IUF logo; clicking here returns you to the home page.
Uniting Food, Farm and Hotel Workers World-Wide

US, EU Must Act Now to Defend Democracy in Honduras!

Joint statement by the IUF international and Latin American regional secretariats - Geneva, October 1, 2009[more]

When Investors Buzz, Workers Take Cover

Kraft, the world's second largest food corporation, has set financial analysts and investors 'buzzing' around hopes for food sector 'consolidation' and 'a return to M&A' with its takeover bid for Cadbury. Investment banks, shareholders and executives with stock options stand to make millions. When investors put out this kind of "buzz", workers have reason to fear for their jobs - and unions need to take action.[more]

Nestlé, Corporate Blackmail and the Arrogance of Power

Nestlé has never refrained from exercising its clout at home and abroad. Now Chairman Peter Brabeck has publicly, pointedly threatened to pull the world's largest food company out of Switzerland in response to discussions within the government on legislation to cap executive pay.[more]

Illusion, Reality, and the Quarterly Report

Never has the disconnect between finance and the world of work been bigger, nor profit more deceptive. While workers are experiencing rising unemployment and falls in output not seen since the Great Depresssion, Wall Street and global stock exchanges have detected more "green shoots of recovery" in the latest quarterly reports from the US banking sector.[more]

Private Equity and the European Commission: the Big Bluff

UK private equity funds and their lobbyists, according to press reports, are frantically pressuring the government to "protect its members from imminent EU regulation" - really?[more]

The Commissioner, 'Transparency', and Codes of Conduct: the Last Refuge of a Scoundrel?

Commissioner McCreevy and the European private equity funds are engaged in an orchestrated maneuver to undercut a clear call for binding regulation of the buyout industry adopted by a huge majority of the European Parliament last year. Left unchecked, this will provide an object lesson in undercutting democracy and pave the way for similar efforts in North America and elsewhere at a time when there are growing calls to bring private equity activity within the framework of comprehensive regulation.[more]

The G20 and After – Questions for Labour

The labour movement, nationally and globally, faces a crisis of enormous depth and scale. Institutions like the IMF which have traditionally served as the instruments for resolving more limited crises currently lack the resources to tackle it. And governments do not currently face the massive social and political pressure which would push them to address the crisis in ways which could reverse decades of social and environmental destruction and strengthen labour’s capacity to mobilize.[more]

Melamine milk contamination exposes the reality of 'global brands'

Behind the melamine milk scandal lies an emerging crisis in corporate branding. One of the reasons for the heavy promotion of "global" brands was so that consumers wouldn't know (and would eventually stop caring) where products are made. Now with a major food contamination scandal that has killed at least 4 babies in China and sickened thousands, consumers are asking why their favourite "local" ice creams, biscuits and dairy products are made overseas.[more]

Nestlé Puts Public Relations Before Precaution in China Milk Scandal

Melamine, which can cause acute kidney failure when ingested, has become a favorite ingredient of Chinese food manufacturers to boost apparent protein content in adulterated products. Other transnational producers with operations in China have hardly covered themselves with glory in this affair. But Nestlé - the world's largest food company - has again distinguished itself by its dogged insistence on spin over precaution.[more]

Concentration, Cartels and Free Trade Buccaneers

Cargill, the agrofood giant whose former Vice-President drafted the original text of the WTO's Agreement on Agriculture, has never shied from using its market position to manipulate prices up and down (often simultaneously) to extract maximum value at every point along the food chain while preaching the gospel of "free trade". So the recent EU raids on their European offices come as no surprise.[more]

Surrendering to Hunger at the FAO

Convened against a background of hyperinflation in basic food staples and global hunger riots, the most striking achievement of the recent FAO High Level Conference on World Food Security in Rome was its ringing call to continue with business as usual. The question the Conference organizers neglected to ask is why are so many millions already on the edge, and why are so many of them employed in agriculture?[more]

Fuelling Hunger

Some 16 months after tens of thousands of Mexicans took to the streets to protest a four-fold increase in the price of tortillas (flat maize bread that is the country's staple food), politicians and international agencies have woken up to the enormity of the global food crisis. The IMF now speaks of 100 million potential new victims of starvation. World Bank chief Zoellick has raised the spectre of mass starvation to call for a "New Deal" for agriculture - administered by the IMF and World Bank. The New Deal, however, looks suspiciously like the old.[more]

Illusion, Reality and Spin: Davos, LBOs and Job Destruction

Against a backdrop of financial meltdown and the specter of global recession, this year's World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland published a paper on the impact of private equity (PE) buyouts, part of which was devoted to their employment impact. Apparently they were hoping that few people were really paying attention.[more]

December 18: International Migrants Day and Union Action

On December 18, 1990, the United Nations' General Assembly adopted the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. Yet to date it has been ratified by only 37 UN member states – none of them major receiving countries for migrants, and none of them members of the OECD, the club of wealthy countries. The Migrant Workers Convention remains a well-kept secret, and for good reason.[more]

Burma on the Brink

Military rule in Burma currently faces its greatest challenge since the national uprising in 1988. Action is urgently needed in support of the thousands of Burmese on the streets, in exile, under house arrest and underground, risking their lives in the struggle for democracy.[more]

The Harsh World of Leveraged Buyouts Has Suddenly Gotten Harsher

The abundance of cheap credit which has fueled the leveraged buyout boom is evaporating. What does this mean for workers, particularly for the millions of workers employed by companies taken private by the buyout funds?[more]

Challenging Impunity in Colombia

The Human Rights Department of the national trade union center CUT recently held the first-ever national meeting in support of the victims and surviving family members of the concentrated violence which has been directed against the country's trade union organizations.[more]

Swedish Dispute Highlights Need to Legalize Solidarity Action

Firmly anchoring in EU law the right of trade unions to take industrial action, including solidarity action by workers not directly involved in a collective bargaining dispute, would give judicial force to an essential act of social self-defense. The Vaxholm case should be the signal to move to the top of the European and global trade union agenda a campaign to legalize solidarity action within and across national frontiers.[more]

International Women's Day: The struggle for maternity rights must continue!

Maternity protection should be one of the most obvious and fundamental rights in any society that cares about its future. In a number of countries, however, falling birth rates have been recognised as a direct consequence of discriminatory practices against women who are forced to choose between employment and children.[more]

New Deaths, UK Outbreak Highlight Global Avian Flu Threat

Recent deaths from the H5N1 avian flu strain reported in Egypt, Indonesia and Nigeria have brought to 166 the number of known victims of the deadly disease. Over 200 million birds have been culled worldwide. Poultry workers and their trade unions, however, are typically off the radar in most countries affected by H5N1 viral outbreaks.[more]

China and the Global Sweatshop Lobby

Workers around the world have long been familiar with companies threatening to outsource or close shop entirely and set up in China. What is prompting these same companies to now threaten disinvestment from China?[more]

Pinochet: The dog is dead but the rabies persists

By Gerardo Iglesias, IUF Regional Secretary for Latin America, and Carlos Amorín.

Pinochet’s death should be a call for reflection on the powerful consequences left by the military dictatorships on the societies of Latin America. It must lead us to track, analyze and expose the traces of impunity; it must reinforce our commitment to an unwavering struggle for democracy with social justice, with memory, with justice for all and with dignity.[more]

The Commissioner at the Banquet

Private equity-financed buyout companies in Europe now employ an estimated 5 million workers. In the UK, one out of every 5 private sector workers has a buyout fund for a boss. Far from inducing indigestion, the buyout binge has only whetted investors' political and financial appetites.[more]

Challenging Repression in Palm Oil Production: the Union Agenda

Extensive cultivation of the oil palm and the extraction for export of the oils it yields has always been linked to repression. Plantation cultivation was originally established by colonial regimes. Rapid plantation growth in Asia following the Second World War was encouraged in connection with forest clearing used as a weapon in combating Malaysian insurgents. Expanding cultivation has not been linked to expanding rights for palm oil workers. Accidents are common, life expectancy is short. Unions are often brutally repressed.[more]

May Day 2006 - No More Casualization, Decent Work for All

The millions of French workers and youth who took to the streets in growing numbers over recent months captured the sympathy and imagination of working people around the world for good reason. Their tenacious mobilization against legislation which would have made it possible for employers to fire newly hired workers without formal justification was correctly seen as a stand against the rampant insecurity which has invaded workplaces over the past two decades.[more]

1 2 3 [>>]