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Congress ends, history of IndustriALL begins

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20 June, 2012Founding Congress of IndustriALL Global Union concluded on 20 June 2012. A new 50-million strong global federation was created; ‘a global union superpower’, as one Tweet put it.

More than 30 union leaders addressed the Congress today, on 20 June, in a debate on the Action Plan of the new global union. The opening speech was made by Stefan Löfven, current chairman of the Swedish Social Democratic Party and former leader of IF Metall.

“Wherever there is a political discussion, workers’ voice should be heard and respected,” said Löfven. “I’m still one of you, I’ll always be,” he concluded, to a loud applause.

The debate on the Action Plan covered a wide array of issues, from organizing, union building, trade union rights and the fight against neoliberal capitalism to women’s representation, internal democracy and the role of youth in the labour movement.

“Our goal should be to double the membership to 100 million workers,” claimed Tony Burke from the British union UNITE.

“It’s important that we build the global infrastructure to be able to fight back in cases of aggression,” said Leo Gerard (USW).

 “Global solidarity means we put more emphasis on the weak so that they can become strong. It is very important that IndustriALL works towards unity,” said John Ndeutepo from the Namibian Union of Metalworkers (NUM), echoing yesterday’s discussions.

The Congress adopted resolutions against precarious work, in support of the Spanish miners and Fijian trade unionists. The delegates have also unanimously adopted the Action Plan, the Statutes and the political agreement on the creation of the new global union. Thus, the history of IndustriALL has begun.