From the TUC

Seasonal solidarity #10: trade deals haven’t stopped the killings

31 Dec 2012, By

This year’s trade deals with Colombia – first with the US and most recently with the EU – have been fiercely opposed by the trade union movements in Colombia, Europe and the USA. We told governments and politicians that Colombia hadn’t done enough on human rights to justify preferential trading arrangements. As a compromise, we…

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Seasonal solidarity #9: slave labour in Belarus

29 Dec 2012, By

The Pan-European Regional Council of the ITUC, led by Russian trade unionist Mikhail Shmakov, has accused the dictatorial Lukashenko government of Belarus of introducing slavery. Decree No 9 prohibits workers in industies undergoing ‘modernisation’ from leaving their jobs without the permission of their employer – including Belarus’ wood processing enterprises. Belarus is a repeat offender…

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Seasonal solidarity #8: rights for domestic workers

29 Dec 2012, By

What have Bolivia, Italy, Mauritius, Nicaragua, Paraguay, the Philippines and Uruguay got in common? They are the seven nations which have so far ratified ILO Convention 189 on equal rights for domestic workers since it was adopted by the ILO in 2011. The UK Government hasn’t, and even abstained even on the adoption of the Convention…

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Seasonal solidarity #7: free Sudanese teacher Jalila

28 Dec 2012, By

The creation of a new nation in South Sudan earlier this year was hailed around the world as a major step forward for human rights. But it has left behind continuing harassment and oppression in Sudan. One such case is that of Jalila Khamis Koko, a teacher who has been charged on five criminal counts – all…

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Seasonal solidarity #6: Canadian unions snared in bureaucracy

27 Dec 2012, By

It’s not only in developing countries that trade unions face attacks, although there is usually much less outright violence. But the universal human rights of freedom of association and freedom to bargain collectively are as relevant in an industrialised economy like Canada as any of the countries I’ve covered so far. And they’re under attack…

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Seasonal solidarity #5: holding down Bangladesh’s unions

26 Dec 2012, By

It’s often suggested that Bangladesh‘s Ready-Made Garment (RMG) industry isn’t engaged in a race to the bottom: it’s already got there! The devastating Tazreen Fashions factory fire last month which killed 112 was just one demonstration of the effect (and there have been many others over the years.) Western companies have tried to escape responsibility, using a…

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Seasonal solidarity #4: Turkish delight for freed women

25 Dec 2012, By

As it’s Christmas Day, we’ve chosen to highlight some good news (sort of.) This month saw the release on bail of the last three of 15 Turkish women trade unionists arrested earlier in the year. Their trial is set for next April, and will probably continue for months or even years due to the (probably deliberate)…

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