‌‌‌Building Workers' Power

ITUC Newsletter – February 2023


Owen Tudor, ITUC Deputy General Secretary

2023 will be a key year for trade unions and working people.

As striking workers rock economies in the face of a cost-of-living crisis and authoritarian regimes respond by banning those strikes, as in my own country of Great Britain and in Zimbabwe, we must redouble our efforts to defend and promote working people’s interests.

We need to tackle the war in Ukraine, repression in Belarus, the absence of democracy in Hong Kong and Myanmar and the increasing climate emergency with the foundation of a just transition.

But we must also celebrate our achievements. Despite the fascist reaction, President Lula is now setting Brazil back on the path to democracy and justice. In Fiji, our sisters and brothers finally overturned their anti-union, anti-worker government.

As Oxfam’s annual report for the World Economic Forum in Davos showed, bosses are making billions while millions fall further into poverty. We need to ensure that politicians understand the need to put people, not profits first. We need a New Social Contract.

Last year, we secured recognition that a safe and healthy work environment is a right for workers. This has given a new impetus to organising for health and safety – a crucial part of union action. This year’s Workers’ Memorial Day, April 28 is dedicated to this core union priority.

This year we must start to ratify and implement the new, core ILO conventions, while redoubling the campaign for ILO Convention 190 against gender-based violence.

We face enormous challenges inside the trade union movement as well as in the workplace, but we can and must succeed. Workers depend on us.

Please read the final congress statement that has a strong focus on peace and democracy, and the three intersecting challenges facing working people and their trade unions today: the climate emergency, global public health and technology.

We are now taking action to deliver on the statement and push for the New Social Contract, such as by joining the ILO Global Coalition for Social Justice.

Also at Congress, we passed key resolutions on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, on solidarity with the people of Iran and on combatting the far right.

Looking forward, we will be marking International Women’s Day, 8 March, and the ITUC General Council will meet on 11 March.

In solidarity,

Owen Tudor, ITUC Deputy General Secretary


Key Upcoming Dates

G7 Employment Working Group, Tokyo, Japan
8-9 February

ILO Global Coalition for Social Justice
20 February

UN Human Rights Council
27 February-4 April

The Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) #CSW67
6-17 March

International Women’s Day
8 March

ITUC General Council
11 March

Workers’ Memorial Day
28 April

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