IFWEA Issue 35 / Fourth Quarter 2016

IFWEA Issue 35 / Fourth Quarter 2016 view this email in your browser
Issue 35 / Fourth Quarter - 2016

In this issue:

■ GLOBAL: "2016 Year end greetings from the IFWEA General Secretary" by Sahra Ryklief
◼︎ Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)
◼︎  Study Circles for Social Change
SOUTH AFRICA: IFWEA Executive Committee Field Trip "Facing Precarity"
▷ AFRICA: SOUTH AFRICA International Labour Research and Information Group (ILRIG)  "Workers World News"
▷ AMERICAS: PERU Programa Laboral de Desarrollo (PLADES)
"Los inversionistas internacionales están preocupados ..."

◼︎ HONG KONG: Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)
"Passing hope on in the midst of stormy times "
◼︎ INDIA: Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA)
"SEWA Bharat hosts SETU Africa"
◼︎ FINLAND: Työväen Sivistysliitto (TSL) Finland ”Working life ICT skills in the field of trade” by Katri Söder
◼︎ SWEDEN: Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF)  "ABF: Dags att stoppa viskleken på nätet" Monica Widman Lundmark
◼︎ UK: Workers' Education Association (WEA) UK "Find your local WEA"

◼︎ International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) "Energised and committed to action – #ITFsummerschool2016 hailed a success"
◼︎ StreetNet "Strengthening our internal organizational democracy" by Pat Horn
RESOURCES  - access online and download
◼︎ IRELAND: University of Limerick - ENGAGE Podcast "MA Journalism students report on Limerick BE HEARD"
◼︎  UK / GLOBAL: ITF "Take Action Toolkit’ - for affiliates wanting to expand or kick start their action on ending violence against women transport workers"
■ GLOBAL: International Labor Working-Class History Journal "Workers' Education and the Global Labor Movement" with Issue Editors IFWEA President Susan J.Schurman and Michael Merrill

◼︎ GLOBAL: International Labour Organisation (ILO) Online Courses
◽️ "International Labour Standards: How to Use Them"
◽️ "Decent Work in Global Supply Chains"'

◼︎ BRAZIL / UK " Two different approaches that fail to protect Brazilian or British agricultural workers" by Vitor Filgueir

◼︎ KOREA "Issues in the Restructuring of the Korean Shipbuilding Industry" by Kim Kyung-Ran
◼︎ USA "Reflecting on electoral catastrophe: What lessons can we take away from the victory of Trump?" by Peter Evans
◼︎  VIETNAM / SAUDIA ARABIA "Laws and policies on sending Vietnamese domestic workers in Saudi Arabia" by Ly Trinh Khanh

◼︎ LIBERIA "Union rights now - reinstate fired union leaders"
◼︎ SOUTH KOREA "Release jailed trade unionists, respect workers' rights"
◼︎ IRAN "Freedom for teacher union leader Esmail Abdi"
◼︎ TURKEY "Press freedom is essential for democracy, set journalism free"
◼︎ KAZAKHSTAN "Save the independent trade union centre from forced dissolution"

▸ get details to keep in touch with the Secretariat 
get links to IFWEA's website, Facebook, You Tube and Souncloud
▷ GLOBAL "2016 Year end greetings from the IFWEA General Secretary Sahra Ryklief"

"We are approaching the final weeks of 2016. It has been a busy and productive year, with an expanded programme of activities and a concomitant expansion in budget, thanks to increased support from the Olaf Palme Centre of Sweden to our core programme. This enabled us to appoint Saliem Patel as IFWEA programme manager in February this year, joining me, my assistant Shariefa Ebrahim and IFWEA communications co-ordinator Erna Curry on the Secretariat staff. Saliem is no stranger to IFWEA, having been the African regional co-ordinator of our Global Network project with SOLIDAR for several years until it ended in 2013.

The increase in staff meant that our tiny office could no longer contain us. We are now sharing a larger open plan office space with our hosts, the Labor Research Service. Morale is high at the Secretariat. We all feel a sense of accomplishment at having laid a solid foundation for the first year of our four year strategic plan.

In my report to the 22nd Global Conference in Lima, Peru a year ago, I outlined the four pillars which would sustain a healthy IFWEA. These are:
• A common purpose;

• A common strategy;
• Investing in our affiliates by improving their resource provision to their members and beneficiaries;
• Investment by our affiliates in improving IFWEA’s resource capacity.

In 2016 the IFWEA Executive Committee   addressed the strengthening of these four pillars and set up the programme we believe will deliver this. Our intent is to focus on expanding the core activities which both develops our network of existing affiliates and attracts more organisations to increase our membership base."

▶️ read the rest of the report on IFWEA activities in 2016 here www.ifwea-org/GSreport2016

"I have been presented with a variety of interesting and engaging teaching methods. I have learnt more about challenges for the working class all over the world. I have not only learned – but used in practice some of the teaching methods taught at the course. I have also been challenged to focus more on the process of learning instead on only the outcome."
Marie Louise Schaumburg-Müller, Dansk Kommunikation, Danmark, YGAP 2016

“We have the luxury of choice, as such we don't have any excuse not to do labour education. This brings us to the concept of study circles. It is a good tool for me to use in unions, whether for union development, or for training the members themselves.”
               LAU yau ping Nicholas of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) YGAP 2016

▷ Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP)

YGAP brought 24 participants from 10 affiliates in 12 countries - Sweden, Denmark, Finland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Nepal, Phillipines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay together for an intensive two week programme of discussion, exposure internships and skills development on pedagogic methods.

"Education is important to decrease the gaps in society. It is also important because it stimulates people and gives you the opportunity if you want to improve or learn more about something. Knowledge is necessary today to get the job you want, to understand your surroundings/world, or argue and stand up for your rights. Knowledge is simply power.
Erik Norell, ABF Sweden


What inspired me most about this experience is the willpower, strength and selflessness of the people I have met during the visits we have made. These experiences echoed a word that we had been taught at the beginning of the course – UBUNTU."
Gianina Milagros Echevarría Gutarra of Programa Laboral de Desarrollo - PLADES in Peru

▶️ view the messages - "Postcards from the South" from this year’s YGAP participants, go to IFWEA’s You Tube site

▷ Study Circles for Social Change
 study circles facilitator Noncedo Bulana of the Lorna Mlofana Parents Movement hosting the YGAP group in her community in Khayelitsha
The IFWEA South African Study Circles for Social Change project offers an informal, interactive way to learn about and discuss a variety of issues. From grassroots organising to re-imagining gender roles to overcome the restrictions of stereo-typing, the study circles participants engage around topics which are important to them. IFWEA offers study circle tutor-mentoring and resources for circle meetings.

"We are not alone, all over the world have the same problems as we do. We should try more to reach out to each other to solve those problems."  Miia Kelsey, Metallityöväen Liitto ry, Finland

During 2016 12 study circles were completed by the facilitators and their organisations. If you want to know more:
▶️ check out the activities of the study circles
▶️ join our Page on Facebook for photographs, videos and profiles of our study circles facilitators at
▶️ if you would like to get involved  please contact Saliem at
 study circles facilitator Vusi Mpu in action
SOUTH AFRICA: IFWEA Executive Committee (EC) Members' Field Trip
"Facing Precarity"

When visiting Cape Town in South Africa, one is exposed to the world renowned products of the Western Cape region - like freshly caught seafood and wines. Workers in the fishing and wine production trades face precarious conditions and struggle for a sustainable income in these globalised industries.

IFWEA's EC members learned first hand about the impact of precarious work on small scale fishers on the West Coast of the Western Cape - hosted by Hahn Goliath and Norton Dowries of Masifundise Development Trust in the Langebaan area.


Masifundise's vision is "empowered fishing communities with sustainable livelihoods, where all live in a democratic and socially just environment." At the same time, workers at Robertson Winery in rural Western Cape, were also striking for a living wage - read more about the strike in ILRIG's 'Workers' World News' 
(the link is under Affiliate Highlights).
▶️ more on Masifundise here

Associate Professor Moeniba Isaacs of the University of the Western Cape's Institute for Poverty, Land And Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), who works closely with Masifundise, presented her research  on small-scale fisheries management and rights in the pelargic fishing industry to the EC meeting.
▶️ read more here
SOUTH AFRICA: International Labour Research and Information Group (ILRIG)

featuring articles including:
  • INTERNATIONAL: “Brazil: High school students show way forward for working class resistance ” by Jonathan Payn
  • MY STRUGGLE: “Significance of the Labour Court ruling on CCMA rules of representation” by Mthetho Xhali
  • CENTRESPREAD: “FeesMustFall and the road ahead” by Brian Kamanzi
  • EDUCATION: “Local government and municipal employees” by Michael Blake
  • GENDER: “Woman in the Robertson Winery Strike” by Mandy Moussouris
  •  MY ORGANISATION: “CSAAWU Robertson Winery Strike: Rural Resistance in Racist Robertson” by Mandy Moussouris
  • CULTURE: “Superintendent Officer Mthembu” by Leroy Trevor Maisiri
▷ PERU  - Programa Laboral de Desarrollo PLADES
"Los inversionistas internacionales están preocupados por las normas nacionales que permiten vulnerar el derecho a la libertad sindical de los trabajadores del sector textil y agrario." Por Nylva Hiruelas
'Juan Carlos Vargas, economista de Programa Laboral de Desarrollo (Plades), explica el impacto de estas normas sobre los derechos de los trabajadores, y las negativas consecuencias que tendría para Perú si hace oídos sordos a las recomendaciones formuladas por EE.UU., enfrentándose incluso a una sanción económica.'

HONG KONG: Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)
"Passing hope on in the midst of stormy times - An interview with with two HKCTU chairpersons"
'This summer, the HKCTU has experienced two elections, with two very different outcomes and prospects. In July 2016, a new chairperson was elected at Executive Committee Election and in September, General Secretary, Lee Cheuk-yan, lost his seat in the Legislative Council Election. How do the veteran chairperson Pun Tin-chi and newly elected chairperson Carol Ng see these changes of time?'

INDIA - Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA)
"SEWA Bharat hosts SETU Africa" by SEWA Bharat
Over the last few days, we have been happy to welcome delegates from Tanzania and Mozambique representing our sister organization, SETU Africa. This afternoon, participants of our youth programs in Delhi explained SEWA's impact throughout the city and their experiences in SEWA.

Removing silos in society, creating dialogue, and developing change-making leaders are goals in all of our programs throughout India. Our work with SETU has shown how transformational these goals can be when taken globally. We've been happy to share and learn from our partners from Africa during their stay.'

▶️ SEWA Bharat on Facebook
▶️ SETU Africa on Facebook

'The objective of SEWA / SETU Africa programme is to organize informal workers, especially women, in 5 countries into their own organizations. People’s organizations and NGOs from Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania and South Africa will be partners in this programme. Through an integrated approach, it will enable them to attain work security and social security, build assets and capital and undertake capacity building for self reliance.'
▶️ read more about this Indian and African exchange here

FINLAND: Työväen Sivistysliitto (TSL) Finland
”Working life ICT skills in the field of trade” by Katri Söder
'TSL is involved in the ”Working life ICT skills in the field of trade” project. This project will research and develop workers ICT skills.'
▶️ www.ifwea-org/TSL
SWEDEN - Arbetarnas Bildningsförbund (ABF)
"ABF: Dags att stoppa viskleken på nätet" Monica Widman Lundmark
Varje dag översköljs vi med mängder av information. Från att vi vaknar till att vi lägger oss sorterar vi bland reklam, nyheter, statusuppdateringar och debattinlägg. Denna utveckling möjliggör för fler att dela med sig av idéer och information. Samtidigt är det lättare än någonsin att dela felaktig information som uppfattas som sanning.'
UK - Workers' Education Association (WEA) UK
"Find your local WEA"
'A key recommendation from the British Red Cross and Coop Loneliness Report highlights the needs to "bring people together around shared interests". This is a principle which underlines all WEA teaching. Find out more about this important piece of research and don't forget to check out your local WEA for new 2017 community courses...'
GLOBAL - International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF)
"Energised and committed to action – #ITFsummerschool2016 hailed a success"
'I’ve learned a lot from the summer school and I hope that there will more similar events in Arab world region, the social dialogue and freedom of speech between attendants was great, we should implement these skills on the ground.'

GLOBAL - StreetNet
"Strengthening our internal organizational democracy" by Pat Horn
'StreetNet was launched on 14th November 2002, and has held 5 international congresses every three years in accordance with the StreetNet Constitution - in 2004 in Korea, 2007 in Brazil, 2010 in Benin, 2013 in Chile, and in 2016 in India. This is an important part of maintaining our organizational democracy. But does this mean that our work of strengthening our internal organizational democracy is done?'

◼︎ IRELAND: University of Limerick - ENGAGE Podcast
"MA Journalism students report on Limerick BE HEARD"
'UL Engage was established in September 2015, in accordance with the University of Limerick's Strategic Plan.  The aim of UL Engage is to integrate civic engagement into the University's core missions in research, teaching and internationalisation.  UL Engage supports university/community collaborations in all shapes and sizes through a variety of new and existing UL programmes and projects.  It serves as the hub for civic engagement activities across campus and works with staff in all faculties to amplify, incubate and co-ordinate the various ways that students, faculty and staff can work to make a difference.'
▶️ listen to the podcast

▷ SOUTH AFRICA: Pathways To Free Education

'After months of work the Pathways to Free Education collective have put together a second volume this time focusing on "Strategy & Tactics" following the feedback we had received from our previous edition. We have pieces from Ethopian contexts through Zimbabwe, Brazil and the United States.
▶️ download here www.ifwea-org/Pathways

With "how-to" style articles on everything from how to draft a memorandum to tips with how to engage with the media. There is a case study of the bus boycotts in Alexendria in 1957 South Africa as well as guides on how to contribute to the popular struggle with film, documentary and through photography.

We also include the contact details of the major community radio stations across South Africa in each province and a list of organisations and contact details of NGO and public interest organisations that are likely to help in various ways.'
  UK / GLOBAL: ITF "Take Action Toolkit’

"This toolkit is aimed at those running workshops and campaigns, those who are involved in collective bargaining, those who are seeking education on the issue and those who want to get more discussion about gender-based violence into their workplace.

▶️ download  Take Action Toolkit – English
Take Action Toolkit – Arabic
Take Action Toolkit – French
Take Action Toolkit – Russian
Take Action Toolkit – Spanish

Resource themes:
01 Violence against women in the workplace;

02 Lobbying and collective bargaining;
03 Campaigning and building alliances;
04 Women’s voices – individual and collective;
05 Educating and activating others;
06 Union success stories;
07 Men as allies.
Materials include factsheets, training activities, booklets, posters, sharing
graphics and videos.
There may also be links to external documents and partner organisations. We hope the toolkit will be used together with our blog."

GLOBAL: International Labor Working-Class History Journal
"Workers' Education and the Global Labor Movement" Issue Editors IFWEA President Susan J.Schurman and Michael Merrill
"Workers’ education is the main theme of ILWCH 90. Education played a key role in the elaboration of the imagination, the discourses, and the claims that were the foundation of working-class politics. Yet, this vital dimension of the la- boring experience has been relatively neglected by historians. By assembling these diverse but related articles, Michael Merrill and Susan J. Schurman have revealed the central place of education in workers’ lives and expectations over the last two centuries. The significance of the research presented in this issue is all the more important because, as the editors’ emphasize in their introduction, workers’ education is neglected today as trade unions grapple with shrinking re- sources and more immediately pressing imperatives in a rapidly neoliberalizing world in which workers’ rights and benefits come under constant attack."

▶️ check out the Table of Contents here
▶️ download the articles here

▷GLOBAL: International Labour Organisation (ILO) International Labour Standards
"Join this short and free online course of the Global Labour University and the ILO's
International Training Centre to learn about the What, Why and How of International Labour Standards!"

 'What are Labour Standards, and how can workers’ organisations use the ILO supervisory mechanisms? What are the key principles of Freedom of Association, the right to strike and Collective Bargaining? Learn and discuss about these questions and connect with trade unionists and labour activists from around the world. The course is free of charge.  Furthermore, you can study whenever you have the time, and you will need only 8 to 10 hours to complete it.'

▶️ watch the course trailer here: and enrol for free on:

GLOBAL: International Labour Organisation (ILO) "Decent Work in Global Supply Chains"'
"This course offers a careful mix of video lectures and interviews, readings, online resources, and exercises to gain both knowledge and practical skills for promoting decent work in global supply chains. In some countries, the online learning experience will be complemented with local workshops for a truly global learning experience. "
'What are the challenges and opportunities for achieving decent work in global supply chains? How do transnational corporations and their global supply chains operate? How can they be more effectively governed?'

▶️ watch the course trailer here: 
and enrol here:

◼︎ BRAZIL / UK " Two different approaches that fail to protect Brazilian or British agricultural workers" by Vitor Filgueiras
Brazil and the United Kingdom are very different regarding the levels of working conditions achieved historically, but both have faced the same strategies to undermine public regulation lately. The failure of different approaches provides clues about the solutions for similar problems.

◼︎ KOREA "Issues in the Restructuring of the Korean Shipbuilding Industry" by
Kim Kyung-Ran

“Restructuring” was the buzzword that defined Korean society and economy in the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. It has returned with similar vigour. This time, the origin is the shipbuilding industry.

◼︎ USA "Reflecting on electoral catastrophe: What lessons can we take away from the victory of Trump?" by Peter Evans
Trump’s minions have already made it clear that organised labour will be among their immediate targets. Public sector workers, who are the main pillar of organised labour’s strength, will be attacked early. Turning the National Labor Relations Board into a thoroughly anti-labour organisation will make union certification, via officially sanctioned elections, close to impossible.

◼︎ VIETNAM / SAUDIA ARABIA "Laws and policies on sending Vietnamese domestic workers in Saudi Arabia" by Ly Trinh Khanh
Recently the Vietnamese media has reported many cases of Vietnamese female domestic workers being maltreated in Saudi Arabia. They were required to work between 16 and 20 hours without breaks in a day. Ms. Ha Thi Thu Trang, a 36 years old domestic worker from Thai Nguyen province, reported that some of her friends were either provided insufficient food by the employers or had to eat the food left over from the tables of the employers’ families.
"To date, it remains illegal for public service workers to organise and form or join a union that represents them although Liberia has ratified ILO Conventions 87 and 98. PSI, ITF and ITUC Africa ask affiliates and allies to send letters to the Liberian government calling for the reinstatement of dismissed workers, demanding the recognition of the right to organize for public service workers and the respect of trade union rights for all workers in Liberia!
"The Center for Trade Union and Worker Services calls upon all democratic forces in our society... to union personalities and labour leaders everywhere… to human rights defenders and those who demand freedom and social equality... show solidarity with the workers of the shipyard docks who are accused in Alexandria military felonies court case number 2759 for the year 2016."

▶️ SIGN THE PETITION here www.labourstartcampaigns/KOREA
Currently, the strike of public sector workers against the regressive labour reform and performance based pay system was declared 'illegal' and 9 leaders of Korean Railway Workers Union are accused for the notorious 'obstruction of business'. In order to end the strike, the government is seeking 'emergency arbitration', a practice denounced by the ILO as infringement of freedom of association. The self-employed truck drivers also face criminal and civil charges for a strike they planned."
▶️ SIGN THE PETITION here www.labourstartcampaigns/IRAN
"Teacher union leader from Tehran, Mr Esmail Abdi has been sentenced to six-year jail on bogus charges, including one for “assembling and colluding against national security”. These charges are unjust and contravene various human right conventions, including those protecting freedom of expression and association, as well as the right of unions to be consulted on education policies. The authorities are attempting to silence teachers’ grievances through repression and the extended incarceration of unionists and activists."
In recent years, the government of Kazakhstan has been limiting trade union rights and freedoms. It is bringing various forms of pressure to bear upon trade union organisations and individual activists. This relentless harassment has now peaked with the Kazakh authorities’ intention to force through the dissolution of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KNPRK).

KNPRK and its affiliates are campaigning against this forced dissolution and appeal to the international labour movement for solidarity. Support their demands by signing and sending a letter to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
▶️ SIGN THE PETITION here www.labourstartcampaigns/TURKEY
"Some families of journalists, who are in hiding or have fled, have been arrested to force them to surrender. Media workers, journalists and press freedom campaigners all over the world have joined protests calling for the release of all jailed journalists in Turkey. Press freedom is essential for democracy. We demand Turkey sets the journalists free. Journalism is not a crime - Gazetecilik suç değildir!"
 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:         + 2721 4861115
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