Worker participation in a globalised world - Wolfgang Weinz (IUF secretariat) - writing in a personal capacity

If whole populations are told that they cannot control or even discuss key elements in their lives - wages and work - it will inevitably give rise to a whole range of dysfunctionalities. New forms of social control of capital are essential in order to fulfil the promise of democracy.
Norman Birnbaum, in "Die Zeit" 44/1997 Introduction

The rejection of the EU Constitution in France and the Netherlands was not only a clear reaction against the pace of integration and enlargement, which was rushed and poorly communicated. The disastrous "No" vote also shows that the usual silent acquiescence and the traditional reasons for that acquiescence (peace, prosperity, security) have faded away.

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Solidarity will have to be legalised - Tony Woodley, T&G (UK) General Secretary

Solidarity is the best way to level the industrial relations playing field, heavily tilted as it is in favour of employers against workers.

That is a clear lesson to be learned from last week's disruption at Heathrow Airport.

The action taken by British Airways employees in support of the workers sacked by the Gate Gourmet catering firm was unlawful, and was repudiated by the T&G.

Everyone must regret the misery caused to many passengers - but the buck for the disruption firmly stops with Gate Gourmet's managers, whose cynical plot to get rid of their workforce provoked this confrontation.

I sympathise with the view attributed to one member of the travelling public that it is better to have a disrupted holiday than to be summarily sacked.

The question that needs to be addressed is - why should solidarity action be illegal? Elsewhere in Europe, where labour law conforms to the International Labour Organisation conventions, it is not.

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Developments in the Global Political and Economic Framework

The fundamental situation facing IUF members and the labour movement generally, is that we are losing power, power vis-à-vis employers and governments and in society generally. There are, of course, exceptions - companies and enterprises where unions have maintained or even increased their strength.

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Pathways to Europe - Future of the European social model

Enlargement in 2004 by no means put an end to the integration of central Europe: countries whose development lags a long way behind - such as Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania, as well as the entire Balkans and Turkey - are seeking admission. And yet enlargement was effected without establishing stable social security systems and industrial relations in the accession countries.

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Worker participation in a globalised world - Wolfgang Weinz (IUF secretariat) - writing in a personal capacity
Solidarity will have to be legalised - Tony Woodley, T&G (UK) General Secretary
Developments in the Global Political and Economic Framework
Pathways to Europe - Future of the European social model