News and events

Joe Holly

Joe Holly, co-founder and co-Director of GLI Manchester, passed away on 28 November 2018 after a long illness with motor neuron disease. Joe was a life-long socialist, trade unionist and internationalist, dedicated to the international workers’ education and labour movement. He will be sorely missed by friends and comrades throughout the world.

Dave Spooner


International Summer School 2014 Begins – Welcome!

Today marks the start of the third Global Labour Institute International Summer School at Northern College in Barnsley.

Over 80 labour movement delegates from 28 countries have descended on Barnsley for an inspiring week of debate, discussion and education on the situation of the international labour movement and its politics in the 21st century.

Workers in 2014 face enormous challenges, from austerity to ecological destruction and political turmoil. #ISS14 hopes to provide a platform for debate as to how to deal with these global crises and to inspire a new generation of global union activists.

The International Summer School this year comes at a time as Britain is preparing for potentially its largest day of strike action since the General Strike of 1926, which will be taking place this Thursday.

Our team of conference rapporteurs and Union Solidary International (USi) will be live-blogging and reporting on the Summer School over the course of the week, both on the GLI and USi blogs. Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions – whether in person or on Twitter.

Make sure to follow and contribute to the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #ISS14 and following @GLI_UK and @USILive.

A huge welcome from the GLI team to those who have travelled far and wide for the Summer School!

We hope you have an excellent week and come away feeling re-energised and ready to take on the threats to workers across the globe.


News and events

The New Trade Unions & the Democratic Left: Kiev, 2-3 Nov. 2013




November 2-3, 2013, Kyiv

The new Eastern European trade union movement has covered a long path in the past three decades. From the very beginning it was based on democratic values which formed the foundation of its organizational structures and political programme. The focus on social demands remained our priority throughout the 1990s and the early 21st century. At the same time, we were conscious of the fact that social justice in the workplace cannot be achieved without rebuilding the society. But what should it look like? What are the social ideals that we share, what are the traditions that we look for as our guiding lights?

Evidently, the basic values of the society we want to live in are democracy, freedom, equality, solidarity, fairness, and justice. The traditions of the struggle for the democratic and socialist values are inextricably linked with the history of the labour and trade union movement. Yet, what do those mean today, in the context of the 21st century, in the rapidly changing economic and political situation? The global crisis of the neoliberal economic model, the crisis of the conventional party, trade union and parliamentary institutions set before the movement of the organized labour a task of building a new political and social platform of its own. We must recall and rethink the experience of the labour and left movement that has been fighting against capitalism and dictatorships (no matter what fine slogans those would use to camouflage themselves) for democratic and labour rights, in order for us to understand and formulate the our political and historical mission at this stage.

In their fight for workers’ rights and interests that are inseparable from the civil liberties and political freedoms, democratic trade unions have a lot of common points with the other forces of the emerging civil society – the movement for human rights and those political groups that are geared towards the broad public self-governance and progressive social transformations.

The new trade unions and the democratic left are equally interested in drawing upon the experience accumulated by their historical predecessors: plants need their roots in order to grow. Equally important for the trade unions and the political labour movement is the understanding of the global nature of the problems they face: resolving them without international cooperation would be inconceivable. This cooperation is particularly relevant in the light of the nationalistic, chauvinistic and neo-Nazi attitudes that we see growing stronger in the post-Soviet area, in the Central and Eastern Europe.

We deem it necessary to continue the discussion on the history of the labour, trade union and democratic left movements, their current situation, and their prospects for development.


The Conference is expected to discuss the following main topicsrospects for developmentscussion on the history of the labour, trade union and democratic left movement :

Ø  The Value Basis of the Workers’ and Democratic Left Movement. What do the principles of freedom, justice, solidarity mean in concrete terms? Is democracy the core value and soul of socialism: discussions of the past and the present.

Ø  The Workers’ Movement as a Democratic Force The history of the labour movement and the left parties before, during, and after the revolution of 1917. The labour movement and the left opposition in the 1920s and 1930s and in the late Soviet period. The contribution of trade unions and the democratic left into the fight against authoritarian regimes in the past and today. The need to oppose (neo-)Stalinism, chauvinism, and religious fundamentalism.

Ø  The fight for Social and National Lliberation. The participation of trade unions and left parties in the national liberation movements of the 20th century.  The great-power chauvinism and bourgeois nationalism as factors impeding social development and the liberation of workers.

Ø  Social and Labour rights as Fundamental Human Rights. The labour movement and the human rights movement: the interaction experiences, mechanisms, and prospects. Cooperation between trade unions and the democratic left on one side and social initiatives on the other.

Ø  Social and Economic Democracy Concepts: Historical Evolution and Contemporary Contributions. The challenge of globalization and the crisis of the welfare state. The possible alternatives to neoliberalism and State capitalism. What should a programme of radical social and economic transformations in the interests of workers be all about?

Ø  The New Trade Unions and the Political Struggle. The forms of democratic trade unions’ participation in the political life. Do they need a political party of their own? Is independent class-based labour policy possible to pursue in the post-Soviet area and the CEE countries?

Ø  The Identity and the Ideological and Political Traditions of Democratic Socialism in Russia and the CEE Countries. The history and the prospects for the revival and dissemination of the ideas and practices of democratic socialism in the Central and Eastern Europe. What lessons can we learn from our historical predecessors?

Ø  Trade Unions and Workers’ Self-Governance.The historical and modern experience of the struggle for workers’ self-governance. Isworkersselfgovernancepossibleundercapitalism?

Ø  Trade Unions and Workers’ Rights to Education and Cultural development. Ways to fight the commercialization of the social sphere. The democratic left alternative to the market fundamentalism and the bureaucratic dictatorship in the area of culture, science, and education.


The Conference Organising Committee: the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU), the Russian Confederation of Labour (KTR), the Belorussian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), the Confederation of Trade Unions of Georgia (KPG), the social critique magazine ??i???, the Global Labour Institute/the Praxis Centre, the International Memorial. Invited to take part in the Conference are activists of trade union and political organisations, researchers of the history and the contemporary situation of social movements. 

The Working Languages of the Conference are Ukrainian, Russian, English, and French.

Applications for making reports are to be sent before September 20, 2013, electronically to The application should contain the name and brief information about the speaker, the contact data, the topic and the highlights of the contribution (up to 1/3 of a page long).

For more information please call:  

In Kyiv: +38055313180 (Nina Potarskaya); in Moscow: +79031409622 (Alexander Lechtman)

The Conference in the Facebook:


News and events

GLI UK 2012-13 Activities Report

The Global Labour Institute in the UK is pleased to publish our Work Programme and Activities Report for 2012-13: 2012-13 Report of Activities

News and events

Pakistan Labour Film Community

The Labour Education Foundation in Pakistan is seeking support for a new Labour Film Community (LFC) project, in the development, production and screening of cause based films intended to target the most marginalized sections of society.

Further details are available at .

LFC’s foremost goal is to develop a parallel media for representing the voice of the workers, downtrodden ethnic communities and other oppressed classes in Pakistan. At the same time, LFC intends to engage the people from the working class – especially youth – for film trainings, workshops, social media education and documentary-making sessions – in order to educate them for reflecting their lives to the world and to empower their communities by using the medium of film.

News and events

Global Labour University Masters Programmes

The Global Labour University (GLU) invites trade unionists and labour activists  interested in global social justice and international social movements to apply to its Masters in “Labour and development? in South Africa and “Social Economy and Labour? in Brazil.

The  programmes focus on workers? rights, economics, labour movements and international solidarity, globalization and development. The unique collaboration between the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the international trade union movement and universities from different continents creates a global study environment and offers great opportunities for international networking and cross border collaboration.

The deadlines for application are

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg; South Africa   31. August 2013
Contact: Pulane Ditlhake

University of Campinas, Campinas, Brazil  1.102013
Contact: Jacqueline Aslan Souen, e-mail:glu.brazil.2010@gmail.comA limited number of scholarships will be awarded to students. 

Visit for application and programme details.

News and events

2013 GLI International Summer School – Advanced Notice

GLI is pleased to announce that the second International Summer School will be held on 8-12 July 2013, at Northern College in England.

There will be a strict limit to the number of places available. If interested in participating, contact gli-uk@

Watch this space for details of speakers, programme, and participating unions.

News and events

Global Labour University – ENGAGE programme on globalization

The Global Labour University invites trade unionist to apply for its ENGAGE programme

The  six month program is discussing the challenges of labour policies and globalization. It is particular focusing  on wage policies, international labour standards, corporate campaigns and strategic corporate research. The course consists of a three month university program and 10 weeks practical implementation phase to develop practical policy initiatives. It offers trade unionists  an opportunity to engage with an international group of students and get new insights in trade union strategies to meet the challenges of globalization.

The course starts at the 15th of May 2013. The deadline for applications is the 15th of December. For details and application form see

A number of scholarships are offered by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)

News and events

Hard copies of the GLI 2012 Summer School report: “The Political Agenda of the International Trade Union Movement”

Hard copies of “The Political Agenda of the International Trade Union Movement” report from the Global Labour Institute 2012 International Summer School can be ordered from the web. GLI accepts no responsibility for the print quality, delivery time etc. Your feedback would be much appreciated if you order prints from If we get good feedback, we may use issuu and peecho for future GLI publishing. Tell us what you think.

News and events

2012 GLI Summer School Report: “The Political Agenda of the International Trade Union Movement”

GLI is delighted to publish “The Political Agenda of the International Trade Union Movement” – the report of the International Summer School held in July 2012. The report was compiled by  Romain Felli, Lucy Hopley, Josiah Mortimer, Frederick Pitts and Sean Sayer, and edited by Celia Mather.

Please go to:

A PDF  file of the report is available from the issuu site, or by email – please contact gli-uk@