International Transport Workers on Sustainability

The ITF 42nd Congress, meeting in Mexico City from 5-12 August 2010:

1. Acknowledging the fact that global warming is already occurring with the 10 hottest years on record having happened since 1990, and the massive danger presented by further climate change to human civilisation;

2. Noting the scientific consensus that global warming is caused by human activities which pump carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere; Continue reading


How Policy Is Affecting the Marginalized (South Africa) – Vavi

Zwelinzima Vavi’s Address to the Ruth First Memorial Lecture ruthfirst2aOn the 17 August 2010

Cosatu General Secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, delivered the address at the Ruth First Memorial Lecture at Wits University. The theme was “How policy is affecting the marginalised and its impact on poverty”.

In keeping with the current issues faced by South Africa, Zwelinzima Vavi says “…we ask a question and pose a challenge to the journalists and academics of today: How many journalists and academics have taken forward the legacy of Ruth First? How many on a daily basis, battle against poverty and inequalities and fight for economic justice as she did?” Continue reading

Global Unionism – Leitch

Global Unionism – which way forward?

Looking at the example of unionism in Mexico, Richard Leitch discusses different approaches to building union internationalism.

My recent review of ‘Global Unions, Global Business’ by Croucher and Cotton [on the newunionism site – pw] raised a couple of concerns about the authors’ preferred perspective of ‘regional minilateralism’. These revolved around its applicability to all areas of the global economy, and whether or not the alternative approach (which they call ‘rank and file bilateralism’) has some purchase for international trade unionism. Here I want to expand on these points, and look in particular at the example of building independent trade unionism in Mexico. Continue reading

Labour Media, Neiliberalism and Crisis in Labour – Shniad

Labour media, neoliberalism and the crisis in the labour movement

By Sid Shniad
Sunday, December 03, 2006
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Our panel today is called Corporate Media Assault and Developing A Labor Media Strategy. In my view, the issue should be framed as a discussion of the corporate assault on organized labour and the rest of society, and the role that labour media can play in mounting an effective response to that assault.

Thanks to a highly sophisticated, multi-pronged corporate effort, the labour movement is in crisis. How bad is the situation? Really bad. In the U.S. today, the portion of the working population that is represented by unions is at its lowest level since the 1920s. Meanwhile, corporations are rampaging unchecked. Continue reading

Crisis? What Crisis? – Petras

Crisis. What Crisis?  Profits Soar!

James Petras

While progressives and leftists write about the “crises of capitalism”, manufacturers, petroleum companies, bankers and most other major corporations on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific coast are chuckling all the way to the bank.

From the first quarter of this year, corporate profits have shot up between twenty to over a hundred percent, (Financial Times August 10, 2010, p. 7).  In fact, corporate profits have risen higher than they were before the onset of the recession in 2008 (Money Morning March 31, 2010).  Contrary to progressive bloggers the rates of profits are rising not falling, particularly among the biggest corporations (Consensus Economics, August 12, 2010).  The buoyancy of corporate profits is directly a result of the deepening crises of the working class, public and private employees and small and medium size enterprises. Continue reading

Doing: in-Against-and-Beyond Labour – Holloway

Peter Waterman sez: This is the first theoretical paper I have come across that attempts to reconceptualise labour in the light of 21st C capitalism and the new social movements. In so far as it draws (critically) on Marxist theory at its most abstract level, it makes for heavy reading. It invites popularization. And it provokes responses. Political-economists of the world, respond! Preferably on ReinventingLabour. Now read on…

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ITUC and Israel – Irving

International labor report’s omissions reveal pro-Israel bias
Sarah Irving, The Electronic Intifada, 23 July 2010

Every June, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) releases its Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights. According to a press release that accompanied the 2010 publication (which reports on events in 2009), “the Middle East remains among the regions of the world where union rights are least protected.” The report describes repression meted out to Palestinian workers and trade unionists by both the Israeli authorities and the Palestinian factions. But ITUC’s omissions and brevity both disguise the complexity of life for Palestinian workers, and reveal some of the union confederation’s own biases. Continue reading