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Friday, March 18, 2011

Japan: What unions are doing; how you can help

Dear Comrades / Viewers,
        The international trade union movement has published a lot of information on the web - but chances are you don't know much about it.
        Here are some of the pages you might want to check out:
       The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has a page with extensive information on the earthquake, tsunami and what followed. You can send messages of solidarity to our brothers and sisters in Japan from their website.  It has also announced a donation of more than US$300,000 directly from the federation to help the people of Japan.
       Public Services International (PSI) has also issued a statement and has set up an aid fund to which unions can donate.
       The ICEM, which represents chemical, energy and mine workers -- whose members are currently involved in the efforts to prevent catastrophes at the nuclear power stations -- has a web page with details on how to pass on donations directly to the Japanese unions, who have set up a special bank account for this purpose.
        The International Metalworkers Federation also has detailed information on how your union can donate money directly to the Japanese unions and has issued a statement.
Education International has set up a Japan earthquake and tsunami fund to which unions can contribute.
        The IUF (global union for the food and hotel sector) has sent a circular to all its affiliates which includes an email address in Japan to which solidarity messages may be sent --
UNI Global Union has issued some statements, including one from its general secretary.
        Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) reported on a moment of silence and a visit to the Japanese embassy following an earlier statement.
        This is by no means a comprehensive list and does not include what national union trade union centers, national unions and local unions have done.
         If your union is affiliated to one of the global union federations listed above (and it probably is), please do check out what they are doing and how your union can be involved.
         Please share this message with your fellow trade union members.

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