LabourStart Solidarity Campaigns
Fight for $15...Low Pay is Not OK
Re-Run the Vote: No World Cup Without Workers Rights...
International Trade Union Confederation
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
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.
More Acts of Retaliation Against Prosegur Workers in Peru
17 October 2016: Sadly, we bring to your attention more acts of retaliation against Prosegur workers based on union activity.
In Peru last month, Juan Aucca, a union member in Trujillo, a vocal opponent of Prosegur's acts of favoritism, nepotism, intimidation and discrimination against union members, was physically assaulted. This followed a series of harassing events at work and at home. At work, anti-union locker room propaganda was placed on the company informational board and Juan was subjected to verbal attacks. At home, someone came pounding on the door, shouting threats, causing Juan, his wife and children to be fearful for their safety. The assault took place while Juan was riding his motorcycle. He was in a wreck but, fortunately, he was not hurt. This is not the first time a union activist has been attacked under similar circumstances: Luis Cardenas, president of the union, was attacked outside his home following similar anti-union harassment.
The local union, Prosegur Sindicato 1, has called on Prosegur to denounce these acts of harassment and physical violence and for the company to deny any involvement. Despite circumstances which suggest association with the company, Prosegur has remained silent.
In the face of no action by Prosegur, union members through the UNI Prosegur Alliance have come to Juan's aid by placing a video on social media, calling on Prosegur to respond. Prosegur's only response was to refuse to renew employment contracts for four union activists. Since then, 4 more union members have been dismissed or their contracts not renewed (the overwhelming majority of guards in Peru work under fixed-term contracts). In each case, the union believes these actions were in retaliation for acts of union solidarity for Juan Aucca -- and the situation continues to escalate.
These acts are not occurring in isolation. Prosegur Sindicato 1 and Prosegur are in a dispute over health and safety issues: inadequate staffing, excessive hours of work, changes in procedures, assignments, locations and schedules. The union believes that workers are unnecessarily being placed at risk and that some disagreements involve contract violations.
While this is happening in Peru, government authorities in Colombia are investigating an on-the-job death last April of a Prosegur guard who was shot in the head while loading cash into an ATM machine. This worker's death followed an alleged threat (and acts of retaliation) by the guard's supervisor to "take care in the streets" after the guard refused to drop his union membership. Health and safety provisions related to staffing in the parties' collective agreement were violated when this fatality occurred.
These acts of retaliation for exercising the right to join and to participate in a union violate workers' human rights and are unacceptable. UNI calls on Prosegur to honor the right to Freedom of Association.
We ask you to share this information on your union web page and on social media. The trade unionists in Peru know the power of global solidarity and greatly appreciate your support.
Joint Statement of ETUC, ITUC, TURK-IS, HAK-IS, DISK, KESK following the visit of ETUC and ITUC to Ankara on 12-13 October 2016
14 October 2016: Representing the International and European trade union movement, our aim was to stand in solidarity with the people of Turkey and the Turkish trade unions after the failed coup, and also to discuss recent evolutions in the situation of trade union members in Turkey with the four affiliate organisations [Turk-is, Hak-is, Disk and Kesk].
The delegation was particularly concerned at the massive wave of dismissals of workers, particularly public employees, by the Turkish government, in most cases without any basis of proof or evidence, or compliance with the rule of law.
All organisations attending the meeting condemned the coup attempt as an attack on democracy, and stated that any terrorist attacks or unconstitutional efforts to seize power and overthrow democracy must be opposed, but this must not lead either to constitutional changes that limit democratic rights, or to the destruction of the livelihoods of thousands of workers.
In meetings with representatives of the EU delegation and the ILO office, the joint delegation reiterated its unconditional support for the democratic values and trade union freedoms set out in ILO Conventions and international and European charters, as well as for full respect of the rule of law.
Europe, Turkey and the international community must increase their efforts to promote the spread of peace, democracy, economic development, equality and decent jobs.
Specific attention must be devoted to respect for and full enforcement of trade union rights in Turkey, including freedom of association, the right to strike and collective bargaining.
The ITUC, ETUC and their members stand together for these values, and will work with all others to defend and promote these fundamental principles.
Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha Workers Groundbreaking Victory
Global unions demand that TiSA negotiations be stopped
14 October 2016: Following the release of new leaked documents exposing the details of the secret Trade in Services Agreement, six global union federations are calling for all talks to be brought to a halt.
Together, Education International (EI), Public Services International (PSI), the European Public Service Union (EPSU), International Union of Food workers (IUF), the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) and UNI are calling on all countries participating in the negotiations to immediately publish information about their position and demands on other countries, including the US, Japan, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, and begin national consultations with social partners and civil society.
The demand comes on the heels of the release of Wikileaks documents which reveal the wide scope of the deregulatory agenda and attack on democratic governance. The EU is attempting to wrestle control of every level of governance from the municipal to national levels of partner countries. The leaked documents demonstrate that the EU is demanding other TiSA parties to include and commit to the liberalisation of public services in the trade pact.
"These leaks give a clear indication of the dangerous direction of the TiSA negotiations. The fact that citizens and civil society are still obliged to rely on leaks for getting a sense of the direction of the negotiations is deeply unsatisfactory," said Fred van Leeuwen, General Secretary of EI. "It is outrageous that the EU is demanding other TiSA parties to commit to the liberalisation of education, particularly in the case of developing countries where public education systems are still being established, or where privatisation has clearly failed."
Delayed since 2013, negotiations to finalise the trade deal by the end of the 2016 are set to continue Monday, 17 October in Washington, D.C. The unions do not want that to happen. The federations are urging their national member organisations to contact their governments and demand both that they do not trade away sovereign, democratic rights, or rob the rights of other countries.
Click here to read the press release in full.
Unions discuss transatlantic organizing
13.10.2016: German and U.S. union members met in Berlin today to share experiences and plans to build power on both sides of the Atlantic through coordinated organizing.
The Transatlantic Labor Dialogue meeting also included participation from IndustriALL, journalists and academics. It was hosted by IG Metall.
Leaders of U.S. unions AFL-CIO and Service Employees International Union discussed weak U.S. labor law and union avoidance tactics that make recruiting new members difficult, and also presented successful campaigns like Fight for $15 through which low wage workers are achieving huge gains.
An IG Metall member and leader in the Airbus works council in Germany said that over 80 percent of Airbus workers in Germany are union members and they have good social dialog with German management.
When he visited an Airbus aircraft assembly plant in the U.S. state of Alabama where employees are trying to organize with IAM, U.S. management told him that the Global Framework Agreement doesn't apply to the U.S., they don't want a union in Alabama, and he is not allowed to talk with Alabama Airbus workers. He spoke with the workers as a show of solidarity.
An IUE-CWA member and Siemens employee discussed IG Metall support for a joint initiative by U.S. unions to organize at Siemens, which has signed a Global Framework Agreement with IndustriALL. He said the long-term aim of the initiative is to organize all Siemens facilities in the U.S. though it won't be easy given the prevalence of union-busting in the U.S. even at German companies.
The Chairman of the German Trade Union Confederation Reiner Hoffmann discussed today's rejection by Germany's top court of a legal challenge to the proposed EU-Canada trade deal CETA for being undemocratic. Hoffman said he is not opposed to globalization but trade agreements have worsened inequality, failed to safeguard social standards and given too many rights to investors.
IndustriALL Assistant General Secretary Kemal Özkan raised the need for trade agreements to defend labour norms and ensure democratic control. He also discussed instruments on an international level that IndustriALL uses to confront multinational corporations.
The meeting follows increasing organizing collaboration between IndustriALL affiliates in Germany and the U.S., especially IG Metal and UAW. They recently formed the Transatlantic Labor Institute which focuses on organizing German auto companies in the U.S. South. The aim is to increase organizing success in the U.S. and maintain bargaining power in Germany.
"IndustriALL is committed to organizing, and it's a part of nearly everything we do," said Özkan. "We support initiatives by our German and U.S. affiliates to organize better through working together."
Fast food workers win guaranteed hours in New Zealand
13 October 2016: The IUF-affiliate Unite Union and Restaurant Brands, which owns the rights to market KFC, Pizza Hut, Starbucks and Carl's Jr brands in New Zealand, have signed an agreement which fully guarantees workers' hours and shifts.
The collective agreement signed in 2015 had a formula that guaranteed hours at 80% of the previous three months worked. The new, amended agreement transitions to 100% guaranteed hours and fixed shifts. The passage of the law to ban zero hours contracts in New Zealand set the stage for this change to be negotiated.
Employers will enter into discussions with each worker to reach agreement on fixed hours and shifts based on what they have actually been working. Employees will also be offered additional shifts when they become available up to a maximum of 40 hours a week, offering the opportunity for stable, secure full-time employment.
Unite National Secretary Gerard Hehir calls this is a massive win for workers.
However, Unite has accused McDonald's and Burger King of trying to deny workers their rights under both the collective agreements and the law and will be challenging their actions in the courts.
Public Services International: New documentary highlights aggressive efforts by Troika and corporations to privatise Greek public water
UNI Forum addresses crucial questions posed by rapid growth of E-Commerce
11 October 2016: At the UNI E-Commerce Forum hosted by the CWU in Dublin, trade unionists from all over the world addressed some of the crucial questions emerging from the dramatic growth of E-Commerce. E-Commerce is one of the fastest growing and most hierarchical markets in the international economy. In many ways, the shift towards a digital economy has meant that there is a smaller market for traditional commerce and post and logistics companies.
Later this week, UNI Global Union will hold its World Post and Logistics Conference in Dublin at the Croke Park Conference Centre. Over 260 delegates from 50 countries, representing over 2 million postal and logistics workers, will assemble to examine the impacts of e-commerce on the post and logistics sector.
E-Commerce is driving a huge and irreversible shift in how businesses and consumers interact. This presents major challenges to the business models of national postal service providers and to traditional shopping trends. The forum examined the implications of these changes for the trade union movement, and how postal and logistic, commerce and ICTS sector unions represent and protect the pay and working conditions of workers.
General Secretary of CWU Ireland Steve Fitzpatrick said, "It's important now that we have a collaborative, cross-sectoral approach to this market. We can no longer talk about encroaching on other sectors - we must work together across the Postal, Commerce and ICTS sectors to organise."
"The conversations that we have here are fundamental for the future," said Stephen DeMatteo, Head of UNI Post and Logistics. "There is no way to stop the evolution of e-commerce and its subsequent effect on the world of work. We must therefore adapt."
"The fundamental goal of this forum is to prepare for the future with our affiliates, and to try and answer some of the questions posed by the growth of e-commerce."
"We need a cross-sectoral, integrated approach to tackle the emerging issues posed by a rapidly changing e-commerce market," said Alke Boessiger, the newly appointed Head of ICTS (former Head of Commerce.
"UNI will continue to improve international solidarity between unions. With international unity, we can fight for better wages and working conditions for workers at companies like Amazon."
The forum featured the presentation of a new report from Peterloo Research. Focused on the growth of e-commerce and what it means for the traditional "brick and mortar" businesses, the report raises some crucial questions facing the labour movement. Does the growth of e-commerce mean the death of the high street? How do you collectively bargain with a website? How do we interact with workers who are internationally disparate?
According to research, although this technological has a different face to previous ones, the fundamentals remain the same. These "digisharks", such as Amazon, Alibaba and others exploit the workforce by subcontracting, outsourcing and lowering labour costs through unscrutinised legal loopholes. Workers at e-commerce giants such as Amazon are subject to difficult working conditions with practices such as "dataveillance" contributing to long term health deterioration and safety issues.
The forum also saw detailed presentations from affiliates on the situations in their countries and how e-commerce had changed the game in their sectors and regions.