September 2016


Trade unions - Rebuild, renew, resist
A relic of a bygone era - or a billion-strong social movement fighting for workers' rights everywhere? The reality of trade unionism today falls somewhere in between. In the Western world, union-busting laws, globalization and internal conflicts have left many trade unions reeling. In some countries of the Global South, trade unionists face discrimination, danger and even death. Meanwhile, workers' rights are being sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed gone mad: zero-contract hours, sub-contracting, privatization, outsourcing and special economic zones are all part of a 'race to the bottom' being run by transnationals concerned only about their profits.

Yet all is not lost. From Colombia to China, Bangladesh to Barcelona, workers are still fighting for their rights - and, sometimes, winning. This issue, New Internationalist looks at the state of the unions, how they need to adapt to the new reality for workers in the 21st century, and why they are more important than ever.


しかし、希望はまだある。コロンビアから中国、バングラデシュからバルセロナまで、労働者たちは自らの権利のために闘い、しばしば勝利を手にしている。今月のNew Internationalistでは、労働組合の現状、21世紀の労働者に必要な新たな現実への対処方法、かつてないほど高まっている労働組合の必要性について報告する。






Stories making the news this month
6 Russia's witch-hunt against Valentina Cherevatenko
6 Racism bites in Britain
7 Afghanistan's rebel verse
7 Introducing Virginia Raggi
7 Grassroots growers in Venezuela
8 'Bright spots' for Pacific reefs
8 Domestic slavery persists in India
9 Sun sets on Japanese media freedom
9 Top-ups for refugees in Europe
PLUS: Scratchy Lines by cartoonist Simon Kneebone and Reasons to be Cheerful.

The Big Story -
Trade unions: rebuild, renew, resist

10 Still standing or standing still?
Jo Lateu considers the state of the unions, and argues that a revival has already begun.
13 We know what we’re against. But what are we for?
Rob Lambert explains how one Global South alliance is developing a grassroots alternative to neoliberalism.

15 A migrant’s story
Trade unions aren’t even on the radar of most of London’s poorly treated hospitality workers. But a union could help them find their voice, as Afrika explains.

16 Trade unions - the facts

18 ‘We need to be on the right side of history’
Danny Chivers talks to Anabella Rosemberg of the International Trade Union Confederation about putting climate change on the labour movement’s agenda.

20 Taking matters into their own hands
Labour rights in post-socialist countries such as Russia, China and Vietnam are being fought for from outside, not within, official trade unions. Tim Pringle reports.

22 The fight goes on...
Workers’ struggles and successes from around the globe.

24 Out of the ashes of Rana Plaza
The factory collapse in 2013 caused an international outcry - but have labour conditions improved? Thulsi Narayanasamy reports from Bangladesh.

28 How not to build peace
Louisa Waugh has seen UN peacekeeping in action, but wonders if there are better ways for it to meet its aims.
30 Welcoming the digital residents
Estonia has found an innovative way to boost its population and its economy, discovers Haley Joelle Ott.

33 Kate Smurthwaite Progress is not inevitable.
PLUS Polyp’s Big Bad World cartoon.

Mixed Media
34 Film reviews
The Lovers and the Despot, directed and written by Ross Adam and Robert Cannan; The Confession, directed by Ashish Ghadiali.
35 Music reviews
NYN by Kristi Stassinopoulou and Stathis Kalyviotis; ‘They Will Kill You, If You Cry’ by Khmer Rouge Survivors.
36 Book reviews
Turkey: The Insane and the Melancholy by Ece Temelkuran; The Seamstress and the Wind by César Aira; Remembering Akbar by Behrooz Ghamari; Irregular War by Paul Rogers.
PLUS Also out there...

4 Letters
Walmart’s billions; measuring coasts; and off-putting language.
PLUS Open Window, with guest cartoonist Sherif Arafa from Egypt.
5 Letter from Beirut
There is a new hope and energy in the air, writes Reem Haddad from Lebanon.
26 Country Profile: Uganda
32 Making Waves: Sakena Yacoobi
Veronique Mistiaen meets Afghanistan’s ‘mother of education’.
38 And Finally
Author Jay Griffiths talks to Graeme Green about depression, hiking and the politics of kindness.




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