A fight for the position of Secretary-General divides the ITUC ahead of the World Congress in December. Where some see a choice between diplomacy and activism, others say it’s a question of internal democracy.
“The idea is to integrate technology into the fight for workers’ rights,” says Ira Rachmawati. As project manager with ITUC’s division for human and workers’ rights, she has led the development of the digital tool Recruitment Advisor
, which the global trade union confederation hopes will improve conditions for the world’s 150 million migrant workers.
“Isn’t it cool? I get some hostile looks when I walk around in it, but other people come up asking where they can buy one,” Josua Mata says of his T-shirt, which reads “Resist dictatorship”. He is the Secretary General of the labour union umbrella organisation Sentro and does not hold back when he speaks about the Philippines’ hard-line president, Rodrigo Duterte.
There is a compact silence surrounding how the corruption scandal affects ILO’s work on developing a plan to change the UN body.
Garment factories lie side by side along the freeway leading into the capital, Dhaka. But between the concrete blocks, a square, uninhabited piece of land is overgrown with greenery. This is where Rana Plaza used to be. Shirin Akhter, 18, turns her eyes away.