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Dissent: Belabored Podcast #91: Fasting for $15 and Full-Time   |   The Nation: The Other Side of Black Friday Price Tags   |   Temple University Adjuncts Vote to Join TAUP, AFT   |   Common Dreams: In Biggest Tax Evasion Scheme of Its Kind, Big Pharma Becomes Behemoth   |   Working in These Times: Labor Law Is Failing Us. It's Time To Push for a New Labor Act.   |   Truthout: Big Insurance's Health-Care Scam for the Holidays

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World Day For Decent Work

Fight for $15...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
Let's Get America Working...
International Brotherhood of Teamsters


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

Walmart unions reach agreement in Chile and deepen unity in action

25 November 2015:   The Walmart Unions meeting was held on November 23rd at ILO offices in Santiago, Chile, with major progress for the sector, achieving an agreement and strengthening the bonds of all the organisations representing Walmart workers in Chile.

The meeting aimed to select common candidates to represent them in the bipartite training committee and reach a consensus and a commitment to establish the action plan against the difficulties faced by all the organisations alike.

After long discussions between SIL Sindicato Interempresa Léder Walmart, the Federación Walmart, the Federación Centro Sur, the Federación Nacional Walmart y Retail, the Federación Autónoma, Federación Nacional de Trabajadores Líder and Sindicatos de Jefes, with the participation of the presidents of each organisation, the following agreements were reached:

Two brothers were chosen from SIL and the Walmart Federation as representatives of all the workers grouped in these seven organisations. They will represent the workers before the company in the bipartite training committee.

A Permanent Advisory Council was also established with five elected members from the other organizations, whose main task will be to advise and agree with the bipartite committee on the opinion of the workers regarding training. Similarly, if other unions are included in the future, they may nominate a union leader in this Advisory Council.

On the other hand, a meeting will be requested with Walmart, with the presence of all the presidents of the organisations and two representatives of the bipartite training committee and the five members of the Advisory Council. Claudio Aravena, UNI Americas Regional Coordinator in Chile will participate in the meeting on behalf of UNI Americas.

Likewise, the meeting for next December 4th was approved, with the priority to set the common agenda to be fostered and developed together by the seven organisations representing more than 35,000 Walmart workers in Chile.

UNI Americas congratulates the seven unions for this great agreement that will be visible through common decisions with the company. This strengthens the unity of the unions in the sector and directly benefits all the workers.

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

Korea: Major Government Crackdown Against Unions

Brussels, 21 November 2015 (ITUC OnLine):   The ITUC has condemned the Korean government's latest crackdown against trade unions, following a series of raids on union offices and the creation of a special task force to arrest KCTU President Han Sang-gyun who is currently under the protection of the Jogyesa Buddhist Temple in Seoul. Police swooped on the offices of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions and its member unions today, confiscating computers, documents and other equipment, in an attempt to suppress ongoing protests against new labour laws which will push yet more workers into insecure jobs and reduce wages.

Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary, said, "Korean President Park Geun-hye is showing some of the worst dictatorial tendencies of Korea's darkest days of political oppression. We call on her to take responsibility to call off the hounding of the KCTU President by the police and release all the unionists who have already been detained. The world is facing real and immense challenges to democracy and security, and the Korean government's ongoing campaign against those who stand up for workers, and for democracy in the workplace, is a fool's errand. Working people need secure jobs and decent wages and every country needs to defend and support essential pillars of democracy including trade unions, rather than trying to destroy them. President Park should stand up for ordinary people instead of pandering to Korea's hugely powerful industrial conglomerates which are using her to entrench their power and privilege."

KCTU President Han said, "Today, the government and the police have trampled on the rights of the KCTU and workers in Korea. The anti-democratic, anti-worker policies of the Park Geun-hye government roused the indignation of the working people. We will broaden worker solidarity and fight to stop the regressive labour reform bill which will make it easier for employers to dismiss workers, cut wages and create more precarious employment. These reforms will not create the jobs the government promises but only ensure that all jobs are insecure and poorly-paid. With the ITUC, we will work to build a world where workers and their rights are respected."

Source:  International Trade Union Confederation--ITUC represents 180 million workers in 162 countries and territories and has 333 national affiliates

Three years after Tazreen fire, brands must pay compensation

19.11.2015:   On the eve of the third anniversary of the Tazreen factory fire in Bangladesh, IndustriALL Global Union is calling on international brands that sourced from the garment factory to pay into the fund for victims.

On 24 November 2012, approximately 120 garment workers burnt to death and 300 more were badly injured in the fire. Exits were locked and more than 100 workers were sustained serious injuries as a result of jumping for their lives from the upper floors of the factory building.

The anniversary falls just as Walmart, Tazreen's biggest customer, can expect massive sales during Thanksgiving week. The U.S. brand still refuses to pay compensation to victims' families and the injured.

One year ago, IndustriALL Global Union together with the Clean Clothes Campaign, C&A and the C&A Foundation signed an agreement, brokered by the International Labour Organization, to set up the Tazreen Claims Administration Trust to give compensation to victims from a dedicated Fund.

The Trust, which is based on the successful claims procedure used for thousands of Rana Plaza victims, will make payments to cover loss of income and medical treatment.

Brands and retailers with revenue over US$1 million are being asked to pay a minimum of US$100,000 into the Fund.

Only C&A, Li & Fung (which sourced for Sean John's Enyce brand) and discount German retailer KiK have paid so far.

Other brands that sourced from Rana Plaza and have not paid are Spanish department store El Corte Ingles; U.S. brands Disney, Sears, Dickies and Delta Apparel; Edinburgh Woolen Mill (UK); Karl Rieker (Germany); Piazza Italia (Italy); and Teddy Smith (France).

Monika Kemperle, IndustriALL's assistant general secretary, said: "The Tazreen Claims Administration Trust provides real hope to victims who can expect to start receiving payments in the coming months. While we thank the brands that have already paid, we are completely dismayed that Tazreen's biggest customer, Walmart, won't fork out after three long years.

"Once again, Walmart is ignoring its responsibilities and failing victims."

KiK is the only brand to be involved in all three of the 'big three' tragedies to hit the garment industry in recent history - Tazreen, Rana Plaza also in Bangladesh, and the 2012 Ali Enterprises factory fire in Pakistan which killed 254 people.

While the processes to pay compensation to the victims of Rana Plaza and Tazreen are underway, the Ali Enterprise case has yet to be properly addressed.

Kemperle added: "There is no reason why a model similar to the compensation process used for Rana Plaza and now Tazreen, cannot be applied to the victims of the Ali Enterprises fire. Again, appalling safety standards and locked exists led to a terrible loss of life. It's about time KiK delivers on its promise to pay long-term compensation to victims."

Source:  IndustriALL Global Union--IndustriALL represents 50 million workers in 600 unions in 140 countries

Italy: McDonald's activists reinstated, court declares McDonald's guilty of anti-union activities

17 November 2015:   Earlier this year, management of the McDonald's restaurant in central Milan, Italy informed on-duty employees that the restaurant would be closing the following day and that 46 of the 50 workers would be transferred. The remaining four, two union members and two union representatives, were dismissed. The IUF-affiliated Italian unions Filcams-Cgil, Ficascat-Cisl and Uiltucs-Uil fought back with a series of demonstrations and filed a lawsuit against McDonald's Italy for illegal anti-union activities and unlawful dismissal of the four trade unionists.

On November 12, the Labour Tribunal confirmed these violations and ordered McDonald's to immediately reinstate the 4 union workers dismissed on July 20.

Source:  International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco, and Allied Workers' Associations --IUF uniting 12 million workers in 397 affiliated organizations in 125 countries

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