What is Freedom of Association? Challenges to organising in electronics supply chains

December 1, 10:00—11:30 CET. REGISTER


David Bacon, Photojournalist and Former Union Organizer, United States

David Bacon has been a reporter and documentary photographer for 18 years. He has exhibited his work nationally, and in Mexico, the UK and Germany. Bacon covers issues of labor, immigration and international politics. For twenty years, Bacon was a labor organizer for unions in which immigrant workers made up a large percentage of the membership. Those include the United Farm Workers, the United Electrical Workers, the International Ladies' Garment Workers, the Molders Union and others. Bacon worked in a semiconductor plant for several years, and was chair of the UE Electronics Organizing Committee before he was fired and blacklisted. Those experiences gave him a unique insight into changing conditions in the workforce, the impact of the global economy and migration, and how these factors influence the struggle for workers rights.

Julius Carandang, National Coordinator, Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines

Julius Carandang is a long-time trade unionist in the Philippines. He was  trade union leader in NXP (currently Nexperia) and he is currently the National Coordinator in the Metal Workers Alliance of the Philippines, an alliance of trade unions in metal-related industries. MWAP is an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union.

Karen Curtis, Chief of the Freedom of Association Branch, ILO International Labour Standards Department

Karen manages support to the ILO supervisory bodies that monitor respect for international labour standards and freedom of association principles and rights. She plays a coordinating role for standards action and technical cooperation, building on relationships of trading partners for the promotion of decent work. She has spoken to and published articles on the interlinkages of freedom of association and democracy and the leveraging of trade for workers' rights and its impact on labour standards and global supply chains.

David Foust, Labour Rights Expert, Mexico

Former Coordinator of CEREAL, a centre dedicated to promote and defend worker rights in the electronic industry in Mexico. He was also CEREAL's international liaison and, before that, he was a volunteer for the Centre, helping with workshops with workers, translations and public relations. He was a member of Good Electronics' steering committee for three years. David has a PhD in Sociology, he is a professor and researcher at ITESO, a university settled in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Bruno Gentil Periera, General Secretary of the Electronics Industry Employees Union Western Region Peninsular Malaysia (EIEUWRPM)

Bruno Periera started working with UNHCR during the Vietnamese Boat People episode in the late 1970s. He has helped set up a number of NGOs including Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM), the online news portal Malaysiakini, and several trade unions. He worked in an electronics factory from 1979, where he was involved in setting up the first union in that industry in 1988. The company changed its name several times to avoid the successful creation of the union during which time they sacked Bruno and 20 of his co-workers. After a protracted court battle of six years, they were reinstated in a landmark decision. Bruno continued his union work and with assistance from several friends and fellow activists, ultimately formed four regional unions catering for all the electronics workers in Peninsular Malaysia in 2010.