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International Commission for the Co-ordination of Solidarity Among Sugar Workers (ICCSASW) fonds Series
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Women Sugar Workers

Series consists of material pertaining to ICCSASW’s special program focused on women sugar workers. This work was undertaken with the help of an intern between 1987 and 1991. In the case of intern, Joan Atlin, this was made possible by a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Award for Canadians and consisted of networking, seminars, exchanges of visits and publications. Files include correspondence, research, reports and notes.

Programs and projects

Series consists of information related to ICCSASW’s work on various programs and projects for the benefit of the sugar workers. These included hosting visiting union staff at the Toronto secretariat, a documentation centre, exchanges among specific countries, building regional networks, etc. Files contain notes and correspondence, copies of labour agreements, minutes, reports, registration forms, newsletters and other program-related materials.

ICCSASW Committees

Series consists of material relating to ICCSASW’s various committees. The ten-member Steering Committee was to meet annually and the Executive Committee was to meet on an ad-hoc basis. The Advisory Management Committee assisted on budgeting matters. Files contain committee meeting reports, resolutions, budgets, photographs, notes and some correspondence.

GATT-Fly and Brewster Kneen/origins of ICCSASW

Series includes records from the formational years of ICCSASW, primarily materials gathered by ICCSASW's parent institution, GATT-Fly, an overseas development agency of the Canadian churches for global economic justice. Series includes research materials pertaining to the sugar industry, such as material about the Food Prices Review Board and the Tariff Board hearings, gathered by food industry analyst Brewster Kneen in his research for “The Economy of Sugar," published in June 1971 by CENSIT (Centre for the Study of Institution and Theology). These research materials were given to Reg McQuaid in 1973 and include correspondence, memoranda, minutes and news clippings.

General files

Series includes miscellaneous records on topics related to overseas development, economic justice, trade union matters, government policies and other issues that could affect the work of trade union solidarity. Files include correspondence, mailing lists, miscellaneous photographs and reference material, as well as records relating to office administration, staffing etc.

Photos by country

Series contains photographs not directly connected with major events such as conferences, seminars and committee meetings (photographs directly connected with major events are with the files related to those events). The photographs are organized alphabetically by country and show various subjects including sugar refineries, sugar plantations, attendees at sugar worker events, sugar workers and their families. Some photographs may be disturbing.

ICCSASW Seminars

Series consists of material pertaining to International Sugar Workers seminars, including organizational files, correspondence, budgets, proceedings and reports. One of ICCSASW’s main program areas was the organization of regional and national seminars in collaboration with the relevant sugar workers’ unions. About 20 of these were held over a 10-year period. The two largest seminars were held in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Philippines, hosted by the National Federation of Sugar Workers – Foods & General Trades (NFSW-FGT) and focused on the Asia-Pacific region. From 1995 to 1997 three international seminars were held in Toronto, with an emphasis on providing unions with the latest economic information about their industry, as well as affording an opportunity for networking and building solidarity.

Solidarity campaigns

Series consists of material created and gathered by ICCSASW in the course of their solidarity work. Dozens of solidarity campaigns were organized by ICCSASW in response to requests from different countries, pertaining to salary campaigns, political repression, job loss, natural disaster, etc. Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Philippines were among the principal sources of solidarity appeals. Series contains appeals, responses and other correspondence (including letter-writing campaigns denouncing various actions) and organizational materials.

ICCSASW publications

Series consists of publications by ICCSASW. ICCSASW published regular newsletters in English (“Sugar World”) and Spanish (“Mundo Azucarero”) throughout the years of its existence. For three or for years it also published newsletters in French (“Le Monde du Sucre”) and in Portuguese (“Mundo Açucareiro”). These publications carried news of unions, solidarity campaigns, changes in the industry, etc. There were also occasional research papers in English and Spanish, dealing in depth with different issues such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), violence, wage comparisons, diversification, women in the industry, Tate & Lyle, etc. Some files include correspondence related to ICCSASW's publications, as well as mailing lists and subscriber information.

International Sugar Workers Conferences

Series consists of material created and gathered by GATT-Fly and ICCSASW, in relation to four International Sugar Workers Conferences. Files contain correspondence, reports and notes regarding travel arrangements, participants, expenses, and other elements of conference organization, as well as photographs taken at conferences. The First International Sugar Workers Conference was held in Trinidad in 1977. The Second International Sugar Workers Conference was originally scheduled to be held in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic in November 1982, but had to be postponed due to complications with travel visas for delegates. It was rescheduled for February 1983 in Toronto, Canada. The second conference established the ICCSASW. The Third International Sugar Workers Conference was held in Santo Domingo in 1987. It was the largest event organized by ICCSASW, with delegates from five continents. The last in the series of four conferences was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1993.

Sugar Workers & Industry Education Resource Library [SWIERL]

Series contains correspondence, financial information and other records of the Sugar Workers and Industry Education Resource Library (SWIERL), including bibliographies, acquisitions, records of incorporation, and other administrative information such as storage space rentals and plans for eventual disposition of materials to the archives. Series also contains some videocassettes from the SWIERL collection.

In an effort to broaden its base of potential support, in 1992 ICCSASW officially incorporated its documentation centre as SWIERL. The SWIERL corporate embossing seal can be found in box 2006-060/061 - item 2006-060/061(01). ICCSASW itself was never incorporated, but operated under the umbrella of the Anglican Church of Canada. When ICCSASW ceased to function in 1998, SWIERL continued to maintain the documentation left over from the project, until 2006 when it was transferred to the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC) at York University.