SAVE THE DATE
3 – 4 – 5 March, 14:00 CET
Join leading trade unionists, scholars and activists and participate in an exciting discussion organised by the Global Labour University.
While the free movement of goods and capital has been widely advocated by mainstream economists and politicians as a way to promote progress, there has been much less enthusiasm about allowing the free movement of people with full respect for their rights as workers. This has contributed to making migrant workers vulnerable. Trade unions have played a key part in protecting these workers, even in the face of deliberate attempts by capital to divide and rule. Unions have however not been immune to anti-migrant sentiments, have shown at times reluctance to organise migrant workers, or struggled with finding the most effective organising strategy.
The protection of migrant workers by trade unions are all the more important given globalisation trends under neoliberalism as well as the anti-immigrant policies of right-wing populists. It is important to create the space for an open engagement on the complex challenges facing migrants, trade unions and activists, as well as on the positive examples of responses to changing migration patterns, whether in the area of innovative forms of organising; or the development of transnational trade union networks.
The workshop will discuss the challenges posed by changing migration patterns, as well as explore union and civil society responses to these challenges. We hope to tease out lessons that can be shared broadly and identify areas of cooperation in order to support trade unions in representing migrant workers’ interests as part of strategies to build stronger and more inclusive organisations.
14:00 – 15:30 CET: Plenary Session: Situating migration in global labour transformations
Chair: Mark Anner, PennState / GLU
Neoliberal capitalism and migrants – Praveen Jha, Jawaharlal Nehru University / GLU
Migrant organising as a pathway to union renewal: Experiences from east and southeast Asia – Michele Ford, The University of Sydney
How trade unions fight for migrants – and what we can do better? – Chidi King, ITUC
14:00 – 15:30 CET: Plenary Session: Organizing migrant workers: Trade union initiatives and challenges
Chair: Clair Siobhan Ruppert, CUT / GLU
Protecting migrant workers in Tunisia: A trade union-led approach – Zoubeida Nakib, UGTT
Organising migrant construction workers in Qatar – Ambet Yuson, BWI
14:00 – 17:30 CET: Plenary Session: Migrant self-organizing and civil society partnerships
Chair: Martina Sproll, Berlin School of Economics and Law / GLU
Beyond ‘integration’: Migrant self-organizing inside and outside traditional unions – Gabriella Alberti, Leeds University
El Ejido 20 years later: Lessons from organising migrant workers in agriculture – José Antonio Moreno Diaz, Comisiones Obreras
The role of immigrant workers on revitalizing the labor movement – Yanira Merino, LIUNA & LCLAA
Closing Session: What’s next?
Chair: Nicolas Pons-Vignon, SUPSI
With the participation of Ambet Yuson (BWI), Mostafa Henaway (IWC), Sara Cullinane (Make the Road), Elisabeth Tuider (University of Kassel, Irene Peano (University of Lisbon), Helen Schwenken (University of Osnabrück) and Joel Odigie (ITUC-Africa)
The Global Labour University (GLU) is a network of trade unions, universities, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and the ILO (International Labour Organisation) to deliver high-level qualification programmes. The GLU is a new approach to increase the intellectual and strategic capacity of workers’ organisations and to establish stronger working relationships between trade unions, the ILO, and the scientific community. Join to GLU Group
In preparation for the event, please take a look at our selected articles and video, based on the topic of migration.
This documentary explores the context and events that occurred in southern Spain in 2000, when the town of El Ejido was rocked by anti-migrant violence. Migrant workers began to organise afterwards and, during the seminar, we will be hearing from worker representatives in a nearby region (Murcia) about their organising experience. For further information, you can also read this.