IFWEA e-bulletin issue 25 / Nov. 2014 - Jan.2015
SAVE THE DATE: IFWEA 21st General Conference 5th to 7th December 2015
IFWEA e-bulletin Issue 26  December 2014 /  view this email in your browser
Issue 26 / December 2014

Greetings from the IFWEA Secretariat and General Secretary Sahra Ryklief:

On behalf of the IFWEA Executive Committee, I would like to extend the season’s greetings to all members. We have had a busy and successful 2014. A brief summary of the year’s highlights in striving to fulfill IFWEA’s strategic objectives for 2012 – 2015 follows:

1.Strengthen our international network of member organisations through exchanges and greater online communication:
◘ The IFWEA website and Facebook page have become excellent vehicles for highlighting member activities. The bi-monthly e-bulletin puts together current activities and topics and circulates this to a wide readership through email. We thank all affiliates who contribute regularly, and encourage those who have not yet made use of our communication sites to post directly onto the Facebook group site or forward their news, photographs, videos for the IFWEA You Tube site as well as electronic copies of their handbooks and education resources to our communication co-coordinator, Erna Curry, at
◘ The Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP) has had another successful Nordic school in November this year.
  (more on YGAP under Project News...)

2. Improve the educational and research capacity and services of our members in order to assist them in their role of strengthening democratic labour organisations in their countries and regions:
The Online Labour Academy has expanded its service provision to trade unions. 10 Affiliates of IFWEA participate actively in the project, of which 8 are from Africa, Latin America and Asia. These 8 have, in turn, all had trade unions participating as learners in their courses. Details of all curricula and learners are captured on the Online Labour Academy platform A bridge project application for one year has been submitted in to the Olof Palme Centre for 2014. The plan is to increase the number of organisations in the regions participating in the next phase. The General Secretary will conduct regional consultations in the first half of 2015 to establish which organisations will be drawn into the 2016 – 2019 application.

◘ The Secretariat also developed a local study circle project in 2013 – 2014 with organisations in and around Community House. This facilitated the development of a basic study circle methodology course for trade union leaders, which is available on the Online Labour Academy. Further course curricula applying the methodology will be developed in 2014.

3. Contribute to the global knowledge community to improve labour’s capacity to face 21st century challenges, with an emphasis on flexibility and capacity building to represent, organise and improve the conditions of informalised workers:
◘ The curricula developed by the IFWEA member organisations through the Online Labour Academy were mostly directed to improving trade union capacity to analyze, organise and represent workers in precarious forms of work.
◘ The General Secretary contributed to the US-Africa Leader’s Summit Civil Society Forum session on “Promoting Decent Work” on August 4th 2014 as a guest of the American Solidarity Center, where her contribution focused on threat precarious work presents to democracy; and also at the “Precarious Work Working Conference” and “Precarious Work Public Conference” as a guest of the FNV-Mondiaal, ITUC and Industri-all in the Netherlands on 27 – 28 November 2014.

Governance: The IFWEA Executive Committee met in January 2014, and set up a Strategic sub-committee to work with the General Secretary to prepare for the General Conference in December 2015. The EC meets again in early January, and thereafter the secretariat will release decisions and arrangements pertaining to the General Conference. An expanded annual report and financial report of 2014 will also be released in January 2015, after executive discussion and approval.

The Secretariat wishes to thank all members and partners for their contributions during the year. We are looking forward to meeting representatives from every single member organisation at out General Conference in 2015."

In the e-bulletin:
Labour News with IFWEA Affiliates in regions across the globe

More  Projects News from IFWEA : 
◘  Workers Education for Social Justice - Study Circles
◘  Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)

Solidarity in Action - find links to global campaigns
▶ see some interesting analysis in the Opinion / Blogs
get to know IFWEA "The Impact of IFWEA" Video Series, scroll down for information and links
▶  details to Contact IFWEA Secretariat - email the office, view the website and join the Facebook group
Labour News with IFWEA Affiliates
GLOBAL / PERU: "Young transport workers demand climate change action"
'Twelve young transport workers from nine Latin American countries added their voices to calls for action as world leaders gathered in Lima, Peru for the UN climate change talks, COP20 – a prelude to world climate talks in Paris next year.They participated in the ITF climate change seminar for young workers in the Americas on 8-9 December and in several other international trade union activities in the city co-ordinated by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). They also joined the 15,000-strong people's climate march on 10 December.'
▷

GLOBAL / INDIA: "National Association of Street Vendors of India (NASVI) Celebrated International Street Vendors Day and 12th Anniversary of StreetNet organizing a gathering in New Delhi." 14th November 2014
'The international solidarity action held on Friday also marked the twelfth anniversary of the inception of StreetNet, a global collective of street vendors’ organizations working in Latin America, Africa and Asia. NASVI is the Asia focal point of StreetNet.'
▷ read more from this statement vendors-day

NEPAL: StreetNet International NEPAL Affiliate - NEST celebrated International Street Vendors Day 2014 and 12th anniversary of StreetNet International. To learn more about StreetNet International and its activities in Asia check out the StreetNet Regional Focal Point - ASIA on Facebook You can also learn more about all the organisational activities of StreetNet International on their website ▷
PALESTINE: "Thanks to the donations collected through the Palme Center Action "You and me for Gaza", fishermen in the Swedish village have been supplied with 30 new fishing nets by The Democracy and Workers Rights Center in Palestine and Palestinian Peace Coalition last week. Our deepest appreciation goes to the Swedish people for helping people in Gaza in rebuilding their lives after the war."
▷read more on the Olof Palme International Center Palestine Program
▶ IFWEA Project News
Workers' Education for Social Justice - Study Circles
Study Circles project manager and facilitator Saliem Patel reports: "Workers Education Conference" was held on 15th November 2014 at Community House in Salt River Cape Town. The conference helped deepen and broaden the understanding of popular and informal education for trade union and community activists. Over 50 participants presented their experiences of study circles in developing their organisations and increasing membership involvement. They also discussed future topics and the expansion of study circles in 2015.
Margie Marman (above) is from South African Domestic and Allied Workers' Union (SADSAWU): “Out of our SADSAWU study circle the choir was born, that was our activity and the reason for that is well...they can sing...the choir is part of our recruitment campaign. It wasn't easy because the domestic worker – the most difficult part in their lives is time, they don't have it. And those who do have time, the employers can change their mind quickly. When we want to come together, we can't! But the whole idea of the choir is to recruit our workers to make them aware, look here we are, come and join. The lessons we learnt were 'together we can do it' and commitment is very important. And we really want to go forward with it!"

Christine Beyers (left) from SADSAWU: “We had our goals for the study circle: we learnt how to use the Internet and how to create your own email. We discovered the SADSAWU website, how to use the Internet if you want to discover something about the government, for example. We learnt how to use the tablet and to take pictures. You learn that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it, and it's better to work in a group in a collective as you can assist each other. Amandla!”

Rowena Dawids (right) from SADSAWU: “I had people who helped me with everything I needed to know was comfortable with the people and what was going on. For me everything worked well because we had a good teacher, he (Saliem Patel) is very patient and understanding. I would like to continue, and help those who are not yet in a study circle, for them to learn what I have learnt, to give back to them what I have received.”

"Study Circles Exchange Trip - Sweden" IFWEA study circle faciliatators Lubabalo Sobetu, Dot Maphike and Saliem Patel went on a study visit to Sweden where they shared experinces with local ABF branches. The study visit,  from 1st - 7th December, took the facilitators to five different towns where they were able to participate in local study circle activities, meet trade union activists, and learn about various forms of workers' education in the southern part of Sweden.
Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)
▶  Sahra Rylief reports: 'The YGAP syllabus can be viewed on the IFWEA Online Labour Academy (OLA). We are putting together a short movie of this year’s “Postcards from the South”, the short educative messages the YGAP delegates have created to depict what they have learned during their brief internships with South African Organisations. It will be available on the IFWEA website from January 2015. The 2012 and 2013 YGAP years are reviewed in the current documentary on the IFWEA website.The staff at the Secretariat were joined by Ali Howes, from the international education desk of the ITF, to assist and attend the YGAP course this year.

Ali’s assistance proved invaluable, and we are thankful for the ITF’s for sending her to the Secretariat. We intend arranging
more internships from member organisations attached to the YGAP school in future years.'
Ali Howes, 3rd right

Johanna Ekblad and Rafael Reinoso presentering their "Postcard" on Young In Prison.

▷ read more about  YGAP activities, you you can view photographs and watch videos called "Postcards from the South" created by YGAP participants at www.ifwea-org/YGAP
▶ Solidarity in Action
◘ Clean Clothes Campaign: "Join our action: Tell Bata to stop cut-and-run Sri Lanka"
'Bata admits to a cut-and-run after a conflict in one of the factories in Sri Lanka which made their shoes. One year ago, close to 200 workers were fired after they complained about not getting their salary increases. Join our action, rate Bata on their own rating page.Or leave a comment on Bata's Facebook page. '
◘ Urgent Action!  'Wizz Air CEO stated that he will not accept any unions in his company. Many workers began to fear losing their jobs. The whole story culminated on 4 November with the termination of 19 contracts of union members. Please write to József Varádi, the CEO of Wizz Air and remind him about the legal responsibilities of an employer and demand the reinstatement of the union leadership and the 19 dismissed workers. '
▷ send the online petition here
▶ Opinion / Blogs
GLOBAL: "The silver lining to those dark clouds of global turmoil" by Terry Bell
'As another year draws to a close, the advice usually attributed to the Italian revolutionary, Antonio Gramsci constantly comes to mind: exercise pessimism of the intellect, but optimism of the will. I must admit that it has become a great deal easier over recent months to exercise pessimism of the intellect — and increasingly difficult to exercise optimism of the will to do something about changing things, domestically or globally.'
▷ read more
PERU: "Workers and Climate Change" by ITUC
'The international labour movement has supported the UNFCCC convinced that it is the place for delivering a fair, ambitious and binding global Agree ment on climate change. But time is ru ning out. Solutions must be found at all levels: from community based diversifi cation to sectoral transformations, from macroeconomic planning at the national level to an international deal that sets a global goal for inspiring massive action.'
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PORTUGAL: "Austerity policies and trade unions: A glance at Portugal" by Elísio Estanque (left) and Hermes Augusto Costa (below left)
'Wage labour played and continues to play a central role in Western industrial societies, not just on the economic plane but above all as a vital support for social cohesion and the rule of law.  The main advances of the last 200 years including the building of the welfare state and its important gains in the field of human rights (e.g. dignified work and social rights) are examples of the importance of struggles waged by organised wage labour.
The major problem, however, is the imminent civilisational regression in which we find ourselves, teetering on the brink of a new cycle of mercantilist barbarism similar to the times of Marx (Estanque and Costa, 2013). In fact, the Portuguese labour context has in recent years been battered by austerity policies, formally with the entry of the Troika (International Monetary Fund (IMF)/ European Central Bank (ECB)/ European Commission(EC0) in May 2011 and even beyond its exit n May 2014. In this text, we initially identify some internal challenges put before unions and the external threats underlying austerity policies. We also set out some tasks for trade unions.'
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA: "To serve and protect whom? The militarisation of US police" by Ari Paul
'Marching with hundreds of protesters on 4 December in lower Manhattan, protesting the non-indictment of Daniel Pantaleo,  the police officer who choked an unarmed black man named Eric Garner to death this summer, 27-year-old architect Chris McCormick recalled that he once had a sense of optimism about the American criminal justice system.That changed this week.'
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GLOBAL: "The epoch of Market based funding: Shadow Banking" by Anastasia Nesvetailova
'In the midst of a 2008 financial crisis, a senior French banker revealed that “It takes me about two hours to assemble a team of finance geeks and lawyers to devise a product or a transaction that would bypass any new rule or regulation coming our way”. And it is this confession that captured the essence of the challenge that daunts the regulators and policy-makers in the aftermath of the most devastating financial crisis since the 1930s. in is the phenomenon of shadow banking, a term that entered public debate in 2007 and has since preoccupied regulators and finance experts.' ▷ read more at
AFRICA: "Ebola: it’s governance, stupid"
by Chukwu-Emeka Chikezie '...
But while weak healthcare systems provide an immediate explanation for the spread of Ebola in West Africa, we need to look far deeper. Starkly put, the Ebola epidemic is first and foremost a failure of governance. Only once that problem has been addressed can a lasting solution be achieved. These failures are multidimensional.
▷
PALESTINE / SWEDEN: "LO-Sweden welcomes the Swedish government’s recognition of the state of Palestine" by Keth Thapper
Last Thursday, Sweden became the 136th country in the world to recognise the state of Palestine. Although seven other EU member states – Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania – have already done so, Sweden is the first country from Western Europe to recognise Palestine. With this historic decision, Sweden wants to facilitate and influence the peace-process.'
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ASIA: "Calls for HKCTU leader on #OccupyHK frontlines to replace Hong Kong Chief Executive" by Andrew Casey
'...(T)he Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions leader, Cheuk-yan Lee  – who is also the leader of the Labour Party in the local legislature – was on the front lines of the sometimes violent protests... Some protestors, reportedly, shouted out his name calling for him to be the next Chief Executive of Hong Kong.
They want CY to replace the other CY .... the very unpopular current Hong Kong political leader, Chun-ying Leung , who is seen as nothing more than a Beijing puppet -  not really for Hong Kongers. It is not, at this stage, a serious call but it shows the real importance in the universal suffrage struggle of the leader of the only independent democratic union in China, who also leads the associated Hong Kong Labour Party in the Legislative Council.'
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GLOBAL: "Fiscal redistribution: yes, but inequality starts in the labour market: Findings from the ILO Global Wage Report 2014/2015" by Patrick Belser  'The report is titled “Wages and income inequality” and, as usual, it has three parts. The first part analyses the evolution of real wages around the world. The second part, examines the link between wages and household income inequality, and also looks at wage gaps between certain groups: women and men; migrants and nationals; workers in the formal and the informal economy. The last part challenges the reader on what could be appropriate policy responses. The purpose of this column is to therefore highlight and discuss some of the crucial findings of the report.' ▷ read more 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


Contact IFWEA Secretariat
address Labour Research Service PO Box 245 Woodstock 7915 CapeTown South Africa 
telephone + 27 21 447 1677

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IFWEA Website
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email editor  Erna Curry
email editor Erna Curry