Unions at the forefront
The narrowing of the democratic space in 54 countries and the sharp increase in violence, arrests and detentions of trade union leaders in 69 countries suggests that 2018 was difficult for many affiliates.
The number of refugees and IDPs is growing and has become the largest in our history
84% of workers say that the minimum salary is not enough for survival, and opposition to collective bargaining continues in many countries.
But there is hope. Combining more than 207 million members and shaping the strength of the working people, we have become stronger.
The 4th ITU World Congress in Copenhagen recently completed its work, where for more than five days, more than 1,200 delegates participated in the debate defining fair peace priorities.
The outcome of the Congress is the fact that the power of workers is able to change the rules. The international trade union movement advocates peace, democracy and the rights of workers. We must conquer and transform the insolvent global economic model of today. We must protect the rights of workers and other human rights and demand a new social contract. In the light of global trends in technology change, climate and the forced movement of people, we must advocate fair transformations. Equality for all people is at the center of our actions.
The priority areas of work of the ITU for the next 4 years are based on the following 4 principles: peace, democracy, equitable change with respect to climate change, technology development and movement of people, as well as equality.
In 2019, the 100th anniversary of the International Labor Organization will be held and we need a more convincing statement about the future of the world of work with the possibility of providing stable employment, new social agreements and guarantees of labor rights for all workers. We are also in favor of the Convention on the Elimination of Violence Against Men and Women at Work. At the same time, the UN Convention on Human Rights in the field of business should serve as a guarantee of the responsibility of business in ensuring labor rights of a person.
We look forward to working with our new management team – Deputy President Katie Feingold and Kari Pitter Torualdson, Deputy Secretary General Victor Baez, Mamadou Dialo, Owen Tudor and look forward to the support of all of you next year.
Happy New Year, let us in the new year show a firmer determination in changing the existing rules.
ITU President Sharan Barrow
ITU General Secretary