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18 Sep, 2012

Global Labour Union Launches “New News Site” To Combat Corporate Injustice, Lies & Cover-ups


Brussels, (International Trades Union Congress) News Release) – 17 September 2012: “Equal Times ”, a new ITUC-supported internet platform for news, opinion, investigative reports and activism, is officially launched today.

“Equal Times”: New News Site Officially LaunchedWith a Brussels-based editorial team and more than 50 journalists around the world contributing articles, Equal Times “will bring you stories the mainstream media simply don’t cover, and give a real-life perspective on events and issues where established media simply follow the recipe set for them by corporations and high finance,” writes Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC, in an editorial for the launch edition

The launch edition includes news reports from 16 countries, including live reporting from Pakistan in the wake of the devastating factory fires there, along with in-depth report on the exploitation of indigenous workers in the fragile El Chaco region of Paraguay, under the new President’s “business at all costs” policy. A report on how austerity policies have meant a 13% increase in suicides in EU countries is also profiled. Readers are also invited to join the first major Equal Times campaign, to stop modern slavery in 2022 World Cup host Qatar

“The future of the planet, the world of work, human rights and sustainability, politics and economics – Equal Times is for all those who want real information on what’s happening in the world and who want to help make a difference now and for the next generations,” said Burrow.

Equal Times is published in English, French and Spanish. Readers can comment on articles and share stories through Facebook and twitter.

Sharan Burrow: Equal Times is live!

By Sharan Burrow


– Equal Times will bring you stories the mainstream media simply don’t cover, and give a real-life perspective on events and issues where established media simply follow the recipe set for them by corporations and high finance.

It will cover the struggles of working people for economic justice, decent jobs and safety at work; the real impacts of cuts to pensions, social protection and public services; and the fight for minimum wages and the rights to organise and bargain collectively.



Equal Times will put the spotlight on the perpetrators of injustice like the multinational companies who are richer than many nations but pay poverty wages, destroy the environment, repress workers’ rights and exploit local communities; or the countries which allow human trafficking and the oppression of migrant workers.

It will point the finger at laws and courts which fail to support women seeking redress against discrimination and violence, and expose the climate change sceptics and the neoliberal economists who don’t see or don’t care about the people behind their statistical models.

The digital freedom available today gives a great opportunity for working people, their families and their communities to have a global voice. Equal times will feature daily news, opinion, a global blogging team, investigative journalism and a platform for people to act together against injustice.

It will include regular in-depth features, such as this month’s report on the constitutional coup in Paraguay, describing how the new government there is handing over vast resources to multinationals while failing to help the indigenous workers being used by the local Mennonite community as virtual slaves.

To make it the most read and most influential media publication we can, we need your help. We need you to participate and respond, post the things that stand out to you on your own Facebook page, comment on Equal Times blogs or send a tweet to friends and colleagues to get involved.

Equal Times will also add value to the news. It will enable people to take action to achieve change, by hosting campaigns, petitions and other actions.

The first of these is “Qatar: Do the Right Thing – no World Cup without Labour Rights”. Over a million migrant workers from poorer countries, 94% of Qatar’s workforce, are building the facilities for the 2022 football World Cup. Is that country grateful for the labour of these workers who build, service and maintain the wealthy lifestyles of Qatari families?

No, rather it is content with a system of 21st-century enslavement of workers. With little or no freedom of movement, no freedom of association or right to collectively bargain, low wages, unsafe workplaces and living arrangements akin to the worst slums in the world, there is no just reason why they should have been awarded the World Cup in 2022 by FIFA, the global football body.

The construction contracts for the World Cup facilities are being let to some of the largest construction companies in the world; companies that would not dare to treat their workers in this way in their home countries. Unless there is real change, more workers will be sent home to countries like Nepal and India in coffins than players who will play in the very stadia the workers have built!

It is unacceptable that bodies like FIFA or the International Olympic Committee could even consider awarding global sporting events to countries that defy international labour standards so that they can capture enormous wealth off the back of impoverished labour. Unions globally plan to do everything we can to see freedom of association, fundamental rights, fair wages and safe work for these workers – and you can help. You can give your support to these exploited migrants by joining the Qatar campaign.

This is just one of the areas of injustice we can tackle with you. I hope Equal Times will inform you, motivate you to help us build a community of committed activists and live up to its name to help generate greater equity, rights and social and environmental justice.

Equal Times is more than a name; it’s an ambition for a better world we can all help to shape.