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Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

Global Union Movement: Making Equality for Women a Reality

As International Women’s Day approaches, the global labor movement is mobilizing to put teeth into the celebration’s 2014 theme, “Equality for women is progress for all.” The AFL-CIO's Solidarity Center allies around the world also are getting set to highlight the struggles of working women with actions that include rallies by banana workers who are members of the union SITRABI in Guatemala and a conference honoring women workers from Jordan and Palestine. (Follow Women’s Day actions on Twitter with the hashtag #IWD2014.)

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International Women's Day: ITUC Calls to End Violence Against Women

Photo courtesy of the ITUC

Ending violence against women is something everyone can agree on and shouldn't be controversial. Astonishingly, some Republicans in Congress held up the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for more than a year because it has protections for Native Americans, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and immigrant women without documents. President Obama just signed VAWA into law yesterday. This Senate-version of the bill was voted down by 138 Republicans in the House. Today, unions across the world are celebrating International Women's Day and raising awareness about violence against women and girls. 

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United Nations Climate Talks: Expectations and Opportunities in Doha, Qatar

Bob Baugh directs the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and chairs its Energy Task Force. He is at the United Nations climate talks with labor delegates from around the world.

After two years of exceeding expectations, a United Nations group of unions is ready to continue creating plans for jobs and addressing climate change.

At the start of this year’s conference, which is known as the 2012 COP 18, nobody thought much would happen, especially because the meeting is being held in Qatar, which leads the world in per capital carbon emissions. Qatar also represents the bloc of oil nations that tied up previous negotiations over demands concerning the potential loss of oil revenue because of a climate agreement. The host country gets to run the meeting and set the agenda for these talks.

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Climate Talks and Workers’ Rights in Qatar

Climate Talks and Workers’ Rights in Qatar

Bob Baugh is the executive director of the AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council and serves as chair of the federation’s Energy Task Force and as the liaison to the International Trade Union Confederation's (ITUC's) Climate Working Group. He is at the United Nations climate talks with the ITUC delegation.

The trade unions of the world have come to the Climate of the Parties (COP) 18, the 2012 U.N. climate talks in Doha, to speak out for workers’ rights and to promote a global climate agreement. The AFL-CIO and the ITUC have worked to promote a Just Transition agenda within a new climate accord that recognizes the need for good jobs, decent work and a democratic voice for workers and communities. Decent work is a recognized set of international standards that includes the right to organize, collective bargaining and for a safe and healthy work environment.

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Human Rights Day: Celebrate Our Struggles, Build for the Future

   

In a dramatic way not seen in years, today’s celebration of International Human Rights Day arrives during enormous and popular ongoing struggles.

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Unionists Denounce Qatar as Choice for 2012 Climate Change Talks

AFL-CIO Industrial Union Council Director Bob Baugh, a member of a global union delegation led by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), sends us another in a series of reports on the new round of United Nations climate change negotiations taking place now in Durban, South Africa.

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Join AFT in Alleviating ‘Children’s Famine’ in Somalia

AFT President Randi Weingarten urged President Obama to “help marshal the humanitarian aid needed to halt the advance of the apocalyptic ‘children’s famine’ spreading through Somalia and neighboring nations in the Horn of Africa.”

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Report: Austerity Measures Will Lead to ‘Permanent Recession’

Here’s mandatory reading material for lawmakers returning to Capitol Hill this week. A new United Nations study “savages” U.S. and European economic policies that call for austerity measures and deficit cuts, which the report says is pushing the world economy toward disaster “in a misguided attempt to please global financial markets.” The report called for:

wage increases, stricter regulation of financial markets, including a return to a system of managed exchange rates, and a conscious break with market-led thinking.

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U.N. Workers in Struggle for Their Rights

The 67 workers who provide technical hookups for broadcasts and conferencing services at the United Nations are waging a battle for justice and respect.

The workers, members of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1212, say they are being pressured by a contractor and the United Nations to accept drastic staff reductions that could pit union members against each other and endanger the economic security of employees nearing retirement. Ironically, the International Labor Organization (ILO), an arm of the United Nations, establishes international labor standards to protect workers’ rights.

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