Unemployment, working poor and vulnerable employment to increase dramatically due to global economic crisis

Published at ILO on 28 jan 2009

GENEVA (ILO News) – The global economic crisis is expected to lead to a dramatic increase in the number of people joining the ranks of the unemployed, working poor and those in vulnerable employment, the International Labour Office (ILO) says in its annual Global Employment Trends report (GET) (Note 1).

Based on new developments in the labour market and depending on the timeliness and effectiveness of recovery efforts, the report says global unemployment in 2009 could increase over 2007 by a range of 18 million to 30 million workers, and more than 50 million if the situation continues to deteriorate.

The ILO report also said that in this last scenario some 200 million workers, mostly in developing economies, could be pushed into extreme poverty.

“The ILO message is realistic, not alarmist. We are now facing a global jobs crisis. Many governments are aware and acting, but more decisive and coordinated international action is needed to avert a global social recession. Progress in poverty reduction is unravelling and middle classes worldwide are weakening. The political and security implications are daunting”, said ILO Director-General, Juan Somavia.

“The crisis is underscoring the relevance of the ILO Decent Work Agenda. We find many elements of this Agenda in current measures to promote job creation, deepening and expanding social protection and more use of social dialogue”, Mr. Somavia said. He called on the upcoming meeting of the G-20 on 2 April in London, alongside financial issues, to urgently agree on priority measures to promote productive investments, decent work and social protection objectives, and policy coordination. Continue reading

Chinese copper entrepreneurs flee DR Congo

Published on Monuc, 20 feb 2009

More than 40 Chinese-run copper smelters are standing idle in the Democratic Republic of Congo after their owners fled the country without paying taxes or compensating staff at the end of the commodity boom, according to a governor.

Moïse Katumbi, governor of Katanga province, which is bisected by Congo’s copper belt, said Chinese entrepreneurs abandoned their smelters in a matter of days in a co-ordinated move at the end of last year as copper prices tumbled.

Asked if they would be welcomed back if the price rebounded, he told the Financial Times: “No, no, no. Not as long as I am governor. Katanga is not a jungle. They worked as if it was a jungle.”

Katanga’s notoriously rough-and-tumble mining sector enjoyed a heady boom in recent years as commodity prices soared and foreigners rushed in to exploit its copper deposits. The Chinese entrepreneurs who came were part of their country’s small-scale, private sector-led engagement with Africa.

This has occurred alongside, but not always in conjunction with, a state-driven effort to secure resources, which last year led to a $9bn minerals-for-infrastructure deal between China and Congo.

When global commodity prices tumbled, the result in Katanga was painful: in the space of weeks luxury house-building projects and freshly imported Jeeps vanished to be replaced by unemployment and rising crime. Continue reading

Royal Bank of Scotland – GIVE US OUR MONEY BACK!

Video by dontpanicmedia

If you go to work everyday, 9-5 and then hand over about a quarter of your income to the government every month and you’re not angry about the current banking F-up, then youre either one of the financial or political elite that have been ripping off the world since time immemorial, or youre a snivelling, subservient little slave and you deserve all the subjugation you get. Our government is bailing the banks out to the tune of £500 billion! Yes, that’s £500 billion! To put that in perspective, we give roughly £5.4 billion a year to international aid. Continue reading

Neighbors Helping Neighbors—to Break Into Vacant Houses in US

Published on 18 feb 2009 by the Twin Cities Daily Planet (Minneapolis – St. Paul, Minnesota)

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by Madeleine Baran

Poverty rights activists broke into at least a dozen vacant Minneapolis buildings this week and helped homeless families move in.

“This is the modern underground railroad,” said Cheri Honkala, National Organizer for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, the group organizing the “takeovers.”

This week’s actions are part of a growing national movement to illegally open up thousands of vacant, foreclosed homes to provide housing for the growing number of homeless people. Over 3,000 Minneapolis homes went into foreclosure in 2008. Advocates estimate that over 7,000 Minnesotans are homeless. Most Twin Cities’ homeless shelters have been filled to capacity for months.

On a recent afternoon, organizers planned their next takeover while eating cabbage, rice, sausage, and corn bread prepared by Rosemary, a 59-year-old African American woman facing eviction from her home. Rosemary, who asked that her last name not be used, plans to remain in her house illegally after the March 31 eviction date. In the meantime, she spends her time organizing for tenant’s rights.

“Welcome to the revolution,” Rosemary said, greeting a homeless couple looking for housing.

Lonnetta and Dwayne took a seat on Rosemary’s couch. Dwayne, 52, walking on crutches from a series of recent foot surgeries, explained that he lost his janitorial job in June when he broke his foot. The married couple asked that their last name not be used.

“Welcome to the Revolution!”

Continue reading

Eastern Partnership: The West’s Final Assault On the Former Soviet Union by Rick Rozoff

Posted on February 14, 2009 by dandelionsalad

Author Rick Rozoff

At a meeting of the European Union’s General Affairs and External Relations Council in Brussels on May 26 of last year, Poland, seconded by Sweden, first proposed what has come to be known as the Eastern Partnership, a program to ‘integrate’ all the European and South Caucasus former Soviet nations – except for Russia – not already in the EU and NATO; that is, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.

The above are half of the former Soviet republics in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) established as a sop to Russia immediately after the breakup of the Soviet Union in that year and in theory to be a post-Soviet equivalent of the then European Community, now European Union. (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania never joined and both were absorbed into the European Union and NATO in 2004.)

The Eastern Partnership has since last May been presented as an innocuous enough sounding proposal containing a mission statement to promote “a substantial upgrading of the level of political engagement, including the prospect of a new generation of Association Agreements, far-reaching integration into the EU economy, easier travel to the EU for citizens providing that security requirements are met, enhanced energy security arrangements benefitting all concerned, and increased financial assistance.” (European Union press release, December 3, 2008)

The key phrases, though, are “upgrading of the level of political engagement” and “enhanced energy security arrangements.”

What the Eastern Partnership is designed to accomplish is to complete the destruction of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC) comprised of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, and the only post-Soviet multinational security structure, the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), as well as to abort the formalization of the Belarus-Russia Union State. Continue reading

Creativity not markets by Karl Heinz Brodbeck

Published on OpenDemocracy 11 feb 2009, Original full article in  PDF (in German)

Author: Karl-Heinz Brodbeck,

In 2007 Alan Greenspan said that economists’ forecasts are no better than anyone else’s. He added that econometrics is no science. Why?

The underlying reason is the nature of economic models. First, they assume economic agents to be mostly rational; secondly and more importantly, they assume that the rational agent maximises calculable outcomes – the assumption of the homo oeconomicus. Since Adam Smith economists have understood the economic system as a vast machine. That implies it should be predictable, but on the evidence it manifestly is not.

Is it even possible to forecast human action? Sometimes it is, when one is dealing with habitual behaviour. But non-habitual behaviour, including innovation, is not at all predictable. Classical economics does not explain how innovation comes about, nor the implications of this for economic theory and calculation.

Innovation is a creative process. A product or process is creative if it is both new and valuable.

Creative activity is hard work. It involves the production of and selection from many ideas and prototypes. Most are discarded. It is emotionally and personally difficult and relies greatly on self-motivation. The grounds on which ideas are produced and selected depend on their worth from the point of view of ethics, aesthetics, technology, and many individual psychological factors, all sifted by experience and ability. Continue reading

PALA de wereld 68- waar het globaal om draait – 11 februari 2009



1. Van de redactie – in België verknoeien ze het

2. Land te koop: vernietigend NGO-rapport over de olie- en mijnindustrie in Cambodja


3. Eigen jobs eerst? Solidariteit in tijden van recessie

4. Vindt het Wereld Sociaal Forum in Belém zijn tweede adem?

5. Kaapverdië: ontsnapt aan de ergste armoede, maar kwetsbaar door wereldwijde crisis

6. Werknemers zijn geen gereedschap

Van de redactie – in België verknoeien ze het

Continue reading