Trade union leaders in the textile, garment, leather and footwear sectors in Latin America came together in Brazil earlier this month to discuss how to use global framework agreements and trade union networks to build union power.
The FES-funded workshop brought together forty-five union leaders from Argentina, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Mexico and Uruguay.
The workshop gave the participants the opportunity to learn the workings of global framework agreements and networks, and to dive into the many challenges of confronting global capital in a constantly changing global garment supply chain. Participants discussed the merits of strategic organizing and engaged in a hands-on mapping exercise.
Isidor Boix, from IndustriALL Global Union Spanish affiliate CCOO de Industria and coordinator of the global framework agreement with Spanish retail giant Inditex, joined the meeting via skype. Union leaders from Argentina and Brazil outlined the advances that have been made in their country to organize the Inditex plants in their respective countries.
The workshop was followed by a one-day regional textile conference, which gave delegates the opportunity to drill down into IndustriALL’s strategic plan for the region and to discuss how to implement it in the textile clothing and leather sectors.
Participants also engaged in a discussion with CSI/TUCA representative Bulend Karadag on how to use the Playfair campaign to ensure respect for the rights of workers employed in the supply chain of mega sporting events such as the 2016 Rio Olympics.