We want to take a moment to reflect on some of our recent achievements, and to thank our partners, donors, and volunteers, for their unwavering support.
Through everyone’s support we have been able to fund projects that make a real difference in the lives of workers and their families, providing them with the skills, tools, and resources they need to improve their quality of life. Find out below how you can join the growing UnionAID whānau as a Kiwi Solidarity member, and support workers across the Asia-Pacific.
Here are some snapshots from some of our union partnership projects:
Cultivating a new generation of union leaders in Thailand
Initially hesitant to become the union’s president, Massada (Da) Rattanaseeha gained confidence and developed a passion for union organising after participating in the UnionAID project with the Rangsit Labour Union Group’s (RLUG) in Thailand. Da’s journey to becoming union president, shows that with the right support and opportunities, even workers who start as subcontracted employees can become leaders in their workplace and beyond. The project has demonstrated that investing in the next generation of union leaders is a crucial step towards ensuring the continued relevance and success of the labour movement.
Call centre workers win compensation in Philippines
The BPO Industry Employees’ Network (BIEN) in the Philippines successfully secured compensation for several call centre workers, with amounts up to $NZ 11,000, for illegal job terminations. With the help of paralegals trained under a UnionAID-funded project, BIEN has expanded its membership through innovative strategies, offering trainings and webinars and advocating for paid pandemic leave.
Raising wages for Thai plasterboard workers
UnionAID launched a project to improve the lives of Thai plasterboard workers by raising their wages and ensuring better working conditions. These workers face numerous challenges, including low pay and hazardous environments. The project is investigating the working conditions of a number of major plasterboard factories in Thailand, from which the New Zealand construction industry is currently sourcing plasterboard. The objective is to organise workers in those factories to negotiate for better wages and conditions, and to build solidarity between plasterboard workers in Aotearoa New Zealand and Thailand. Come to the Mayday event where this, and other international solidarity projects will be discussed.
Advice centre for Samoan workers
Samoa First Union (SFU) has established a Worker Advice Centre in Apia, the first of its kind that primarily focuses on private sector workers. Research revealed that these workers lacked knowledge about their employment rights, and factory closures resulted in many experiencing redundancy and job losses.
This UnionAID partnership project aims to target workers in Samoa, especially in the tourism sector, Samoan seafarers, and pre-departure RSE workers.
Supporting nurses in Myanmar
In partnership with the New Zealand Nurses’ Organisation, UnionAID are supporting Karenni Nurses who are working on the frontline in Myanmar, providing care to those injured by armed conflict and maintaining critical health service.
Supporting workers in Sri Lanka
The Free Trade Zones and General Services Employees Union (FTZGSE) was funded to develop union membership campaigns around two objectives: raising awareness and taking action to end workplace violence and harassment and a social security policy implemented by the Government that supports workers in need, such as during pandemics.
Garment workers in Bangladesh
The National Garment Workers Federation Bangladesh was granted funding to raise awareness among members of their rights and entitlements.
Looking ahead, we want to grow our supporter network and build on international solidarity from Aotearoa and across the Asia-Pacific region. We want more people to join UnionAID as Kiwi Solidarity Members.
At UnionAID, we firmly believe that the challenges faced by workers and communities in the Asia-Pacific region are not isolated issues but are interconnected, requiring collective action and collaboration. Therefore, we will continue to work closely with international organisations, to support and learn from each other’s experiences, fostering a sense of unity across borders and shared responsibility.
We aim to establish new partnerships and strengthen existing ones, working collaboratively with local community groups and trade unions in the Asia-Pacific region. By fostering strong relationships with these groups, we can better understand the unique challenges and opportunities facing workers, and the struggles that unite us. Furthermore, we will continue to promote education, capacity building, and empowerment initiatives, helping workers and communities gain the skills and knowledge necessary to fight for their rights, and improve their own lives.
How you can support UnionAID and partners
To achieve our ambitious goals, we need your support more than ever. These are the ways you can get involved:
- Become a Kiwi Solidarity Member: Regular contributions help us to expand our projects and build more sustainable partnerships.
- Donate: Your financial contributions are invaluable. With your help, we can continue to fund vital projects.
- Volunteer: We are always in need of passionate people who can offer their time and skills. Whether you have experience in fundraising, event organising, marketing, administration, or simply a desire to make a difference, we would love to hear from you.
- Spread the word: Help us raise awareness of UnionAID’s work by sharing our stories, projects, and events with your friends, whanau, and colleagues. Follow us on social media, sign up for our newsletter, and attend our events to stay informed and connected.
Together, we can create meaningful change and growth for working people and their communities. We look forward to working with you to strive for better work for a better world