As Sweden is gearing up for EU elections in a few days and national elections in September, IndustriALL affiliate IF Metall took to their congress in Stockholm to discuss the labour market, salaries and social security. The Swedish union also called upon the Turkish government to take swift action against the mining tragedy in Soma.
On 18 May, IF Metall and more than 40 international guests, including IndustriALL general secretary Jyrki Raina, called on the government of Turkey to act immediately to avoid preventable accidents in mines. As a first step, the government should ratify ILO Convention 176 on Safety and Health in Mines.
The congress slammed the uncaring attitude of the government and mining companies:
This attitude is unacceptable and must come to an end. It is intolerable that mine workers in Turkey are denied their basic human right to work in an environment that guarantees their safety, and that instead they are expected to go to work to die.”
Delegates also expressed support for workers in the Bangladesh garment industry, and the daunting task of organizing the largely union-free sector. The union presented IndustriALL with a gift to the global union’s fund for organizing and campaigning in Bangladesh.
IndustriALL Global Union general secretary Jyrki Raina said in his speech:
Our 600 affiliates are committed to buid global solidarity, and here IF Metall plays an important role. Your hands-on support in promoting trade union rights and organizing in countries like Colombia, South Africa, Bangladesh and Indonesia makes a difference and shows that change is possible.”
The congress re-elected Anders Ferbe for president and Veli-Pekka Säikkälä as collective bargaining officer. Marie Nilsson was elected vice president, and Monika Theodorsson was re-elected as union secretary.