RESOURCES FOR WORK AND LIFE:
ONLINE EDUCATION FROM THE IUF:
The IUF is an international union federation that covers food, farm and hotel workers worldwide. As part of their services they provide a wealth of information on various topics that affect both workers and consumers. Here are a few of the resources they provide:
INTERNATIONAL CALL FOR STRONG REGULATION OF NANOTECHNOLOGY:
The IUF along with 44 national and international public health and policy, environmental and trade union organizations have launched a call for strong, comprehensive regulatory oversight at all levels of nanotechnology and its products. A wide range of products containing engineered nanoparticles are already commercially available, and more are scheduled for commercial release as corporations invest massively in the technology, despite the well documented risks to human health and the environment. There is no way to measure the presence of nanoparticles in the workplace, let alone test for exposure. The technology, says the coalition, poses specific risks with specific regulatory oversight. The coalition presents 8 fundamental principles that they believe should be observed for the necessary oversight of this technology. To access the introduction to this report, 'Principles for the Oversight of Nanotechnologies and Nanomaterials' click HERE.
BIRD FLU AND YOU:
H5N1 OUTBREAK IN INDIA HIGHLIGHTS PERSISTENCE OF GLOBAL THREAT:
The H5N1 virus, popularly known as "avian flu" or "bird flu" is a persistent lurking threat that could yet break out into a worldwide pandemic. The first people likely to be affected by such a pandemic are agricultural and food workers, and the IUF has prepared a position paper on this issue under the heading of workplace safety. This paper, 'Avian Influenza (H5N1) and Agricultural and Food Workers:Rights,Risks, Public Policy Issues' can be seen by clicking HERE and following the links.
"LEVERAGED BUYOUTS" AND HOW THEY AFFECT YOU:
THE HARSH WORLD OF LEVERAGED BUYOUTS HAS SUDDENLY GOTTEN HARSHER:
Leveraged buyout is a term whereby easy credit is used to buy public companies in what are called "private equity" deals whereby quick profits are made via fast financial transactions that create no new productive forces and often damage the object of the takeover. Why should anybody care about this unless they are a stockholder ? Because the pressure on the credit market and the results of the takeovers mean increased cost cutting-hence layoffs, speedups,etc.- that affects the work life of the workers employed by target companies. Also the drain on credit produced by these takeovers is a contributing factor to such things as the "subprime mortgage debacle" in the USA. The IUF has produced a primer for those who want to learn more about this matter and how it may affect them. To see the introduction and access 'A Worker's Guide to Private Equity Buyouts' click HERE.
Finally, on a somewhat different note:
WHERE TO SPEND YOUR VACATION:
THE GLOBAL HOTEL MONITOR:
Most of us consider little more than cost and convenience when choosing a hotel when we go on vacation. There is, however, another factor to consider-how does the hotel treat its employees. A hotel that is stingy with its workforce will probably be stingy with its guests as well. Also, nobody likes the simple injustice. The Global Hotel Monitor is a website that gives the consumer alerts as to which hotels worldwide have either actual or potential labour disputes at a given time. Best to check this site before booking a vacation. You don't want to contribute to anti-union management, and you don't want to be unpleasantly surprised by getting out of a taxi in front of a picket line. Contribute to global justice and do yourself a good turn at the same time. Sounds good.