Four years after punishing lockout, Unilever Assam workers still waiting for their union to be recognized

10 June 2011 News

Business is doing well at Unilever’s personal products factory at Doom Dooma in the Indian state of Assam. But nearly 4 years after management tried to destroy the union with a punishing 6-week lockout, and almost one year since the IUF and Unilever formally concluded an agreement to settle the dispute under the auspices of the UK government, the workers are still waiting for their union to be recognized as their collective bargaining agent.

Vitasoy Australia Workers Support Fight for Union Rights in Hong Kong

9 June 2011 News

Vitasoy, a Hong Kong-based transnational company with manufacturing operations in Hong Kong, Shenzen, Shangahi, Singapore, Ayer (Massachusetts, USA) and Wodonga (Victoria, Australia), promotes its premium soy-based food and beverage brands under the slogan "where healthy life begins" - yet the company appears to be far less concerned about the health of its workers in Hong Kong.

Ban on temp agency labour advances in Russian Parliament

7 June 2011 News

Russia's Duma (Parliament) has voted in the first reading in favor of a bill which if adopted will effectively ban the use of temporary agency labour in the country.

Guatemalan banana union leader murdered

3 June 2011 Urgent Action

Violence against banana unions in Guatemala is escalating. On May 26, Joel Hernandez Godoy, finance secretary of the IUF-affiliated banana workers union SITRABI, was shot dead by a gunman on motorcycle while driving through the village of Cristina to the union headquarters in the town of Morales.

Thailand: Reinstate KFC union activists now!

31 May 2011 Urgent Action

Three union activists have been dismissed from their employment at KFC in Thailand after they established a union and sought to bargain a collective agreement with KFC management. The Thai ministry of labour approved the registration of the Cuisine and Services Thailand Workers Union after over 200 workers  signed and submitted a proposal seeking to negotiate with the company to improve wages and working conditions.

Heinz celebrates biggest profit jump ever with… mass layoffs

31 May 2011 News

Global food manufacturer H.J. Heinz on May 26 announced record full-year (fiscal 2011 ending April 30) results. Sales in the fourth quarter increased by 6% over the previous year and profits rose by 16%. Net income resulted in earnings per share rising from 60 to 69 US cents. Investor appetites were unappeased – they wanted 72 cents a share. So Heinz announced the elimination of 1,000 jobs.

Completed OECD Guidelines update a work in progress

26 May 2011 Editorial

The updated OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises were officially adopted in Paris on May 25, opening up new potential for unions to make use of the procedures.

UK Parliament report again slams Kraft

25 May 2011 Editorial

The second UK House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee appointed to examine the consequences of Kraft's Cadbury takeover has just published its report (available online here). The conclusions echo union concerns but could go further.

Free Ivory Coast union leader Basile Mahan Gahé!

25 May 2011 Urgent Action

On April 26, Basile Mahan Gahé, general secretary of the national trade union center Dignité (whose food and hotel section is affiliated to the IUF), was arrested at his Abidjan home and forcibly taken into detention. The union office was sacked, and many union officers have gone into hiding.

'Sustainability' at Kraft: recycling disposable jobs

23 May 2011 News

Kraft unions around the world have condemned the brutal suppression of permanent employment for long-serving employees at the company's biscuit factory in Vantaa, Finland, where 24 permanent workers have been handed dismissal notices. Nineteen of the dismissed have been told they can return to employment… on a call-in basis with no guaranteed hours.

Turkey criminalizes union action with mass indictments of union leaders - Act Now! to defend trade union rights

19 May 2011 Urgent Action

The Turkish government has filed criminal charges against 111 union leaders, members and supporters which carry prison terms of up to 5 years in connection with a 2010 demonstration in Ankara. The Ankara action was in support of 12,000 workers made redundant overnight following the privatization of the state tobacco monopoly TEKEL.

Negotiated settlement ends long, bitter Tata/Tetley tea plantation dispute

18 May 2011 News

A settlement has been reached in the long-running dispute between workers and Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd (APPL).at the company's Nowera Nuddy tea garden in northern West Bengal, India. APPL is majority-owned  by Tata Global Beverages, part of India's Tata Group.

FLOC delegation brings tobacco farm workers' human rights message to Europe and to BAT shareholders

6 May 2011 News

Representatives from the IUF-affiliated Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC) completed a 2 week European tour of meetings and protests targeting Reynolds America & BAT. The aim of the tour was to convince BAT to take responsibility for the appalling migrant worker conditions on tobacco farms in the US. FLOC President Baldemar Velasquez and Diego Reyes, a migrant worker from North Carolina opened the tour in Germany on April 17, followed by activity in Turkey and ending with a protest action at the London BAT Shareholders’ AGM on April 28.

Roquette USA worker suffering from terminal cancer doctors say was work-related

2 May 2011 Urgent Action

Conrad Fedler is suffering from inoperable, terminal lung cancer. He worked at the Roquette USA plant in Keokuk, Iowa from 1996 until last June, when his illness forced him onto disability. On September 28, 2010 - the day the company locked out hundreds of union members for insisting on their right to negotiate a collective agreement - Roquette raised his health insurance premiums by over a thousand dollars monthly - from USD 380 per month to 1,467 per month.

A May Day Message

29 April 2011 News

On May Day 2011 the IUF sends fraternal greetings to our members and to workers everywhere. Democratic revolt in North Africa and the Middle East, in which unions have played a decisive role, has inspired profound hope in the region and around the world, amplifying May Day's historic message that organized labour remains the motor force for democracy.


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