Taking COSATU Today Forward, 15 November 2021

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Norman Mampane

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Nov 15, 2021, 3:36:21 AM11/15/21
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COSATU TODAY

#2021YearofCosatuLocals

#Back2Basics

COSATU affiliates are preparing for year-end CEC coming next week

#16DaysofActivism

#JoinCOSATUNow

#ClassConsciousness

Taking COSATU Today Forward

‘Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense’-Maoo

 

Our side of the story

Monday, 15 November 2021


‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’

All workers urged to take Covid19 vaccine jabs!

Organize at every workplace and demand Personal Protective Equipment Now!

Defend Jobs Now!

Join COSATU NOW!

 

Contents                      

  • Workers Parliament: Back to Basics!
  • Mpumalanga Department of Employment and Labour blitz to conduct three weeklong inspection on all sectors
  • South Africa
  • NEHAWU calls on the ANC to pay workers salaries  

Workers’ Parliament-Back2Basics 

 

Mpumalanga Department of Employment and Labour blitz to conduct three weeklong inspection on all sectors

11 November 2021

The Department of Employment and Labour in Mpumalanga is going to conduct a three-week long integrated blitz inspection program targeting all sectors in Ehlanzeni, Gert Sibande and Nkangala District.

The integrated inspection programme is scheduled to start on Monday, 15 November 2021 and end on Friday, 10 December 2021. Inspections will focus on compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA), Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA), Basic Conditions of Employment Act (BCEA), National Minimum Wage Act; Unemployment Insurance Fund Act (UIF) including the Unemployment Contributions Act as well as Employment Equity Act (EEA).

According to Ms. Nonyaniso Njwambe, Provincial Chief Inspector (PCI), the integrated approach will see inspectors from different competencies visiting one employer at the same time. The dependency on the systems for sourcing information will be eliminated and the employers will benefit from the process as the entire employment law regime will be addressed on the spot.

"This project is part of our responsibility as a department to continuously remind workers and employers of their rights and responsibilities. An impact analysis on the project will be done at the end of the project. We believe that the integrated inspection will yield problem solving avenue on employee/s enquiries in that particular region," said Njwambe.

The blitz inspection schedule is as follows:

  1. Gert Sibande – focus area is Mkhondo from 15 – 19 November 2021, a Formal Advocacy session will be on the 19th of November 2021 
  2. Ehlanzeni region – focus area is Mbombela from 22 – 26 November 2021; Formal Advocacy session will be on the 26th of November 2021
  3. Nkangala region – focus area is KwaMhlanga from 06 – 10 December 2021; Formal Advocacy session will be on the 10th of December 2021

For more information contact:

Joe Maswanganyi

Provincial Communication Officer

066 115 5678

"Please continue adhering to the lockdown regulations. Wash hands or sanitise your hands regularly and wear your mask at all times." 

-ENDS-

Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour

South Africa 

NEHAWU calls on the ANC to pay workers salaries  

Zola Saphetha, NEHAWU General Secretary, November 15, 2021

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] stands in solidarity with its members and workers working for the African National Congress (ANC), as they embark on picket demonstrations across the country as a result of the continued failure by the ANC in paying their salaries.

In June 2021, the ANC made an undertaking to address the demands that were contained in the memorandum of demands which our members submitted for the attention of ANC management, following the national pickets. These demands included amongst others the payment of outstanding salaries and contributions like provident fund, UIF and medical aid benefit with immediate effect.

As NEHAWU, we are utterly astonished that ANC has not fulfilled its promises even after having made serious commitment to them. Indeed, this confirms to us that the ANC has lost its moral and ethical compass as an organisation which is supposed to be bias to the poor and working-class.

The ANC clearly does not value the contribution of these workers. What kind of organisation would find absolutely nothing wrong with subjecting its employees to economic hardships?

Our members and workers working for the ANC have lost all they have worked for as a result of the non-payment of salaries. 

It’s these workers that just recently worked hard to ensure that the ANC redeems the little credibility it has left during the local government elections and yet the organisation treats them with disdain by not paying them what is rightfully theirs.

As NEHAWU, we fully support the struggle of workers for improved conditions of service. As such, we call on the ANC to comply with the legislative frameworks and labour laws of this country by paying our members and its workers what is rightfully theirs.

END

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

International-Solidarity 

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NEHAWU calls for Miss-SA to withdraw from Miss Universe Pageant

Zola Saphetha, NEHAWU General Secretary, November 14, 2021

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] calls on Miss South Africa and the Miss South Africa organisation to withdraw their participation in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant set to take place in apartheid Israel this December.

Cultural events such as Miss Universe pageant serve as an exercise to whitewash Israel’s occupation and systematic denial of Palestinian rights. Participation in such cultural events are part of efforts to normalise a system characterised by flagrant disregard for fundamental human rights and international law. Therefore, cultural organizations and events should be viewed as part of a wider ideological and institutional support for Israel's project of settler colonialism and apartheid system against an indigenous Palestinian population.

The apartheid state of Israel is relentless in its violations of Palestinian human rights, this has been evidenced many times and recently through the COVID-19 pandemic. Israel has for some time practised medical apartheid against the Palestinian people, it went a step further to weaponize a global pandemic against a population already severely affected by a brutal illegal military occupation.

With continuous worldwide efforts by different organizations such as the World Health Organizations to guarantee equal distribution of the COVID-19 vaccinations, Palestinians found themselves in a far worse situation, having endured Israeli apartheid in various forms, the most recent being vaccine apartheid.

While the Israeli COVID19 vaccination programme was celebrated as being successful thus far with almost half of its population reported to have received the vaccine by March, the same could not have been said for Palestinians. Israel engaged in a form of medical apartheid, by declining to provide vaccines to Palestinians living under its military occupation. The provision of medical supplies falls within its ambit as an occupying power under international law.

The Israeli occupation essentially implies that Israel controls all elements of Palestinian life, including the movement of people and products, as well as healthcare. Permission from Israeli authorities is necessary for resources, such as vaccinations and other medical supplies, to enter the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Aside with COVID-19, there are additional instances of medical apartheid.

Israel has in the past practised medical apartheid like refusing Palestinian hospitals from accessing essential medical resources such as radiation equipment for cancer treatment.

NEHAWU recognises, respects and supports the call by The Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI) that calls on the international community to respect the cultural boycott and not cross the picket line. Those endorsing and participating in cultural events in Israel are therefore complicit in Israel violations of Palestinian human rights.

The city of Eilat ,where the Miss Universe Pageant is set to take place, is an illegal Israeli settlement built on the ruins of a Palestinian village whose population was ethnically cleansed during the 1948 Nakba.

The call to Miss SA to withdraw her participation in the pageant is both morally and legally justified. The struggle against apartheid in South Africa received support from the international community through similar boycott campaigns that today Palestinians are today asking for.

END

Issued by NEHAWU Secretariat

_____

New minimum wage in Pakistan is a union win

10 November, 2021

The provincial government in Sindh, Pakistan, increased the minimum wage for unskilled workers above the set national increase. Employers went to court, but a judgement last month ruled that the Sindh government’s minimum wage should not be interfered with.

When the government of Pakistan’s Sindh province announced an increase in minimum wage for unskilled workers from PKR17,500 (US$103) to PKR25,000 (US$146) per month as of 1 July, the Employers Federation of Pakistan,among others, submitted a petition to court, accusing the Sindh government of trying to score political points.

In return, union leaders in the province, including IndustriALL affiliates NTUF and HBWWF, filed a petition for the implementation of the minimum wage at PKR25,000 per month.

After hearings in September, the Sindh High court announced on 15 October that it upheld the government of Sindh’s decision and that the minimum wage rate be kept PKR25,000 per month.

The court further declared that female workers should be paid a minimum wage equal to male counterparts in the same category. The court fixed minimum hourly wage at PKR120 (US$0,7).

Nasir Mansoor, NTUF general secretary, said:

“If the state institutions take decisions in the light of the Pakistan’s constitution to ensure the provision of basic rights to the workers, then there is no reason why the problems of the workers could not be resolved. The provincial court’s decision reflects the needs and rights of millions of labourers in the province.”

_________

Belarus-Poland: The lives of refugees are not a tool in imperialist antagonisms

11 Nov 2021

The tension on the Belarusian border with Poland is intensifying every day at the expense of thousands of stranded migrants and refugees who are treated like a tennis-ball in the EU – USA – NATO geopolitical confrontation with Belarus and Russia.

Hundreds of people – mostly from African and Middle Eastern countries – have tried to cross the Polish border. At least seven migrants, out of the hundreds trapped in the border area, have died.
With the pretext of these events, the EU and NATO express their readiness to intervene on the Polish-Belarusian border in order to “deal with” the thousands of refugees and migrants caught up in the geopolitical antagonism.

Brussels’ interest in refugees and migrants can only be described as hypocritical, when in other countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, etc. it is imprisoning thousands of people in prison camps under its agreements.

In the context of this debate, an attempt is being made to keep the real perpetrators of the drama of refugees and migrants in the dark once again, which we are currently witnessing at the Belarus-Poland border, which we have been witnessing for years in the Aegean, which we have been witnessing in Spain a few months ago.

The same people who turn peoples to refugees with their wars and their agreements sometimes appear as saviours and sometimes prepare for military action and new sanctions that will bring new suffering to the peoples. These innocent people are added to the thousands of refugees who die in the land or sea to avoid the consequences of the wars generated by the imperialists, they are not accidents, they are crimes. Immigrants and refugees are forced into this position by the imperialist policies of NATO, the United States and the European Union, through their aggressiveness and intervention

The WFTU calls the peoples of countries to be alarmed: they have no interest in the bargaining of their governments. Solidarity with the oppressed means fighting against the causes that drive them out of their countries, fighting against the imperialist interventions in which the EU, USA and NATO are leading.

We demand:

·        Stop the imperialist interventions

·        Withdrawal of the occupying armies

The Secretariat

_______

ILO announces winners of the 2nd ILO Skills Challenge Innovation Call on e-formality and skills development

10 November 2021

Winning proposals offer innovative solutions for labour formalization in Latin America and the Caribbean through new technologies and skills development.

LIMA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization announced the two winning proposals of the 2nd Skills Challenge Innovation Call aimed at identifying solutions in the area of e-formality. The winning entries come from Ecuador and Brazil.

The call led to the identification of 60 innovative solutions in the areas of e-formality and skills development to contribute to the recovery of formal employment in the region after the massive job losses caused by COVID-19.

Five proposals, from Brazil, Ecuador and Chile, were shortlisted as finalists and invited to present their ideas to an international jury during a virtual event broadcasted live on 4 November 2021. Nearly 1,500 viewers from different regions of the world followed the event and voted for their favourite proposals.

After a rigorous evaluation process that took into account the jury's assessment and the public vote, the ILO selected the two winning proposals:

·        First prize (USD 30,000)Encadenamientos productivos digitales, submitted by the Guayaquil Chamber of Industries (CIG) of Ecuador. This initiative consists of the development of a virtual platform (including a mobile app and a web app) to support Micro, Small and Medium enterprises (MSME) in managing their inventory, improving the quality of their products/services and achieving supply chain traceability. It also uses real-time industry analytics to integrate MSME suppliers from vulnerable segments with industry clusters and large companies in order to generate sustainable business relationships and shared value.

·        Second prize (USD 20,000)#ElasporElas: Ferramenta de Educação Digital para o Empreendedorismo, led by Brazil's Serviço Social da Indústria (SESI). This digital education application aims at promoting the formalization of women in contexts of social vulnerability by supporting digital inclusion, formal entrepreneurship and financial independence of female victims of violence.

In addition to the financial support of USD 30,000 (first prize) and USD 20,000 (second prize) for the implementation of their proposals, the winning initiatives will receive technical advice for implementing their solutions and opportunities for making connections and getting global visibility.

"The digital revolution, technological transformations and trends associated with the future of work, which have been accelerated by the pandemic, open an opportunity to adopt innovative solutions that support the insertion of economic units into formal value chains, through the use of new technologies," said Vinícius Pinheiro, Director of the ILO Office for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“This call for proposals on e-formality and skills development has shown the enormous potential for identifying innovative and effective solutions for formalization in the region, demonstrating the power of creativity and innovation to improve labour market outcomes”, he added.

"The ILO launched this 2nd Skills Challenge Innovation Call, recognizing the importance and active roles of individuals and organizations in driving innovation in skill systems and addressing pressing challenges around the informality in Latin America and the Caribbean. Addressing the issue of informality through skills development is not an easy task, but we are so grateful to have received innovative, creative and targeted solutions to overcome these difficulties. This really demonstrate how informality and skills development are interrelated and timely topics that affect the lives of many people and require the engagement of multiple stakeholders on the ground”, explained Srinivas Reddy, Chief of the ILO Skills and Employability Branch.

He added that “it is important that we see the Skills Challenge Innovation Call not as a one-off event, but rather as a first step to build a skills innovation ecosystem that supports great ideas and turn them into real and concrete solutions”.

__________________________

Norman Mampane (Shopsteward Editor)

Congress of South African Trade Unions

110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street, Braamfontein, 2017

P.O.Box 1019, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct line: 010 219-1348

 

 

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Norman Mampane

unread,
Nov 15, 2021, 8:12:30 AM11/15/21
to cosatu-d...@googlegroups.com, cosatu-d...@gmail.com, Khanyisile Fakude, Alfred Mafuleka, Babsy Nhlapo, Bheki Ntshalintshali, Zingi...@gmail.com, Dibuseng Pakose, Dolly Ngali, Enos Ramaru, Gert...@cosatu.org.za, Jabulile Tshehla, Theo Steele, Nhlanhla Ngwenya, Nthabiseng Makhajane, Tshidi Makhathini, Bongani Masuku, masukub...@gmail.com, Freda Oosthuysen, Khaliphile Cotoza, Kopano Konopi, Louisa Nxumalo, Matthew Parks, Mkhawuleli Maleki, Monyatso Mahlatsi, Mph...@cosatu.org.za, nts...@cosatu.org.za, Patience Lebatlang, phi...@cosatu.org.za, Ruth Mosiane, Solly Phetoe, Thabo Mokoena, Thandi Makapela, Thokozani Mtini, Toeki Kgabo, Tony Ehrenreich, wel...@cosatu.org.za, Zanele Matebula, Zingiswa Losi, Norman Mampane, Donald Ratau, Fi...@cosatu.org.za, Sis...@cosatu.org.za, Phumeza Mpalweni, Edwin Mkhize, Gerald Twala, Sizwe Pamla, Abel Tlhole Pitso, tam...@cosatu.org.za, Tshepo Mabulana, Gosalamang Jantjies, Mpheane Lepaku, Lebogang Mulaisi, Jan Mahlangu, Tam...@cosatu.org.za, Thabo Mahlangu, James Mhlabane, Paul Bester, Benoni Mokgongoana, Moji Lethuloe, Parks, Mampane External, Malvern de Bruyn, Orapeleng Moraladi, Mich...@nehawu.org.za, thi...@saccawu.org.za, Louisa Thipe, Itumeleng Molatlhegi, Nelly Masombuka, Matimu Shivalo, Emanuel Mooketsi, Sihle Dlomo, Collins Matsepe, Sandra Khoza, kamo...@cosatu.org.za, nom...@cosatu.org.za, Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni, Kabelo Kgoro, Mzoli Xola, Boitumelo Molete, Mongezi Mbelwane, Zimasa Ziqubu, Ntombizodwa Pooe, Kgaladi Makuwa

 

COSATU TODAY

#2021YearofCosatuLocals

#Back2Basics

COSATU affiliates are preparing for year-end CEC coming next week

#16DaysofActivism

#JoinCOSATUNow

#ClassConsciousness

Taking COSATU Today Forward

‘Whoever sides with the revolutionary people in deed as well as in word is a revolutionary in the full sense’-Maoo

 

Our side of the story

Monday, 15 November 2021


‘Deepen the Back to Basics Campaign, Consolidate the Struggle for the NDR and Advance the Struggle for Socialism’

All workers urged to take Covid19 vaccine jabs!

Organize at every workplace and demand Personal Protective Equipment Now!

Defend Jobs Now!

Join COSATU NOW!

 

Contents                      

  • Workers Parliament: Back to Basics!
  • SAMWU welcomes dismissal of City of Cape Town exemption application
  • Right to belong to a trade union ‘sacrosanct’ – Department of Employment and Labour
  • South Africa
  • COSATU supports SA government’s decision to withdraw backing of Miss SA pageant, as the Miss Universe in Israel approaches 

Ø  UN Global Compact and shipping industry confirm formation of ‘people-centred’ Task Force to ensure Just Transition to net-zero

Workers’ Parliament-Back2Basics 

SAMWU welcomes dismissal of City of Cape Town exemption application

Dumisane Magagula, General Secretary, 15 November 2021 

 

The South African Municipal Workers’ Union (SAMWU) notes and welcomes the decision by the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGBC) to dismiss the exemption application by the City of Cape Town. The City of Cape Town had applied to be exempted from the recently concluded salary and wage collective agreement, denying workers their salary increases as per the collective agreement. From the onset, the City of Cape Town sought to deny municipal workers salary increases this year, going as far as preempting the negotiations by arguing that parties in the SALGBC should negotiate a zero % salary increase for municipal workers. 

 

We are pleased to announced that following their exemption application, an arbitration process was conducted by parties in the SALGBC with the Arbitrator reaching a conclusion of declining the application by the City and further instructing the City to pay workers their salary and wage increases as per the collective agreement backdated to July 2021. 

 

The decision by the Arbitrator to decline the City’s application is a huge victory for the 30 000 workers who are in the employ of the City of Cape Town. Workers in the City have been subjected to the ruthlessness of the employer who sought to collapse collective bargaining in the sector, an employer that sought to define itself outside of the employer body, the South African Local Government Bargaining Council (SALGA). 

 

More importantly, this ruling should serve as a warning to other municipalities who are bringing frivolous applications to the SALGBC pleading poverty whereas they know very well that they are in a position to pay workers their salary increases. Seemingly municipalities are on a crusade of undermining collective agreements that are reached in the SALGBC, a crusade which we view as a direct attack on workers and collective bargaining. 

 

We cannot allow a situation wherein municipalities use the Covid-19 pandemic as a reason why they cannot honour the salary and wage collective agreement. Municipal workers have also been affected by the pandemic. In fact, municipalities have during the pandemic been able to increase revenue collection during  and as such there is no logical or rational explanation as to why municipal workers should be denied their salary and wage increases apart from the evident desire to undermine collective agreements. 

 

Municipal workers, like all South Africans have endured economic hardships that have come with the increase in the cost of living. As SAMWU, we will continue opposing all exemption applications, municipalities should stop wasting resources by making frivolous applications which would ultimately lead to a demoralised workforce and ultimately impact service delivery as workers will not be motivated.  We are a union in the process of applying for compliance orders against all municipalities that have not yet paid workers their salary and wage increases.  

 

We thank our members in the City of Cape Town for allowing us to deal with this application, this should be motivation enough to workers in other municipalities that through the work that we are  currently doing, they too will realise the implementation of the salary and wage collective agreement in their respective municipalities. 

 

Issued by SAMWU Secretariat 

____

Right to belong to a trade union ‘sacrosanct’ – Department of Employment and Labour

11 November 2021

Media reports that hundreds of mineworkers at Blyvoor Gold Mine in Carletonville are being dismissed on the basis of their constitutional rights to belong to a trade union of their choice are disturbing.

The report further alleges that since the beginning of this year, many workers at Blyvoor Gold Mine have been intimidated, assaulted and prevented from reporting to work.

The Department of Employment and Labour through its mandate and vision strive to promote economic development, social justice, labour peace and democracy in the workplace. It does this through a number of Acts which regulate labour matters in South Africa.

One of these is the Labour Relations Act (LRA), Act 66 of 1995. This Act provides for every person to have the right to fair labour practices. It also provides that workers shall have the right to form and join trade unions, and employers shall have the right to form and join employers' organisations; workers and employers shall have the right to organise and bargain collectively and workers shall have the right to strike for the purpose of collective bargaining.

Such events as reported risks bringing instability in the labour market. In 2014 the Department and Nedlac partners held a Labour Relations Indaba and adopted what is now termed the "Ekurhuleni Declaration" in which parties committed themselves, among other things, to setting in motion processes that will culminate in stabilising the volatile labour relations environment.

One of the outcomes of the Indaba was that parties agreed to: address labour relations challenges through dialogue under the leadership of Nedlac. All stakeholders further agreed to promote employment, labour market stability, enhance and promote the right to strike. The Department therefore appeals to all parties to pursue the path of dialogue.

Media enquiries:

Musa Zondi

Acting Departmental Spokesperson

067 426 4190 or musa....@labour.gov.za 

"Please continue adhering to the lockdown regulations. Wash hands or sanitise your hands regularly and wear your mask at all times."

-ENDS-

Issued by: Department of Employment and Labour

South Africa 

COSATU supports SA government’s decision to withdraw backing of Miss SA pageant, as the Miss Universe in Israel approaches 

Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni, COSATU International Secretary, 15 November 2021

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) commends the South African government for heeding the call of millions of South Africans, calling for the current Miss South Africa Miss Lalela Mswane to boycott/withdraw from the Miss Universe pageant taking place on the ruins of the ethnically cleansed village of Um Al-Rashrash in apartheid Israel this December.  

COSATU condemns the relentless violations of human rights in Palestine, and we are gravely outraged by the Miss SA company’s blatant disregard of the country’s political stance, which firstly recognises the right to self-determination and freedom for every country – including Palestine and its people.

The mounting calls by the progressive pro-Palestine movement in South Africa, including COSATU, are based on Israel’s atrocities against the Palestinian people in the Middle East.  

The Miss South Africa brand prides itself on being an organisation that shapes young South African women into ambassadors for our country. Young women who will become champions of women’s rights thought leaders and savvy career women who inspire other young South Africans to fulfil their potential, recognise their self-worth and find their place in the world. 

However, the decision to continue to attend a global pageant being hosted in a country where thousands of young women are displaced and killed in this unjustifiable continued aggression against the people of Palestine is in itself inexcusable.   

Women, in particular, have carried much of the burden of the Israel-Palestine tensions. Israeli checkpoints, locations occupied by Israeli Defence Forces, have been placed to block out anyone of harm from crossing, in other words, any Palestinian. Palestinian women who need medical treatment during labour cannot go past the checkpoints. 

Defence Forces have refused to pass almost every pregnant woman that tries to pass through, claiming that even those who seek medical treatment pose a serious threat.  

Restrictions on movement and access, increased settlement expansion and settler violence, demolitions of Palestinian infrastructure and displacement, the fragmentation of the territory and the closure of the occupied Palestinian territory, particularly the Gaza Strip, continue to have a negative gender-differentiated impact on the lives of Palestinian women and their families. 

How does Miss South Africa go and “represent South Africans” in a country that has deprived the women of Palestine of their right to “recognise their self-worth”? An apartheid state!   

COSATU continues to intensify its mobilisation for the complete boycott of companies trading with Israel and any goods imported into the country. It is noteworthy that the Zionists have launched a global offensive, using dirty money, buying and bribing politicians, corrupting every fibre of society, to join the chorus of lies and misinformation against the colonised people of Palestine and their legitimate struggle for their land.  

COSATU also joins the pro-Palestine progressive forces in South Africa, calling on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) not to air the Miss Universe Pageant on the television platform.  

The world must refuse to be part of the rot that keeps the Palestinian people in bondage a day longer. It is enough dehumanisation and tragic that we continue with our daily lives when amongst us we have “civilised colonisers and fascists”, who pretend to be dignified but feed off the blood and sweat of other people.  

The Palestinian people will forever and deserve our unwavering solidarity for freedom.  

International-Solidarity 

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WFTU Intervention in the 41st Session of the UNESCO General Conference | 9-24 November 2021.

15 Nov 2021

UNESCO

Dear colleagues,

We convey you the most heartily greetings of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and of its 103 million members who live and work in 133 countries of the whole world.

The WFTU has traditionally been since its foundation in 1945 an international actor who pressed for the foundation of UNESCO and the elaboration of its statutory principles and goals. It has been there when the UNESCO Charter was proclaimed and has struggled by all its means and through the key-demands that the big international UNESCO community has posed, to turn them into key-demands and claims of the labor unions across the world.

The situation in an international level should concern us all:

·        Wars and incrementing aggressiveness which only suffering has caused to the peoples of Middle East, Central Asia, Africa and Latin America up until now. We all saw with terror the cultural heritance of the humanity being destroyed, looted to adorn the collections of the antiquities smugglers, to be subtracted from the museums of Syria and Iraq.

·        The underfunding, the underestimation of the infrastructure for the preservation of the cultural heritance, the privatization of services responsible for the rescuing work of the collective memory of the peoples, only worry could cause. For us, the masterpieces of the human civilizations, whether it is material or immaterial, they are a part of the people’s property and as such it should be treated, through state provision and care.

·        The obvious undervaluation of the popular culture of the native populations and the underestimation of their identity in the framework of the globalization becomes more and more apparent. At the same time, the same natural environment in which reside the native populations is being threatened by the uncontrollable action of the multinationals which come to steal the wealth of their environment.

·        Mother languages, part of the immaterial world heritance of the humanity disappear for the benefit of the so-called “global languages”. Entire ethnic and national identities are under threat or being brushed aside in the altar of the globalization and the multiplication of the profits of a fist of businessmen.

·        The anti-educational reforms in a series of countries, the underestimation of public, free and compulsory education, the illiteracy are themes which should be put into the centre of our coordinated action. We should all provide in order to fulfill the requests for free, public education, which will be at the service of the peoples and their interests.

·        Investigation and Science seems to pass in to the hands of private interests, which do not care about the satisfaction of popular needs and are after the profit. As the voice of the NGO’s, we should demand for Investigation and Science which will promote the scientific knowledge in the framework of the scientific-technical revolution, the true knowledge which wil be at the service of the peoples for the improvement of the technical-material infrastructure of their lives.

The WFTU salutes the efforts to record and remark the crimes in Palestine such as the Rapid Damage and Needs Assessment of June 2021 with the contribution of UNESCO. We are assisting the international community in its efforts to provide material support and relief to the Palestinian people. After all, immediately after the recent murderous raids, we expressed our unconditional support and we launched a solidarity campaign for the collection of school materials, and the practical support and relief of our Palestinian brothers and sisters, which continues to this day with great success.

Today, the WFTU, struggles so that the UNESCO Millennium Development Goals, which actually constitute an update and adjustment of its Statutory Principles in the 21st Century, come even closer.

More specifically:

1) Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

It constitutes the first and most basic concern, given that our struggle towards the eradication of poverty is going to be a key factor which will bring even closer the other MDGs. In this context, WFTU affiliates in all continents could assist and take the pledge.

2) Achieve universal primary education

The WFTU Trade Union Internationals are also playing an important role. Seminars, events with teachers who are dreaming of a free, public and universal education for everyone, Scientific symposiums and Open-door days at all latitudes of the globe, are going to aim at the engagement of more and more social actors in spreading the message for an education at the level of the peoples’ needs.

3) Promote gender equality and empower women

The WFTU Working Women Committee which represents women unionists of all continents plays a crucial role. It transmits a vivid experience to all the NGO society on the situation at workplaces and the contemporary demands and goals of the working woman.

4) Combat diseases including HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

We must address all these problems which afflict modern developing economies with a special focus on the HIV/AIDS issues. The WFTU can raise awareness among all its members and genuinely engage its millions of members in the UNESCO goals, for a health system able to conduct scientific research and studies at the service of the peoples and their interests.

5) Ensure environmental sustainability

A very relevant link for the today’s needs is our struggle against climate change and the environmental sustainability. The WFTU commits itself to employ all available international stages it has in order to promote the UNESCO claims which at the same time are also a claim of the people of the world for an effective environmental protection. We could ensure the memories and past experiences of our affiliates in developing countries who are those who suffer the most by the corporate unaccountability and predatory practices against the habitat they have been living into for many years.

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UN Global Compact and shipping industry confirm formation of ‘people-centred’ Task Force to ensure Just Transition to net-zero

10 Nov 2021

Glasgow, 10 November 2021 – In a landmark moment for maritime workers the formation of a Just Transition Maritime Task Force has been agreed to drive decarbonisation of the industry and support millions of seafarers through shipping’s green transition.

The task force will push forward shipping's climate goals while protecting its works and their communities, ensuring opportunity for all. It will focus on the development of new green skills and green and decent work, identifying best practice across the value chain and providing policy recommendations for an equitable transition - with a specific focus on developing economies.

The task force was agreed during high-level discussions at COP26, including in discussions with the Shipping lead, UN climate champions team, whose founding members include the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing shipowners, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), representing seafarers and port workers, and the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative. 

Other influential UN organisations including the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will join the task force as formal partners.

Guy Platten, secretary general ICS, said: “We are all about to face the single largest transition in modern times, and all of us will be affected.”

“Many of our seafarers come from developing nations, who are witnessing first-hand the effects of climate change. We must ensure they are given the green skills they need to keep global trade moving, and that developing nations can have access to the technologies and infrastructure to be part of shipping’s green transition.”

The world’s largest economies reiterated the importance of Just Transition this week as 30 nations committed to strategies ensuring that workers, businesses and communities are supported as countries transition to greener economies.

Global shipping is responsible for the movement of 90% of world trade and currently accounts for nearly 3% of global GHG emissions. There are over 1.4million seafarers globally, with the majority of this workforce originating from emerging economies.                

Stephen Cotton, ITF General Secretary, said: “This task force will give international shipping the opportunity to lead the transformation of transport. We welcome the commitment from all partners, from industry and the UN agencies, to tackle this challenge collaboratively with workers and their unions. We know that seafarers’ expertise will lead shipping’s green transformation, and we look forward to working in the task force to push forward concrete,tangible solutions to decarbonise the sector in a worker-led just transition.”

 The move represents the first of its kind for shipping and will provide clear leadership and steer for the industry to coordinate efforts and work with governments, industry, workers and their representatives to ensure a people-centred transition for the maritime industry.

 Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Director of the United Nations Global Compact said: "Businesses are raising ambition for climate action and preparing for the transformative shift in our economies and societies necessary to secure a 1.5C future. As companies work to halve emissions by 2030, a people-centered approach is a key to ensuring a just transition that  leaves no one behind.

“With over 87 million people employed by our nearly 14,000 Participant companies, the UN Global Compact is uniquely positioned to scale the collective global impact of business to support a just transition. Guided by our recently launched Just Transition Think Lab this Maritime task force will help translate concrete strategies and policies for the sector," said Ojiambo. 

Guy Ryder, ILO Director-General, said: “The task force represents the best of sectoral social dialogue. It echoes the tripartite approach set out in the ILO’s 2015 Guidelines for a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for all, taking a human-centred approach to achieving green shipping.”

A meeting is expected to take place in December to begin setting up the practical next steps for the Just Transition Task Force.

 

--- ENDS ---

Notes

About ICS

 The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for merchant shipowners and operators, representing all sectors and trades and over 80% of the world merchant fleet.

About the ITF

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is a democratic, affiliate-led federation of transport workers’ unions recognised as the world’s leading transport authority. We fight passionately to improve working lives; connecting trade unions and workers’ networks from 147 countries to secure rights, equality and justice for their members. We are the voice of the almost-20 million women and men who move the world.

About the ILO

The only tripartite U.N. agency, since 1919 the ILO brings together governments, employers and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men

About the IMO

International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for safe, secure, sustainable and efficient shipping.

About the UN Global Compact

As a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, the United Nations Global Compact is a call to companies everywhere to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption.  Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. The UN Global Compact  has launched a Just Transition Think Lab which will help set the global narrative on corporate engagement in a just transition. The Think Lab is partnered with the International Labour Organization and the Just Transition Centre.

Media Contact:

Duncan Bray | +44 (0) 7972 224445I...@woodrowcommunications.com  

__________________________

Norman Mampane (Shopsteward Editor)

Congress of South African Trade Unions

110 Jorissen Cnr Simmonds Street, Braamfontein, 2017

P.O.Box 1019, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Tel: +27 11 339-4911 Direct line: 010 219-1348

 

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