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How to set up training activities on Europe and globalisation_


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									                                                                     Activity Sheet 3

                                                   Aim

                                                  The aim of this group work is to clearly establish the link(s) between
How to set up training activities on Europe and

                                                  globalisation and the experiences and concerns of union activists 'in the
 Turin 15-18 September 2005 – PED 552.36

                                                          In other words, the goal is to combat the fairly widespread
                                                          tendency to consider globalisation as a foreign problem, a
                                                          problem that is divorced from and even in competition with
                                                          national and sectoral union priorities.

                                                   Tasks
                                                     1. Discuss how globalisation affects the everyday lives of workers
                                                        using the 6 underlying principles of table 1
                                                     2. Discuss how globalisation is transforming the way in which
                                                        national unions are organised and operate, and their ability to

                                                        achieve their objectives. How are they reacting (or not)? (See
                                                        table 2)
                                                  These discussions should focus on the similarities and, where
                                                  appropriate, the differences between different countries.

                                                        Presentations during the morning session (M. Ben Chibani &
                                                         Enrico Cairola)
                                                        European Social Heritage document
                                                        Individual group members' experiences of the social reality and
                                                         the union situation in their respective countries.

                                                  Groups may use tables such as those enclosed as a basis for their
                                                  discussions. Please focus only on those aspects that the group
                                                  considers to be essential.

                                                  The working session will last 90 minutes

                                                  Groups should start summing up their findings to establish what they
                                                  consider are the priority issues.

                                  Table 1
                      National impact of globalisation
                       (on workers' everyday lives)

All the main achievements of union action during the 19 th and 20th
centuries, which are shared almost everywhere in Europe but are largely
ignored (and envied) almost everywhere else, include the following six
different categories:

   1. Social security borne out of different forms of mutual insurance of
      risks (illness, accidents at work, unemployment, retirement), social
      insurance tools, solidarity and distribution of income.
   2. Collective agreements (= the right to engage in collective
      bargaining): instead of approaching an employer alone, the balance
      of power is more equal if an employee joins forces with other
      workers when approaching management.
   3. Civil liberties and universal suffrage: for a long time only landowners
      were entitled to vote. This privilege was gradually whittled away,
      but not without resistance; men were the first to receive the vote,
      followed some time afterwards by women, and eventually, migrant
      workers. History shows that social and political rights go hand in
      hand and are interdependent.
   4. Education for all: in the 19th century, child labour (from the age of 6
      or 7 years) was commonplace, but it was abolished by legislation
      banning the practice and by the availability of Free State education
      (at first up to the ages of 10 or 12, but subsequently for older
      children too).
   5. Social legislation: in the 19th century, the business world considered
      itself the only element of society qualified to run the economy and
      companies. It took a long political and social battle to bring about
      social legislation that applied to all companies (working time,
      occupational health and safety, vocational training, equal treatment
      and so forth).
   6. Public services which guarantee everybody decent access to basic
      services, such as water, energy, transport, education, health, social
      protection for people of all ages, culture and so forth. All these
      services are essential for a life of dignity.

    Impact of globalisation on workers' everyday lives
                                                  Spain: Financial problems with
                                                  funding increased number of
                                                  claimants due to rise
                                                  Belgium: Similar-Claims v Payee,
                                                  Pressure on workers(time, out
                                                  put),Labour expensive, union
                                                  wants alternative-taxation
                                                  Morocco: Accidents is paid by
                                                  insurance scheme.
                                                  Losing labour inspector.
        1. Social security                        Hungary: High unemployment
                                                  grown.600 000
                                                  Portugal: Unemployment
                                                  growing. Companies shutting
                                                  Labour cost competition,
                                                  immigrant workers. Raising
                                                  retirement age.
                                                  Romania- pensions
                                                  unemployment-many Romanians
                                                  working abroad-effects funding
                                                  Migration can cause a decline in
                                                  collective bargaining power.
                                                  Illegal workers have poor
                                                  conditions. Different patterns of
                                                  negotiations. Large % of union
                                                  membership in 1 union.
                                                  Movement to small and medium
                                                  business. Business moving away
                                                  from problem unions. Low labour
        2. Right to collective
                                                  costs elsewhere.
                                                  Marocco:Tri-Partite: union, gov.,
                                                  M-CDT encouraging collective
                                                  Romania: Multinational
                                                  companies and international
                                                  financial organization that try to
                                                  limited rights to collective
                                                  Lots of people not got right to
                                                  vote. Cycle unemployment-
        3. Civil liberties and universal
                                                  poverty-lack of influence to
                                                  improve situation.
                                                  Therefore influence of business

                                                  P: immigrants have less
                                                  influence to vote.
                                                  M: 2 elections.
                                                  Immigrants have right to vote-
                                                  not elected working in more.
                                                  B: immigrants can vote on social
                                                  elections union wants to give
                                                  rights at other levels.
                                                  S: Illegal/legal cant vote law for
                                                  illegal migrants - can’t
                                                  participate in T-U.
                                                  R: 5 national T.U. -solve
                                                  member problems.
                                                  S: No problems.
                                                  E: civil liberties affected by
                                                  global events and there portrayal
                                                  in the media .leading to racial
                                                  tension and opening door for
                                                  right wing parties.
                                                  R: problems with resources,
                                                  materials don’t think they have
                                                  B: social segregation-how do we
                                                  help? Problem with management
                                                  of schools.
                                                  P: Education of Ethnic children is
                                                  problem-should invest more to
                                                  deal with situation. Financial
                                                  contributions to university
                                                  African population has problem-
                                                  education and social.
                                                  H: good education system but
        4. Education for all                      split by poverty e.g. high
                                                  university costs.
                                                  M: State encourages education.
                                                  Private university causing split
                                                  between “have” and “have not”
                                                  child labour-not allowed to work
                                                  until 15 and then have to be
                                                  apprentice until 18 T.U. want
                                                  better vocational training for
                                                  those left behind by system.
                                                  Problems with costs. Need for
                                                  better system.
                                                  S: Education obligatory until 16.
                                                  Discrimination. Teachers need
                                                  specific training.
                                                  R: Good laws annual review of
                                                  policies/agreement etc.
                                                  P pushing down benefits to
                                                  Difference between what should
                                                  be and what is actually
                                                  H: privatisation of public sector.
                                                  Unions not enough in influence.
                                                  Pension system changed.
                                                  M: Companies obliged to set up
        5. Social legislation                     committees to verify what
                                                  company is doing.
                                                  B: Good legislation. Gap between
                                                  good contracts and sub
                                                  contractors-illegal workers.
                                                  S: similar .law v .reality
                                                  M: Excuse that business can’t
                                                  afford change.
                                                  E: Good laws-difficult to police
                                                  enforce, difficult to get European
                                                  legislation introduced into
                                                  member state without change
                                                  Public service but some
                                                  B: Problem with privatisation by
                                                  way of insurance e.g. health.
                                                  M: Everything semi-public. Social
                                                  security clinics.
                                                  H: Possible cut the railway
        6. Public services
                                                  Price rise, line closure could
                                                  P: Role of gov. - lots of
                                                  inefficiencies cross border
                                                  financial flow. Less public
                                                  service. Trend to privatisation.
                                                  R: Increase unemployment, lack
                                                  low wages in public sector.
                                                  -Cultural identity, religion etc…
                                                  -Lifestyle not standard.
        7. Other areas                            -psychological effects insecure
                                                  -gender debate.

                                 Table 2
                    National impact of globalisation
                   (On union action and organisation)

The report may focus on two main areas:

   1. Does globalisation affect union action? (If so, how?)
   2. Are unions changing the way they operate and
      organise as a result? (If so, how?)

It may be helpful to categorise the answers to these questions into 3

      Companies, workers' representatives
      Professional sector
      Confederations, multisector unionism

The group report should take the following form:

Impact of globalisation on union action and organisation

Is union action affected by globalisation?
(If so, how?)

Companies, workers'

Professional sector

Confederations, intersectoral

Are unions changing the way they operate and organise? (If
so, how?)

Company, workers'

Professional sector

Confederations, intersectoral unionism


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