Research Institute for Alternative Workers Movements Workshop, Nov. 8

On November 8, the Research Institute for Alternative Workers Movements will host a workshop on union responses to transnational corporations as part of the International People's conference, held in Seoul in timing with the G20 Summit. If you are coming to Seoul, please attend!

International Responses: TNC Structural Adjustment during the Economic Crisis and Labour's Strategies for Resistance

Workshop No. 3 of the International People's Conference, Seoul, November 7 ~ 10, 2010

Workers around the world have been facing massive layoffs and wage cuts since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008. According to ILO statistics, the global unemployment growth rate increased 18% between May 2008 and May 2009.

Layoffs and relocation of production by transnational corporations have played an important role in the deterioration of working conditions around the world. In response to the economic crisis, transnational corporations have closed factories and enforced layoffs in countries were consumption levels have stagnated, such as the U.S. and European countries, and moved to countries that might serve as new sources of consumption, such as China and India. Transnational automobile producers, such as GM and Toyota, who have close their plants in the U.S. and Europe and expanded investment in China, are typical of this trend. Because these types of structural adjustment are carried out through the transnational movement of capital, it is highly difficult for nationally-based unions to respond effectively. What is more, the activities of TNCs have great impact on the structural adjustment and worsening of labor-management relations in other companies in effected regions. This can be seen in South Korea where, over the last two years, labour repression by the Valeo and Parker Corporations has significantly influenced other companies and led to the general deterioration of labour-management relations. Needless to say, it is extremely important that unions develop an effective strategy for resistance.

The proposed workshop is meant as a space in which unions from various countries can share their experiences in responding to transnational corporations, and discuss mid to long-terms strategies for collective resistance. Leaders from around the world will gather in Seoul for the G20 Summit from November 11-12. To response to the Summit, labour unions and social movement forces are preparing a People's Week of Collective Actions (November 6 ~ 12), during which time an International People's Conference will be held from November 7 ~ 10. These events offer an important opportunity for unions and social movement forces from around the world to build a collective vision, develop strategies for responding to various aspects of the economic crisis, and begin to discuss alternative solutions. The proposed workshop will be an important part of this process.

Venue: Kim Dae Gon Hall, Sogang University
Date and Time: November 8, 16:30 ~18:30

Moderator: Wol-san Liem, Researcher, Research Institute for Alternative Workers

16:30 ~ 16:40 Welcome Hasoon Park, Executive Director, Research Institute for Alternative Workers Movements
16:40 ~ 17:00 Korean experiences in fighting transnational corporations Jiwon Han, Research Director, Research Institute for Alternative Workers Movements
17:00 ~ 17:40 Brazilian experience in fighting transnational corporations Quintino Marques Severo, General Secretary, CUT Brazil
17:40 ~ 17:55 break
17:55 ~ 18:05 Summary of presentations and proposal from the Research Institute for Alternative Workers Movements Moderator
18:05 ~ 18:30 Q and A and Discussion Moderator

Translation: Consecutive translation Portuguese-Korean, Simultaneous translation Korean-English

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