Twelve projects to strengthen free trade unionism around the world

In 2010, the Institut Belleville devoted 275 000 euros to its solidarity action with trade unions in emerging and developing countries. It conducted twelve projects in Africa, South America, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

These programmes were carried out in partnership with NGOs or local trade unions. "We want to give local actors the means to structure themselves, to build a trade unionism that is effective and adapted to the economic and social realities on the ground," says Marcel Grignard, president of the Institut Belleville and deputy general secretary of the CFDT. The Institut Belleville is developing projects on corporate social responsibility, human and trade union rights, migration... The aim of these actions is to defend the rights of the most vulnerable workers and strengthen free and independent trade unionism.

Of the projects implemented in 2010, four are particularly significant:
- Trade union democracy. The International Trade Union Confederation - Africa (ITUC-Africa) and the Institut Belleville launched a three-year training course for trade union leaders, aimed at solving key problems facing the trade union movement in Africa: political interference, lack of resources, etc. 20 people from 13 countries have received training.
- Unionising informal economy workers. Fedina, an Indian NGO, and Institut Belleville set up a seminar on the unionisation of domestic workers, who are often exposed to precarious conditions, bringing Indian women into contact with other women facing the same difficulties. 200 people took part in this event.
- Migrant workers. The Institut Belleville and the Senegalese trade union confederation CNTS have put together practical guides for migrant workers, to inform them of their rights at every stage. This project will continue in 2011. Over 50 000 people are covered by this initiative.
- Social responsibility. The Brazilian trade union centre CUT and Institut Belleville provided trade union representatives from French multinationals with an opportunity to exchange experiences and information, with a view to ensuring the progress of their companies’ commitments regarding social responsibility in Brazil and France.

In 2011, Institut Belleville is taking action to help strengthen independent trade unionism in Arab countries.
It has also launched a project on climate change in the most vulnerable countries.

CFDT Press Contact:
Isabelle Poret / Damien Cerqueus
+33 1 42 03 80 12 / [email protected]

The Institut Belleville is an association established by the CFDT in 1984 to develop international solidarity with workers from developing or emerging countries. Over the last 25 years the institute has conducted hundreds of projects in every continent. The projects are mainly funded by a share of the fees paid by CFDT affiliates.