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Global Labour University 2022 Conference: Building a Post-Pandemic World of Work with Social Justice

The Covid-19 pandemic, digitalization, climate change, right-wing populism, and rising authoritarianism have changed the world of work. The 2022 edition of the GLU-Conference will analyse these developments and ask how we build anew our workplaces and societies based on social justice.

The 2022 GLU Conference offers discussions in 7 tracks on:

  • Inclusive social protection
  • Ending gender-based violence and racism at work
  • Worker organising for a just transition
  • Organising workers in and across the platform economy
  • Empowering migrant workers
  • Workers’ rights under rising authoritarianism
  • Global supply chains and joint collaboration of academics and trade unionist

The 2022 GLU Conference will take place between March 30 and April 5, via Zoom and in English without translation.

On March 31st 14:30-16:15 (CEST), Dave Spooner and Dan Edmonds from GLI Manchester will be running a conference session on ‘Learning from the History of the International Trade Union Movement.’

Click here to visit the conference page.

Click here to view the full programme.

Click here to register.


The Global Labour University is a network of trade unions, universities, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the ILO working to deliver high-level qualification programmes. It offers Masters Courses in four different countries on trade unions, sustainable development, social justice, international labour standards, multinational companies, economic policies and global institutions and promotes research cooperation on global labour issues.

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All for One = One for All: A Gender Equality Guide for Trade Unionists in IUF Sectors

Unions that represent all workers are stronger unions and become more relevant to both existing and potential new members. Fighting against any kind of discrimination is a way to organise and build collective power. But women continue to face inequality in the workplace, in society and in the union. At the same time, the voices and concerns of women continue to be underrepresented.

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent crisis has magnified vulnerabilities that exist in our societies. Women’s lives have been disproportionately affected. This reaffirms the need for continued and reinvigorated efforts in the fight for global equality.

On International Women’s Day 2022, the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) has published the guide ‘All for One = One for All: A Gender Equality Guide for Trade Unionists in IUF Sectors.’ This guide was produced for the IUF by GLI Manchester.

Based on a previous guide the IUF published in 2007 – ‘All for One = One for All’ – this new guide is updated and extended with new chapters and stories. It intends to foster equality by promoting solidarity, building union strength and tackling the inequality issues that women face.

This guide is for everyone who wants to make the union stronger and more representative by promoting gender equality – at work, in society and in the union. But as this is a guide on gender equality – and historically women have been marginalised – it focuses mainly on women’s experiences.

This guide is divided into two sections:

Section 1: Fighting Inequality highlights gender equality issues on which we should work together to tackle.

Section 2: Union Power for All introduces organising strategies which can:

  • Build women’s union membership
  • Empower and strengthen women’s confidence and activism
  • Ensure that women’s voices and concerns are heard and taken up in the union
  • Persuade more men that including and listening to women is the right thing to do, will help the union and so is in their best interest too

Shaped by the experiences of IUF affiliated unions, this guide is supported by the stories of women from all over the world who have experienced inequality and have organised in response. It highlights the amazing work of union activists – including the support of male unionists – and their achievements in the fight for equality.

Click here to read and download the guide in English, French and Spanish.

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GLI Network Statement on Ukraine

Hands off Ukraine! For solidarity against war!

The GLI Network has called for for the immediate withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukrainian Territory and for solidarity against war.

The full-scale invasion of Ukrainian territory by Russian military forces on 24 February 2022 has unleashed a murderous war at the centre of Europe. Not only soldiers on both sides, but also peaceful civilians, will die. War is turning into a nightmare the lives of those on whose land it is being waged. In these conditions, trade unions and other organisations of working people can not stand on the sidelines or act as neutral observers. We must do everything we can to bring an end to the military aggression, to war, as soon as possible.

The Ukrainian people, in defending their independence and freedom, need solidarity in practice. The subordination of Ukraine to Putin’s authoritarian regime, or its proxies, would destroy democratic institutions, including the workers’ movement – as has already happened over the last eight years in the Russian-controlled puppet Donetsk and Luhansk “peoples’ republics”. The Russian state propaganda machine’s claim, that the invasion’s aim is to “liberate” Ukraine, which is supposedly ruled by “drug addicts and neo-Nazis”, is a cynical lie. In contrast, it is true that Putin and his party “Yedinaya Rossia” have friendly relations with extreme right wing parties in Europe and worldwide. Just as deceitful are the spurious justifications of the attack on the grounds that a threat to Russia’s security lurks on Ukrainian territory. The Kremlin’s real aim is to seize territory from Ukraine, which Putin and his henchmen have declared to be an artificial construct put in place by the Bolsheviks. Slogans about “the struggle with Nazism” are a cover for an attempt to conquer “living space” for “the Russian world” and restoration of the Russian empire. Just as in the 20th century the international workers’ movement defended the Spanish republic from fascism, and supported resistance to totalitarian dictatorships, so today it must defend democratic Ukraine!

The current war is not a conflict of the Russian and Ukrainian peoples. War has been unleashed by the dictatorial regime that rules in Moscow, under which the whole Russian people is suffering. Continuing the traditions of Russian tsarism and Stalinism, preaching archaic imperial ideology, this regime hates Ukraine not only for its aspiration to independence but also for its revolutionary traditions. The rulers in the Kremlin fear that the systemic change that took place in Ukraine in 2014 could be continued in Russia, and this is yet another reason that they have unleashed war. The Putin regime, like Russia in the 19th century, wants to play the role of the international gendarme. The proof of this is not only the invasion of Ukraine, but also the support given to its authoritarian brother regimes in suppressing popular uprisings in Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Already, more than one million Russians have signed letters demanding the immediate cessation of hostilities. The same position has been taken by a large number of professional associations – of researchers, teachers, doctors, workers in the arts, architects, publishers, translators and so on. This anti-war movement by civil society also needs international support.

The workers’ movement has always been based on the principles of internationalism and solidarity across state borders. Now these principles must be implemented in practice. General declarations about a peace settlement are not enough. We must call things by their real names, and take a position on the conflict, standing on the side of the Ukrainian and Russian peoples against the Kremlin oligarchy, that bears the full responsibility for this war, that has already produced a threat of nuclear apocalypse to the whole world.

The workers’ and anti-war movements have in their arsenal considerable means to fight and to demonstrate solidarity, which have been tested in practice. Now organisations of working people and civil society need to circulate accurate information about the causes and character of this war, to use all available means to unmask Kremlin propaganda and to give all types of support to Ukraine in its battles. If the aggression is not halted, this will be the gravest defeat for all progressive forces on an international scale. We can not allow that.

For the immediate withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukrainian territory!

No to war!

Click here to download the statement.

Click here to read the statement in Ukrainian.

Click here to read the statement in German.

Click here to read the statement in Russian.

Click here to read the statement in French.

Click here to show your support for this statement.


The GLI Network is an alliance of organisations promoting international solidarity among trade union organizations and other organizations and movements of civil society. These share the objective of achieving a democratic and sustainable world society, based on the principles of social justice, freedom and the rule of law. GLI Network members are service organizations to the labour movement, guided by the values and principles of democratic socialism.

The members of the GLI Network are GLI GenevaGLI Manchester, the Praxis Center (GLI Moscow)Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (GLI New York) and Projet ReAct (GLI Paris). 

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Fighting for our Future: An IUF Guide on Tackling the Climate Crisis in Intensive Livestock Production

The climate crisis is already destroying the livelihoods of workers across the world. It is of particular concern for workers in livestock production. Livestock production is one of the most emissions intensive sectors in the global food system. The sector is also negatively affected by the impacts of climate change.

Global transformation to a more climate-friendly food system is more urgent now than ever. But this poses huge risks to workers who face potentially negative impacts to their livelihoods.

Unions need to demand a voice to lead and shape the necessary change to ensure that any transition does not leave workers behind. This means fighting for a just transition. Unions need to take action at the local level to facilitate transformation of the global food system.

GLI Manchester was commissioned by the International Union of Foodworkers (IUF) to produce a guide on tackling the climate crisis in intensive livestock production.

‘Fighting for our Future – an IUF Guide on Tackling the Climate Crisis in Intensive Livestock Production’ is now available to read and download.

This guide aims to equip unions representing workers in the meat and dairy sectors to influence the conditions for a just transition, and to propose the necessary transformative solutions to tackle the climate crisis.

This document includes a guide on the climate crisis and an activity workbook.

The guide provides information about the contribution of intensive livestock production to the climate crisis, about why the climate crisis is a union issue, and how unions can take action. The guide sets this in the wider political context. It is important for unions to understand this context to recognise the need for system transformation to address the climate crisis. Unions can use this information to formulate practical demands at the local level.

The activity workbook includes exercises that can help unions to better understand the main issues, to plan for just transition and to develop practical action.

Click here to read and download the guide in English, German, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The guide will also soon be made available in French and Swedish.

Click here for more information about the IUF’s work on the climate crisis.

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TUED: ‘Green Structural Adjustment’ in South Africa – A War on Workers and Climate

TUED Global Forum: February 25, 2022, 8:00-9:30am ET

On Friday, February 25th, 800 am – 930 am ET (find your local time here) Trade Unions for Energy Demoracy (TUED) is holding a Global Forum: “Green Structural Adjustment” in South Africa: A War on Workers and Climate.  Spanish and French interpretation will be available.

Register here.

At COP26 in Glasgow, the EU, the US and the UK announced it was going to “mobilize” $8.5 billion to accelerate South Africa’s transition away from coal in order to protect the climate.

A month later the IMF “advised” the South African government to downsize and break up (“unbundling”) its public utility (Eskom) in order to build a “A Green and Climate-Resilient Economy.” The “unbundling” of Eskom, “must be accompanied by a substantial downsizing and structural transformation of its operations, notably through a meaningful reduction of procurement and personnel costs. Eskom spends more than it earns, reflecting both its operational inefficiencies and unsustainable debt level. Competition from private firms is necessary. The resulting higher level of private investment should help finance the energy transition away from coal, contributing to climate change objectives.”

The IMF is pursuing the same policy in many countries in the Global South. But experience has shown that the privatization of power systems impedes the effort to move away from fossil fuels.

Unions and their allies in South Africa have put forward an alternative to this approach, one that keeps energy under public ownership, allowing a transformed and fully-resourced Eskom to drive the transition while preserving the country’s energy sovereignty.

Meanwhile, unions are leading an international effort to fight the energy privatization agenda and to reclaim energy companies to public ownership under a pro-public mandate that can address climate concerns.

A list of speakers will be circulated in the coming days.  Please register here

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) is a global, multi-sector trade union initiative to advance democratic direction and control of energy in a way that promotes solutions to the climate crisis, energy poverty, the degradation of both land and people, and responds to the attacks on workers’ rights and protections. TUED is is part of the Global Labour Institute Network. 

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ITF People’s Public Transport Policy

Public transport plays an important role in the lives of women. But it remains male-dominated, both in its design and in its employment. Public transport can only be gender-responsive if there are women employed in the industry and if women are involved in decision-making and policy about public transport.

GLI was commissioned by the International Transportworkers Federation (ITF) to produce a chapter on ‘Women in Public Transport’ to outline it’s vision for women in public transport, and to inform policy proposals on gender equality for the ITFs People’s Public Transport Policy as part of the Our Public Transport programme.

The ITF’s Our Public Transport programme promotes a social model of public transport. A social model includes organisational and employment rights for workers and requires that any expansion of public transport guarantees decent jobs. The People’s Public Transport Policy provides the ITF vision for a social model of public transport. The 28 policy demands relate to six key areas of public transport: public ownership, public financing, employment and decent work, women in public transport, worker control of technology and climate change.

The chapters are based on three sources: existing ITF policies and statements; recent developments and experiences in the urban transport sector; and external contributions from organisations and activists. Each chapter includes case studies, as well as supporting campaign materials and education resources.

The ITF women transport workers’ committee has decided to make this campaign a core pillar of the ITF women’s programme. Gender-related issues and women’s participation and leadership are integrated in every aspect of the OPT programme.

Our Public Transport Programme:

  • works in target cities to strengthen the voices of workers in the development of new urban transport modes, including bus rapid transit (BRT), and in negotiating the transition from informal to formal work
  • campaigns to improve working conditions for all public transport workers – informal transport workers in particular – through increasing their industrial power. This includes building union networks in public transport multinational corporations, developing alliances with passengers, communities and other organisations and promotingwomen’s employment in public transport
  • works to develop an alternative public transport policy – one that is built on public ownership, public financing, decent jobs and union rights for workersThe ITF women transport workers’ committee has decided to make this campaign a core pillar of the ITF women’s programme. Gender-related issues and women’s participation and leadership are integrated in every aspect of the OPT programme.

Click here to read and download the chapter.