On Sunday, December 19, the working people of Chile decisively elected a new president, Gabriel Boric, who has vowed to fight “the privileges of the few” and undo the right-wing, “free market” legacy of dictator Augusto Pinochet. The labor federation Central Unitaria de Trabajadores de Chile (CUT), which endorsed Boric in November, congratulated him on his victory, praising him for his commitment to workers.
Following the inauguration of Joe Biden as president, UE’s international allies have been reaching out to us to gain a better understanding of how his election will impact working people in the U.S. and around the world. UE received many thanks for sharing our initial analysis in written form in February. We subsequently received invitations to present our perspective because of our reputation as a union that is independent from the Democratic Party and has a clear understanding of working class needs.
UE joins many of our global allies in expressing solidarity with the Colombian people, and particularly with striking union members, as the right-wing government of Iván Duque attempts to suppress popular protests with violence. Millions of Colombians have taken to the streets since late April.
UE joins Kilusang Mayo Uno, the independent and democratic labor center in the Philippines, in condemning the murder of KMU National Council member Dandy Miguel and the illegal arrest of KMU National Council member Florentino “Pol” Viuya.
As the first anniversary of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic approached, the UE International Department asked two of our international allies, Unifor (Canada) and Zenroren (Japan), to share with UE NEWS readers a glimpse into what work and life is like now in their countries. We asked these allied unions to share what their government’s response to the virus had been like, as well as how these unions were organizing or in other ways helping workers to protect themselves during these new health and economic challenges.
Over the past year, workers in Canada have felt much of the same effects as workers across the world. At first, initial enthusiasm for the contribution of essential workers was applauded and then their pandemic pay was cut. Front-line staff engaged in the fight for adequate personal protective equipment (PPE), sometimes facing employers who deliberately prevented workers from accessing life-saving PPE. A year into the pandemic, Canadian workers continue to fight for sector-based relief packages and expanded workers’ rights.
UE joins our Brazilian brothers and sisters of the CUT in celebrating the decision of the Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Edson Fachin to invalidate ex-president Luis Inácio “Lula” Da Silva’s convictions and restore his political rights.
Members of Unite the Union at the Rolls-Royce factory in Barnoldswick, Lancashire have saved their jobs — and the economy of their local community — through aggressive struggle, including nine weeks of strike action.
From victories for working people in Bolivia and Chile to attacks on workers’ rights in Alberta, Canada and violent repression of labor activists in the Philippines and Colombia, we review the ups and down of 2020 for workers around the world.
(St. John, Canada)— Workers at Dominion grocery stores across the province of Newfoundland, members of Unifor Local 597, ratified a new collective agreement on November 13, ending a 12-week long strike action at stores across Newfoundland.