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25 April, 2018Global Worker is back with stories from unions around the world fighting for an economic and social model that puts people first. This issue looks at how IndustriALL Global Union continues to challenge the power of multinational companies, while globally, anti-union behaviour by governments and employers becomes more prevalent.

The future sustainability of industry depends on governments making strategic choices. Unions are developing their own vision of how our industries and jobs should be transformed to meet sustainability goals.

We encourage unions around the world to develop sustainable industrial policies, which is a challenge for all. In Latin America and the Caribbean, many of our affiliates are presenting proposals for sustainable industrial policies to their governments. In Chile for example, affiliates are campaigning to make lithium a strategic national resource. This is an excellent trade union initiative to regulate and determine the production and use of the country’s natural resources. See the full article on pages 16-17.

Organizing to increase union membership is key if unions want to have a voice that is heard. Take a look on page 23 at how IndustriALL affiliate, Mining and Metallurgy Trade Union of Kyrgyzstan (MMTUK) has managed to almost double their membership in a five-year period.

While some unions are thriving, others face serious attack from companies and governments. From the USA to South Korea, Algeria to the Philippines unionbusting is widespread and is becoming increasingly sophisticated, but our unions are fighting back. See our full report onpages 18-22.

Too much power in the hands of multinational companies has negative impacts on communities and societies, governments need to push back against corporate greed, and that includes defending the right of freedom of association through strong action. After years of unsuccessful attempts to engage in dialogue with mining giant Glencore, IndustriALL has launched a campaign that has taken off in full force. There are serious workers’ rights and health and safety issues at their operations globally and something has to be done. Take a look on pages 5-10 to find how Glencore got where it is today.

An IndustriALL delegation visited DRC in February 2018 to meet with local unions representing mineworkers. Affiliates face a huge challenge in organizing in such a vast country, where mineral resources have contributed to war and chaos. IndustriALL affiliate Travailleurs Unis des Mines, Métallurgies, Energie, Chimie et Industries Connexes (TUMEC) is committed to fighting for workers’ rights, better pay, improved health and safety, and to organizing women, see their union profile on page 11.

In November last year, IndustriALL launched a campaign to end violence against women in the workplace. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, we must take the opportunity to push for real change and to combat violence and sexual harassment, see pages 14-15 for more on what unions around the world are doing to make this change.

In 2017 three women were elected in top leadership positions of our affiliated unions; Nora Garofalo FEMA CISL and Francesca Re David FIOM CGIL in Italy, and also IF Metall’s president Marie Nilsson in Sweden who is interviewed on pages 12-13. She talks about what her union is doing tackle harassment, among other things.

Valter Sanches

General Secretary