IFWEA e-bulletin issue 25 / September to October 2014
SAVE THE DATE: IFWEA 21st General Conference 5th to 7th December 2015
IFWEA e-bulletin Issue 25 /   view this email in your browser
Issue 25 / September-October 2014
Greetings from the IFWEA Secretariat,

SAVE THE DATE: We're very pleased to announce that the 21st  General Conference of IFWEA  will be held on Saturday 5th to Monday 7th December 2015, in Lima Peru. We are in the process of assembling an exciting conference program that includes several prominent keynote speakers and useful workshops for worker educators. For more details on on who should attend and what it will cost, please click here

The IFWEA Secretariat hereby salutes its affiliate, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and its allies, for waging a consistent struggle for democracy in the upcoming elections. We appeal to all member organisations to respond to the appeal of the HKCTU - scroll down for details.


"The 4th day: migrants domestic workers leaders came to join us - Indonesia migrants workers union, Filipino migrants workers union and Progressive Labor Union" Elizabeth Tang, General Secretary International Domestic Workers' Federation © Facebook

We are also excited to share with you the 3 part video series
looking at IFWEA's goal of expanding opportunities for lifelong learning for workers. The videos explore the different programmes of IFWEA including the Online Labour Academy (OLA), the Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP), the Global Network and Study Circles project. The videos feature affiliate members and activities from all over the world - please scroll down for the links below.

In the e-bulletin:
Labour News with IFWEA Affiliates in regions across the globe
"The Impact of IFWEA" Video Series information and links
▶  Projects News from IFWEA :  
◘ Online Labour Academy (OLA) courses have been implemented by member organisations in regions across the world, and OLA debuts in the USA with Rutgers University
◘  Workers Education for Social Justice - Study Circles in South Africa gains momentum
◘  preparations begin for Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP), a programme of exchange between affiliates in the North and South
Solidarity in Action - find links to global campaigns

Global Labour News - for up to date news, interviews, research reports...
▶ see some interesting analysis in the Opinion section from Global Labour Column
▶ Reminder of the Invitation - Call For Papers:  IFWEA with the International Labor and Working-Class History (ILWCH) issue on 'Workers' Education and Global Labor Movements
▶  details to Contact IFWEA Secretariat - view the website and join the Facebook group
Labour News with IFWEA Affiliates

◘ MIDDLE EAST / Palestine: Democracy and Workers' Rights Centre (DWRC)
"The Democracy and Workers’ Rights Center strongly condemns Israeli attacks on educational institutions and  calls upon the international community to hold the Israeli occupying power accountable for crimes committed during its latest military offensive against the Gaza Strip. The Center stresses the need ensure special care and protection for children under all circumstances as stipulated in international human rights law and humanitarian law, and declarations on the rights of the child."
▷ read more from DWRC on IFWEA website www.ifwea-org/DWRC
ASIA / India: International Transport Workers' Federation
"We have recently discovered evidence that DHL in India has threatened and has now begun to carry out retaliation against union activists, sending workers who stand up to management off to worksites sometimes hundreds of kilometres away, disrupting families and creating onerous financial burdens, all in an explicit effort to intimidate workers and weaken their union."
Management’s intentions in India were made clear in a recording of a meeting last December where a supervisor told workers that if they continued union activity they would be punished – by transfers to distant job sites and other means."

EUROPE: Solidar
"SOLIDAR Weekly Round Up 26-09-2014 Editorial by Conny Reuter, SOLIDAR Secretary General  Solidarity at the Core of Migration Policy!"
The future of Europe? The future of migration and integration were this week’s top themes, although they are not top of the agenda for the new Commission and the auditions. Migration was in the headlines once more for all the wrong reasons as news of the tragedy on the Maltese border again underlined the all too familiar problem. The situation on Europe’s southern borders continues to deteriorate. For SOLIDAR there is only one possible solution: more solidarity in EU Migration and Development Policy.'
▷ read the Weekly Round Up at
The "Impact of IFWEA" Video Series

"Impact of IFWEA"  IFWEA's main goal is the expansion of opportunities for lifelong learning for workers' and organisations of the workers' movement.

In this three part video, we learn about the role of IFWEA and start off with the development of the Online Labour Academy in part 1 - featuring IFWEA General Secretary Sahra Ryklief, Professor Susan Schurman of Rutgers University USA, Hernan Bernites of PLADES in Peru, Alana Dave of ITF in the UK , Rey Rasing of LEARN in Phillipines, Tilak Jang Khadka of CLASS Nepal, Khalid Mahmood of LEF in Pakistan, Arnaldo Montero of CENAC in Bolivia
▷ View part 1


In part 2 we share the Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP) which is a sharing between IFWEA affiliates in the Northern countries and Southern countries with young leaders from workers movement in Nordic countries in South Africa – featuring YGAP participants from 2012 and 2013 along with Sahra Ryklief, Niklas Skeppar of ABF Sweden, Conny Reuter of Solidar, Sahra Ryklief and YGAP participants of 2012 and 2013
View part 2

In part 3 we explore the Global Network activities that IFWEA organisations took part in over a 10 year period, on a regional basis - doing education, organising and campaigning facing the informalisation of the economy. Here IFWEA introduces the Study Circles project focussing on grassroots members doing participatory learning.
View part


▶ IFWEA Project News
Online Labour Academy (OLA) The OLA courses are being run by IFWEA affiliate organisations in Philippines, Pakistan, Nepal, South Africa, United Kingdom (reaching regions across the globe), Peru, Bolivia and India.
in India:  SEWA-Indian Academy for Self Employed Women (IASEW) completed  their course 'Developing and Strengthening Member based Organization of the Poor (MBOP) '

course tutor Mansi Jayeshbhai Agarwal: "The training was energetic and good for building perspective for taking leadership. The best part was introduction of the online platform. We need this kind of more training in future."


course participant Triputi Parmar: "The course gave us exposure to the new channel of getting knowledge. First time we made our Id in Google and IFWEA online platform. I was very much excited for the course. We request SEWA academy to provide more this sort of trainings so that we can access the course ourselves and will get rid of the fear of technology."

in Philippines: Labour Education and Research Network (LEARN) conducted their online course with tutor Liza Respicio. Here are the participants in orientation phase. The participants came from the local affiliates of the Philippine Metalworkers' Alliance (PMA) and the Confederation of Independent Unions in the Public Sector (CIU).


in the USA: Rutgers University through its Union Leadership Academy, in collaboration with IFWEA's OLA, for the first time is presenting the course 'Changing Climates - Changing Perspectives: Labor and the Environment' in October and November. Information and registration details are available at:
read more about OLA courses at www.ifwea-org/online-labour-academy-ola

Workers' Education for Social Justice - Study Circles
▶ tutor Saliem Patel reports on their activity:
'Who Cares for the Community Care Workers? The Carers have formed a study circle in Cape Town through the IFWEA-ABF study circle project. They are planning a range of events during October and November to highlight the precarious nature of work of Community Based Care Workers and raise awareness of the rights and health risks involved in their work. The project builds capacity of members to educate members and shows how the practice of life long learning is important to build sustainable civil society organisations.'
▷ read more about the Study Circles at www.ifwea-org/StudyCircles
Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)
▶  Preparations have begun for the YGAP programme, YGAP is an exposure and exchange programme for young staff members, activists and volunteers of the Nordic labour movement. Participants attend a course on Globalisation, Work and Democratic Organisations developed and hosted by the IFWEA Secretariat in Cape Town, South Africa. Pictured above are the Swedish 2014 participants.
▷ read more about  YGAP activities in 2012 and 2013, you can view photographs and watch videos called "Postcards from the South" created by YGAP participants at www.ifwea-org/YGAP
▶ Solidarity in Action

  Hong Kong  香港職工會聯盟 Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
"Stop the suppression of democratic movement in Hong Kong"

'Dear Comrades, The Chinese government has broken its promise for implementing true democracy in Hong Kong. On 28 September the Hong Kong government deployed anti-riot police and fired tear gas at tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators. HKCTU calls for support of the international community and send protest letters to PRC President Xi Jinping and HKSAR Chief Executive Leung Chun Ying.'
網頁Website : / Facebook Page: 職工盟(HKCTU) / Twitter:

Please click on the website link to sign the petition:

Hong Kong "Independent unions ‘strike’ a blow for democracy in Hong Kong"
'As unprecedented pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong continue on the same day that China marks its 65th National Day, thousands of workers have taken heed of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions’ (HKCTU) call to strike.'


◘ Peru/Colombia "Prosegur must denounce threats and attacks on trade unionists"
'Help us to demand justice for Luis Cardenas – a trade union leader at Prosegur who became the victim of a brutal and violent assault near his home in Peru.Join UNI Global Union in calling on Prosegur to publically denounce all forms of threats and violence towards trade union members and to prevent the distribution of any material that incites violence.'
▷ sign the letter at

USA: "IKEA must raise pay, offer full-time jobs"


'Raising starting pay is a step in the right direction, but workers with years of experience may receive no raise at all. Investing in co-workers will lead to happier employees, better retention, and higher sales growth.'

Turkey: "Deva sacks workers for joining a union"


'Join this online campaign and tell Philipp Haas that you reject Deva Holding’s' corporate expansion while it sacks its workers in Turkey for joining a union.'

▶ Global Labour News

AFRICA "Ethiopia’s cheap labour attracts foreign firms" by Jacey Fortin
'There are two things about his job at a Chinese leather tannery, located just outside the Ethiopian town of Sululta, that Girma Getachew, 25, doesn’t like. The first is his low pay rate; the second is the smell. “Its not nice to work there,” he says. “It smells bad and feels very unhealthy.”

read the entire article at


EUROPE "The Swedish elections delivered a great result for the left – but now the real work begins" by Karl-Petter Thorwaldsson
Sweden went to the polls last week and the Social Democrats came out top with 31.2 per cent of the vote. It was a remarkable achievement by the Social Democrats and their leader, former welder and IF Metall President Stefan Löfven, considering that only two years ago an election victory seemed almost impossible.'
▷ read the entire article at

IRELAND "Irish unions launch breast cancer awareness drive" by Gerard Cunningham
'Every year, 2,600 women in Ireland are diagnosed with breast cancer; 660 of them will not survive. To address the challenges, not caused only by the disease but also its treatment and the impact it has on workers, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has published a new booklet. Launched to coincide with the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the Policies to assist workers with breast cancer and other illnesses guidebook aims to assist diagnosed workers with their treatment, recovery and return to work.'
▷ read the entire article at
▶ Opinion from Global Labour Column

◘ Europe: "Why a European Unemployment Insurance would help to make European Monetary Union more sustainable" by Sebastian Dullien
'Since the onset of the euro-crisis, the old debate pertaining to the supra-national stabilisers in the euro-area has gained new relevance. While economic textbooks have long stipulated that countries forming a monetary union need an alternative mechanism for dealing with asymmetric shocks and even the early feasibility studies on Economic and Monetary Union EMU had demanded a supranational transfer scheme (MacDougall 1977), EMU came into existence in the late 1990s without such a scheme. By now, most observers agree that the euro-crisis was (with the exception of Greece) is not the result of irresponsible fiscal policies, but the consequence of problems in the banking systems which resulted partly from national boom-and-bust-cycles. Hence, for a more sustainable and better-functioning monetary union, a growing body of literature now asks for mechanisms to dampen booms and bolster recessions.'

▷ read the post at

Vietnam: "Trade Unions in Transition: Changing Industrial Relations in Vietnam" by Erwin Schweisshelm
'Trade unions in Vietnam are closely tied to the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) and have yet to find their role as autonomous representatives of the interests of workers. However, the ever growing influence of foreign investors and the increase in wild cat strikes put pressure on the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL), the only legally registered trade union in Vietnam.'
read the post at
United States of America (USA) and Europe: "Selling Free Trade with Pseudo-Exact Science: The ifo-Studies" by Stefan Beck and Christoph Scherrer
'The US government and the European Commission are negotiating a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). The trading partners push for the elimination of the tariffs, less regulation, and more rights for investors. The governments try to justify the TTIP by pointing to significant welfare gains from additional exports, higher growth, and increases in efficiency, income and employment. They draw on various economic studies which, are based on complex modelling; concluding that a TTIP would increase prosperity in both the US and the European Union.'
read the post at

Global: "On the Right to Strike Controversy" by Kari Tapiola
'Last year June marked the third consecutive year where serious divergences concerning the right to strike affected the International Labour Conference. In turn this resulted in the Conference Committee on the Application of Standards only being able to partially conclude its work. Historically it is worth recalling that, since the 19th Century, the fear of strikes had been the main reason for limiting workers’ organising rights. Conversely, the gradual permission of organising – or “combining”, as it was previously known – was accompanied by recognising the right to strike.'
read the post at
▶ Invitation: Call For Papers

◘ ILWCH: International Labor And Working-Class History with IFWEA: International Federation of Worker Education Associations on “Workers’ Education and Global Labor Movements" Deadlines coming up are: November 1st 2014 for Abstracts of Proposed Papers, and December 15th 2014 for Notice of Accepted Proposals.
To encourage a deeper understanding of these efforts, the editors of ILWCH invite proposals for articles, interviews, review essays, documents, conference and archive reports, photo essays, and reflections on the role of worker education, both formal and informal, in the development of the global labor movement and its base communities.
▷  read further for background to issue, examples, deadlines and contacts for the Editors here www.ifwea-org/Invitation-Call For Papers
Contact IFWEA Secretariat
address Labour Research Service PO Box 245 Woodstock 7915 CapeTown South Africa 
telephone + 27 21 447 1677

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email editor  Erna Curry
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