Affiliate Pages|IFWEA Executive Committee

                                                               Our Vision

A world where all working people have access to lifelong learning opportunities which enable them to claim and exercise their inalienable democratic rights, responsibilities and freedoms as global citizens.


                                                                Our Aim

To Build a Global Knowledge Community which facilitates global co-operation between worker educators so as to advance the frontiers of knowledge, education methodology and practises of democratic worker organisations promoting freedom, justice and equality for all. 



IFWEA Affiliate and Secretariat News

SOUTH AFRICA - Women on Farms Project Protest

"After Francois Smit's interim interdict to prevent the community's right to lawful protest was suspended in the High Court, the community have vowed to have daily pickets outside his BP garage. Mr Smit and his expensive teams of lawyers and advocates should note that the Gatherings Act allows pickets of 15 or fewer people without giving notice."

SOUTH AFRICA `Towards an Education Association" Workshop, Cape Town 11th to 12th March 2017

The 'Study Circles for Social Change' programme held a workshop with 25 study circle facilitators for 2 days. The study circle facilitators engaged about the need, structure and programme of the association they would like to establish.

GLOBAL - SOUTH AFRICA: International Women's Day (IWD)

The "ICANTKEEPQUIET" study circle commemorated IWD in Cape Town at Community House by singing the Womens' March on Washington Solidarity Anthem that they have been learning.

NEPAL: CLASS Nepal's Goma Pandey begins "Study Circle" Course via Online Labour Academy

Goma Pandey of CLASS Nepal has started the orientation of the online course on Study Circles. Wish them success on the learning journey.

INDIA: Indian Academy for Self-Employed Workers (IASEW) begins Women's Leadership Online Course

IFWEA Executive Member and Director of IASEW Namrata Bali conducts a lecture during first session of women's leadership skill online course supported by IFWEA. See the videos of the first sessions and join IASEW on Facebook

USA "Who'll be our next Labor Secretary?" Marketplace Morning Report featuring IFWEA President Sue Schurman

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST "Who'll be our next Labor Secretary? SMLR Distinguished Professor Sue Schurman weighs in on the issue during an interview with Marketplace."

THAILAND, INDIA and SOUTH AFRICA "Informal Workers' Access To Healthcare

'This video by WIEGO and partners, Asiye eTafuleni(AeT) in South Africa; HomeNet Thailand; and the Self-Employed Women's Association in India tells the stories of informal workers and the difficulties they face in accessing health services in their respective countries. It also presents some of the solutions that each of these organizations has developed to mitigate against these barriers to access.

USA - Rutgers University School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) Informs Coverage of Trump Administration's Labor Policy featuring IFWEA President Prof. Sue Schurman

"National news organizations are turning to the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR) to inform their coverage of the Trump Administration’s labor policy... In recent interviews and op-eds, seven faculty members in SMLR’s Department of Labor Studies and Employment Relations have discussed what the nation’s changing political landscape could mean for collective bargaining, healthcare, labor unions, minimum wage earners, worker protections, and more."

UK - Workers' Educational Association (WEA UK) Festival Of Learning

"There's just one week to go before nominations open for this year's Festival of Learning. Which learner, tutor, employer or project will you be nominating for an award? "

GLOBAL - UGANDA, NIGER, NEPAL, PHILIPPINES, COLOMBIA via International Transport Workers' Federation

"Informal transport workers are being heard! See how these workers are running the only public transport in some countries, and how ITF unions are helping them to influence law-makers, policy-makers and city planners."

PERU - PLADES (Programa Laboral de Desarrollo)

"El Sindicato Único de Vendedores de Golosinas de Arequipa ha ido mejorando con el tiempo, la experiencia y conocimiento que han ganado y ahora su sindicato cuenta desde hace muchos años con un cargo en el Comité Ejecutivo de la Federación Departamental de Trabajadores de Arequipa. Ahora tienen Ordenanzas Municipales que reconocen su derecho al puesto de trabajo, a un salario mensual y a la renovación anual."

SOUTH AFRICA - Women on Farms

"Congratulations to the following matriculants who are part of our Young Women's Programme who excelled in their final Grade 12 exams!"

GLOBAL - NEWS from UNESCO: "REPORT: “Skills, Jobs and Sustainable Development: Global Trends and Local Challenges” UNESCO-Cedefop Global Skills Conference" by Louise Walsh

'What skills does the digital economy demand when work itself is changing in design and execution, creating chaos and opportunity? As new technology transforms jobs, occupations and even whole sectors, most recently transport and hospitality (e.g. Uber and Airbnb), how should policy-makers and decision-makers respond? Tackling and talking about today’s realities and their social impact were representatives from more than 50 countries and 40 NGOs at the UNESCO-Cedefop Global Skills Conference. Anchoring the sessions were two United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that fit UNESCO’s focus on education and skills. SDGs 4 and 8 call for inclusive and quality education, lifelong learning, sustainable development, full employment and decent work by 2030.'

GLOBAL: "2016 Year end greetings from the IFWEA General Secretary"

'We are approaching the final weeks of 2016. It has been a busy and productive year, with an expanded programme of activities and a concomitant expansion in budget, thanks to increased support from the Olaf Palme Centre of Sweden to our core programme. This enabled us to appoint Saliem Patel as IFWEA programme manager in February this year, joining me, my assistant Shariefa Ebrahim and IFWEA communications co-ordinator Erna Curry on the Secretariat staff. Saliem is no stranger to IFWEA, having been the African regional co-ordinator of our Global Network project with SOLIDAR for several years until it ended in 2013. The increase in staff meant that our tiny office could no longer contain us. We are now sharing a larger open plan office space with our hosts, the Labor Research Service. Morale is high at the Secretariat. We all feel a sense of accomplishment at having laid a solid foundation for the first year of our four year strategic plan.' ▶️ click on the title above to read the entire report

FINLAND: Työväen Sivistysliitto (TSL) Finland "”Working life ICT skills in the field of trade” by Katri Söder

'TSL is involved in the ”Working life ICT skills in the field of trade” project. This project will research and develop workers ICT skills.'

GLOBAL / SOUTH AFRICA: IFWEA Executive Committee Meeting, November 2016

IFWEA's Executive Committee members met in Cape Town, South Africa. In this picture Dr Moenieba Isaacs from the Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape addresses the Executive Committee on jobs, quotas and food security in the fishing industry of the South Africa. The EC also went on a field trip to meet leaders of Coastal Links and Masifundise Development Trust.

GLOBAL : "Massive Open Online Course on decent work in global supply chains."

What are the challenges and opportunities for achieving decent work in global supply chains? How do transnational corporations and their global supply chains operate? How can they be more effectively governed?' ▶️ click on the title to read more about this free programme


'After months of work the Pathways to Free Education collective have put together a second volume this time focusing on "Strategy & Tactics" following the feedback we had received from our previous edition.We have pieces from Ethopian contexts through Zimbabwe, Brazil and the United states. With "how-to" style articles on everything from how to draft a memorandum to tips with how to engage with the media. There is a case study of the bus boycotts in Alexendria in 1957 South Africa as well as guides on how to contribute to the popular struggle with film, documentary and through photography.' ▶️ click on the title to read more and download this resource

INDIA: StreetNet holds its 5th International Congress in India

StreetNet "9 countries , 150 delegates. The StreetNet Congress was about delegates, policies and election of leaders. All this was made possible , and held together by an amazing group of people who quietly worked 24/7 to make this happen."

IRELAND: report from President Sue Schurman and General Secretary Sahra Ryklief

Their trip included meetings with: ▸ The Peoples College - Here adult and workers' education is supported by the Irish Trade Union Congress and most of the national unions. ▸ Unite the Union - with Jimmy Kelly, Irish Regional Secretary for- learning about their work like the "Right2Water campaign", along with Dr. Maura Adshead from the University of Limerick.

SOUTH AFRICA / SWEDEN - IFWEA SECRETARIAT welcomes Olof Palme International Center (OPIC) Intern Frida Sundqvist

"Frida Sundqvist is our new intern from the International Center of Olof Palme in Sweden. Frida is 29 years old and has a Bachelor and Master’s degree in political science from Uppsala University, including an exchange semester at Science Po Paris. Her working experience includes for instance, the Swedish Migration Agency, the Swedish Permanent Representation in Brussels and being a research assistant at Uppsala University. She also has a background within the Swedish Social Democratic labour movement, where she’s been having several committments and roles throughout the years. Her passion is mainly about labour and welfare studies, the trade union movement, globalization effects, gender and civil society. She will stay with us at IFWEA until December 2016."

GLOBAL: "REPORT on "International Ministerial Meeting on Education Sector Responses to Violence Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity/Expression" by Louise Walsh

Louise Walsh is Founder and Chair of the Berger-Marks Foundation. 'Elin Lilijenbladh, board member of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Youth and Student Organization (IGLYO) advocated “a non-critical approach to sex education: “We don’t have to be the same to be equal.”

SOUTH AFRICA: Labour Research Service (LRS) celebrates its 30th anniversary and holds a National Workshop on Collective Agreements"

"The LRS' anniversary and workshop was attended by unions from the agricultural, higher education, mining and postal services sectors. The workshop analysed the framework for collective bargaining, and celebrated the victories unions have made in these sectors recently.'

SOUTH AFRICA via GroundUp: IFWEA General Secretary Sahra Ryklief writes on "South Africa’s 2016 municipal elections – why the excitement? An in-depth analysis of the results."

'It is nearly three weeks since the South African electorate voted in the fourth municipal elections since 1996. The municipal elections are normally a quiet affair, without much fanfare or high profile post-electoral analysis. The aftermath of this year’s elections turned out to be anything but quiet, due to a number of milestones which have some significance in South Africa’s maturing democracy.'

SOUTH AFRICA "National Women's Day"

"General Secretary Sahra Ryklief was asked to do the key note address at the Congress of South African Trade Unions' (COSATU)'s Women's Day event held at Community House in Cape Town South Africa, where the Secretariat is based. Those who attended included gender representatives from member unions - educators, members and office bearers. Community members and associates of the labour movement also attended. The gathering honoured veterans of the labour movement - Hester Stephens and Lynn Carneson. COSATU in the Western Cape also honoured outgoing educator Mike Louw for his years of service."

SOUTH AFRICA: IFWEA welcomes affiliate member Ditsela's new director

IFWEA's programme manager Saliem Patel welcomed the new executive director of Ditsela, Ntsilo Molumaelea. Ditsela is a South African affiliate, and the Secretariat staff attended their first 'Western Cape Educators' Forum' for this year.

EGYPT via Center for Trade Union and Workers' Services [CTUWS] CTUWS launches new website

"On its website CTUWS is trying to open a window onto the Egyptian labour movement and highlight its events, presenting their news and presenting its issues and dilemmas with the hope of developing its services to meet more labour needs."

USA via Sunshine Publishing: "In Motion" by Andy Piascik NEW RELEASE

"In Motion, first and foremost, is a story of solidarity: the solidarity of two sisters, the solidarity of the sisters and their mother, the solidarity of the multi-racial residents of a city under siege. Most of all, In Motion is the story of the solidarity of Jackie and Jack, two passionate lovers on the cusp of adulthood seeking to live authentically."

IFWEA's Second Quarter e-bulletin of 2016 Issue 33 "Labour Solidarity Has No Borders"

In this e-bulletin: ▶ IFWEA SECRETARIAT NEWS ▶IFWEA PROGRAMME DEVELOPMENTS ▶ AFFILIATE NEWS HIGHLIGHTS ▶ SOLIDARITY IN ACTION: Check out the campaigns where you can take online action, view research and download resources.

SOUTH AFRICA via Popular Education: "Colloquium on Forging Solidarity: Southern Perspectives of Popular Education, 9 - 11 June 2016"

IFWEA Secretariat's Saliem Patel and Erna Curry attended this two day workshop. "Some fifty people gathered at the colloquium which was held at the Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch. Participants came from different organisations, including academic institutions, government, social movements and NGOs, from as far away as Chile, India, Senegal and Canada and as close as Delft, Khayelitsha and Grahamstown. They brought with them focus, energy and willingness to be creative, and a commitment to engage with critical questions both on a one on one basis, around tables, and in plenary sessions. The aims of the colloquium were to grapple with the central theme and in the process give food for thought to 20 people who are contributing chapters to a book of the same name. Presentations were made, in the main, by contributors to the forthcoming book."


IFWEA's Fourth Quarter e-bulletin "Year End News from IFWEA" / Issue 35 2016  

You will find Secretariat News, Programme Developments, Affiliate News Highlights as well as Resource,  Research, Opinion and Campaigns for Solidarity

▶️ click here www.IFWEA/Issue34/2016



YGAP "Postcards from the South" 2016

SOUTH AFRICA - IFWEA's 5th annual Youth Globalisation Awareness Programme (YGAP) took place at the Secretariat in Cape Town South Africa from Sunday 30th October to Saturday 12th November 2016. The Nordic School and the Foundation Leadership Skills School programmes were based at the Secretariat at Community House in Salt River, Cape Town. The YGAP participants produced "Postcards from the South" to chronicle their experience.

 ▶️ Join us on Facebook to view photographs and videos about YGAP


 ▶️ View the "Postcards from the South" on IFWEA's You Tube channel



Journal: International Labor and Working-Class History

"Workers' Education and the Global Labor Movement"

Issue editors: Michael Merrill and Susan J. Schurman

Senior Editors' Note: "Workers’ education is the main theme of ILWCH 90. Education played a key role in the elaboration of the imagination, the discourses, and the claims that were the foundation of working-class politics. Yet, this vital dimension of the la- boring experience has been relatively neglected by historians. By assembling these diverse but related articles, Michael Merrill and Susan J. Schurman have revealed the central place of education in workers’ lives and expectations over the last two centuries. The significance of the research presented in this issue is all the more important because, as the editors’ emphasize in their introduction, workers’ education is neglected today as trade unions grapple with shrinking re- sources and more immediately pressing imperatives in a rapidly neoliberalizing world in which workers’ rights and benefits come under constant attack"

 ▶️ to check out the Table of Contents  and download articles please go to our "Resources" Page



Weekly Labour News

UK "Train drivers refuse to cross picket lines" by ITV Updates

'Disruption is worsening as more drivers than expected refuse to cross picket lines. Merseyrail had hoped to run almost half its services, but "many" drivers took the decision not to work today. The company said it was running around 20% of services, far fewer than previously advertised. Trains were still running on most routes, every half an hour, but they were not stopping at every station.'

LATIN AMERICA "How many more deaths? Companies and human rights defenders: some thoughts from Latin America"

"The anniversary of the tragic murder of indigenous rights defender Berta Cáceres was commemorated last week. The highly-regarded, awarded-winning human rights activist from Honduras was working to defend the rights of the Lenca people, who are opposed to the hydroelectric project being developed by the Honduran company DESA (financed by FMO and Finnfund), given the negative impact it would have on their way of life and the failure to respect their right to consultation."

EGYPT via Equal Times "Textile strike clampdown – a sign of repressive times in Egypt"

"Workers at Egypt’s Misr Spinning and Weaving Company were forced to end a two day strike on 8 February, due to the arrest of five female workers and threats not only to increase the number of arrests, but also to fire striking workers. Around 3,000 textile workers at the el-Ghazl factory, which is located in the Egyptian industrial city of el-Mahalla el-Kubra, went on strike to demand the payment of benefits."