Örsan Şenalp, 28th August 2011
Peter Waterman has been calling for a Global Labour Charter Movement for already a some time. The following link is to his updated text published by a shop-floor activism project NetzwerkIT. An earlier version can be found here:. Waterman’s call for a dialogue on such Global Labour Charter can be a fertile ground today on which we can build alliances between the old and new movements, or can link and mash existing charters into a people’s global constitution.
At the very moment progressive forces across the globe like ATTAC, Alter-EU, Democracy Real Now, Anonymous, Take the Square and many others trying to align with each other for the peaceful 17th September Paris and Wall Street occupations and 15-O [October] Brussels and New York occupations, as well as parallel decentralised and direct actions, strikes, hacks. The movement is trying to link Russian, Chinese, Indian nodes as well. Peoples’ Assemblies on the other hand have been core to the occupations and protests since the Tahrir event [or even since the Paris Commune] and they will be so for the planned ones as well, as they have been the characteristic to the new real democracy movement.
Waterman’s text and other existing Global Charters can be taken as basis for a such global constitution that would be written with p2p spirit.
A way to move forward would be way followed by theItalian Water Justice Movement.What they have done in Italy was initially creating a widest alliance possible, on the established issue of water privatization. They invited later on all Italians to write their own Water Law collectively, to replace the neoliberal text belongs to Berlusconi government and the business. They collected more than a million signature to ensure a referendum to this end. At the end of a tough struggle, people’s water law has been enforces by people again and altered the proposed ‘private’ one.
In a similar way we might today be able to produce and enforce universal people’s laws/charters, on every issue fields, i.e. by using wiki processes, collaborative pads etc. Than we would push for billions of signatures and national referendums, via networks like Avaaz and others. Rising and existing territorial/de-territorial peoples’ assemblies can to be linked to the rising and existing territorial/de-territorial work place and neighbourhood councils. This would mean the creation of the largest community of cause that the world has ever seen. The movement would also use Yes Man style media actions to provide a global reach out for the cause! Last stage would be launching a year long harmonised dissent in order to push the people’s p2p laws forward, transnationally and peacefully. 17 September and 15 October Occupations and assemblies can be a right momentum for starting process can create a political system belongs to poeple instead of a small number of an elite.
In response to Peter Waterman’s call, GAIA, New Transnational Social Network Union has recently launchd a wiki page. Australia Asia Worker Link (AAWL)’s proposal for a Global Labour Charter is pasted below. GAIA has taken the text that has produced by the AAWL as a basis for a wiki production process, in order to create the most creative and genuine charter that fits the global conditions of labour in the 21st century. What follows is what has been added on top of these items:
- The right to organise unions and take collective action including industrial action and solidarity actions
- The right of all workers to organise collectively without being subjected to violence, intimidation or legal harassment
- Secure employment
- Health & Safety at work, compensation, rehabilitation
- A living wage for all workers in all industries
- Decent work, with appropriate hours of work proposed by workers, paid leave and paid holidays
- Full rights for women workers
- Indigenous workers’ rights & Land Rights
- Permanent residence with full employment rights for all refugees and all migrant workers in all countries
- No child labour
- Education, housing, health and childcare provisions
- Social security and adequate welfare benefits
would be added:
- taxing capital, not workers and their families, in order to pay for the cost of the global crisis,
- zero foreign debts for the 3rd world / developing countries,
- immediate cease of social cuts, globally,
- 4 hours work day and 20 hours work week for all workers, without any decrease in existing wages,
- stop every kind of oppression and discrimination based on race, gender and sexual preference,
- abolition of intellectual property rights, patents over genes, ownership on natural resources, rivers, lakes and coastal lines,
- immediate measurement for zero-carbon world,
- end of all military occupations,
- abolition of all foreign military bases, and nuclear arsenals,
- free internet and common information source for all,
- recognition of immigrants and domestic workers as workers globally,
- keeping water, education, health, energy, telecommunication, transpiration public,
- free public social security for all,
- global minimum wage,
- full transparency on corporate lobbying over national and local decision making, and on foreign diplomacy between state elites,
- totally open decision making to all citizens, workers, consumers globally.”
Writing a Global P2P Constitution of Peoples is possible and necessary today!