ITUC World Congress: A divided world needs strong trade unions



“Our world is fractured and people feel insecure. Conflicts, dictatorship, fascism – the extremes that fought against them in the last century are again the battles of today. Workers’ power and intergenerational solidarity will be needed to win the struggle for peace, democracy and social justice,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), at the ITUC World Congress which takes place during December 2-7 in Denmark.

As reported, the ITUC World Congress is attended by the delegation of the National Trade Union Confederation of Moldova (CNSM), leaded by Oleg Budza, president of the CNSM. Follow the full speech of the President of the CNSM, offered on December 4, at the ITUC World Congress here. Delegates discuss the strategies of trade unions globally on decent work, wages and social justice under the modern conditions, the ITUC campaigns and their impact, as well as the election of the ITUC president and general secretary for the next period. At the same time, Congress will adopt the policies and work plan of the ITUC for the upcoming years.

According to the submitted reports at the Congress, recent trends (2014-2018) included in the Global Index of Rights developed by ITUC show the following:

  • Violence against trade union activists has increased, from attacks registered in 41 countries to 65 countries (59% more than in 2017);
  • A 69% increase in arrests and detentions among trade unionists in 59 countries;
  • The increase of the restriction of the freedom of expression by 50% compared to last year in 54 countries.

“When you add to this the exclusion from freedom of association for groups of workers in 93 countries and violations of the right to strike in 123 countries, the threat to democratic rights and freedoms is clear. Our struggle must be focused on defending and enhancing rights at work,” said Sharan Burrow.

“Peace is becoming more and more precarious. Every year, the world spends $ 1.7 trillion on the army – only 1% of them would feed all the undernourished children in the world for 5 years. Military expenditures are increasing and contributing to the rise of armed conflicts,” a press release from the ITUC said.

The ITUC demands that each country commit to the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), give up nuclear weapons and reduce military spending, direct investments in services, infrastructure and jobs that the world needs. The ITUC welcomed the COP24 initiative on the impact of climate change and urges countries to take into account the impact of climate policies on workers, their families and communities when preparing and implementing new national development strategies, national adaptation plans and national development strategies on long-term low greenhouse gas emissions.


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