The ITUC Solidarity Fund – What it Does

The ITUC Solidarity Fund gives assistance to trade union action in the countries where it is most needed. It helps organisations and individuals facing hardship or repression, and supports trade union campaigns, organising and strengthening capacities and structures. The oversight and management of the Fund is done by the Solidarity Fund Management Board. Allocations from the Fund are decided by the Board, which is chaired by ITUC Deputy President Luc Cortebeeck (CSC Belgium).

The other members of the Board are:
Agnes Jongerius – FNV-Netherlands
Manuel Zaguirre Cano – USO-Spain
Wanja Lundby-Wedin – LO-Sweden
Michael Sommer – DGB- Germany
René Paas – CNV-Netherlands
Tsuyoshi Takagi – JTUC-RENGO - Japan
Victor Baez – ITUC-TUCA General Secretary
Noriyuki Suzuki – ITUC-Asia Pacific General Secretary
Kwasi Adu-Amankwah – ITUC-Africa General Secretary

The Board’s membership also includes one representative of the ITUC Internal Auditors

The Board reports to the ITUC General Council. In 2007, the Fund supported activities to a total of 1 million Euros.

The Fund is financed by voluntary contributions from ITUC affiliates.
Below are some examples of how the Fund is helping people.

The Solidarity Fund in Action

Workers’ Rights
The Solidarity Fund provides support and assistance to trade unions confronting government policies which undermine workers’ rights.

Trade unionists in Guatemala face violence and even death in one of the world’s most hostile environments for those who seek to defend fundamental workers’ rights. Several trade unionists have been killed there in recent times, and the ITUC and Global Union Federations are running an international campaign and providing direct support to the Guatemalan trade union movement. Read more.

The trade union movement in Guinea led massive demonstrations early in 2007 following the government’s failure to honour agreements it had signed with the unions, as well as to protest at the incompetence and corruption of the government, which is known to be one of the most corrupt in the world. The authorities reacted by killing 129 demonstrators, injuring some 1,700 and attacking trade union offices. The ITUC stepped in to provide assistance to the unions, and build international pressure on the government to reach an agreement with them. An agreement was eventually reached, but once again the government broke its side of the bargain, and has continued its anti-union repression since that time. Read more

Millions of migrant workers around the world face exploitation and violation of the trade union and human rights. The ITUC is supporting trade unions in countries from which migrants originate, and in which they now live, to help migrant workers get decent work and have a decent life for themselves and their families.

Women at Work
The Solidarity Fund supports a global Plan of Action for Equality in trade union organisations, focusing on increasing the involvement of women in trade unions, and on organising and representation of women workers.

Decent Work
Trade unions from 130 countries organised actions on the World Day for Decent Work on 7 October 2008. More than 600 actions including rallies, demonstrations, seminars, workplace meetings and publicity actions, took place around the world. The ITUC solidarity Fund provided support to a number of trade union organisations in developing and transition countries, to assist them with the organising of their events. In all, more than 1 million people were involved in this first ever global trade union mobilisation, calling for fundamental reform of the global economy.

Climate change and natural disaster
Activities ITUC-AP Asia Pacific. Please read:
Part on climate change of Interim ISF Report
ITUC-AP Asia Pacific (2008)

Part on natural disaster of Interim ISF Report
ITUC-AP Asia Pacific (2008)

The HIV-AIDS pandemic is affecting millions upon millions of working women and men around the world. The ITUC and its partner organisations, through the Global Union HIV-AIDS Programme, are working through workplace and local community action, along with UN agencies and employers, to raise awareness, reduce new infections, ensure access to medication and health care, and protect the rights in the workplace and in society, of people living with the virus.

ITUC Soilidarity Fund Support for Trade Unions in Honduras: Since the June 28 coup d’état in Honduras, colleagues from the three ITUC Honduran affiliates, CUTH, CTH and CGT, and the Honduran people and their social organisations have been fighting a heroic battle to restore the country’s democratic institutions, secure the implementation of the San José agreements and restore the legitimate president, Manuel Zelaya Rosales, to his post.

The Honduran trade union movement has been at the forefront of the struggle to re-establish democracy and resist the coup and all acts of violence, repression and abuse of human rights by the de facto regime.
The International Trade Union Solidarity Mission to Honduras, carried out by TUCA/ITUC and the Global Union Federations between 5 and 8 August, noted the difficulties faced by our colleagues in maintaining their resistance.

One of the decisions agreed by the Mission was to "Establish and maintain a network providing material, moral and human support for actions to restore democracy and the constitutional rule of law". To that end, we are joining the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas (TUCA) in their call for solidarity from the whole ITUC family with our affiliates the CUTH, the CGT and the CTH. All assistance will be valued as a sign of the generous support of workers affiliated to the ITUC for the just and courageous struggle of the trade union movement in Honduras, who are continuing to fight in what are sometimes extremely tough circumstances.