Post 2015 global “development” agenda challenged
The global trade union movement has been deeply engaged in the United Nations Post 2015 Financing for Development and Sustainable Development Goal negotiations, advocating a people’s agenda that includes redistributing wealth, limiting the power of transnational corporations, stopping the privatization of public services, mitigating the proliferation of trade and investment agreements, and regulating financial institutions.
The experience of millions of people living in poverty in developing countries has led to a distrust of the intentions of Global Financial Institutions and multinational corporations. As the negotiations continue, and transition toward implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, we will continue to expose futile effort to achieve environmental sustainability and poverty eradication, through Public Private Partnerships and “blended finance” models that leave neoliberal globalization unchallenged.
General Strike in India
On September 2nd, trade unions in India held a general strike to protest against the anti-worker economic policies of their new government. Unions are concerned about the government’s anti-worker, anti-people and pro-corporate actions and are demanding an end to precarious employment, a new minimum wage, universal social security cover for all workers, an end to privatisation of the public sector, the withdrawal of the new pension scheme and compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days.
Struggling to survive
A rapidly growing crisis is emerging in Europe as the numbers of people fleeing violence and unrest in Syria, Libya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, sub-Saharan Africa and other regions grows. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, approximately 2,500 people are believed to have died or gone missing trying to reach Europe so far this year. Shamefully, some countries in Europe are more concerned with finding ways to prevent these refugees from crossing their borders, including through military and police aggression than with making genuine efforts to address the conditions that are forcing them to flee in the first place.
CUPE National will participate in a delegation led by the Stephen Lewis Foundation (SLF) in October 2015 to attend the National Grandmothers Convening in Uganda. Community-based partners of the SLF will bring together nearly 1,000 Ugandan grandmothers (and a handful from Kenya and South Africa) for a three-day conference to give each other encouragement in the face of the HIV/AIDs pandemic, and lay the groundwork for a strong network to support their work to turn the tide of AIDS not only at a community-level, but on a national scale.