Strikes in the global South show peoples asserting their rights: Page 2 of 2

Posted on 31 January 2019

Nagkahiusang Mamumuo sa Suyapa Farms union of banana plantation workers at Sumifru Corporation, asserting rights to regular employment and against repression under military rule in Southern Philippines. [xix] The Sumitomo Corporation, the Japan-based transnational corporation and conglomerate owning Sumifru, is 85 th among the biggest non-financial corporations in the world, ranked by foreign assets, according to UN Conference on Trade and Development data. [xx]

Workers and social transformation

Workers’ political and economic rights remain under attack as struggles for wages and larger claims to people’s sovereignty start to resound in some parts of the global South. A 2018 International Trade Union Confederation report points to how 54 of 142 countries obstruct workers’ free speech and assembly. Sixty-five percent of the same number of countries excludes some workers’ groups from labour law, while 87% have at some point violated the right to strike. Eighty-one percent deny at least some workers’ collective bargaining rights. [xxi]

Workers, together with other toiling sectors, are important actors in today’s world marked by rising inequality.  Strikes and other forms of collective assertions are essential means through which workers and toiling sectors assert their political, social and economic rights. Workers defence and assertions of their rights are steps forward in their huge role in larger processes of social transformation towards democratically-owned development in the global South. ###