SMP-NATOW participates in the International Summer School 2016


One representative from Samahang Manggagagawang Pilipino-National Alliance of Teachers and Office workers (SMP-NATOW) participated in the annual Global Labour Institute International Summer School 2016 at Northern College, Barnsley, United Kingdom, July 4-8.

Ms. Gracia Q. Sotelo, the secretary of Saint Louis College Educators Association (SLCEA), an affiliate of the federation, is one of the four representatives of Education International (EI) in its first participation in the said summer school.

“It was my first time to travel abroad and it is indeed a memorable and information-filled trip. I am very thankful to SLCEA, SMP-NATOW and EI for this opportunity.” said Sotelo.

Along with her, different trade union activists across the world gathered to debate and question what are, and what should be the politics of the international trade union movement.

To realize this objective, several plenary and small group discussions focused on: Capitalism, Anti-Capitalism and the Trade Union Movement, The Fall & Rise of Labour, Key Trends in Union Organisation ,The Politics of Organisingwhich includes informal workers and migrants, International trade union strategies for tackling TNCs,Unions& Climate Change,Politics of the left and Political vision and strategy of the international trade union movement. Aside from these, a workshop on film production was also held.

“The summer school is a great avenue for educators and young union members like me to be more aware of the politics of trade union, thus, appreciating better the value of organizing. As an officer, it dawned on me the significance of labor education to all workers. Unions should have clear ideologies and these should be clear to the members for them to know what we are fighting for. Aside from that, I was able to appreciate international solidarity not just because different sectors were represented globally but also because I was asked to show solidarity in the NUT strike through a video. Truly, the battle of one union is the battle of all. And lastly, in the People’s Museum in Manchester, it says, “There have always been ideas worth fighting for” and it’s really true. Not all fights were easy but one thing is certain, if we organize, if we work together and if we build alliance-locally and internationally, the future for trade union will always be bright.”Sotelo replied when asked about her insights.

The summer school has been an annual activity of Global Labour Institute since 2012.