All work has dignity, and all workers deserve to be treated with respect by their employers. Trade unions play a decisive role in improving working conditions, safety and wages – yet some governments and employers systematically abuse the right of workers to join existing unions or form new ones. PSI works actively to support the right of workers to free collective bargaining, and to help stop abuses when they occur.
The commitment of trade union members to build a better world is stronger than ever; as greater than ever are inequality and injustice, said PSI Secretary General, Rosa Pavanelli, when she addressed the Plenary of the International Labour Conference in Geneva.
Thousands of young people make the perilous journey from Cote d’Ivoire across the Mediterranean to Europe every year. Theodor Gnagna, President of the National Platform for Public Sector Workers, says that establishing better work conditions in the country is an essential step in bringing an end to the exodus.
Services Employees International Union (SEIU), a PSI affiliate in the US, is joining the "Poor People's Campaign" pushing for better wages and union rights for the working poor. Originally led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr 50 years ago, this campaign is as important today as it was back then.
PSI has contacted the Kenyan government regarding the trade union rights situation in the country and the creation of an inter-ministerial committee on education reform. We encourage affiliates to send protest letters to the government, asking them to deal with these two matters urgently.
Since June, the South Korean government has been pushing forward a new rail restructuring and privatisation programme despite widespread opposition. Faced with the government and Korea Railroad Corporation's (KORAIL's) flat out rejection of social dialogue, the Korean Railway Workers' Union (KRWU), an ITF affiliate, has been on strike since 9 December.
KRWU is also a member of the KCTU-Korean Federation of Public Services and Transportation Workers' Unions (KPTU), a PSI affiliate.
FirstEnergy Corp. – one of the largest electric power corporations in the United States – locked out 150 members of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA) in the early morning hours of November 25, three days before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.
Public Services International, together with the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF), the Comité International de Soutien au Syndicalisme Autonome Algérien/CISA (International Support Committee for Autonomous Algerian Trade Unions), the Solidarity Center from AFL-CIO and the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN), is calling for international action in solidarity with Algerian trade union SNAPAP, including the reinstatement of SNAPAP President, Rachid Malaoui.
PSI is calling on all its affiliate members, men and women, to make a pledge to end violence against women and girls, at each of their workplaces around the globe.
Violence against women is an age-old problem – it is time to end it now.
KPTU-EdSol, the Korean trade union that organises education support workers, would like to receive solidarity statements and photos of education support members from PSI affiliates around the world, in time for their strike on 15 November.
Latest update: On October 11, Juan Jose Ortiz, SNTSG member and Financial Secretary of the Health Centre of Barberena Santa Rosa, was kidnapped on his way to the city centre. For more than 24 hours he was held captive, threatened and tortured. On 12 October, he was bundled into a car for a short drive, his eyes were then uncovered and he was left in the centre of Barberena. Mr Ortiz does not remember much of what happened; he was apparently drugged and received cigarette burns on his eyelids and eyebrows. He fears for his life and that of his family.
PSI calls on all its members to request the authorities of South Korea to recognize the Korean Government Employees' Union (KGEU), to refrain from cancelling the registration of the Korean Teachers' and Education Workers' Union (KTU) and to amend its legislation in line with ILO recommendations.
In the summer of 2013, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon unilaterally decided to strip UN unions of negotiating rights and suspend the Staff Management Committee. This sends an unacceptable message to the world that unions are not valid – and is especially hypocritical coming from the global organisation dedicated to peace, social justice and upholding international conventions on freedom of association and collective bargaining.
Detroit is the largest city to file for bankruptcy in United States history. But it is not the only city in economic crisis, and what happens in Detroit matters—it matters to AFSCME members who have dedicated their working lives to providing quality public services to the city and community, it matters to workers and retirees across the United States and around the world, it matters to all public sector workers who we depend upon to provide quality public services to citizens around the world. Detroit matters to all of us and we stand in solidarity with the workers and retirees of the city.
The roundtable dialogue between unions and the government will resume on 29 August 2013. We hope that this time the government will bring these negotiations towards an acceptable conclusion for all and that it will open a new chapter in the social history of Peru.
In Guatemala, more than 50 trade unionists, most of them public sector workers, have been murdered in the last three years alone. In addition, numerous cases of torture, kidnappings, raids and death threats have created a culture of fear and violence.
Your future is in public hands - quality public services for all!
The international labour movement celebrates 1 May in memory of the activists who were killed in the Haymarket massacre of 1886 while demonstrating for the eight-hour work day. Today, using the pretext of the economic and financial crises, neo-liberal forces around the world are determined to eliminate workers’ right to bargain collectively and hard-won social and labour rights. Workers and our communities are uniting to turn back the wave of measures being used to increase privatisation, claw back public spending, reduce the size and role of the state, and to attack social dialogue and collective bargaining in public sector workplaces.
Two women trade unionists, Santa Alvarado, member of PSI affiliate SNTSG, and Kira Zulueta Enriquez Mena, have been brutally murdered in two separate incidents in Guatemala. These follow on the murder of Carlos Hernández Mendoza, SNTSG union leader shot dead at 8:30 am on 8 March 2013 by two men on a motorcycle. Some five other members of SNTSG were also murdered in the last year as were several civil society activists, including agrarian reform and indigenous right activists.
On 17-20 January 2014, a high-level international delegation, including TUAC, ITUC, PSI and ITF, took part in a four-day mission to look into the current situation of human and trade union rights in Korea. The mission confirmed what was feared, that under the current administration the government was engaging in a wave of intense repression against labour and civil society of the kind not seen in recent years and which threatens to hollow-out the country’s democracy.
Over the past two years, state legislators across the country have launched an unprecedented series of initiatives aimed at lowering labor standards, weakening unions, and eroding workplace protections for both union and non-union workers. This policy agenda undercuts the ability of low- and middle-wage workers, both union and non-union, to earn a decent wage.
Angered by the continuing attacks on public services and the workers who provide these services, distressed by the rising inequality across the world and the failure of the current economic system to provide jobs, particularly for young people, the Steering Committee reiterated its commitments to the 2013-2017 Programme of Action “Social Justice through Quality Public Services” and endorsed priority actions for 2014.
In this report, two members of the Congressional Monitoring Group on Labor Rights in Colombia have assessed the implementation and real-world impact of the nearly three-year-old U.S.-Colombia Labor Action Plan (LAP). The report found widespread problems with the implementation of new labor rights for Colombian workers.