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All Irish MEPs support David Begg's demand to suspend the negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement between the EU and Colombia.

Posted on October 30, 2009

21 feb f - All Irish MEPs have co-signed David Begg's letter
All Irish MEPs have co-signed David Begg's letter

Ireland is the first EU country in which all MEPs have taken a united position on this issue.

- "The atrocious human rights situation in Colombia has to be addressed. The proposed Free Trade Agreement would give special trade benefits to a government that has repeatedly failed to implement their international obligations including basic human and trade union rights", said David Begg who added that he is extremely pleased that all twelve Irish MEPs have co-signed a letter to EU Trade Commissioner Baroness Ashton asking her to suspend the negotiations with Colombia.

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World Day for Decent Work

Posted on October 22, 2009

wddw photo2 - Stacey Dooley, Tara Scott, John Douglas, Silvana Capuccio and Sally Anne Kinahan.
Stacey Dooley, Tara Scott, John Douglas, Silvana Capuccio and Sally Anne Kinahan.

Solidarity with the garment workers in the global south.

On the 7th of October, the World Day for Decent Work, ICTU Global Solidarity organised a meeting "Recession Ethics - how the current crisis effects garment workers in the Global South and retail workers here".

The meeting in the Teachers' Club in Dublin, attracted more than 40 people, and was chaired by Sally-Ann Kinahan, the Assistant General Secretary of ICTU. She emphasised the importance of solidarity in the trade union movement for securing decent work for workers across the world.

Increased exploitation

Silvana Capuccio from the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Federation (ITGLWF) outlined how workers are always at the forefront of historical and social changes and during the current crisis are the first to be affected.

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Global Solidarity Summer School in Waterford

Posted on September 15, 2009

Min Power and LECODU - Mr. Elliot Ramochela, General Secretary of the Lesotho Congress of Democratic Unions with Minister Peter Power and Moira Leydon, Chair of the Congress Global Solidarity Committee
Mr. Elliot Ramochela, General Secretary of the Lesotho Congress of Democratic Unions with Minister Peter Power and Moira Leydon, Chair of the Congress Global Solidarity Committee

Minister Peter Power at the opening of the Summer School

70 trade unionists from the north and south of Ireland attended the Global Solidarity Summer School in Waterford on the 28th and 29th of August.

The Summer School was opened by the Assistant General Secretary Sally Anne Kinahan. In her speech she emphasized that "Congress continues to play a leading role campaigning in support of the UN-recommended 0.7% of Gross National Income to be given as aid and sought to ensure the Government's commitment to reach this target by 2012 was reflected in Towards 2016".

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Global Solidarity at Congress' BDC in Tralee

Posted on July 31, 2009

ICTU BDC Drums - The drummers in front of the podium.
The drummers in front of the podium.

Motions, fringe events and drums.

Global Solidarity issues played an important role at Congress' Biennial Delegate Conference (BDC) in Tralee 7 - 10 July. Six motions had been tabled on various Global Solidarity issues and they were all adopted. ICTU's Global Solidarity Committee will continue to develop its concrete work for international trade union solidarity. The BDC also decided to recommend the Irish Aid supported training course "Global Solidarity Champions" as a useful vehicle for the unions to build their capacity in developing their international solidarity work.

Some of the adopted motions pertained to specific countries, including;

- Strengthen the solidarity work with the Colombian trade union movement and to work to stop EU's trade agreements, until the Colombian government fully respects human rights and core labour standards.

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Solidarity with the Trade Unions in Colombia

Posted on July 20, 2009

Luis Alberto Vanegas of the CUT, Colombia - Luis Alberto Vanegas of the CUT, Colombia - Credit: Kevin Cooper, Photoline
Luis Alberto Vanegas of the CUT, Colombia - Credit: Kevin Cooper, Photoline

Luis Alberto Vanegas, Colombian Trade Union leader at the BDC in Tralee

- The solidarity with Colombia shown by the Irish Trade Union Movement during my days here in Ireland is highly valued by me and my comrades in CUT-Colombia.

Luis Alberto Vanegas, the Director of the Human Rights Department in the Colombian Trade Union Congress (CUT) was happy after his week in Ireland. He was invited by ICTU Global Solidarity to take part in the Biennial Delegates Conference in Tralee, where he spoke on the 8th of July to the 800 delegates and observers. The speech which was much appreciated described the extremely difficult situation for Colombian trade unionists.

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The Global Solidarity Champions Course

Posted on May 13, 2009

The first Global Solidarity Champions - The first twelve ICTU Global Solidarity Champions together with the International Trade Union Confederations Deputy General Secretary Jaap Wienen.
The first twelve ICTU Global Solidarity Champions together with the International Trade Union Confederations Deputy General Secretary Jaap Wienen.

On the 7th of April 2009 ICTU finished its first Global Solidarity Champions training course. 12 trade unionists received their certificate as "Global Solidarity Champions" from the final speaker at the course, the Deputy General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation, Jaap Wienen. The overall evaluation of the 5 day course was very positive. The "Champions" felt committed to develop the international solidarity work in their own union and to take part in the future work of the global solidarity project in ICTU.

The main speakers come from the international trade union movement and progressive NGOs. At the first course we had trade unionist speakers from Colombia, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands and introductions made by representatives of Irish Aid, Concern and Trocaire.

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€61,263 for reconstruction of houses, schools and hospitals in Cuba

Posted on May 13, 2009

Cuban Ambassador and Mick Dowling  - The Cuban Ambassador Noel Carillo receives the funding from the Vice Chair of the Global Solidarity Committee Mick Dowling
The Cuban Ambassador Noel Carillo receives the funding from the Vice Chair of the Global Solidarity Committee Mick Dowling

The four hurricanes that hit Cuba in just three weeks last autumn are the worst natural disasters for this island nation since 1963. Therefore the Executive Council of Congress decided last October to start an All Ireland Trade Union Campaign to support the Cuban people's efforts to rebuild their country. We succeeded to collect €61,263. Contributions came from SIPTU €38,270, CWU €10,000, UNITE €5,143 and 12 other unions.

Half a million houses were destroyed by the hurricanes. Major factories, schools, telecommunications, hospitals, government buildings and farms were severely damaged. The agriculture sector was also severely hit, as much as 70% of last year's food production was lost.

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