Tyree Scott International Worker to Worker Project
The Tyree Scott International Worker-to-Worker Project was founded in 1997 to create opportunities for “ordinary” workers from different countries to communicate with each other – in their own languages – and share information about the global economy and its effects on workers’ lives. Named in honor of the late LELO founder Tyree Scott, an ordinary Black worker, visionary leader, and world citizen, the project inspires workers to foster a shared analysis of their problems across national borders and offer solidarity to each other’s local struggles.
Building an international worker-to-worker network that has sponsored cross-border gatherings, led workers’ solidarity tours, and developed popular education tools reaching more than 5,000 ordinary workers since 1997. In that year, LELO organized a small international meeting of 33 workers from five continents to share information about the ways in which the global economy impacts their lives and strategize about how to assert their rights and interests within it. They wrote this declaration collectively:
The Seabeck Declaration
The workers here have met at the invitation of LELO and have analyzed the world situation in the search to find common roads with a sense of resolving our common problems. In our deliberations we have decided to call for an international meeting of workers having as its agenda the objective to fight and to debate globalization and its consequences for workers.
We are united here around the problem of the global economy and the stories from our experiences that we have shared in common. We take into consideration the fact that these stories should be shared all over the world and therefore we agree to have a world conference.
The environment is a workers’ issue. We should debate ways of protecting jobs, development and the environment – and these three objectives are not incompatible.
RIGHT TO ORGANIZE
All workers should have the basic right to organize and to have that organization recognized by their employers. The workers should have the right to set their own working standards and that these should be common working standards across all borders and for all countries.
All workers should have the right of freedom of movement across borders and have the right to work in the country of their choice, free from discrimination, exploitation and marginalization.
In the transformation of the global economy and privatization, it is women and children who suffer most from the loss of the public sector and some governmental protections for the least advantaged.
Women and men should recognize that the education about gender roles begins at home. Women and men must begin the process of training their children in such a way that both girls and boys are raised to be equal participants in all work.
By July 1999, LELO teamed up with TADET (Taller de Economía del Trabajo) – a support center for the independent labor movement in Mexico – to host the first of these regional meetings. The North American and Caribbean Regional Workers Meeting brought together 52 workers from Mexico, the U.S., Canada and four Caribbean countries for a three-day retreat in Mexico City.
In 2007-2008, the Tyree Scott International Worker-to-Worker Project will focus on the problem of privatization of public resources and its impact on working class communities of color. The project will use popular education and international networking tools to educate workers engaged in LELO’s local, grassroots organizing campaigns on the issue of privatization; to link local workers of color to workers and their organizations internationally who have faced similar issues; and to identify, build relationships with and develop the leadership of workers and communities threatened by the pending privatization of their jobs and/or services.
Worldwide, workers of color and women workers have struggled to expose the global economy as a system that, rather than bringing democracy and opportunity, increasingly denies them and their families basic human rights. LELO has adopted this framework for our organizing. We look to the global south to help update our analysis of problems that disproportionately impact working class communities of color in the U.S.
The Permanent People’s Tribunal opened a Mexico chapter that was dedicated to ‘free trade, violence, impunity and the rights of the Peoples’. LELO and other community organizations planed an International Prehearing on Immigration on September 13th and 14th of 2014. The main objective of this hearing in Seattle (and New York) was to expose the intent and the impact of NAFTA on the Mexican people and migrants from other countries impacted by similar agreements.
In that Pre-hearing participated migrants who are living in Oregon, Washington State Vancouver B.C. Canada and small delegation from Mexico. They presented 24 accusations for human right violations against Mexico, Canada and Unite States governments and corporations. The final ruling the judges conclude that NAFTA has created the opportunity and fulfillment for “crimes against humanity” by the Mexican, United States, and Canadian governments and corporations.