ITUC General Council Meets in São Paulo

Frontlines” campaigns on three main global issues in 2016 – Climate Justice and Industrial Transformation, Taming Corporate Power in Supply Chains and Eliminating Slavery – were endorsed at the 15th meeting of the ITUC General Council in São Paulo last week.

The Council also adopted work-plans on six priority areas – Countries At Risk, Global Coherence and Development, Global Governance of Migration, Count Us In! (women’s representation at work and in unions), Domestic Workers and Organising.
The 10-12 October meeting opened with a message of solidarity and condolences to the victims of the atrocity in Ankara, in which more than 100 people were killed and some 250 injured when a union-organised peace rally was targeted by terrorists. The ITUC has demanded a full and independent inquiry into who was responsible for the attack.

The Council also marked the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Tunisian “Quartet”, and was briefed by Houcine Abassi, General Secretary of the UGTT, one of the Quartet members. A keynote speech was delivered to the meeting by José Mujica, former President of Uruguay.

The meeting also discussed and adopted a report entitled “Freedom” which identified the alarming global trend towards the closing of democratic space and the consequences of this, including conflict and displacement of people, corruption, impunity and violent crime and inequality and attacks on workers’ rights. Other Resolutions were adopted on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement,violations of workers’ rights in Spain and attacks on democracy in Brazil. A resolution on the International Development Agenda following the UN’s adoption of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals was also adopted, including a commitment for the ITUC to support the “Global Deal” initiative launched by the government of Sweden.

Five organisations, with a total membership of 4,400,000, were newly accepted into ITUC affiliation – NCST Brazil, CFTUI India, FPK Kazakhstan, and CESITP and CUT Paraguay.

The Council also received reports on the global economic situation and on ILO activities, along with reports from the ITUC Human and Trade Union Rights Committee, the Committee on Workers’ Capital, as well as briefings on activities for women workers including action to stop violence against women at work and in society. Global Union Federations Education International and UNI reported on their respective campaigns for quality public education and for international security firm Prosegur to respect workers’ rights.

Three organisations, GFITU Iraq, CFTUK Kazakhstan and FTUz Uzbekistan were recognised as ITUC-associated organisations.

The meeting, chaired by ITUC President João Felicio, was attended by 130 representatives from ITUC affiliates in 54 countries.

2018 ITUC World Congress:

Proposals to host the 2018 World Congress have been received from the TUC Great Britain and the LO-Denmark. The General Council decided that these, and any other detailed proposals from affiliates to host the Congress, should be evaluated and a decision taken by the Executive Bureau early in 2016. Any proposal from an affiliate would need to be received by the end of 2015.