Decent Work

COLOMBIA: Court Workers’ Strike Continues Despite Ultimatum

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe has invoked emergency powers to break up a 42-day strike by the country’s court workers, announcing that as of Tuesday, any judge, prosecutor or other judicial employee who does not show up at work may be dismissed.

COLOMBIA: Sugar Workers Strike for Basic Rights

"We sugar cane cutters are neither delinquents nor terrorists; we are honest workers demanding respect for our rights," say Colombia’s cane harvesters, who have been on strike since Sept. 15, demanding basic rights.

A teachers strike leaves children outside the classroom. Credit: Mohammed Omer

MIDEAST: Teachers Trapped Between Fatah and Hamas

A strike call has trapped thousands of teachers between Fatah unions and a Hamas government.

CHILE: Salmon Farm Workers Left Out in the Cold

While non-governmental organisations appreciate the Chilean government's efforts to improve hygiene and environmental conditions in the salmon industry, they are calling for an end to the expansion of salmon farming and solutions for thousands of workers who lost their jobs because of a crisis in the sector.

LABOUR-EL SALVADOR: Near Universal Poverty Wages

Eighty-one percent of the economically active population of El Salvador do not earn decent wages, and two out of three young people are under- or unemployed, according to the 2007-2008 Human Development Report on this Central American country.

LATIN AMERICA: Big Debates Over Small and Medium Enterprises

Microbusinesses and small and medium enterprises in Latin America remain a valid path for maintaining and improving economic growth and fighting poverty, while the spotlight in the region shines on summits, conflicts and major political problems such as integration or energy security.

GREECE: Migrant Workers in Historic Strike

It was a day when migrant workers said they had had enough.

LABOUR-SERBIA: Now May Day Means Mobbing

From the days of celebrating workers on May Day, the day now brings reminder of a new practice of mobbing among Serbia's workers.

AFRICA: South Africa Welcomes Cuban Doctors

For more than a decade, Cuban doctors have filled part of a gap left by South African doctors who in large numbers leave the country looking for better salaries and employment opportunities.

NICARAGUA: Fighting Over Society’s Scraps

Thousands of people who eke out a living by selling recyclable trash scavenged from the municipal dump in the Nicaraguan capital are staging a protest over control of the city’s waste, blocking access to the dump by the garbage trucks.

RIGHTS-ANGOLA: Free Rein for Human Traffickers

There is little awareness on the problem of trafficking in persons, mainly women and children, in Angola, and no laws for cracking down on the growing phenomenon.

ECONOMY: Workers Will Pay the Costs of Global Crisis

International union leaders warned representatives of governments and employers, and World Bank President Robert Zoellick, that the burden of the current financial turmoil will fall on the world’s workers.

ARGENTINA: Unemployment Declining at Two Different Speeds

Argentine companies are competing for professionals and technically skilled employees, and are even hiring students who have not yet graduated, as demand for qualified workers exceeds supply. But the reverse is true among less-skilled workers.

 Credit: Federal University of Santa Catarina

BRAZIL: Small Fishermen Trade in Nets for Oyster Farms

In a modest restaurant on a beach at the southern tip of the Brazilian island of Florianópolis, a couple celebrates, with champagne and oysters, "one more year of vacations and love."

Conceiçao Gonçalves feels out of place in the "urban village".  Credit: Mario Osava/IPS

BRAZIL: Keeping Indigenous Identity Intact in “Urban Village”

"I desperately want to go back. I feel like I’m living in a prison here, but I stay on because I love my children," says Conceição Gonçalves, who misses the indigenous village of Taunay where she lived until last year, when she moved to the capital of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul.

PERU: Poverty Provides Growing Number of ‘Drug Mules’

Anti-drug police at Peru’s "Jorge Chávez" international airport in Lima have had their hands full over the last year, arresting nearly two "mules" a day, each carrying an average of five kg of pure cocaine.

RIGHTS: Activists Demand that Spain Sign Convention Against Human Trafficking

Spain is among the countries most heavily affected by human trafficking, yet it has still not signed the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings, although the socialist government has promised to do so.

LATIN AMERICA: Rural Women Forge Their Own Path in Microenterprise

Rural women from five Andean countries presented their successful microenterprises as part of a regional competition for female crafts and food producers, which also served as an opportunity for sharing the life stories of these leaders in the struggle against poverty.

US-MEXICO: Bad Year for Immigrants

More than one Mexican a day died this year while attempting to cross the U.S. border, and there are no prospects for that number to drop over the next year. In the last three years alone, nearly 1,500 people have died this way.

LATIN AMERICA: The Hand that Rocks the Cradle… Forfeits Equal Pay

To avoid reproducing gender inequality, governments should implement integrated policies that recognise, for instance, the unpaid work done by women, according to an ECLAC report on the fulfilment of the third Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

RIGHTS-CHILE: Workers’ Massacre More Relevant Than Ever 100 Years On

Dec. 21 will be the 100th anniversary of a massacre of thousands of striking workers of the then-flourishing saltpetre industry in northern Chile, carried out by military troops on the order of the government, an event known as the massacre of the Santa María de Iquique school.

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