16 May, 2012
ICEM Colombia Coordinator Carlos Bustos reports that a two-day seminar of young trade unionists from the three Global Union Federations (GUFs) that next month will form IndustriALL came to important conclusions last week. The participation of 20 trade unionists under the age of 30 brought young men and women together from throughout Colombia on 10-11 May.
Participating unions included International Metalworkers’ Federation (IMF)affiliates Utramicol and Fetramecol, and Martina Sanguinetti of the Uruguayan Metalworkers (UNTMRA). Also participating were representatives of ICEM, and CUT and CTC national labour centres.
The meeting sought to find ways to increase the active participation of youth. A key issue for participants was not for them to be consulted more, but to be centrally involved in decision-making and to be involved and represented at all levels inside unions. This includes deciding the politics and the future of the Colombian trade union movement.
A commitment was reached to establish a permanent network for communication and information.
The joint youth project of the three GUFs that also included the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers’ Federation (ITGLWF) and was funded by the Finnish Solidarity Organisation, SASK. This project will connect similar processes that are ongoing in Brazil, Mexico, Uruguay, and Nicaragua with that in Colombia.
ICEM project coordinator Patricio Sambonino evaluated the two-day Colombian seminar, saluting the important contribution and participation of the young trade unionists, moving towards generational change for the movement.