New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

November 1982

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GLOBAL TRADE UNIONISM[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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Trade Union International Research and Education Group (TUIREG)

Trade Union International Research and Education Group (TUIREG)
Ruskin Hall, Oxford 0X3 9 BZ
Tel: Oxford (0865) 65235

To promote education and research on international issues of the labour movement, where they affect workers as producers or consumers. To increase understanding of and support for international initiatives conducted in the interests of workers by institutions including Trade Unions, Governments and international agencies. To provoke discussion and action, leading to growth of international understanding and solidarity amongst workers.

We produce tape/slide and video programmes on many topics; subjects covered include:— trade and aid, multinational corporations and banks, rural development, the international division of labour, unemployment, immigration, protectionism, new technology, regional disparities, and the international labour movement

We have built up a good working relationship with parts of the national and international labour movement which has resulted in regular educational events. We have assisted in the training of lay representatives of trade unions to undertake their own research into the companies they work for and the international economy.

We have made an important contribution to both the medium and the message by developing tape/slide programmes that take as their starting point the problems facing workers in the industrialised countries.

We have not been able to follow up on the impact of materials we produce. Promotion of our programmes has been lacking.

Programmes on disarmament and development, international banking and homeworking. We are helping to establish an international network on the subject of industrial restructuring, and would welcome contacts with interested organisations.

We need contact with organisations that have similar aims in order to exchange ideas and experience. To make education materials we need assistance from people with suitable audiovisual skills and photographs of workers in different countries.

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North West Transnationals Project

North West Transnationals Project
300 Oxford Road
M13 9NS Tel: (061) 273 8717

To provide a resource centre of information on companies, international labour and Third World issues.

The project initiates and services adult education courses with the Workers’ Educational Association and other bodies. It also provides an input to trade union shop steward training courses and promotes campaigns for grass roots trade union solidarity on Third World struggles, eg. opposing the transportation of Namibian uranium and sending practical assistance to Nicaragua

In two years we have established international issues on trade union courses and generated practical trade union support at regional, branch and factory levels for Third World campaigns, in particular over labour struggles. Our closest cooperation is with the Transport and General Workers’ Union and the General and Municipal Workers’ Union.

It is important that work with the labour movement is seen to be a stable and long term commitment Our funding situation, however, is not able to give us this guarantee. The project has not done enough to publicise or put into writing its experience, but we are working to correct this.

We wish to involve more people in the basic work of the project and plan to issue a regular bulletin on our work.

We need more information and materials, particularly on multinational companies, Third World labour movements, contact organisations, working conditions, reports etc. to be sent to us to help expand our information resources.

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Transnationals Information Exchange

Transnationals Information Exchange
467a Caledonian Road
London N7
Tel: 01 965 7454

To enable the exchange of information and experience between action and research groups working on Transnational Corporations (TNCs) mainly in Europe.

To develop a similar dialogue between such groups and trade unions and other workers’ organisations in order that the type of information produced may be of most help to those whom it most affects.

To promote discussion and debate on the effects of growing corporate power, both within Europe and in other parts of the world.

Putting workers in the same firm in different countries in contact with one another, by correspondence and conferences. By producing a quarterly Bulletin on specific and general issues on TNC’ s. By organising consultations on industry sectors, e.g. auto industry.

Initiating worker contact groups in some of the main European car producers, also linking with U.S. and Third World production. Supporting an international meeting of Philips workers.

We have failed to obtain sufficient resources to tackle this major dimension of the world economy. To convince workers, and especially trade unions, of the need to challenge much of TNC activity.

To coordinate a further meeting on the European car industry in late 1982. To develop a more influential Bulletin with a wide circulation. To support European legislation to force TNCs to disclose information to workers. To develop work on agri-business. To assist the setting up of TIE networks in Latin America and Asia

Affiliates to the network, writers for the Bulletin, assistance in organising workers’ meetings — especially for those with experience, contact with progressive workers’ movements.

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Front cover of New Internationalist magazine, issue 117 This feature was published in the November 1982 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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