Global IUF/Unilever meeting explores employment & rights

23 November 2010 News

IUF general secretary Ron Oswald, a representative group of IUF affiliates from the IUF regions, staff of the general and regional secretariats and a representative of ICEM met with corporate and regional level management (including CEO Paul Polman) of Unilever in London November 15-16 to continue their dialogue on key issues including employment policy and trade union rights.

Beating back the temporary labour agencies' global offensive

22 November 2010 Editorial

Disposable jobs are on the march – and the global temp agencies are targeting Russia as the new battleground in their global offensive.

Del Monte Kenya targets union activists for dismissal

16 November 2010 News

Forty workers have been dismissed in retaliation for a week-long strike at at Fresh Del Monte’s fruit processing factory in Kenya. Some 1,700 workers walked out on October 12 to protest unpaid allowances, increasing insecurity due to the rampant use of temporary work contracts and a deteriorating working environment which resulted recently in what the union contends was a work-related death.

Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi’s release is no reason to lift sanctions

14 November 2010 News

The IUF welcomes the release of Aung San Suu Kyi on 13 November after seven years of house arrest and calls for sanctions on Burma to remain as long as the repression of basic trade union, worker and human rights continues.

Blackstone surfs government Hilton subsidy to demand massive concessions from hotel workers

9 November 2010 News

In a move which gives new meaning to “troubled asset recovery”, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York has gifted private equity giant Blackstone with USD 178 million. In early October, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York announced it had sold back to Blackstone USD 320 million in debt from the heavily leveraged 2007 Hilton buyout for just 142 million, booking a 56% loss.

Mobilization beats back wage cutting at Hong Kong’s fast food giant – wages raised!

9 November 2010 News

A vigorous union mobilization against the abolition of paid meal breaks at Café de Coral has forced the company to retreat within days after the new pay policy was imposed.

Heineken St-Petersburg union demands restrictions on precarious jobs

5 November 2010 News

The union of workers at the Heineken brewery in St-Petersburg, Russia held a picket at the plant’s gates on October 18 to highlight their call for negotiations to reverse the creeping expansion of agency labour at the plant. Members of the city’s other unions in the food and beverage sectors took part in the action.

Earnings up, Hyatt Hotels seeks to lock workers into recession

5 November 2010 News

Revenue and earnings are up at the upscale Hyatt Hotels chain, and the company is sitting on a pile of cash on the prowl for acquisitions. Hyatt workers, however, say the company is seeking to lock them into recession through outsourcing, speedup, bargaining concessions and fierce resistance to recruitment and organizing by the IUF-affiliated Unite Here!

Hong Kong-based global fast food operator plays fast and loose with wages

4 November 2010 News

Hong Kong employers have always been staunch defenders of low wages, nurturing a "competitive" labour market which has never known a legal minimum wage. Services are the key battleground. The HKCTU has now made a wage cut for workers at a group of popular fast food chains a central political issue.

Kazakhstan Poultry Workers Mobilize to Defend Their Wages and Workplace

27 October 2010 News

Eastern Kazakhstan has been a regional center of poultry production since Soviet times, and the Cheremshanskaya "Poultry Plant Plus" is one of the largest. Formerly emplying 650 people, fifteen years after its privatization the plant today provides jobs for only 360. The average wage is some USD 100-120 monthly - but today wages are paid only rarely, and rarely in full. Wage arrears currently amount to USD 245,000, with 375,000 owed to the pension fund.

NUW Spotlights Brutal Conditions at Leading Australian 'Ethical Poultry' Producer

26 October 2010 News

Australia's National Union of Workers (NUW) has rallied behind an immigrant Sudanese poultry worker who was sacked for raising allegations of racisim at his workplace. In the process, the union has helped spotlight a brutally exploitative workplace regime at one of the country's leading 'ethically produced' poultry brands. The union's 'Free range chicken - caged workers' campaign has spurred a government investigation into conditions at the Lilydale factory in Adelaide.

International Unions Call for Action on Labour Rights Abuses in Korea

20 October 2010 Urgent Action

When Korea joined the OECD in 1996, a condition of adherence was a commitment to reform its industrial relations legislation in line with ILO standards. Not only has there been no reform, but the situation has markedly deteriorated.

In the runup to the G20* meeting scheduled for November 11-12 in Seoul, South Korea, international union organizations are calling for pressure on the Korean government to bring its repressive labour law and employment regime into line with international standards and its own commitments.

UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Calls for Measures to Limit Food Commodities Speculation

18 October 2010 News

Are we witnessing a replay of the 2008 hyperinflation in the price of basic foodstuffs which pushed hundreds of millions of people already living on the margins into the ranks of the acutely hungry?

Long Struggle Ends in Victory for Ukraine Belkozin Workers

15 October 2010 News

Workers at the Belkozin plant in the northern Ukrainian town of Priluki have won wage increases totaling 54% following strike action in May, a long mobilization and tough bargaining by the plant organization of the IUF-affiliated Agro-Industrial Workers' Union of Ukraine.

UFCW Membership Gain at Meatpacker JBS

11 October 2010 News

The almost 1,200 workers at the JBS plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania, have voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1776.

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