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Our plan : In 2016-18, we plan to share issue programmes of governments, corporates, NGOs, FAs... in any country with focus on Thane, other districts of India.
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Labour programmes

Labour disparity between girls and boys perpetuates gender stereotypes, UNICEF report shows

The Global Challenge of Child Labour: Going for the goal
The global campaign against child labour – especially in its worst forms – is at a crossroads. From an optimistic projection just four years ago that the end of the worst forms of child labour was in sight, the most recent ILO report casts doubt on whether that goal can be reached by the target year of 2016. It calls for urgent steps to accelerate action against child labour. The key messages of the report were delivered at a Global Conference on Child Labour hosted by the Government of the Netherlands on 10–11 May in The Hague. The Conference adopted a new “roadmap” aimed at achieving the goals set in 2006. IPEC Director Constance Thomas examines achievements made and challenges that remain in the fight against child labour.
GENEVA – In 2006, the ILO’s second Global Report on child labour reported significant progress in the fight against child labour. Encouraged by the positive trend, the ILO established a visionary target – to eliminate child labour in its worst forms by 2016. Four years on, the third Global Report paints a different picture: although child labour continues to decline, it is at a slower pace. If countries carry on with business as usual the 2016 target will not be met.

The new report (Note 1) says that there was a reduction of just 3 per cent in child labour in the four-year period covered by the global estimates. 215 million children are still caught in child labour and a staggering 115 million are exposed to hazardous work.

We have seen the largest reduction among children aged 5–14 where child labour fell by 10 per cent. There are also fewer children in hazardous work, a proxy sometimes used for the worst forms of child labour. However, child labour has been increasing among boys whilst decreasing among girls. Alarmingly, there has been a 20 per cent increase in child labour in the 15–17 years age group. These are mainly children who have reached the minimum age of employment but are working in conditions or sectors categorized as hazardous for children.

The new Global Report provides a strong warning and a call for action. Though the pace of progress is simply not sufficient to achieve the 2016 target, it is not too late to turn things around. The elimination of child labour is possible and affordable if we have the will to fight for it. The ILO has estimated that the global cost of eliminating child labour is outweighed by the economic benefits by a ratio of 6.7 to 1. The amounts which would need to be spent are far less than what governments recently allocated to save commercial banks during the global financial crisis. It’s just a matter of ambition and political will.

The report identifies some key challenges in tackling child labour: the alarming scale of the problem in Africa and South Asia, the need for a drive against child labour in agriculture and the need to tackle sometimes “hidden” forms of child labour which are often also among the worst forms. It is time for governments to honour their commitments and accelerate action to tackle child labour.
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Discussing Global Labor Issues
Alvarez is part of first American labor educators' delegation to Vietnam
The delegation visited a huge open pit mine in Halong province ILR Extension faculty member Sally Alvarez returned this month from a weeklong visit to Vietnam, where she participated in the first-ever American labor educators' delegation to that country.

Alvarez, who serves as the director of labor programs for ILR Extension, said: "It was a wonderful, eye-opening week. The Vietnamese people are known worldwide for their generosity and hospitality. Since the economy was opened to the global market in 1986, Vietnam has become an incredibly vibrant economy. Their challenge now is reconciling the 'free market' with a very controlled and centralized political system. It's a very complex set of challenges, with outcomes still to be seen, but it's an exciting time for this remarkably resilient and fascinating country."

The delegation of 12 labor educators from around the United States was organized by Kent Wong, Director of the UCLA Labor Research and Education Center. Besides Cornell and UCLA, the institutions represented on the delegation included the University of Minnesota, the National Labor College, and the City University of New York, along with educators from SEIU and AFSCME.

The group spent the week visiting worksites and labor organizations in three provinces in northern Vietnam. Delegation members met with representatives from the International Labour Organization (ILO) and discussed the ILO's multi-year project to improve industrial relations at enterprises in Vietnam. The project's goal is to have Vietnam support the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work.

In addition, the group spent a day at the National Trade Union University in Hanoi, where Alvarez addressed a gathering of 100 students and faculty on the different ways research is conducted in industrial relations in the United States.
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UNI Europa reports on regional and global labour and trade union challenges
At the UNI Global Union World Executive Board meeting in Dublin, Oliver Roethig, UNI Europa Regional Secretary, reported on regional developments and upcoming challenges for the labour movement.

"We thought that the Troika was not our concern. We were wrong! The EU Commission and EU leaders have adopted a Troika vision of the world and are trying to dismantle fundamental rights such as the autonomy of social partners to engage in collective bargaining and social dialogue that we fought hard to obtain. We must respect the autonomy of social partners and strengthen social dialogue processes to restore social Europe to its true meaning."

We hear that Europe is continuing business as usual until the recovery. This is no longer the case for social Europe. Both the EU Commission and Member States tell us that we are no longer important. On 02 October, the Commission published its REFIT Communication anxious to cut ever more of what it considers to be red tape. On top of its hit-list is labour and social legislation. The Commission is backing down and even prevents further developments in the sense of how we, the labour movement, understand social Europe.

The Hairdressing Social Partner Agreement is used as a scapegoat and its further implementation is blocked. The Hairdressing agreement has become a European Social Dialogue test-case. UNI Europa will fight both politically and legally to ensure that the fundamental rights of Trade Unions are fully respected.

The EU and the prevailing Troika ideology in Europe perceive sectoral collective agreements as unhelpful and prefer instead to push for company-level agreements with all the ensuing dire consequences for workers and trade unions. Roethig said: “There is an attempt to weaken trade unions and depict them as part of the problem and not the solution. The EU is clearly attacking fundamental social rights and social Europe.”

The ETUC has adopted an Investment Plan for Europe which plans for (2% of GDP to be spent for a real growth policy over the next 10 years. In view of the upcoming European elections, and to avoid the significant rise of extreme parties, we need a revamped European Social Model. The Investment Plan for Europe is well founded. It is a joint initiative of all European Trade Union Federations. We are asking for a new extra levy on the rich to invest for deleveraging workers' losses. We envisage a fairer and just society with decent working conditions and quality jobs.

The EU has taken an anti Trade Union and anti-democratic stance. We will fight at national and European levels not only for the workers we represent but to send a clear message to the world: Trade unions, worker's rights and fundamental social rights must be strengthened worldwide. Roethig stated: “We will not stand idly by in the face of such an unprecedented attack on the core of the European Social Model that we helped shape.”

We are facing a real and dangerous challenge in Europe. The European Union is unfortunately convinced that labour and trade union rights must be rolled back in order to disassemble social Europe’s achievements thus far. The fight in defence of social Europe has become global, as other regions look toawards Europe.

The European Union pushes for ever closer national economic coordination through the new process of Economic Governance. This recently engaged process effectively translates into austerity policies, very high unemployment, and making life difficult for the unions.

UNI Europa fights to stop the imposition of a neo-liberal agenda that imposes structural reforms as the only alternative. Negative effects and dire consequences of this agenda are mapped out in the ‘Chamber of Horrors of EU Economic Governance’, recently adopted by the UNI Europa Executive Committee meeting.

Ongoing negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement with the USA place the services industry centre stage as the neo-liberal agenda would like to impose further liberalisation in the trade of services with worrying consequences for workers and unions on both sides of the Atlantic.

The European Commission drags Social Europe backwards, chipping away at union rights and questioning the fundamental role of trade unions as co-legislators.

Oliver Roethig reported on sectoral developments: “UNI Europa Finance is making everything possible to avoid bankers and speculators running away with the money. We are fighting to reclaim the money to serve the real economy and the workers. In face of the brutal closure of the public broadcaster, ERT, in Greece, POSPERT received in expression of solidarity, the Free from Fear Award of UNI Global Union. UNI Europa Commerce has actively engaged to stop the ever-increasing pressure to apply anti-workers and anti-union measures in the search of retail competitiveness. UNI Europa Post and Logistics, gathers examples of failed postal liberalisation processes to convince governments to change course.”

Reporting on cross-sectoral matters, Oliver Roethig mentioned the significant effort of UNI Europa in setting out a vision for the services industry encompassing services sectors employing skilled staff in decent and inclusive jobs: the Services Manifesto. The Manifesto will also be used to raise awareness on our demands for services sectors in view of the upcoming European elections and serve as a basis for a comprehensive research process for the services industry in the years to come.

Roethig said: “UNI Europa prioritises the setting up of Trade Union Alliances in multinational companies. In order to strengthen and organise trade union power at the European and global levels, we need trade union alliances and enhanced cooperation through European Works Councils. Europe must capitalise on the comparatively positive situation of established trade union power and institutionalised collective bargaining structures. This positive situation must be used to limit membership decline.”

UNI Global Union General Secretary, Philip Jennings said: “Services represent added value in terms of jobs but indeed there is no coherent policy over the services industry globally. The Services Manifesto is a first step in our efforts to coordinate and set out a global vision for the services industry.
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Labour Relations and Power in Global Production Networks
The Global Production Network (GPN) approach constitutes a novel and innovative perspective for the analysis of social, political, economic, and cultural phenomena related to transnational production. The shift from a “chain” to a “network”-metaphor in analysis of global production introduced new theoretical and conceptual issues to the debate and has informed various disciplines. For instance, there is a very fruitful discussion on the question how power, value and embeddedness are interrelated and measured on different scales. Also, questions of labour relations, workers movements, and social standards come into the analytical picture. Concerning the evaluation of shifts in GPNs, concepts of industrial versus social upgrading and their effects on labour, racism and gender relations are discussed.

In order to enrich these debates, the aim of the conference is to bring together different theoretical perspectives as well as empirical research in the field. We want to discuss the GPN framework from a variety of angles, including heterodox perspectives, such as post-colonial and post-structuralist approaches, and examine methodological as well as theoretical challenges.

Papers may want to address the following questions:

How do we conceptualise and measure “power” in production relations within network analysis? How do we understand the relation between networks and their environment? How is inequality (re-)produced in and through Global Production Networks? Where do actors and ideas that change GPNs emerge from? What can workers movements learn from GPN-Analysis?Among the panellists are: Gale Raj-Reichert (Manchester), Martin Hess (Manchester), Michael Fichter (Berlin), Stephanie Barrientos (Manchester), Christoph Scherrer (Kassel), Marcus Taylor (Kingston) (tbc), Mark Anner (Pennsylvania) (tbc), Hariati Sinaga (Kassel), Katherine Joynt (Witwatersrand), Lisa Carstensen (Kassel), Christian Scheper (Duisburg).

We especially want to encourage PhD students and young scholars to present their projects.
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DLF Ltd.

DLF Labour Hutment
While all the big developers focus only on providing world-class facilities to their buyers DLF carried its social responsibility initiatives to the construction work sites in Gurgaon once it started construction of the DLF Township. At DLF it was felt that even though there had been tremendous improvement in construction technology and quality it was distressing to note that the people who actually make all the glitzy buildings were a neglected lot and often required to do so in inhuman conditions. The sight of construction workers and their children living in jhuggies without even the basic facilities at most of the construction sites is not uncommon. At DLF it was their constant endeavor to improve the living conditions of their construction workers by providing them all the basic necessities at the site itself by efficient and effective space management. DLF seized the initiative in this respect and became a pioneer in providing all necessary facilities to its construction workers on site when it tied up with Laing O Rourke for construction projects. It was decided that before commencement of the construction a suitable location be identified on site for construction of hutments to house the workforce for the entire duration of the project. Instead of constructing makeshift or temporary accommodation DLF sanctioned hefty budgets to build a mix of cemented hutments and dormitories for the workers. The entire labour hutment area was paved to ensure easy access even during the monsoons and the work of sanitation and housekeeping was outsourced to a third party namely M/s Lion Services. All the residential accommodation at the DLF labour hutment site is provided with electricity, water, fans, beds and linen and separate areas have been provided for toilets and washing. In order to take care of the children of the workers mobile crèches have been made available on site through a strategic tie up with an NGO named Mobile Creches. A subsidized canteen manned by a third party has also been made available on site to ensure hygienic and good quality food on site. Medical help is available on site along with a 24-hour ambulance to take care of emergencies. In order to improve the skills of the workers as well as train potential workers on site a non-profit residential "Apprentice Training Centre" for imparting skills in carpentry and masonry was started.

Rural Primary Health Centres
In March 2007, DLF decided to focus on another hitherto neglected but vital area – rural healthcare. It was decided to set up Rural Primary Health Centres in villages to provide free medical consultancy, health checkups and subsidized medicines to the villagers. The first Primary Health Centre was set up at Village Shikohpur in August 2007 in association with an NGO Deepalaya. It is proposed to set up six such centres in the present financial year.

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Gramin Vikas Samiti (GVS)

Labor empowerment
Labors were not getting job as well as unemployment wages In Damoh district. GVS raised the issues at district headquarter with the deprived community and gave memorandum to the collector in public hearing under MNREGA, which is the first example of such kind in district Damoh. Labors who are working in horticulture department who are working since 20 years on daily wages and are not allowed to go on leave on national festivals even on Sundays and were working like slaves. GVS highlighted the issue and they start getting holidays during Sunday and other national festivals.

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Mobile Creches for Working Mothers Children

The starting point of our work was the child on construction sites. Reaching out to various players in the construction sector, therefore, continues to be a critical component of our programme. The two main players are the Workers and the Builders. The Construction Industry employs around 30 million workers (NSSO,2005), 82% of which are unskilled workers.
They work in extremely hazardous conditions; unequal wages are paid to men and women; childcare, health and educational opportunities are completely absent as are maternity benefits for women. 25% of unskilled workers are women. A ‘guesstimate’ puts the number of children of construction workers around 60 lakhs. By the same arithmetic there are 2 lakh of them in Delhi/NCR, with at least 10% - 20,000 children – at the large project sites.
Creches on work sites are critical for the health and development of the child, education of the older sibling and an essential support for the woman worker. A national campaign to fight for workers' rights saw fruition with the passing of the Building and Other Construction Workers (BOCW) Act, 1996. The 1996 Act created a Welfare Board in the state, a Worker Registration process and a Welfare Fund. The implementation has seen some success in the southern states. In Delhi, however, the Welfare Board rarely meets, the worker registration process is slow and cumbersome and the Welfare Fund has hundreds of crores, with little benefit to the worker. Women and children's issues continue to get low priority.

Partnering with Builders: Factors that decide Mobile Creches' intervention on a building site include the numbers and ages of children at the site, duration of the project and the nature of contractor support. Negotiations with the builder over adequate personnel and cost-sharing take 2-4 months. Non-negotiable elements include minimum wages to the childcare worker and provision of adequate physical infrastructure (water, electricity, a safe enclosure, three rooms, kitchen and toilet) and support in the form of at least 25% of the running cost.

Gurgaon has developers with big budget projects and relatively large profit margins; they are willing to contribute up to 60-70% of the cost of childcare at the sites. In the “traditional MC Model”, MC takes full responsibility of providing the daycare services - equipment, food, staff, and day-to-day management. The last 10 years, however, have seen a tangible change in MC’s positioning on the “responsibility of the builder”. Complete ownership has few takers: Shapoorji Pallonji, Bestech Group and Amrapali Group, are among the handful who have moved in this direction.

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