Activity report (2002)

In the period under review (April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003) the GLI, through its Chair, made important contributions to positive developments in the International Federation of Workers’ Education Associations (IFWEA) and in the Organization and Representation Program of WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment Organizing and Globalizing).

GLI activity in the IFWEA increased substantially following the resignation of the IFWEA general secretary at the end of 2001, when the management of the secretariat was provisionally taken over by three persons: Aslak Leesland, EC member from AOF Norway, Robert Lochrie, vice president from WEA England and Scotland, and DG as IFWEA president. In the course of 2002 Aslak Leesland assumed the function of acting general secretary on a part-time basis. With Robert Lochrie increasingly involved in an internal crisis situation in the WEA, the IFWEA president took over much of the secretariat work together with Aslak Leesland, leading up to the 19th IFWEA General Conference in October 2003 where DG retired as IFWEA president. The 19th GC elected João Proença (UGT Portugal) as president and Dave Spooner, GLI Board member and international programs officer of the WEA England and Scotland, as general secretary.

The IFWEA, for the first time in its history, has a free-standing secretariat not depending on a host organization, has decided on a significant dues increase and is developing new programs. The GLI is proud to have played a part in these developments.

In WIEGO, although DG had formally retired as director of the ORP at the end of 2002, he agreed to continue in that capacity to bridge an interim period until a successor could be found (Chris Bonner, South Africa, will take over as from January 2004). An important part of that activity was ensuring appropriate WIEGO input in the regional meetings on workers in the informal economy in Europe (Soesterberg, Netherlands, January 2003) and Latin America (Lima, April 2003). Both meetings had positive results, both in terms of networking and of improved trade union/NGO relations. As a result of the Latin American meeting, a formal co-operation agreement was signed between ORIT (the Inter-American regional organization of the ICFTU), WIEGO, StreetNet (the international organization of market and street vendors) and the IFWEA, the first agreement of this type. Again, the GLI can be satisfied to have contributed to these positive developments. (At the Latin American meeting, the GLI Chair represented both WIEGO (together with Carmen Roca, Latin American co-ordinator) and the IFWEA. The meeting was organized by PLADES, an IFWEA member organization, from the Latin American side, with the assistance of Carmen Roca, and by the GLI from the European side). The GLI Chair remains a member of the WIEGO Steering Committee and will continue to participate in WIEGO activities.

In the period under review, the GLI has continued to provide information and advice to trade unions, labour related NGOs, students, researchers and historians. The GLI Chair has continued as an editorial board member of Antipode, a journal of radical geography, a member of the advisory editorial board of Federation News, the journal of the General Federation of Trade Unions (UK) and has joined the editorial board of International Union Rights, the journal of the International Centre for Trade Union Rights (London).

The financial situation of the GLI remained healthy: reserves will adequately cover a projected deficit of CHF12,100 in 2003. New funding sources will become necessary in 2004.

In the period under review (April 1, 2002 to March 31, 2003) the GLI Chair participated in the meetings listed below:

In 2002:
(1) April 18-19: lecture at MOVENDO (Swiss trade union training institute)
(2) May 14-17: 24th IUF Congress, Geneva
(3) June 1: Trade Union Federation of the Canton of Bern, Annual Delegates Meeting, Langenthal; address: Globalization and Trade Unions
(4) June 15: International Committee for Trade Union Rights (ICTUR), Annual Meeting, Geneva
(5) December 21: GLI Board Meeting, Geneva

In 2003:
(6) February 15: 25th Anniversary Celebration of the USO/UGT Merger, Madrid
(7) March 13: Communauté Genevoise d’Action Syndicale (CGAS) (Joint Committee of Geneva Trade Unions), Anti-War Meeting chaired by DG (with the participation of Bob Muhlenkamp, USLAW), Geneva
In addition to these meetings, the GLI Chair participated in the following meetings in other capacities:

In his capacity of director of the WIEGO Organization and Representation Program:

In 2002:
(7) April 5-7: “‘Decent’ Working Conditions for Informal Economy Workers”, Soesterberg, Netherlands. (This seminar was organized by IRENE and WIEGO, in co-operation with IFWEA, HomeNet International and StreetNet International, with 40 participants from 19 countries).
(8) April 23: Meeting with Kalayaan (Domestic Workers’ Union), London (together with Dave Spooner and Liz Cumberbatch, WEA England and Scotland)
(9) July 9-16: WIEGO Steering Committee Retreat, Bellaggio

In 2003:
(10) January 12-15: FNV/IRENE Seminar: “From Marginal Work to Core Business: European Unions Organising in the Informal Economy”, Soesterberg, Netherlands
(11) January 30: Meeting with Guy Ryder, ICFTU General Secretary, Brussels
In his capacity as president of the International Federation of Workers’ Education Associations (IFWEA):

In 2002:
(12) May 6: Meeting with delegation from the Workers’ Education Association (England and Scotland), Geneva
(13) May 24-25: Global Network Seminar on: “Workers’ Rights in a Global Economy”, Ishmael Nedziwe College of Labour Studies, Kwe Kwe, Zimbabwe (speech: unpublished)
(14) June 4 – 20: International Labour Conference (co-ordination of a caucus of informal workers’ organizations for the discussion on Agenda Item 6: The Informal Economy), Geneva.
(15) July 26-27: Summer University, Association Club Mohamed Ali de la Culture Ouvrière (ACMACO), Gammarth, Tunisia
(16) September 12: Meeting with the Université Ouvrière de Genève to discuss their proposed international trade union training program
(17) September 19-20: IFWEA Roundtable on Labour Movement Responses to Globalization, Oslo
(18) September 21-22: IFWEA Executive Committee, Oslo
(19) October 14-15: Euro-WEA Executive Committee, Brussels
(20) October 16: IRENE Meeting on Strategy, Brussels
(21) October 16: SOLIDAR Silver Rose Award, Brussels
(22) October 17: SOLIDAR International Co-operation Committee, Brussels
(23) October 18: Global Network Steering Group, Brussels
(24) November 15: SOLIDAR, Board of Directors, General Assembly, Helsingør
(25) November 16: SOLIDAR Conference: The Future of Europe, Helsingør
(26) November 29-December 1: Euro-WEA EC and Biennial Conference, Sofia

In 2003:
(27) January 31: Meeting with Fondation Jean Jaurès, Paris
(28) February 1: Euro-WEA EC, Paris
(29) February 8-9: IFWEA EC, Albufeira, Portugal
(30) February 22: 2d Regional Seminar of Global Network-Asia: The 5th WTO Ministerial Meeting: Issues and Response, Hong Kong
(31) February 23: National Seminar of Global Network, Hong Kong
(32) February 26-28: Thai Labour Campaign: lecture on: “The Labour Movement: Its History and Its Politics”, Bangkok (unpublished)

In his capacity as Board member of the Institut Universitaire d’Etudes du Développement (IUED): In 2002: Board meetings April 10, July 3, December 11
Opening of Academic Year: October 21; in 2003: March 6: Inauguration of new building.

In his capacity as Board member of the SOLIFONDS (Swiss Labour Movement Solidarity Foundation): Board meetings in 2002: April 17 (Bern), September 9 (Special meeting on Colombia, Bern), November 14 (Zurich); in 2003: March 14-16: Joint Seminar with DGB Bildungswerk, ÖGB Oberösterreich, MOVENDO, IRENE, (Basel)

Pages de Gauche and Cercle d’Olten (Oltener Kreis): The Cercle d’Olten/Oltener Kreis is a internationalist left tendency in the Swiss Social-Democratic Party established in 1999 in German-speaking Switzerland, which became active in Western (French-speaking) Switzerland in 2001. DG addressed its first public meeting in Geneva in August 2001 (see Activities Report 2002-2002) together with Pierre-Yves Maillard, SP MP and official of the Swiss Metal Workers’ Union. Pages de Gauche is a socialist monthly, which started publishing in Western Switzerland in May 2002. Although the two are independent of each other, the activists and supporters of both are largely the same. DG is a member of the editorial committee of Pages de Gauche and contributes articles. He participated in the following meetings:

Pages de Gauche editorial committee: in 2002: April 28 (and press conference: April 29), June 8, September 14; in 2003: January 19; February 16, March 16, Cercle d’Olten: in 2002: November 22; in 2003: February 14.

In his capacity of Board member of the Collège du Travail: Board Meetings: in 2002: March 11, June 26; November 27: member of the panel at the launch of the book: “Pierre Schmid, Souvenirs d’un Syndicaliste FTMH”; In 2003: Board Meeting, March 21.

Board and Advisory Board
No changes in the period under review.

Since May 2002, Karin Pape has been working on a part time basis at the GLI as an administrative assistant. She has contributed greatly to a more efficient operation of the office, particularly in connection with WIEGO activities, such as organizing the logistics of the WIEGO-led delegation at the 2002 International Labour Conference, and in taking over most of the financial administration of the GLI.

Lucia Rosales worked at the GLI as a part time clerical assistant and translator (English/Spanish) from December 2002 to May 2003.

As in the past period, Oscar and Nora Payuyo have been responsible for cleaning and maintenance.

Financial Report and Administration
Ms. Mariane Grobet-Wellner has kept the GLI accounts in the period under review. The accounts for 2002 have been audited, as last year, by Mr. J.J. Mermier (CIFISOR S.A.). The auditor’s report is available on request (French only).

A statement of income and expenditure and a balance sheet for 2002, are attached.

Download accounts:
Income & expenditure; Balance sheet