Weekly Links 12/10/2008
An article has been posted on UK Indymedia regarding the Government's new Green Paper which includes "workfare" proposals.
The Government has been exposed as completely misquoting a couple of researchers whose report they have used to justify the new workfare proposals in the Green Paper — “No one written off: reforming welfare to reward responsibility”, where the report based on a study of the effect on the labour market in Australia of the introduction of a workfare scheme there actually found that as a result, the very long term unemployed in fact grew by 68%!
The UK's Green Party MEPs, Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas have called on governments and the European Commission to legally recognise trade union green workplace representatives.
Jean Lambert, who sits on the Employment and Social Affairs Committee in the European Parliament said:
"Dedicated union green reps have the potential to raise awareness of environmental issues and help to change behaviour in the workplace. They would also help deliver significant environmental improvements through engagement between employers and the workforce that will help the UK shift to a low carbon economy.
"There is huge potential for trade union members to play a significant role as green representatives at work, but to perform their role effectively they need legal recognition and the right to undertake relevant training and duties."
Unions and Work
The following are action alerts from Labourstart -
SOUTH AFRICA: WOOLWORTHS ENGAGES IN UNION-BUSTING
South African unions have asked for our help to bring pressure on
Woolworths to recognize the right of their employees to join trade
unions. They say that Woolworths in engaging in Wal-Mart style
union-busting and are hopeful that a big global campaign can bring
pressure to bear on the company. Please send off your message today --
and spread the word:
COLOMBIA: STRIKING SUGAR CANE WORKERS NEED YOUR SUPPORT
Some 18,000 sugar workers have been on strike since 15 September. The government and employer response was to use police violence to clear the mills of striking workers. The IUF is requesting international support for their struggle. For full details, including the chance to send off your messages, go here:
This is the latest from the Campaign Against Climate Change Trade Union Group in Britain, including dates of the next big demonstration in December and the CCCTU conference in March 2009:
As you can see, the date of the second CCCTU Conference is Saturday 7th March 2009 and it will be in London (possibly Kings College.) Please put this date in your diary and send it around your contacts so that we can try to ensure that other organisations don’t arrange anything else on that day.
We also discussed the National Climate March (which is part of the Global Day of Action on Climate, to coincide with the UN climate talks in Poznan) on 6th December 2008. It is of course very important that we get plenty of trade union contingents with banners on that march. Please try to ensure that your branch is represented, but also phone round others to ask them to do the same. Those of you who are members of UCU, PCS, CWU, FBU and Connect may be able to get assistance with transport to the march from your union since those unions are affiliated to the campaign nationally. For more details, and to download a leaflet, see: http://www.campaigncc.org/
Sean Thompson of Green Left has written an appraisal and critique of the "Green New Deal" proposals which is posted at the Green Left blog here and at Socialist Unity blog here.
Molly at Gaian Economics has been commenting on the global financial situation as it developed this week. On the same subject, Andy C has linked to some of the humourous explanations of Bird and Fortune.
Finally, a plug here for GreenFeed which re-posts the postings of a whole spectrum of Brit Green blogs.