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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...
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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
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Change to Win Coalition
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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.

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UNI Global Union Alliance of Liberty Global Trade Unions Demands Job Security and a Stop to Lowering Labor Standards

19 August 2016:   From the Caribbean to Europe, UNI Global Union Alliance of Liberty Global Trade Unions Demands Job Security and a Stop to Lowering Labor Standards

UNI Global Union is a global federation of trade unions in the services sectors, including telecommunications, with more than 20 million members in more than one 140 countries throughout the world. The employees of Cable & Wireless and Columbus Communications, now part of Liberty Global, are among some of the Liberty Global work places that we represent throughout the Caribbean and Europe. We have organized a meeting in the Bahamas with trade unions from 7 countries throughout the Caribbean and Europe to speak with one voice, addressing the concerns we have with the practices of Liberty Global.

We categorically repudiate Liberty Global's use of outsourcing and mergers to lower labor standards, make work ever more precarious, and justify continued redundancies. Here in the Bahamas we call upon Bahamas Telecommunication Company, partly owned subsidiary of Liberty Global, to end the use of independent contracts that it unilaterally implemented for its technicians, robbing them of job security, pension, health insurance, paid sick days and vacation.

In addition we call for the regularization of all retail staff working under the guise of private ownership with lower labor standards, yet still wearing the same BTC shirts and carrying out the same functions as their counterparts in BTC flagship stores. Throughout the Caribbean and in Europe, we have seen this same pattern of behavior where workers are outsourced and find themselves doing the same job for the same company, but for lower pay and without job security.

In addition, Liberty Global through its subsidiary Cable and Wireless is using acquisitions, like its merger with Columbus Communications (FLOW), to justify reducing pay and benefits. This is at times contrary to national laws and industrial practices in the countries where they operate and demonstrates disrespect for our governments, and is against the values UNI represents.

These practices have led to repeated labor conflicts in Antigua, St. Lucia, Barbados, Bahamas, Grenada and Jamaica, just to name a few. These conflicts are avoidable distractions that threaten Liberty Global's competitiveness in the region.

We call upon Liberty Global management to engage in a global partnership with its workers through UNI Global's affiliated trade unions by meeting with our unions as a united group. There will always be issues, but we can only solve problems through dialogue and not conflict and we must all work toward the strengthening of the company.

Liberty Global unions throughout the world are united in an alliance and will be meeting and taking action together to ensure the rights of Liberty Global workers are respected and protected. UNI Global affiliates from Europe and the Caribbean also call on Cable Bahamas to recognize without delay, that the BCPOU is the sole bargaining agent for the long-suffering employees. It has been 20 years and enough is enough.

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

Kazakhstan transport union takes first steps towards joining ITF family

An agreement has been made this week that could see thousands of transport workers in Kazakhstan join the ITF family.

19/08/2016:   ITF general secretary Steve Cotton met with leaders of the Kazakhstan Sectoral Trade Union of Workers of Railway, Road, Air and Water Transport (KazProfTrans) including chair, Orazgali Ahmetbayev in Amalty to start the process of their affiliation to the ITF. The union is part of the Federation of Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan that recently affiliated to the ITUC. The application will now go to the executive board in October for endorsement.

To represent workers from across transport sectors participants of the meeting included chair of the ITF railways section Øystein Aslaksen, vice chair of the ITF seafarers' section Tomas Abrahamsson, ITF inland transport section assistant secretary Janina Malinovska and representatives from affiliated CIS (commonwealth of independent states) based unions.

ITF executive board member and president of the Trade Union of Railwaymen and Transport Construction Workers of Russia Nikolay Nikiforov acted as chair.

Øystein Aslaksen said: "Trade and investment opportunities in the New Silk Road are immense. China in particular is seizing on the opportunity to reach Central Asian and Middle Eastern markets by using the existing rail network that travels directly through Kazakhstan because it's so much quicker than the maritime route. This is a link between three continents and 65 countries and at the heart of all of this are transport workers.

"This is a hugely important transport corridor that is strategically important for trade. We need to increase the power of unions, the power of the ITF and ultimately the power of workers here to secure influence and really make a difference."

Steve Cotton welcomed the first steps towards affiliation saying the integration of KazProfTrans into the ITF would strengthen the federation internationally and have a positive impact for workers along global supply chains that run through the CIS and the surrounding region.

The ITF already has affiliated unions in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Uzbekistan.

Source:  International Transport Workers Federation--ITF representing over 4.5 million transport workers in 700 unions from 150 countries

Jennings Lifts 8,000-Strong NALC Convention

16 August 2016:   Philip Jennings, the UNI Global Union General Secretary, brought the 8,000 delegates of the 70th biennial convention of the National Association of Letter Carriers to their feet with his message yesterday in Los Angeles: It's time for a postal comeback.

Jennings applauded the NALC for its tenacious defense of the USPS, universal postal services, and good union jobs against a hostile Congress. He said, "Universal service - 6 days a week, to every household and business in this country - isn't just good for this union, it's good for the Postal Service, and it's the promise you've upheld to the country for decades. It's that universal service which will be the rock that postal comeback is built on. The NALC and the Post Office must make your mark on the e-commerce explosion and grow postal services. UNI will stand with you every step of the way."

The NALC convention comes just months before the general election in the US, and at a time when the Congress is considering a comprehensive reform package for the postal service. NALC President Fred Rolando called members to action in the final months of the campaign. "Few workers have more at stake in the upcoming elections than letter carriers. We must mobilize our members to elect pro-letter carrier candidates to federal office," Rolando said. Jennings joined Rolando in that call, saying NALC members and their allies must ensure the Democratic Party's platform for a vibrant, public, universal postal service be adopted following the November elections.

Jennings also called on NALC members to continue their fight for postal financial services, one of the union's key priorities. "Nobody is more trusted in the United States than the Post Office. The American public deserve an affordable, accessible postal bank, just like millions of people around the world already enjoy. UNI Global Union will fight with you to put the payday lenders and the loan sharks out of business and ensure that postal workers are the face of responsible banking in America."

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

World Social Forum: Spotlight on free quality public education

16 August 2016:   "Another world is possible with free, universally accessible quality public education for all". This was the crucial message brought by the education community to the 2016 World Social Forum in Montreal, Canada, from 9-14 August.

Education International (EI) affiliates in Quebec - the Centrale des syndicats du Québec (CSQ ), the Fédération québécoise des professeures et professeurs d'université, the Fédération du personnel professionnel des universités et de la recherche and the Fédération Nationale des Enseignantes et Enseignants du Québec - led in the establishment of the first self-managed Education Zone Committee at the 2016 World Social Forum (WSF). The Zone was an open space for analysis and dialogue between education unions, student associations and other civil society stakeholders around critical issues affecting education. Together with affiliates from over 20 member organisations, EI contributed a union perspective and helped to build solidarity platforms of political action.

Privatisation threat

The growing corporate sector involvement in education financing, management, and regulation came under scrutiny. Its negative implications for governance, funding and the provision of quality public education for all were one of the key issues largely discussed at the Education Zone.

Education International was joined by leading academics at the roundtable entitled The global education industry: Philanthropy, business and the changing roles of government. Researcher Curtis Riep, Professor Prachi Srivastava and Dr Antonio Olmedo unveiled the increasing role of non-state actors in contemporary networked political frameworks with a particular focus on market-oriented philanthropy, public-private partnerships and the global scaling-up of corporate-backed for-profit schooling.

Concerns were raised about the lack of transparency and accountability of these non-state actors impacting democratic decision making, reshaping public sector work and steering education agendas globally for private benefit. The narrowing standardisation of education to produce a reserve army of labour to satisfy corporate interest was the subject of critical debate.

A global response

EI also presented at other roundtables: presenting a case study focusing on companies trying to profiteer from education privatisation at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)-organised panel, Capital Strategies Focused on Education, and also at the CSQ-organised panel, Response to the privatisation/commodification of education and knowledge.

Participants discussed strategies to confront the impact of choice and competition leading to the commodification of knowledge, a deepening inequality and segregation in education and the de-professionalisation of teaching. The need for greater efforts by the union movement to confront the disturbing trends in precarious employment received particular attention.

Recognising the necessity of an adequate revenue base for the achievement of quality public education for all, the importance of tax justice against the backdrop of disturbing evidence of corporate tax avoidance and minimisation was a key topic of discussion.

Other panels on which EI's member organisations led or participated included: Taking on Hedge Funds, Bankers & Billionaires to Win for Our Communities (AFT); Teachers' Unions tackling racism in schools and society (Gewerkschaft Erziehung und Wissenschaft-GEW/Germany); and Stop Child Labour and Let Children Learn (GEW).

Background

The WSF, the largest gathering of civil society, emerged in 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, to contest neoliberal globalisation. Under the slogan Another World is Possible, it represented the transformation of a growing global protest movement into a forum to envisage alternatives. Education, as an essential prerequisite for dialogue and peace, plays a leading role within this movement.

Source:  Education International--EI uniting 30 million education workers in 400 organizations in 170 countries and territories

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