What is The Union Show?

7 12 2010

The Union Show broadcast on community TV C31 in Melbourne Australia from 2005 to 2009 and is a rich source of information on unions and issues affecting unions in this country. Whilst the program is no longer produced for television, the producers, United Productions maintain both a Union Show blog and the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel as a means of disseminating union information that would otherwise be lost in time and in the morass of anti-union misinformation that is distributed by mainstream media.

An extensive archive of Union Show episodes is available for viewing at http://theunionshow.blip.tv. Current union information can be sourced at www.theunionshow.com.au and at the UnitedPro2010 YouTube channel. There are many other web sources for union information that deal mainly in the written word. One of those sites and perhaps the venerable example is www.labourstart.org.au where you will find links to many other like-minded information outlets.


Global Union Federations Demand New Priorities from G8, G20 Summits

22 06 2010
Meeting in Toronto on 19 June, 270 national trade union leaders from 50 countries put forward a stern Declaration to the G8 and G20 that a radically changed global social order must occur, one prioritizing security of employment and preservation of the environment. The Declaration, pointed at the G8 and G20 summits this week in Toronto, came from a “Triple Crisis of Sustainability” forum, a meeting of union leaders representing 55 million workers from industrial and manufacturing sectors.

The Declaration was a joint undertaking of the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine, and General Workers’ Unions (ICEM), the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), and the International Textile, Garment, and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF). It was done with local cooperation by five trade unions representing industrial and other workers in Canada: Communications, Energy, Paperworkers (CEP) Union of Canada, the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW), the Power Workers Union (PWU), the United Steelworkers (USW), and the International Association of Machinists (IAM).

Gianni Alioti, Federazione Lavoratori Metalmeccanici, FLM, Italy

At the core of the Declaration is a demand that finance and political ministers put in place a stringent global financial governance system, introduce an international financial transaction tax, and reach an ambitious and binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions at Cop16 in Mexico later this year.

The 10-point Declaration also calls for guarantees that fundamental workers’ and trade union rights be respected in trade and investment deals; that sustainable development be made a criteria in trade and investment agreements; and that thorough assessment and assurance of social, economic, and environment well-being is contained in trade agreements. The full Declaration can be found here.

“Industrial workers have a central role to play in building a future that lifts people out of poverty while protecting the environment,” states the Declaration. “Through industrial and political action, our three global federations demand that the world’s leaders take decisive actions to solve the economic, social, and environmental crises.”

Regarding the timing of the Declaration, ICEM General Secretary Manfred Warda said, “The global economy is still on life-support and continued stimulus is needed. Re-regulating markets, a move to full employment, and a set of social stabilizers to reduce a rapid slide into poverty by hundreds of millions of people is essential.”

IMF General Secretary Jyrki Raina

Added IMF General Secretary Jyrki Raina: “Industry is the locomotive of national economies, as a provider of good quality jobs with decent wages and working hours, and the right to join a union. We need to limit precarious work by legislation and collective agreements, and develop industrial policies for sustainable development both in industrialised and developing countries.”

Geneva-based ICEM has 467 trade union affiliates in 132 countries, and represents 20 million workers. The IMF, also based in Geneva, represents the collective interests of 25 million metalworkers from more than 200 unions in 100 countries. The Brussels-based ITGLWF covers 217 trade unions in 110 countries.

For more, contact: Dick Blin, ICEM Information Officer, dick.blin@icem.org, +1 416 361 1000 Ext. 3344, +41 79 734 8994 (mobile); or Alex Ivanou, IMF Communications, aivanou@imfmetal.org, +41 22 308 5033.

Now the People — From the Crisis to Global Justice

21 06 2010
Now the People — From the Crisis to Global Justice
19 June 2010: One thousand delegates representing 176 million members from 155 countries and territories will take part in the Second World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). They will deal with issues related to labour’s demands for restructuring and reform of the global economy with an emphasis on workers’ rights, migrant workers, climate change and HIV-AIDS.

Speakers and panelists expected at the Congress include Juan Somavia, director general of the International Labour Organization, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, and Helen Clark, administrator of the United Nations Development Programme.

A number of labour leaders involved in the June 2010 ITUC Congress will also participate at meetings with G8 and G20 political leaders in Ontario immediately following the ITUC event.

OPENING PRESS CONFERENCE Monday 21 June at 8:30am Vancouver Convention Centre – Ballroom A, 1st floor With: ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder, ITUC President Sharan Burrow, Canadian Labour Congress President Ken Georgetti