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BEERG Newsletter - Global: Union concerns over ILO Qatar decision

While the global trade union movement is still trying to get its house back in order after the dismissal of Luca Visentini, the short-lived general secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), who had previously served as the general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), over his involvement in the bribery scandal involving the European Parliament, known as “Qatargate”, the acting general secretary of the ITUC, has complained to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) over its decision to nominate Qatar as the chair of its flagship annual conference in June. 

The ITUC letter specifically mentions “allegations” that “attempts have been made to influence decision makers in the European Union in a highly inappropriate manner” though without, apparently, naming Visentini. Read this interesting take on what is going on from Eric Lee, the founder of the LabourStart website.

Meanwhile, the ETUC has elected a new leadership team for the next four years. Irish trade unionist Esther Lynch, who first became involved in the labour movement while working in a micro-chip factory in the 1980s, will lead the team over the next four years as general secretary. Full details HERE. 

The priorities for the new team include:

  • push for ban on public funding for companies which refuse to recognise unions or bargain collectively.
  • The regulation of Artificial Intelligence in the workplace based on the ‘human in control’ principle.
  • Preventing a return to austerity and pushing for new EU economic rules which put people and planet first.
  • The full and fast implementation of the Pay Transparency Directive.
  • Ensuring no workers are left behind in the transition to a green and digital economy.
  • Increasing trade union membership as a bulwark against the rise of the far right.

This is a worthwhile read on the issues facing trade unions in a fast-changing world.

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Authors: Tom Hayes

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