Day 1 – Sunday, 12th August!
By David O’Connell, United Kingdom
The alumni summer school started off today in the beautiful Salvetti Praia hotel. After exploring the local beach and surrounding areas the alumni convened in the convention center to discuss the days events. The summer school broke into four workshops, discussing increasing involvement in the Global Labour Column, Organising women workers, minimum wages and inequality, and researching global supply chains.
The first part of our alumni general meeting discussed the allocation of funds to emergency requests. Inspired by the amazing success of our solidarity fund raffle at the conference which raised around 350 euros, it was agreed that we would work to support similar initiatives at the upcoming conferences and workshops, as well as looking into using paypal/croudsourcing to raise money for particular cases. we tabled the election of representatives for the following meeting, but left the room with a sense of optimisim that we would soon be raising serious
After lunch, professor Christoph Scherrer provided a summary of the history, structure, and current situation of the Global Labour University, from its first inception in 2001 to its realization in 2004. The summer school heard about the diversification of funding which will be sought over the coming years and participants began to propose future avenues for support within their own personal networks.
Following on from a presentation of the research projects made yesterday, the school engaged in an enthusiastic discussion about possible research projects. An astonishing 12 proposals were made, eventually reduced to 10. Themes proposed stretched from analyzing trade union responses to changes in labour legislation, to precarious labour and the minimum wage in South Africa.
All in all, the day was extremely thought provoking, informative, and energizing, but more importantly; practical. Solid ideas and proposals came out for building the strength of the GLU and using our resources to advance the labour struggle. Everyone is looking forward to the next few days.