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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
Real Food. Real Jobs....UNITE HERE
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

AFL-CIO

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


Safety Must be a Priority for FIFA

23 July 2014:   For 32 days, 32 national teams competed in 12 stadiums throughout Brazil for the honour of being named the winner of the 2014 World Cup. As Germany won its 4th title over Argentina 1-0, the names that will be etched on the minds of the close to one billion fans are Lionel Messi, Jaime Rodriguez, Mario Gotze, and Neymar da Silva Santos. These players will be remembered for their skill, power, artistry, and finesse.

Other names that these fans of the beautiful game should remember are the nine workers---Mohamed Ali Maciel Afonso, Fabio Hamiltin da Cruz, José Afonso de Oliveira, Fábio Luiz Pereira, Ronaldo Oliveira dos Santos, Raimundo Nonato Lima da Costa, Marcleudo de Melo Ferreira, Antônio José Pita Martins, and José Antônio da Silva Nascimento---who were tragically killed in the construction of the stadiums where the games took place. These workers will be remembered for their hard work, dedication to their families, and living a tragic legacy that calls for safe working conditions.

FIFA has boasted on the success of the 2014 World Cup as they move towards Russia; however, as they do this they must not forget the deaths of these construction workers who are essential in the construction of the stadiums and other infrastructure projects related to the World Cup must have safe and decent working conditions. One loss of life is too many. Unfortunately as Russia prepares to host the 2018 World Cup, 5 workers have already died and hundreds are predicted to die in the preparations for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. If FIFA wants to avoid further tragedies, they must put into place a mechanism that will ensure safety and decent work in all countries that host the World Cup.

As part of BWI's global Sports Campaign for Decent Work, the BWI calls on FIFA to do the following:

  • Adopt the principles of the ILO Core Conventions, United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprise and include them in the criteria for bids by countries wishing to host the World Cup.
  • Adopt a mandatory policy of "Decent Work Stadium and Infrastructure Standards."
  • Include respect for workers rights, decent work, binding provisions for safety and health and independent labour inspections in the "FIFA Law."
  • Conduct joint labour inspections with BWI to ensure international labour rights and international standards are adhered to in host countries.

The BWI will continue to pressure FIFA, host countries, and construction companies to ensure decent work, safe working conditions and trade union rights for all workers including migrant workers.

Source:  Building and Wood Workers International--BWI represents 12 million workers in 328 affiliated unions from 130 countries

Workers' Health and Safety to Be Addressed by G20

22/07/2014:   No week passes without terrible news about yet another occupational accident, or with media articles on workers' losing their health and lives due to substances they were exposed to in their workplaces. In the aftermath of the Rana Plaza disaster where more than a thousand people working for the textile industry died when the unsafe factory building collapsed, the G20 governments launched an evaluation process to identify ways by which they could contribute to safer workplaces. Almost a year after, this initiative is starting to take shape, and G20 governments have invited unions within the L20 to provide ideas on the way in which G20 could contribute to healthy and safe workplaces.

From the trade union side, there has been a strong emphasis given to the role of further regulation and enforcement of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) laws at the national level, as well as along the supply chains through influencing business behavior in non-G20 countries. The L20 has therefore suggested diverse options which could be taken immediately by the G20 and its member states and could have a decisive impact on workers' lives and health. These measures include the development of country roadmaps for promoting safer workplaces, including the recognition of workers' right to safety and health, and therefore the right to information on OHS, right to receive OHS training, right to refuse dangerous work, whistleblower protection, protection from victimization or 'blacklisting', among others.

The G20 Roadmaps should also detail actions such as:

  • Effective enforcement of OHS legislation, the need for adequate resourcing of OSH enforcement by governments -including labour inspectorates- and to increase the cost for negligent employers ignoring OSH, as well as forthe imposition of explicit legal safety duties on owners/directors of companies.
  • The ratification, implementation and enforcement of all relevant ILO Conventions and Recommendations.
  • Better address the OHS protection for workers in non- standard forms of employment such as temporary workers as well as for workers with greater vulnerability owing to their status as migrants, as members of minority groups or workers who are otherwise considered socially disadvantaged.
  • Address OSH in highly hazardous sectors, such as mining, agriculture, fisheries, docks and construction as well as in textile and garment factories, in particular those related to fire risks and building integrity.
  • Take action on unsafe/unhealthy exposure to carcinogenic substances, including asbestos, cadmium, mercury, and risks related to nanotechnologies and other emerging but poorly studied substances/processes.
  • Address psychosocial risks, including stress, harassment, bullying or mobbing and other forms of violence at work.

The L20 is also asking G20 to have a deeper discussion on promoting safer workplaces across global value chains, building on government, business and labour experiences, and considering the role of multilateral instruments developed to date, such as the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Trade unions also think that G20 governments could contribute to building healthier and safer workplaces by sharing information on important issues such as better ways of working (better design of work to reduce or eliminate physical, biological, chemical, psychosocial and other hazards), elimination of hazards (bans, restrictions and controls on toxic substances and hazardous processes), emerging hazards (legislative and control strategies including precautionary approaches), recognition and prevention of occupational diseases (collation of consolidated lists of recognised occupational diseases at a national/state level, for example for compensation purposes), among others.

These proposals will be made in the framework of the upcoming meeting of the G20 Task Force on Employment, which will take place in Brisbane, Australia this week on 23-24 July.

Source:  Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

Strike: Moroccan Postal Workers Out to Defend New Colleagues

22 July 2014:   Members of UNI Post & Logistics affiliate FNPL-UMT Morocco will strike July 23-25 to ensure their colleagues in two subsidiaries of Poste Maroc are treated fairly and can freely exercise their trade union rights.

For months, FNPL have negotiated with Poste Maroc and the Moroccan government to ensure that newly-hired workers in Barid-CASH and Barid-MEDIA are covered by the existing collective agreement for all postal workers. Poste Maroc have denied the rights of these workers to be represented by FNPL and have subjected them to low pay and a precarious employment situation.

"The treatment of the workers in Barid-CASH and Barid-MEDIA is unacceptable," said UNI Head of Post & Logistics Stephen DeMatteo. "These are postal workers and they deserve the same rights as their colleagues across Poste Maroc - fair pay, decent work and the right to be represented by their union. UNI supports FNPL in their strike this week and calls upon Poste Maroc to hear the union's demands." FNPL are calling for a unified operational structure, whereby all postal workers are covered by the collective agreement. The Post should stop attempting to divide workers and limit the rights of newly-hired workers.

UNI has sent letters of protest to postal management and to the Moroccan government condemning the current situation. UNI affiliates around the world have offered their support to the workers and stand in solidarity with the striking workers.

Source:  UNI Global Union--UNI represents 20 million workers from 900 trade unions in 150 countries

Hands Off Public Disability Services! Say NSW Health Staff

July 18, 2014:   The NSW Nurses and Midwives Association, a PSI affiliate in Australia, has been campaigning since December 2013 against the O'Farrell government's decision to privatise disability care services. On 17 July, the union published a petition which asks that the state Government retains a role in the provision of services in the ageing, disability and home care sectors and protects staff.

According to the new legislation, by 2018 there will be no government involvement in disability services and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will be privatised in New South Wales. The legislation was rushed through parliament with little consultation with staff or their representatives, and gives the government powers to decide who will remain in employment, and by whom (NGO or private sector), without the consent of the employee concerned. There will be no access to redundancy payments or means to negotiate 'comparable employment' or locality factors.

Health staff are also very concerned about the effects of the legislation on care home residents and their families. Some residential homes destined for closure specialise in care of people with severe disabilities who have lived for several years in a safe and caring environment. Their families worry that their transfer away from the homes would create unnecessary hardship, and they do not foresee that private providers would be able, or even want, to offer suitable services for their loved ones who have very special needs.

General Secretary of the NSW Nurses and Midwives' Association (NSWNMA), Brett Holmes, said the lack of real consultation and consideration of needs of the disabled and their carers had been distressing for residents and nurses. "Residents of the Stockton Centre [a care home for severely disabled persons] and their families should have the right to choose the care that best meets their needs, rather than being forced into the unknown," said Mr Holmes. "Thousands of vital nursing jobs across NSW are at risk as a result of the O'Farrell Government's privatisation plans, with no assurances current public sector pay and conditions would be offered by private agencies. "We are determined to fight this on behalf of our members to ensure the fairness, respect and dignity they deserve. "Many of our members have dedicated their life long careers to providing professional care to the most disabled members of our community and they have pledged to do all that is within their power to make sure that their clients continue to have access to the high standards of care they deserve."

Source:  Public Services International--PSI representing 20 million workers in 150 countries

Serbia: General Strike to Protect Wages and Working Conditions

Brussels, 17 July 2014 (ITUC OnLine):   The ITUC has expressed its full support to the Serbian trade union movement as workers across the country join a general strike against government plans to cut wages and working conditions. The government has ignored established procedures to force changes through parliament affecting minimum wage entitlements, employment provisions, pensions and disability insurance. Foreign business interests, notably the US Chamber of Commerce, have been actively pressing the government to reduce collective bargaining rights, increase the maximum duration of temporary employment contracts, reduce severance pay and holiday allowances and re-define equal pay rules.

Approaches by national trade union centres CATUS and Nezavisnost to the government for dialogue have been rebuffed, leaving the unions no option but to launch the general strike.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, "Serbia's wages are already extremely low by European standards, but foreign investors are looking to scour even more out of a national workforce which is struggling to survive already. The Serbian government needs to stand up to the bully-tactics of corporate power and take the side of ordinary people. It is astounding that the government is following an austerity path even as the complete failure of that approach in Europe and elsewhere is there for all to see."

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

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