Global Unions Demand Response from IMF and World Bank Re: Food and Financial Crises

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Global Unions Demand Response from IMF and World Bank Re: Food and Financial Crises




Brussels, 05 October 2008 (ITUC OnLine):

With the spreading financial crisis likely to take centre stage at the upcoming annual meetings of the World Bank and IMF in Washington on 11-13 October, the global trade union movement is urging the international financial institutions (IFIs) not to overlook the millions of low-income workers whose buying power has declined drastically because of food and fuel price hikes. By the World Bank’s estimate, the price surges will add 100 million to the number of extreme poor in the world, which the Bank recently adjusted upward to 1.4 billion before the food and financial crises.

“If vigorous action is not taken, the Millennium Development Goals such as halving global poverty by 2015 will not be attained. The IMF and World Bank must increase and expedite aid to the developing countries suffering the consequences of the food, fuel, and now, the financial crisis,” said ITUC general secretary Guy Ryder. “Global Unions are pleased that the IFIs are responding to the crises with emergency aid, but they should reconsider previous IFI policies that have contributed to food security problems, for example, and change them accordingly.”

Ryder added, “The IFIs must ensure that none of those suffering from food price hikes suffer even more because of certain policy measures they put forward.” In its statement for the IFIs’ meetings , the ITUC and other Global Unions organizations point out that the elimination of subsidies to reduce prices of basic foodstuffs in favour of greater “targeting” of aid, which the IFIs have proposed, can result in many of the needy losing access to assistance. The statement also recommends that the IFIs support increased minimum wages and the protection of freedom of association so that workers can seek to prevent further deterioration of their real incomes through collective bargaining.

[url=]Read the rest (ITUC)[/url]


*gigglesnort* The IMF will just say the cure-all is another structural readjustment program, really.


[url=]1,000 Layoffs At Essar Steel Algoma?[/url] Sault Sainte Marie, Ontario

quote: has learned that up to 1000 people may be receiving pink slips at Essar Algoma Steel in the near future.

According to a reliable source to, some workers were notified by the company on Thursday. attempted to contact Brenda Stenta, communications officer for the company, however the call was not returned. The layoffs at this point have not been confirmed.

Mike DaPrat, president of USW Local 2251 told that he has been informed that the company will make an announcement on the operations either today or tomorrow, but could not confirm any layoffs.

"At this point, I have not heard of any numbers," DaPrat said Friday afternoon. "Right now we're short staffed, so I don't know how this would play out." . . .

[ 10 October 2008: Message edited by: Fidel ]


[url=]Essar Steel to [b]Slash Production by 50%,[/b] Over 1000 Layoffs Possible[/url] [b]1750 jobs[/b] now at risk. (iow's, Essar's management waiting for the Tories and Liberals to win elections before officially announcing the damage)

I think we can expect the second coming of a somewhat neutered Brian Baloney this time and propped up by that other wing of the party. Liberal, Tory, it's the same old story.


[url=]No givebacks, 2251 boss tells Essar - DaPrat says company goes too far by asking union for permanent changes to contract[/url]


Efforts by Essar Steel Algoma and its largest union to agree on a strategy to avoid layoffs appear to have soured.

Union leaders charge the steelmaker has gone too far in asking for permanent contract changes.

Mike DaPrat, president of United Steelworkers Local 2251, representing roughly two-thirds of Essar Steel Algoma's workforce, told members at a meeting Thursday he is not willing to budge on a list of company requests.

Those include what appear to be lasting changes to an income security plan that shores up employment insurance payments for those laid off, he said.

"If they want to talk about getting help from us, we're there, but if they want to talk concessions (that are) permanent, we're not," DaPrat told media during a scrum following the meeting, held at the Great Northern Conference Centre. . .

A week ago, Essar Steel Algoma posted layoff notices for all its 3,500 employees, as required under the Employment Standards Act.

In the meantime, the company has removed outside contractors and slashed overtime under a plan that includes the idling of the recently refurbished No. 6 blast furnace.

17 of 30-some blast furnaces idle across North America. Multinationals know when to put the bite on workers.