy Ryder, and ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.

Jennings will address the session "Making Dignity and Prosperity the Norm" at the UN Economic and Social Council. The theme of the meeting, "Achieving sustainable development through employment creation and decent work for all" resonates with Jennings, the labour movement's "global warrior" who is fighting for decent jobs in the services sector and beyond.

The session will underline the importance of implementing international labour standards. Jennings will draw the attention of Colombia Labour Minister, Luis Eduardo Gazon, who will also take part in the debate, to Prosegur's catalogue of human rights abuses.

Jennings will tell leaders gathered at the UN ECOSOC meeting that unions are part of the solution to creating sustainable growth and moving away from stagnation. Jennings said that in the United States and elsewhere we are seeing the right to organize, the right to negotiate and the right to strike being deprived to workers on a staggering scale. Although there is clarity over what constitutes responsible business behaviour, many companies simply refuse to comply.

Jennings will emphasise that the ILO Conventions coupled with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises are the building blocks on what a sustainable equitable economy must be built.

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents more than 20 million workers from over 900 trade unions worldwide

Japanese metalworkers secure major wage increase

Mar 26, 2015:   IndustriALL Global Union affiliated Japanese metalworkers' unions achieved the largest annual wage increase in 16 years in their 2015 Spring Offensive. The Japanese metalworkers submit demands on wages and working conditions every February, and engage in collective bargaining.

The Japanese economy has been suffering from deflation and is in a period of uncertainty. The unions believe that increased salaries will contribute to revitalizing the economy. The Japan Council of Metalworkers' Unions (JCM) represents members of 50 unions at major companies in the automotive, ICT electrical and electronics, machinery, iron and steel, and shipbuilding industries.

In particular, JCM is emphasizing the following achievements.

  • All trade unions managed to secure the regular pay raise portion. This is a substantive monthly raise amounting to about 2 per cent (roughly 6,000 yen, or US$50).
  • In addition to the regular pay raise, 97 percent of the unions demanding wage increases were successful in reaching agreements on an additional amount of 2,801 yen. Along with the increase in base salary, this amounts to a total monthly increase of approximately 8,801 yen.
  • Agreements securing average annual bonus payments equivalent to 5.26 months' pay (a year-on-year increase of 0.1 months) were reached by 33 unions.
  • Agreements securing a 2,004 yen monthly increase to intra-company minimum wages were reached by 24 unions. This also contributes to raising wages for unorganized workers and non-regular workers as well.
  • Regarding the improvement of working conditions for non-regular workers, some unions were also able to draw out positive, concrete answers and cooperative, favorable commitments from management.

In a statement about the results achieved in the 2015 Spring Offensive, JCM declared, "For unions that will elicit replies hereafter as well, we will continue to advance support so that they can soundly win wage increases above the amount secured last year, as has been the case with the responses received thus far."

Source:  IndustriALL Global Union--IndustriALL represents 50 million workers in 140 countries

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