News and events

Global Labour University Online Academy


The new Global Labour University Online Academy website is now online at:

The GLU Academy website shows all available GLU Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) at one glance, including the new course on “Fair Wage Strategies in a Global Economy” which will start in October 2017.

The GLU Academy website aims to be a “virtual campus” for debating ideas for social justice and a fairer globalization. It offers an opportunity for trade unionists to learn with and from each other in a global network, combining theory with practical skills for collaboration and action.

It is coordinated by the Bureau for Workers’ Activities at the ILO and the Global Labour University.

News and events

GLI International Summer School to take a break in 2017

GLI International Summer School 2017 GLI International Summer School 2016

After five years of successful annual GLI International Summer Schools, the GLI Network has decided to take a break in 2017.

All being well and with the continuing support of participating unions and federations, the Summer School will return in 2018 with a refreshed programme addressing the intensified challenges facing the international trade union movement.

We’d like to extend our warmest thanks to all those who have supported and participated in the GLI Summer School project so far.

Don’t forget that you can access resources from all of our previous Summer Schools at our online archives here:

International Summer School 2016

International Summer School 2015

International Summer School 2014

International Summer School 2013

International Summer School 2012

News and events

Global Labour University (GLU) online course: Decent Work in Global Supply Chains

Click above to watch the course trailer.

Starting on January 12th 2017, the Global Labour University (GLU) will be running a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Decent Work in Global Supply Chains.

The course is aimed at trade unionists and anybody interested in decent work in global supply chains. It will  is offered free of charge in the audit track, and costs 49 € in the certificate track.

The online course, which will run over 8 weeks, will be launched with a live Facebook discussion with course instructor Prof. Mark Anner on 12 January 2017 at 13:00 pm UTC.

You can join this discussion by registering for the following Facebook event:

You can read more about the course, and enrol for free here:


The GLU is offering a limited number of scholarships for trade unionists from non-OECD countries to enter the certificate track of the course free of charge. Those interested in applying for a scholarship should first enrol on the course for free at:

And then send an email to with the following information:

  • Your iversity user name
  • Your Name, Country, City
  • A short information about your background including on what you do professionally and how you are engaged with labour and global supply chains issues.

In order to receive a scholarship, applicants must first complete 80% of the video lectures and quizzes by the end of the 4th course week (8 February). Successful applicants will be informed and receive their scholarships in mid-February.

News and events

FILM: “The Power of Informal Transport Workers” – exploding the myth that informal workers can’t be organised

Click above to watch “The Power of Informal Transport Workers

GLI Manchester is pleased to announce that our new short film, “The Power of Informal Transport Workers“, is now available to watch online.

“The Power of Informal Transport Workers” shows how informal transport workers across the world are organising in trade unions to fight back against precarious and dangerous working conditions.

Produced as part of the ITF Informal Transport Workers Project, which GLI Manchester coordinates on behalf of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the film brings together interviews with union activists from seven different countries who talk about the challenges that informal workers face and the ways in which their unions are building informal worker power.

The film highlights how women workers, who generally occupy the most precarious and poorly paid jobs in the sector, are joining unions to fight back against societal discrimination, sexual harassment and abuse at work.

According to Jodi Evans, ITF Women’s Officer, the pioneering work of unions involved in the ITF Informal Transport Workers Project has “exploded the myth” that informal workers are unorganisable.

The film ends with a powerful call to action by union organiser John Mark Mwanika from ATGWU Uganda who calls on trade unions to embrace mass membership of informal transport workers and to “globally mobilise” around the Informal Transport Workers’ Charter, which demands decent work and union recognition for all transport workers.

Watch the film here: The Power of Informal Transport Workers

Read the Charter in full here: Informal Transport Workers’ Charter

News and events

International Summer School 2016: online archive now available!

Video produced by the ISS16 Summer School Commission

We’re very pleased to announce that you can now access videos, presentations, blog posts and further reading from the 2016 Summer School at our dedicated ISS 2016 online archive page here: ISS 2016 onlive archive

The 2016 Summer School culminated in a discussion of the GLI International Summer School “Living Manifesto”, which can be downloaded here: GLI International Summer School Living Manifesto 2016

We hope that the archive website will serve as an educational resource for bringing the debates of the Summer School to your own trade unions and organisations. Please note that the site is a work in progress and we’ll continue to add extra content – blog entries, further reading, edited videos, etc. – as they become available.

GLI would like to thank all the speakers and participants who made the 2016 International Summer School such a success. Until the next time!


The fifth GLI International Summer School begins!

Northern College, Barnsley, UK

The sun in Barnsley is shining and the fifth GLI International Summer School has now begun!

Held at Northern College in Barnsley, UK, the School brings together trade union activists from across the world “to debate and question what are, and what should be, the politics of the international trade union movement”.

If you are unable to participate in person, you can follow the 2016 GLI International Summer School live online. Many of the plenary sessions and presentations will be streamed live on the web, and can be watched on our ISS16 webpage.

A team of guest bloggers who will be covering the Summer School throughout the week, and we’ll be publishing their blog-posts on a daily basis.

Both GLI and Union Solidarity International (USi) will be covering the School on social media – Twitter (GLI / USi), Facebook (GLI / USi) and Instagram (USi). We invite those wishing to follow and participate online to use the #ISS16 hashtag.

News and events

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED): Facing up to the Failure of Carbon Markets


Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) has published a new working paper, “Carbon Markets After Paris: Trading in Trouble”, which takes a critical look at carbon markets and emissions trading schemes (ETSs), and concludes that these neoliberal policies have “failed both workers and climate”.

The policy of “putting a price on carbon” has been enshrined in the 2015 Paris Agreement and has long been favoured as the key mechanism for reducing emissions by big business and neoliberal policy makers. For its proponents, carbon trading offers the solution to limiting emissions without unduly disrupting business-as-usual and economic growth.

However, the new TUED working paper demonstrates that carbon markets have led to tensions between unions and are therefore a “lose/lose/lose” proposition for the labour movement. The paper concludes with a call for unions to see past the “neoliberal fantasy” of carbon markets and to work with allies “to better concentrate on developing and organizing around the kind of programmatic commitments that can seriously tackle climate change and the systemic roots of the crisis.”

You can read a summary of the paper, written by its author Sean Sweeney, Coordinator of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, here: Facing up to the Failure of Carbon Markets

And you can download the full working paper here: Carbon Markets After Paris: Trading in Trouble

Trade Unions for Energy Democracy is part of the GLI Network.

News and events

Job vacancy at Union Solidarity International (USi)


Union Solidarity International (USi) is seeking to appoint a new member of staff (USi Coordinator) to develop USi’s digital media, and to help provide advice, support and training to the trade union movement as part of a small team based in Manchester.

Union Solidarity International is a not-for-profit organisation, which works closely with a range of national and international trade union organisations, to support the development of international organisation and solidarity through social media and digital technologies. USi shares premises and works together with the Global Labour Institute in Manchester, and has played an important role in our past four GLI International Summer Schools.

Click below to download the job description, plus instructions on how to apply for the job:

Job description: USi Coordinator, Manchester [pdf]

Please note that the deadline for applications is 31 March 2016. Interviews will be held in Manchester on 11 April 2016. Applicants from outside the UK may be asked to attend an interview by Skype. All applications/queries should be addressed to:

News and events

Global Labour University (GLU) offers online course on “Workers’ Rights in a Global Economy” & Masters’ Programmes open for application

Online Course on “Workers´ Rights in a Global Economy”

Starting on 3 March 2016, The Global Labour University will be offering a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on “Workers’ Rights in a Global Economy” (watch trailer above). This online course connects union members and labour activists from around the world on the interactive platform iversity to learn and to exchange about the challenges and strategies for implementing workers´ rights worldwide.

The course is jointly taught by academics, ILO and trade union experts. It runs over 8 weeks (3 March – 27 April + exam period) and is based on video lectures, readings, and interactive quizzes and discussions. The course is free in the audit track and costs 49 Euro in the certificate track which is awarded by a certificate recognized by the Global Labour University and Penn State University.

For more information and enrolment please go to:

Masters’ Programmes open for application

The Global Labour University (GLU) invites trade unionists and social activists to apply to its Masters’ Programmes in Germany, India and the USA. Students have the opportunity to study together in a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment and benefit from the expertise of the international GLU network of universities, Global Unions,  national trade union centers, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation  and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

The  Masters’ programmes focus on policies for social justice including global governance, international labour standards, development, economics, trade and multinational companies.  Discussions, internships and field research with trade unions and other progressive movements provide unique insights into the international world of labour.  A limited number of scholarships will be awarded.

More information and application forms can be found at:

The deadlines for application to the Masters’ Programmes are:

1 March 2016 at Penn State University in State College, Pennsylvania, USA

1 March 2016 at the Berlin School of Economics and Law/University of Kassel  in Germany

25 March 2016 at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India,

News and events

VIDEO: “Unleash the hope!” Jeremy Corbyn & Naomi Klein address trade unionists & allies at COP21

Video by Reel News. (this is an edited video of the event – we hope to make the full length recording available in the near future)

On Monday 7th December, over 700 trade unionists and other social movement activists packed out an auditorium in Paris to hear the writer and activist Naomi Klein, UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, and a panel of trade union activists discuss solutions to the crisis of climate change, at an event billed under the title: “Now is not the time for small steps”.

The meeting, organised by Trade Unions for Energy Democracy in partnership with the Global Climate Jobs Campaign, Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung–New York, and the Global Labour Institute Network, saw both Klein and Corbyn call for trade unions to come together with environmentalists and other social movements to demand an end to the destruction of the environment and a radical transition away from a neoliberal global economy rooted in the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

Both Klein and Corbyn stressed the fundamental importance of energy democracy – the social ownership and democratic control of renewable energy generation – for a just, job-rich transition to a low-carbon world. Klein said that the “powerful thing” about energy democracy was that it went beyond simply demanding state ownership over private ownership of energy resources, and specified what that ownership should like – i.e. democratic, community-based and with a broad social mandate.

Both also pointed to the destruction wrought by recent flooding in the UK as evidence of the incompatibility of the “logic of austerity” with effectively protecting communities against the effects of climate change, and more fundamentally, with the levels of public investment needed to reorientate economies towards a democratic low-carbon future. Corbyn described how the British Prime Minister, David Cameron,  had declared last year that money was “no object” in dealing with floods, yet has since slashed spending on flood defences, and looks set to do this again.

Drawing attention to the ways in which trade unionists are already at the forefront of fighting against climate change and privatised energy resources, Judy Gonzalez from the New York State Nurses Union, described how her union had been a driving force behind the “people’s power” movement which successfully halted the building of the Keystone XL oil pipeline in US, and also in bringing about a ban on fracking in New York.

Josua Mata, General Secretary of SENTRO – one of the Philippines’ largest trade union centres – spoke of how a group of Filipino workers have been at the forefront of building community power to reverse the privatisation of electricity co-operatives in rural areas of the Philippines. A more detailed account of this is given in an interview given by Mata to the New Internationalist magazine which can be viewed here: “A social uprising for energy democracy.

Corbyn concluded the meeting by calling on people to “unleash the optimism, unleash the imagination, unleash the hope”.  A full version of his speech can be viewed at the Democracy Now! website here.

The GLI Network urges union members across the world to “unleash the hope” by joining Trade Unions for Energy Democracy and demanding the democratisation of our energy systems. As outlined in TUED’s report, “Power to the People: Toward Democratic Control of Energy Generation“, these energy systems must prioritise the public good and environmental sustainability over private greed. We call for unions to be at the forefront in building cross-movement alliances and building the “people power” needed to make these transformative changes possible.