FTUC pledges support to striking Korean workers and leader of KCTU

The FTUC  pledges its strong support and solidarity to the striking Korean workers who are members of the affiliates of the  Korean Confederation of Trade Unions( KCTU).  Their President has been arrested  after a stand-off lasting 24 days. He sought shelter with monks who had given him refuge  from the police.

The FTUC notes  that this excessive attempted raid and subsequent arrest is part of a broader effort to intimidate the democratic labour movement ahead of mass worker protests that was scheduled for November 14 and further strike action later in the year. We note that the ILO and international labour community have continuously censured the Korean government for its violations of civil and fundamental labour right and must state once again that such acts will not be tolerated.

 

Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) head Han Sang-gyun, right in front row, leaves Jogye Temple in central Seoul with Ven. Dobeop, left, Thursday, ending a 24-day stay in the temple. Han then surrendered to police. Picture: Yonhap

Police raided the offices of the KCTU/ Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU) on November 6, attacked participants in a mass demonstration against regressive new labour legislation on November 4 and followed that up by raiding the offices of 8 KCTU affiliates on November 21.

Many people have been showing their support and solidarity to the Korean railway workers who have been on strike against privatization for more than 2 weeks. On December 22, the police raided illegally and violently the KCTU headquarters looking for KRWU (Korean Railway Workers Union) leaders for whom arrest warrants were issued. However, at the end of the brutal raid and search at every corner of the office, the police couldn’t find any of the KRWU leaders. Regardless of the heavy suppression, the strike is still very strong. KCTU is calling for a general strike on December 28 to protest the government’s brutal anti-labour behaviour.

We wish to convey our unwavering support and  strength  to those affected workers and their families by this  continued repression by the Korean Government and pray that the sacrifices made by the members and their leader will not go unnoticed.

For further information:

http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/south-korean-police-detain-union-boss-over-violent-protests-1.2694440

http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/nation/2015/12/116_192870.html

Denial of workers’ rights continues as world marks Human Rights Day

[Below is the Press Statement of KCTU President Han, Sang-gyun, Dec 10, 2015]
While I may leave your side briefly, I will continue to fight with you until we have stopped the government’s regressive labour policies!
*********
First, let me express my gratitude to the Joggye Order and the Joggye monks and followers who have experienced great inconvenience and difficulty over the past 25 days while the fate of South Korea’s 20 million workers rested in the embrace of Buddha’s mercy. I particularly thank the Joggye Order and Joggye Temple for their commitment to work with us to stop the government’s regressive labour policies upon which the survival of 20 million workers rests.
Yesterday polices forces penetrated the pure space, the sanctuary of the temple grounds without hesitation despite the expression and concern of the Joggye leadership. This is an act we cannot tolerate. December 9 will be remembered as a day of shame on which the insanity of the ROK authorities was demonstrated beyond refute.
The Park Geun-hye administration mobilised thousands of police forces to arrest me. I am not a murderer, nor have I committed a serious crime. I have not robbed or incited a riot.
I am a dismissed worker.
I have lived for the last several years knowing deep in my soul how frightening dismissal is to a common worker. My children have had to give up their dreams. My once happy family has been left in ruins.
We dismissed workers are like moths forced to wander about, drawn towards our deaths. Have not many of my colleagues already been forced to give their lives? Whose fault is this?
The government says we must keep wages low and make it easy to fire workers in order to revitalise businesses and the economy. Is a government plan by which workers must die in order for businesses to live a fair policy and law?
I am fighting to stop the government’s regressive labour policies, which will make it easy to fire workers. This is the real crime of the class 1 fugitive Han Sang-gyun who the whole country is talking about. Is this really a normal state of affairs?
I am the president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU).
Many of the press here today, impatient to get their hands on us, have been spinning out article after article over the last several days. They say the KCTU is made up of a labour aristocracy and does not represent low-wage precarious workers.
Is this really true?
The 9.8 million precarious workers in this country are fighting to survive in a jungle of a world. They spend their days without hope just trying to get by. But the legislation on precarious workers proposed by the administration and New Frontier Party will wipe out the change precarious workers now have to become permanently employed after two years and with it the only simple dream these workers have.
The administration and ruling party are also seeking to wipe out good jobs through unregulated expansion of temporary agency employment, the legalisation of a trade in people.
They are also proposing legislation that would make it a fact of life that one has to work through a temp agency after reaching the age of 50.
It should be asked, if the KCTU is only the union of a labour aristocracy, why would we be organising mass mobilisations and general strikes and enduring the severe damages and repression we are now facing in order to stop these evil bills on precarious employment?
They say that we carried out a violent protest on November 14.
Why do they not talk about the use of state force in violent suppression of this protest.
The farmer Baek Nam-gi lies in a hospital hanging between life and death as a result of a murderous water cannon used on that day. Why is no one talking about this? Did this man wield an iron pipe? Did he act violently towards the police? Why is no one taking responsibility? Why have we not heard one word of apology?
What is the real reason for labeling the KCTU a violent organisation and Han Sang-gyun the ringleader, of threatening us with charges of sedition and summoning, arresting and imprisoning hundreds of individuals in relation to one single protest? Might it not be an attempt to cover up the administration’s murderous violence?
The biggest criminal of our times is the Park Geun-hye administration, which is responsible for ruining the lives of common people. This fact was affirmed during the first and second mass mobilisations, when tens of thousands poured into the streets crying, ‘We will live like this no longer!’
It is not possible to hide the sky with the palm of one’s hand.
Even the formalistic democracy we had is now being put to death. Why is it that none of the press are talking about it?
Following this press conference I will voluntarily turn myself over to the police.
Warrants for my arrest and pre-trial detention have been issued in relation to violations of the Road Traffic Act and the Assembly and Demonstration Act. According to the scenario written out by the government, I cannot avoid imprisonment. No, I will not avoid imprisonment. But, I will clearly demonstrate the madness of the government’s repression and illegal acts in court. I will remove the flowered mask and expose the true face of this unjust government, which has only brought upon itself confusion and ridicule by threaten us with references to IS, illegal protests and sedition.
I warn the government!
Even if you carry out heretofore unheard of repression against the KCTU and imprison its president, your regressive labour policies cannot succeed.
At the formal request of the chaebols (conglomerate corporations), the administration and New Frontier Party are seeking the expansion of low-wage and precarious work, removal of restrictions on firing and the weakening of trade unions. And they are deceiving the public by packaging these measures as a plan to revive the economy. Even if this gift given to the chaebols is wrapped in the wrapping paper of ‘reform’, the government’s policies will never be real reform in the positive sense of the word.
In the upcoming general and presidential elections the whole Korean people will deliver a verdict on the anti-labour, anti-people New Frontier administration, which has declared itself clearly on the side of the chaebols and is ruining the lives of workers and common people.
In order to stop the regressive labour policies, which are a disaster not only for workers but the entire Korean people, the KCTU will take the action most feared by the government and go on general strike. This is the wish of the 20 million Korean workers and the historical duty given to us. We will proceed with our general strike with the support of the public and as part of collective struggle carried out by all common Korean people.
To the opposition party, I ask the following.
With the president acting as commander to drive forward her regressive policies, how longer are you going to keep sitting at the negotiating table weighing the situation? Is it so difficult to decide if you are going to side with the chaebols and capital or side with the workers?
The party chairman and National Assembly speaker have announced several times the party’s official opposition, but the public are still asking what your real position is. It time for you to declare that you will stop deliberation on the labour reform bills during the upcoming provisional session of the National Assembly.
The Korean people will not forgive you if you play party politics and again try to reach a deal with the administration and ruling party.
Beloved KCTU members!
I apologise. As a result of state repression, I am forced to leave you briefly without having finished the general strike action to stop the government’s labour polices, the duty which you have bestowed on me. But, even if I am detainned today, I will continue to struggle until we have stopped these policies. I will continue to fight in prison and in court.
There is not much time left before the December 16 general strike. On that day let us begin powerful general strike action and a mass movement to stop the regressive labour policies. I am determined that even though I may be in prison I will hear news of the success of our general strike in stopping the government’s policies.
This is a historic struggle, which we can and we must win. More than anyone else, I believe in you!
Valiant members fighting on the ground to defend the KCTU! I send you my love!
Let us defend the livelihoods of Korea’s 20 million workers! Struggle!
Han Sang-gyun
President, Korean Confederation of Trade Unions

 

 

TiSA Trade Negotiators Undermine Climate Negotiations – Energy Annex‏

The Great Climate Changes Swindle
PSI comments on the newly released TiSA text that limits state control over natural resources

As Heads of State prepare to negotiate an international accord in Paris against global warming, their trade negotiators are meeting in Geneva to secretly forge a new free trade agreement that could expand fossil fuels’ exploitation and cause further climate change.

Wikileaks released yet another raft of leaked texts from the secretive Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Public Services International (PSI) and International Forum on Globalisation today released the first known analysis of the proposed Annex on Energy Related Services to inform the COP 21 climate summit.

The 23 TiSA negotiators, from Australia to Switzerland and including the US and the EU, are discussing binding clauses “denying regulators the right to distinguish solar from nuclear, wind from coal, or geothermal from fracking” by establishing the principle of ‘technological neutrality’. The meeting in Geneva – from November 30 to 4 December – will likely continue discussion on the agenda item called “Environmental Services”, discussed in October.

The proposal would “reduce states sovereignty over energy resources – says Victor Menotti, author of the study – by requiring states to establish free markets for foreign suppliers of energy related services thereby removing the right to ensure domestic economic benefits from exploiting energy resources.”

The European Commission’s website trade page says “The EU will seek to end discrimination against foreign suppliers of environmental services. This means removing the existing barriers – not just abstaining from introducing new restrictions.”

“This is the great climate change swindle. As modest targets are being discussed in Paris, in Geneva the means to achieve them are being negotiated away in the interests of the largest corporations on earth,” commented Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary. “It is becoming clear why our governments try to hide these negotiations by conducting them in secret”.

Pavanelli called on the governments to release the full texts saying “it is a scandal that we rely on Wikileaks to tell us what our governments are doing on our behalf”.

PSI has previously released research showing how the TISA will stop failed privatisations being brought back into public hands, and how it will limit governments’ ability to regulate.

FTUC welcomes ILO Resolution

NS Guy Ryder 2

The FTUC welcomes the decision of the ILO Governing Body on Fiji at its meeting in Geneva on Wednesday 11th November 2015. The Governing Body once again deliberated on the Fiji situation and the lack of progress in complying with the Tripartite Agreement of March 2015 between Government, FTUC and FCEF. The joint Agreement has six action points that parties needed to comply with. They were:
1. That all labour management relations would be governed by the ERP.
2. That all amendments would comply with the ILO Core Labour Standards.
3. That the review of the ERP conducted by the Tripartite Partners in 2013 would be acted upon.
4. That Government would reinstate Check-off (Union Dues deduction)
5. That all the above would be done within a certain time-frame i.e. Legislative amendments to Parliament by end of August 2015 and implementation by end of October 2015
6. That the Parties to the Agreement would submit a joint report to the June 2015 session of the GB.
The Government failed to comply with the above provisions and unilaterally decided upon some amendments to the ERP. As such, no joint report could be made to the Governing Body in June 2015. No meetings were convened despite many requests from FTUC and FCEF. On the eve of this Governing Body meeting, Government convened a reconstituted ERAB meeting which FTUC refused to attend. The Agenda was to rubber stamp a report that Government prepared to the Governing Body. The Government and others, however, met and decided on a monthly meeting to address the violations. Based on this decision, Government attempted through the Asia Pacific Government Grouping (ASPAG) at the ILO to defer the report of any Tripartite Delegation to Fiji to June 2016 and a decision on the Commission of Inquiry by November 2016. This Resolution was put to the Governing Body by the Australian Government and was defeated. Employers, EU and many other Governments supported the Resolution that was originally tabled. This Resolution reiterates its regret to the continuing failure to submit a joint report from Government, FTUC and FCEF. It is noteworthy that the decision recognizes the parties to the joint report that the ILO is seeking. Government is not at liberty to call in whoever it wants to sign on to a joint report. In this respect, the FTUC calls upon Government to disband its new ERAB and re-constitute the original ERAB to meet without delay. FTUC will not be a party to Governments efforts to dilute representative rights to FTUC and FCEF. Such actions on part of Government only serve to undermine the parties to the Geneva Agreement and weaken the social partners.

The GB Decision also now calls on Government to accept a Tripartite Mission to Fiji to review the ongoing obstacles to a joint report and observance of the ILO Core Conventions. Having noted that in the past, there were considerable difficulties in gaining agreement of Government for ILO Missions, the GB also decided that should the Mission not be able to visit Fiji and submit a report by March 2016, then the March 2016 GB should decide on a Commission of Inquiry. The Governing Body has also decided that Fiji would be on the agenda of its March 2016 meeting.
The FTUC and the Workers Group at the ILO also considers the decision to also recognize the efforts of the Minister for Labour and to give him an opportunity to comply with the Agreement signed. We also welcome the efforts of the Minister for Labour and look forward to working with him and FCEF. We reiterate that work on this must begin without delay and not on the eve of the next GB meeting.

This decision gives Government another opportunity to act upon the Agreement without delay. This is an opportunity for Government to do the right thing for Fiji and her international reputation. Failure to act would have serious negative impact on the Country. It cannot simply sit back and play mischief with workers and blaming Unions and its leaders as holding the country to ransom or holding a gun to Government’s head. It must take full responsibility for its failure to act. The Government would be shooting itself in the foot if it does not take up this opportunity.

Felix Anthony

National Secretary

Fiji Teachers Union claims no quality learning in schools

‘No quality learning’

Source: Fiji Times
Siteri Sauvakacolo
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

agni deo singh

THE Fiji Teachers Union claims there was no quality learning in schools around the country because of the late arrival of textbooks and other hiccups in the Education Ministry.

FTU general secretary Agni Deo Singh made the comment yesterday as Education Minister Dr Mahendra Reddy condemned reports by this newspaper regarding the non-delivery of textbooks to schools in Fiji.

Dr Reddy said there were more than 900 schools in the country and the geographical spatial distribution of schools posed challenges this newspaper was not aware of, adding that even though some schools may have not received all textbooks, copies were still made available to schools for teachers to make lesson preparations.

“Communication and transport problems are other issues to consider and The Fiji Times has put it in such a manner that the Ministry of Education is failing in its duty.

“We have with us verification that schools have received their textbooks and I am not sure where The Fiji Times is getting their information from,” Dr Reddy said.

“I hope that The Fiji Times will look at issues from a more realistic and holistic view. They need to face reality and at least report on the positives that has come out on the recent reforms, which is aimed at improving the delivery of educational services,” concluded the minister.

But Mr Singh refuted Dr Reddy’s comments.

“While we understand all the excuses he is giving, he knew of all these challenges when he made this unrealistic commitment and we had brought this to the attention of the ministry on numerous occasions during the first term when until April, less than half the textbooks had been distributed.

“And as late as the beginning of the second term, many schools were not adequately resourced with textbooks,” Mr Singh said.

“And of course now towards the end of the year, The Fiji Times has been able to identify some schools that are still yet to receive textbooks. Now it is 12 months down the line, I don’t think the excuse the minister is giving now holds any water.”

 

 

MP urges open dialogue

MP urges open dialogue

Source: Fiji Times

Vuniwaqa Bola-Bari
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

FORMER unionist turned Member of Parliament Mikaele Leawere has pleaded with Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama to talk to the unions and discuss issues of mutual interest with them.

Mr Leawere said this as he also refuted claims by Mr Bainimarama that unions were holding the country to ransom.

Mr Bainimarama earlier said the country “cannot allow a relatively small group of people to hold the nation to ransom by misrepresenting us and our circumstances to the rest of the world and disrupting our industries and services”.

Mr Leawere said this was far from the truth.

“I plead with the Prime Minister to talk to the unions and discuss issues of mutual interest with them,” Mr Leawere said.

“Mr Alain Pelce, senior international labour standards specialist at the International Labour Organization, was in Fiji to submit the organisation’s position on the ERP Amendment Bill No.10, 2015 at their own expense.

“Government did not comply with ILO conventions regarding ENI decrees, bargaining units, freedom of association,” Mr Leawere said.

He added unions had been working under stressful conditions and every move they made was covered with decrees.

“This makes it virtually impossible to go against them (Government), especially freedom of speech and the right to collective bargaining.

“To say that unions are damaging the jobs of other workers is mischievous because the upper hand is with the Government and every movement they make is being thwarted all the way,” he said.

The former unionist with the Fijian Teachers Association said “the presence of ILO and other unionists during the consultations did provide the much needed platform to submit what they needed Government to hear.

“Unions are made up of very good people who have the country and workers’ interest at heart and the last thing they want to see is to create instability in as far as the economy is concerned.”

Protect Country- Opposition tells PM ( FT 10.11.15)

Protect country, State told

Source: Fiji Times news article:  Nov 10th 2015.
By Keresi Nauwakarawa
Tuesday, November 10, 2015

OPPOSITION spokesman for State Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Ratu Sela Nanovo says the State should protect Fiji from the negative impact that complements an International Labour Organization Commission of Inquiry.

In a statement Ratu Sela responded to Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama’s statement that unions and workers representatives were holding the country to ransom over the standoff with the ILO.

Ratu Sela said Mr Bainimarama owed an apology to the Fiji Trades Union Congress.

“The Prime Minister and his Government should stop playing their foolish games, face the facts and start telling the truth.

“On the ILO agreement, the people should understand that the only reason an ILO Commission of Inquiry will be convened is if the Fiji First Government continues to drag its feet and fails to comply with its own undertaking that it signed in the Tripartite Agreement of March 2015.

“So the Government should just get on with it and protect the country from the negative impact of a commission of inquiry.”

Ratu Sela said the draft decision by the ILO and Government, employers and union representatives was brief and very clear.

The statement reads:

“Regretting the continuing failure to submit a joint implementation report to the Governing Body in accordance with the Tripartite Agreement signed by the Government of the Republic of Fiji, the Fiji Trades Union Congress (FTUC) and the Fiji Commerce and Employers’ Federation (FCEF) on 25 March 2015, and as requested by the Governing Body at its 324th Session (June 2015), the Governing Body decides:

* To call on the Government of Fiji to accept a tripartite mission to review the ongoing obstacles to the submission of a joint implementation report and consider all matters pending in the article 26 complaint;

* That, if the tripartite mission did not take place in time for a report to the 326th Session of the Governing Body (March 2016), then the 326th Session should take a decision on the appointment of a commission of inquiry under article 26; and

* To place this question on the agenda of its 326th Session.”

We remain steadfast in our struggle for restoration of workers’ rights in Fiji- Anthony

NS Guy Ryder 2

The FTUC remains steadfast in its struggle for the restoration of workers rights in Fiji. It is often forgotten that it was FTUC that negotiated with Governments and Employers representatives for the change in Labour Laws in Fiji after the so called Labour Reforms imposed in 1989 by the Rabuka interim Government. It was the FTUC representatives in Parliament that saw the passage of the Employment Relations Bill in Parliament in 2006 just prior to the Coup in December 2006. It was FTUC that persevered to ensure that the Bill which got stuck in the Senate on the day the Coup took place was implemented in 2007 as the ERP that all workers in Fiji today derive their rights from. The Tripartite partners (Government, FCEF and FTUC) agreed that a review of the ERP should be conducted after 5 years of it being in effect to address any shortcomings. This comprehensive review was conducted 2012 -2013 by the Tripartite partners. The implementation of this review is part of the Geneva Agreement.
It is unfortunate that many people who in the comfort of their homes and offices have no idea the work that FTUC has put in to improve the lives of working people. Yes there is still much to be achieved, more so after the draconian decrees since 2009. That work and struggle continues which is why FTUC has pursued the matter with ILO, ITUC, EU and many governments around the world.
Some believe that FTUC ought to only seek a Commission of Inquiry (COI) at the ILO and should not enter into any dialogue with Government. They believe that any dialogue is a sign of weakness. I disagree. Dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect is the only way to effectively resolve the impasse. Even if a COI is decided by ILO, the Tripartite partners will at some point have to enter into dialogue to resolve matters in dispute. The COI is not an end in self but a means to an end. It is to achieve a speedy resolution. The FTUC is focused on achieving the desired results and not to punish the Government or the Country.
We have had fruitful discussions with the new Minister for Labour last Saturday. Certain matters in dispute have been agreed to and we await their implementation. Further discussions are planned on outstanding issues. I have been warned by many that Government will not honor any agreement as it did not honor the Geneva Agreement. There is some merit in this advice. However, I am willing to enter into discussions with the new Minister and give him the opportunity to address the issues in dispute between Government and FTUC. We have agreed that the Geneva Agreement must be implemented. A COI will seek to do the same if appointed. Many talk of trade sanctions without having any understanding of how these happen. Many are ignorant enough to think a COI will solve all the problems and sanctions would be automatic. This is far from reality.

 

The FTUC will not be moved by professional critics and fly by night experts on these matters. Many of whom have never lifted a finger for workers in Fiji in the most difficult of times let alone do something that would have benefited workers in Fiji. These very people were nowhere to be seen or heard when Many including I were beaten up for what we stand for or when Daniel Urai and I were jailed for about 2 weeks for Trade Union activity in 2011. Yet they today stand on rooftops and make all the noise about what Trade Unions and in particular FTUC should do. They have become champions of workers’ overnight
In today’s Fiji where humour is essential to keep us all sane, we thank this lot for the entertainment and the fact that their blind hypocrisy is amusing.

The FTUC will persevere to achieve worker’s rights and dignity at work.

The Nobel Prize Is for Labor Movements around the World

Adapted from the Solidarity Center AFL-CID

By Tula Connell

The Tunisian General Labor Union (Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail, UGTT), a longtime Solidarity Center partner, was at the forefront of the four organizations that recently won the Nobel Peace Prize, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler said today. In a ceremony at the AFL-CIO honoring UGTT Secretary-General Houcine Abassi, Shuler praised Abassi’s courage and tenacity and called the UGTT’s work “inspirational to us in the United States.”

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler welcomed UGTT Secretary-General Houcine Abassi in a ceremony honoring his work. Credit: Solidarity Center/Kate Conradt
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler welcomed UGTT Secretary-General Houcine Abassi in a ceremony honoring his work. Credit: Solidarity Center/Kate Conradt

 

In his remarks, Abassi said “the Nobel Prize is not given just to us, but to all the labor movements in the world.” The award “sends a message that unions can play an equal role in government, in social dialogue …  and many times can provide critical leadership.” Abassi is in Washington, D.C., this week to receive the Fairness Award presented by the Global Fairness Initiative. Solidarity Center ally Myrtle Witbooi, general secretary of the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union, is a co-recipient of the award.

In October, the Nobel Committee recognized the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet—comprised of the (UGTT); the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; the Tunisian Human Rights League; and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers—for establishing “an alternative, peaceful political process at a time when the country was on the brink of civil war.”

Abassi described the many hours of dialogue in the months after the 2011 Arab uprising deposed longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and ushered in a period of economic and political uncertainty. As a key participant in the discussions, the UGTT succeeded in including collective bargaining rights and the right to strike in the country’s new constitution, which Tunisians approved in 2014. Through the UGTT’s efforts, the constitution also enshrines many more fundamental social and economic rights for Tunisians.

The Tunisian union movement has been in the forefront of the struggle for democracy and social equality since its formation in 1946. Following the country’s independence from colonial rule in 1956, the organization played a key role in establishing a road map for national development that made Tunisia the most advanced economy in the Arab Maghreb.

In the months after the 2011 uprising, the UGTT employed direct action when mass mobilization was needed to shore up democratic principles like women’s rights and freedom of speech, all top priorities for Tunisian unions.

“Ever since its founding, the UGTT went very much beyond the traditional role of labor unions,” pushing for freedom and democracy and inclusive participation of all civil society in governance, Abassi said.

This is the second consecutive year that worker rights activists and Solidarity Center allies have been honored with a Nobel Peace Prize. Last year Kailash Satyarthi, head of the Global March against Child Labor, shared the prize with girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai.

In 2012, the UGTT received the AFL-CIO’s 2012 George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award along with the labor federation of Bahrain, the General Federation of Bahrain Trade Unions, for their mobilization of thousands of people in their countries to carry forward a message of social justice during the 2011 uprisings.

ILO Director General emphasizes Tripartism

NS Guy RyderNational Secretary FTUC Mr Felix Anthony  with Director General ILO

Mr Guy Ryder

The Director General of ILO addressed the Regional General Council on Sunday 25th October and outlined the challenges faced by ILO and its focus on the world of work. He discussed the prevailing issues faced in the region with Council members.

The DG also was the key speaker at the Tripartite Forum on Monday 26th October. He stressed the importance of Tripartism. The DG however warned that Tripartism must not be misused only in difficult times. The success of Tripartism will only be realised if it is genuine based on trust and is not an opportunist Tripartism in difficult times. Tripartism must be permanent in good and bad times where the partners acted in a sincere manner. He stressed that Tripartism is the only way for countries to realise their full potential.

Tripartite partners from Barbados, Norway, Singapore and Sweden also participated.

NS with Sing Prs Mr Anthony with the Prime Minister of Singapore


The PM of Singapore, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, was the main speaker at the occasion of a dinner hosted by NTUC (Singapore Union National Center) on Monday 26th October.

The Prime Minister  spoke on the unique partnership that the Government enjoyed with the Trade Union Movement and the Employers Federation. He stated that the relationship was crucial to the success of Singapore as a nation. He assured the Trade Unions of the Government’s commitment to the workers and urged the new leaders of NTUC to continue to work for the workers of the country and also in the national interest.