IFWEA e-bulletin  Issue 30 / Third Quarter 2015 Preparing for IFWEA's 22nd General Conference in Peru December 2015! "PRECARITY OR SOLIDARITY? - The role of Workers’ Education in building the 21st Century global labor movement"
IFWEA e-bulletin Issue 30 / Third Quarter 2015  view this email in your browser
Issue 30 / Third Quarter 2015
© PLADES informal workers' education
Greetings from the IFWEA Secretariat,
We are excited to announce that registration of members has been going well as we prepare for the 22nd General Conference (GC) in Lima, Peru in partnership with affiliate Programa Laboral De Desarrollo [PLADES]. If you have not registered yet, you can do so here: ▷

The theme of the Conference is “Precarity or Solidarity? The role of workers’ education in building the 21st Century global labor movement.” ▷ click here for the programme of the 22nd GC:

The International Labor History Workshop opens the Conference on Saturday 5 December 2015 “Education and emancipation: towards a global history of workers’ education.” Speakers at the workshop include Petro Gougoulakis, Aslak Leesland, Jenny Jansson, Namrata Bali, Lauren Marsh and C. R. Vendramim - and will be chaired by Michael Merrill.
 ▷ click here for more details

Three International Workshops run on 7th December:
 ▷ click here for more details and to register:

◘ Nominations for the IFWEA Executive Committee are now closed - the nominees' biographies and statements are available to view at

- See you in Lima! General Secretary Sahra Ryklief
In this e-bulletin:
NOTICE: DOWNLOAD "Educating for Union Strength"
Online Labor Academy (OLA)
◘  Workers Education for Social Justice - Study Circles
SOLIDARITY IN ACTION - find links to global campaigns and petitions than can make a difference
see some interesting analysis in the OPINION section from Global Labor Column and Equal times

INSPIRATION: "Sakena Yacoobi  - Education activist TED Talk"
▶  details to Contact IFWEA Secretariat - email the office, view the website and join the Facebook group
    Watch ITF's new video "About the ITF"
"Monica Widman-Lundmark is the new Federation Secretary of ABF Sweden."
▶ read more
▶ for more on ABF

◘ INDIA / SOUTH AFRICA / THAILAND: StreetNet International
Watch this video from StreetNet International -"Informal Workers and Healthcare"  here
"SMLR's Executive and Professional Education (EPE) held a special networking event at the University Inn and Conference Center to showcase its innovative training offerings and opportunities for collaborations. Attendees were introduced to EPE's instructional and leadership team and discovered ways in which EPE can enhance job seekers' and employees' critical, on-the-job competencies... "
"Syrian humanitarian crisis: SOLIDAR members in action in Lebanon and Jordan"
read the blog here
▶ "Towards a South African National Minimum Wage" Booklet
'What is a Minimum Wage?
ILO legal experts have defined the minimum wage as: “the minimum sum payable to a worker
for work performed or services rendered, within a given period (…) which may not be reduced
either by individual or collective agreement (and) which is guaranteed by law”. According to ILO
Convention No. 131 the primary purpose of such a minimum wage is to provide protection for
wage earners against “unduly low wages”. In other words, a minimum wage aims to set a
floor to the distribution of wages, below which no worker can legally be paid.

download here

via International Labour Organisation's ACTRAV - The Mandate of the Bureau for Workers' Activities [ACTRAV] is to strengthen representative, independent and democratic trade unions in all countries, to enable them to play their role effectively in protecting workers' rights and interests and in providing effective services to their members at national and international levels, and to promote the ratification and implementation of ILO Conventions.
"Educating for Union Strength":
'The handbook emphasizes the importance of training educators and focuses on ‘educating the union educator’ to implement education activities that are learner focused and based on the principles of solidarity and collectivism. It recognizes that education is a vital part of a union strategy and action plans because it encourages the involvement and confidence of workers to play a role in the union strengthening negotiations, representation and campaigns.'
▷ download here
In 2015 OLA partner organisations have been engaged in:
1) Research - conducting research identifying the key challenges that trade unions face, identifying what changes can be made to meet these challenges, and identifying the educational and learning needs to bring about changes;
2) Workshops /Seminars  - organisational partners have hosted workshop or seminar with trade unions and civil society organisations on educational challenges, discussing how applicable OLA is in addressing these challenges
Look out for the research report via IFWEA website
Join the journey, and watch how study circles are being established in South Africa - with education 'The Power of Change Lies Within Us'
watch the video via You Tube   or on the Study Circles Facebook page
THREADING WORKSHOP part 1: The study circle started their workshop series: threading is a technique for hair removal - this skill can be used as a full time or part time income generating activity.
More about study circles
◉ KYRGYZSTAN: "Stop union-busting, reinstate Zhanaydar Ahmetov"
In Partnership with IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors and is a new force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world. ▶ sign the petition www.KYRGYZSTANcampaign#
"The Chinese petrol company Zhongda is attempting to destroy a local branch of the IndustriALL Global Union affiliate Mining and Metallurgy Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan. The company went from ignoring the union to open busting. At the end of August the company management fired trade union leader Zhanaydar Ahmetov, challenged the registration of the union and started to call the families of union members threatening them with dismissals if they remain union members."
◉ UNITED KINGDOM: "UK: Support strikers at the National Gallery in London"
In partnership with Public Services International (PSI), a global trade union federation representing 20 million working women and men who deliver vital public services in 154 countries, and the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) one of the largest trade unions in the UK, with around 220,000 members.
"Staff at the National Gallery in London, organised by PSI affiliate the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), have been on strike since February 2015 following the Gallery's decision to privatise two thirds of staff, including those who look after the paintings and help the gallery's six million annual visitors. In the absence of successful negotiations, PCS has started an indefinite strike over the gallery's privatisation plans and the impact these will have. The action has escalated because the gallery has announced the appointment of private security firm Securitas to manage the visitor-facing and security services on a 5-year contract reportedly worth £40 million. About 300 gallery assistants who guard paintings and help visitors will be affected."

sign the petition www.UKNATIONALGALLERYcampaign#
◉ POLAND: "Poland: Stop sackings and union busting at port"
In partnership with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) and the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union "Solidarnosc"
"Maciek Konopka has been sacked from his job at Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) in Gdansk. Why? Ostensibly because he's a committed and active trade union leader. It's the latest in a line of union-busting actions by management including intimidation, threats of dismissal, and nine other workers being forced to leave."

sign the petition www.POLANDcampaign#
◉ TURKEY: "Turkey: Union busting at €1,000 hand bag producer SF Leather"
In Partnership with IndustriALL, which represents 50 million workers in 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors and is a new force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world.
"SF Leather's union busting tactics in Izmir, Turkey over recent weeks includes sacking 14 union supporters, offering their jobs back on the condition that they cancel their union membership, demanding the local court to impound a union banner and block the union distributing material online of their action, and even filing a claim for damages against the union."
sign the petition 
In partnership with the Education International, a global union federation of 396 associations and unions in 171 countries and territories, representing some 32.5 million educators and support professionals.
"Esmail Abdi, a leader of the Iranian Teachers' Trade Association, was arrested on 27 June following his attempt to obtain a visa to attend the 7th Education International World Congress in Ottawa, Canada in late July.nAfter his passport was confiscated at the border, he was ordered to return to Tehran to meet with prosecutors. However, upon reporting to the prosecutors' office he was arrested while more than 70 teachers waited outside in support. Abdi's arrest comes after nationwide rallies were held earlier this year to protest wages that leave the majority of teachers below the poverty line."
sign the petition www.IRANcampaigns#
from Global Labour Column:
▶ click here: "The Swedish Model in 2015: A 'Safe Haven' or a 'Nordic Noir'?" by Alexis Stenfors:
"Having slowly witnessed the deconstruction of the old ‘Swedish model’, a new element appears to have cemented the belief that Sweden truly has changed: the rise of the Sweden Democrats. How could an anti-immigrant party on the Far Right become the 3rd largest party in the country?"

▶ click here: "Farm Worker Uprising on the Western Cape: From 'Flexible Work' to 'Moment of Madness'"
by Jesse Wilderman

 "There had not in living memory been a protest that reached this scale and intensity, even though grievances around low wages, inadequate housing, and unfair treatment have plagued farm workers for years; the perceived power of the farm owners coupled with a lack of large, formal organisation or trade unions among farm workers seemed to have stacked the deck against collective resistance."

▶ click here:
"After Rana Plaza: Multi-Stakeholder Governance of the RMG Industry in Bangladesh"
by Mohd Raisul Islam Khan and Christa Wichterich
"In April 2013, the collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh that killed 1,129 garment workers and left more than 2,500 seriously wounded generated a huge public outcry at the national and international level. The tragedy broadened earlier demands from trade unions and rights-based campaigns for regulation of labour relations in transnational apparel production chains and for improvement of workplace safety in the Readymade Garment (RMG) industry in Bangladesh.
Public pressure led to the adoption of a range of action plans and agreements. The most notable is The Accord on Fire and Building Safety in Bangladesh (Accord), the first legally binding multi-stakeholder agreement signed by over 180 apparel corporations, two global union federations IndustriALL and UNI Global Union, labor rights campaign groups and Bangladeshi trade unions. "

▶ click here: "TTIP 'reforms' a little more than a rebranding exercise"
Natacha Cingotti
"It’s not everyday that trade deals make headline news but it happened last week after the European Commission’s announced long-awaited plans to reform the controversial investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS) of the Transatlantic Trade and investment Partnership (TTIP). The mechanism, which grants foreign investors exclusive rights to sue governments when changes in regulation get in the way of their profits, has resulted in an unprecedented public outcry. This is a major hurdle in the effort to rally hearts and minds behind the TTIP project"


▶ click here: "Stop the trafficking of Mauratanian women to Saudi Arabia"
by Jeroen Beirnaert
"On 22 June 2015, Garmi M. Aly arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She was one of a group of 20 Mauritanian women who had signed up to start working as child minders, nurses and teachers.But once Garmi arrived at the home of her new employer she was shocked to discover that instead of working in childcare she was being employed as a domestic worker. According to her mother Jamilah, Garmi was forced to work day and night. She was refused permission to leave the house and had her passport and mobile phone confiscated. Trapped and fearful of her employer, she ran away
INSPIRATION: Sakena Yacoobi  - Education activist
At the Afghan Institute of Learning, Sakena Yacoobi provides teacher training to Afghan women, supporting education for girls and boys throughout the country."
 ▷ click here full biography
"When the Taliban closed all the girls' schools in Afghanistan, Sakena Yacoobi set up new schools, in secret, educating thousands of women and men. In this fierce, funny talk, she tells the jaw-dropping story of two times when she was threatened to stop teaching — and shares her vision for rebuilding her beloved country."

▷ watch the talk here

Contact IFWEA Secretariat
  • postal address:  IFWEA c/o Labour Research Service PO Box 245 Woodstock 7915 Cape Town South Africa
  • street address: Community House, 41 Salt River Road, Salt River 7925 Cape Town South Africa
  • telephone + 27 21 4861115
email IFWEA Secretariat
email IFWEA Secretariat
join the Facebook group
join the Facebook group
explore IFWEA Website
explore IFWEA Website