International Campaigns & Issues

As the peak union body for Australia, the ACTU participates in a range of international forums on behalf of unions and Australian workers, including the International Labour Organisation and the International Trade Union Confederation.

Australian unions are also active players in the global union movement, joining international campaigns and solidarity actions on a regular basis.

In this section, you will find statements by the ACTU on international issues, details of current international campaigns, and news from around the world.

Recent International Campaigns & Issues

ACTU calls for release of Iranian trade unionists

June 4, 2021

The persecution of trade unionists and the systematic abuse of workers’ and trade union rights persist in Iran.

Two well-known workers’ rights defenders in Iran, Mahmoud Salehi and Osman Ismaili were arrested on 16 May 2021 and charged with endangering national security by disseminating information concerning the 1 May celebration.

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ACTU calls on Australia to challenge Myanmar regime’s credentials at the upcoming International Labour Conference

May 25, 2021

The ACTU has called on the Australian Government to challenge the Myanmar military regime’s credentials at the upcoming International Labour Conference and other UN meetings.

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ACTU calls for an end to the violence in Israel and Palestine

May 17, 2021

The ACTU joins the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in calling for an immediate cessation of violence in Israel and Palestine, and the unjust and illegal occupation of Palestine.

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ACTU calls on the Duque government to end violence against Colombian protestors

May 10, 2021

The ACTU calls on the Duque government to end violence against Colombian protestors. Working people in Colombia, led by an alliance of trade unions and social groups, have taken to the streets every day since 28 April against the far-right Duque government and its planned tax reform, which would deepen inequality. The scale of the demonstrations forced the government to withdraw the bill. But in the past week, the government deployed the notorious Anti-Riot Squad (ESMAD) across the country against the protesters.

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ACTU gives evidence at public hearing on Myanmar

May 3, 2021

The Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade held a public hearing on Tuesday 13 April on Myanmar. Michele O’Neil, President of the ACTU, appeared with Kate Lee, Executive Officer of Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, to speak about the current situation for trade unions in Myanmar, and actions the Australian Government must take to support a return to democratic rule.

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ACTU joins over 200 organisations from around the world in calling for WTO reform

April 28, 2021

The ACTU joins the ITUC, Global Union Federations, as well as other national and international unions and organisations in calling for fundamental reform of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

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Australian civil society groups call for Government to take immediate urgent action on Myanmar

April 9, 2021

Australian civil society groups have signed onto a joint letter calling for the Government to take immediate action against the military coup in Myanmar which has led to over 500 civilians being killed thus far.

Signatories include the Australian Council of Trade Unions, the Australian Council for International Development, Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA, Publish What You Pay, International Women’s Development Agency, Human Rights Law Centre, and Australian Centre for International Justice.

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Australia needs to ‘step up’ to support PNG to overcome the COVID-19 crisis

March 16, 2021

The ACTU has written to Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Health Minister Greg Hunt calling for the Australian Government to do more to assist Papua New Guinea respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 health crisis.

The ACTU calls on the Australian Government to immediately deploy 20,000 vaccines and PPE to frontline health workers.

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ACTU Executive stands in solidarity with unionists in the Philippines

March 12, 2021

ACTU Executive passed a resolution at its meeting on 10th and 11th March 2021 in support of the demands of the Filipino trade union movement, and called on the Australian Government to stop funding military and police in the Philippines.

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ACTU Executive stands in solidarity with the people of Myanmar

March 12, 2021

At its meeting on 10th and 11th March, ACTU Executive passed a resolution in solidarity with the people of Myanmar.

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The ACTU Network

Australian Unions

Whether you want to join a union, take action in campaigns, or make the most of the benefits of being a union member, Australian Unions is the place to go for information and resources.
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Mind Your Head

We’re taking action to protect workplace mental health.
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Your rights at work for students and for people entering the workforce for the first time.
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Information and resources for health and safety representatives and workers about how to speak up at work for health and safety.
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Union Aid Abroad

Union Aid Abroad-APHEDA is the overseas aid and development agency of the ACTU. Our work aims to build self-reliance through support to educational and training projects for workers and their organisations in the developing world.
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ACTU National Union Directory

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Australian Council of Trade Unions

Representing Australian workers and their families.