The first Seminar took place at Middlesex University on January 18th, 2010. 45 attendees included representatives from organisations such as the International MetalWorkers’ Federation, Anti-Slavery International, and ICEM. The introduction was presented by Elizabeth Cotton of Middlesex University.Introductory ppt. Two case studies were then presented , one by Kirril Buketov, from the IUF on the Tea Workers’ campaign against contract labour in the Liptons branch of Unilever. The second case study, on agency workers in Thailand, was presented by Aranya Pakaphat of ICEM. Professor Richard CroucherCroucher ppt and Elizabeth Cotton then presented the case for using trade union education as an organising tool, including the case of trade unions working under extremely hostile circumstances in ColombiaColombia ppt.
In the afternoon session, Professor Keith Ewing of Kings College, London outlined the nature of legislation on temporary and agency workers in Britain and the UK, and stressed the unsatisfactory and ambiguous nature of the law in protecting agency workers. Further sessions followed by Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick (Birkbeck) and Professor Richard Hyman on precarious workers and trade unions in Europe.Hyman & G-McCormick. Jenny Holdcroft, from the International Metal Workers Federation then outlined the IMF experience in organising agency workers.
Seminar Speakers Profiles
Elizabeth Cotton is an experienced international trade unionist, working for ten years as the Head of Programmes for the ICEM, the Global Union Federation working in the chemical, energy and mining sectors. She is the co-author of Global Unions Global Business (2009) and is currently a lecturer at Middlesex University Business School.
Aranya Pakaphat is an exceptional organiser and labour activist based in the Bangkok region. She has worked with Thai unions and internationally for many years, primarily coordinating international campaigns, research and organising drives through the ICEM.
Kirill Buketov is a longstanding trade union activist, working both in his home country in Russia but across the CIS region. He has worked for the IUF, the global union federation working with agricultural, food and tourism sectors both regionally and now internationally, where he run’s the IUF’s international campaign against contracting out of jobs in the food and agricultural sectors.
Keith Ewing is Professor of Public Law at Kings College, London. He is a leading authority on European Union regulation and President of the Institute of Employment Rights. His forthcoming book The Bonfire of the Liberties: New Labour, Human Rights and the Rule of Law is to be published in May 2010 by Oxford University Press.
Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick is one of the few international trade unionists to make the transition into academia. She is a former official of the International Union of Food and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO), both based in Geneva and is now a Lecturer at Birkbeck’s Department of Management. Hyman & G-McCormick
Professor Richard Hyman has a long and distinguished career at both the University of Warwick and the London School of Economics. He is editor of the European Journal of Industrial Relations and his many books include Understanding European Trade Unionism: between market, class and society (2001). Together with Rebecca Gumbrell-McCormick he is currently working on a project funded by the Danish Social Science Research Council examining Cross-National Trade Union Responses to Challenges from Above and Below.
Jenny Holdcroft is the officer for ICT, Electrical and Electronics, Aerospace, Equality for the International Metal Workers Federation (IMF). She is a highly experienced and respected trade unionist and runs the IMF’s international campaign against precarious work.