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Atle Høie: Welcome to Global Worker (#1 2022)

6 July, 2022Ensuring that workers and unions are part of the discussions around tomorrow’s workplaces is central to what we do. 

GS Corner

From Global Worker No 1 June 2022

Welcome: from general secretary Atle Høie

The report on future mobility concepts details how unions are preparing for the mobility sector of the future. What are the main elements and what are the challenges? And most importantly, how are unions best positioned to defend workers’ rights, as well as decent work and pay going forward? 

Finnish paper union Paperliitto won a resounding victory this spring, when a collective agreement was finally signed after 112 days of strike. The employer wanted to break the right to collective bargaining, but the union stood strong and defended this fundamental right. Read about the union win in the Union profile.  

In the interview I say that as general secretary, defending the right to collective bargaining is key to what we do. Basic trade union rights – the right to organize and to collective bargaining –provide workers with the foundation for everything else, like safe workplaces and freedom from discrimination. 

Collective bargaining is also the best tool to address the gender pay gap, which currently stands at an average of 20 per cent across the world. How do we raise the wage floor and what can unions do to include pay equity in all that we do? 

It is the collective that builds union power and that is where its strength lies, says Rose Omamo from Kenya in the Union profile. As an international trade union, we have called for solidarity and action for our brothers and sister in Myanmar. The situation for workers has drastically deteriorated since the military coup in February last year. Most unions are banned, and many workers who were once protected by collective agreements have been fired and replaced by casual workers with no rights. As a collective we must act, and IndustriALL reiterates our call for comprehensive economic sanctions. The longer companies act like it is business as usual, the more prolonged the agony of Myanmar will be.

Atle Høie

General secretary