IndustriALL Global Union, which represents 50 million workers, has elected new leadership at its 2nd world Congress taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Some 1,500 delegates from more than 100 countries are gathered in Rio for the Congress, taking place from 4 to 7 October.
On Wednesday 5 October, IndustriALL affiliates elected Jörg Hofmann from Germany as President of IndustriALL Global Union. Mr Hofmann comes from German metalworkers’ trade union, IG Metall, where he is also President.
Valter Sanches from Brazil was elected General Secretary. Mr Sanches is from Brazilian metalworkers’ union, CNM/CUT, where he was Secretary of International Relations.
Atle Høie from Norway and Jenny Holdcroft, who is British-Australian, were elected Assistant General Secretaries, along with Kemal Özkan from Turkey who was re-elected to the position of Assistant General Secretary.
Jenny Holdcroft was previously policy director at IndustriALL, while Atle Høie comes from The Norwegian United Federation of Trade Unions, where he was International Secretary.
There are also six new Vice-Presidents from IndustriALL regions, they are Issa Aremu from Nigeria, Tahar Berberi from Tunisia, Raul Enrique Mathiu from Argentina, Anders Ferbe from Sweden, Carol Landry from the USA, and Aihara Yasunobu from Japan. Agustin Martin Martinez from Spain will take over from Anders Ferbe in 2018 until the next Congress in 2020.
Delegates paid a fond farewell to IndustriALL’s founding President, Berthold Huber, and General Secretary, Jyrki Raina, who stepped down.
On being elected President, Jörg Hoffman said:
“The increasingly flexible production model based on the division of labour confronts the union movement with new challenges. Multinational companies are the winners of globalization while workers in many countries count among the losers. Employers around the world demand flexibility through temporary and zero-hour contracts but refuse to give security and stability in return. This we cannot and will not accept.”
Reflecting the theme of the Congress – Fighting Forward/A Luta Continua – IndustriALL’s new General Secretary, Valter Sanches, said:
“IndustriALL Global Union is ready to fight forward as workers’ rights all over the world come under attack. We will intensify action to stop precarious work and combat corporate greed, while striving to reverse the model that concentrates wealth in the hands of so few. IndustriALL has much to be proud of after its first four years, now the challenge is to use the structure and support of the largest trade unions for the benefit of those most in need, especially in the countries of Southeast Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
IndustriALL’s 2nd Congress continues until Friday 7 October, during which time delegates will determine IndustriALL’s action plan for the next four years, and decide upon resolutions about Colombia, South Korea, and Brazil, among other matters.
IndustriALL has more than 600 trade union affiliates from 140 countries in the mining, energy and manufacturing industries. Founded in June 2012, it has become a new force in global solidarity taking up the fight for better working conditions and trade union rights around the world.
IndustriALL was founded four years ago in Copenhagen, Denmark with the merger of three international trade unions, the International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF), the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) and International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers' Federation (ITGLWF).