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Free trade, imprisoned workers 13-12-2013
While workers in China continue to be arrested and imprisoned for organizing strikes and protests, big business in Switzerland has successfully lobbied for a free trade agreement (FTA) between Switzerland and China, approved without modifications by the Lower Chamber of the Swiss Parliament. The FTA has been swiftly condemned by the Geneva Community Trade Union Action (CGAS) and Hong Kong based Labour Action China (LAC) as a threat to Swiss democracy and a further setback in the struggle for the observance of universal human rights in China.
Unions representing workers in Mondelez around the world came together at the Unite Centre at Eastbourne, UK on December 4-5 for a meeting convened by the IUF. They resolved to strengthen global cooperation and organization and to escalate the campaign until dismissed union leaders in Egypt and Tunisia obtain justice, the company recognizes the right of the Cadbury union in Pakistan to negotiate on behalf of precarious workers seeking regular permanent employment and Mondelez talks to the IUF with the intention of resolving outstanding human rights issues.
Workers at the Accor Group's Ibis Tamarin hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, have been struggling for rights and recognition since their union was formed and legally registered in August 2012. Management's aggressive response to their efforts to claim their rights has now escalated.
The IUF and Meliá Hotels International, the Spanish-headquartered hotel chain with over 38.000 employees worldwide, have signed an agreement confirming Melia's commitments to respect fundamental rights at work, including but not limited to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The agreement applies to all hotels under Melia's brands, whether they are owned, managed or franchised.
Trade union rights are human rights! Pearl Continental Karachi workers rally on International Human Rights Day 11-12-2013
Members and leaders of the union at the upscale Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan and their supporters rallied at the Karachi Press Club on December 10, International Human Rights Day, to highlight the ongoing struggle for basic rights and recognition. Participants denounced management's refusal to recognize the union and reinstate dismissed workers despite multiple court orders and a decision by the ILO dating back over a decade.
Thousands of fast food workers went on strike across the USA on December 5, in a signal of the growing clamour for action on income equality. Low wage workers were due to strike across 100 cities through the day, including Boston, Detroit, New York City, Oakland, Los Angeles and St Louis (read more here).
Korean Women's Trade Union holds second strike against wage discrimination, precarious work 09-12-2013
School food service workers joined a second strike by precarious school workers on November 29 in a long-running fight for wage equality with regular workers and an end to discrimination in working conditions.
Following the spirited action by IUF affiliates at the New York headquarters of Turkish Airlines, unions in Germany and Canada have organized active public support for the reinstatement of the 305 union members fired in 2012 for exercising their right to strike.
For more detailed information about any of these events, click on the event name.