16 December, 2021At IndustriALL Global Union’s Executive Committee meeting, held online on 15 December, titular members and observers discussed what the organization needs to focus on to be best equipped to tackle challenges ahead.
President Jörg Hofmann from German union IG Metall opened the meeting, talking about the increasing inequalities in the world, but stressing that together the global union makes up a strong force of solidarity. He said that the fact that the meeting still had to be held virtually, almost two years into the pandemic, was sign of global policy failure.
“The only way back to normality is equitable vaccine access for everyone in the world,”
As a new leadership team was elected at IndustriALL’s 3rd Congress in September, general secretary Atle Høie explained the new leadership structure and division of responsibilities. The organization needs to be equipped to focus on global union solidarity, securing social justice, equality and equity, with a decent standard of living for all, in line with the new action plan.
The Executive Committee discussed action taken on the resolutions adopted by IndustriALL’s 3rd Congress in September. The pandemic, and the growing complexity of global supply chains, has demonstrated the need for unions to present a united front. Congress passed a resolution on cooperation with other trade union organizations, and a detail programme for effective cooperation with organizations including IndustriAll Europe and other global unions was presented.
Assistant general secretary Kemal Özkan updated participants on steps taken as IndustriALL continues to call for comprehensive economic sanctions against the military junta in Myanmar. The call has been made in a series of meetings and communications with multinationals in the energy, steel and garment industries as well as multistakeholder initiatives.
Hashmeya Alsadawe, from General Trade Union of Electricity Sector Employees of Iraq and women’s committee co-chair, gave a report from the committee’s meeting held last week. Bridging the gender pay gap is among the priorities, as well as enhancing social dialogue and ensuring women are part of discussions on the future of work.
On the resolution Calling for an end to inequalities, sexism, misogyny and gender-based violence in IndustriALL, among affiliates and in the world of work adopted at Congress, IndustriALL assistant general secretary Christine Olivier stressed that gender-based violence and sexual harassment continues to be a reality for many women workers and it is also a reality in many unions.
In the women's conference in 2019, women called on their unions to be agents of change and fight stereotypes that perpertuates discrimination in the workplace and society at large. Christine Olivier reminded affiliates of the important Pledge taken in 2017 to fight gender-based violence in workplaces and in unions, calling on the Executive Committee to take the issue seriously.
Inclusiveness and capacity building are key to ensure a place for young workers in the union. As an organization, IndustriALL must be able to reproduce itself, to build a second level of leadership, which can only be done if young workers are included.
There was a significant debate on how IndustriALL and its affiliates should use the concept of global action days to draw public attention to the importance of reduced inequalities in the world. The Executive Committee agreed to task the secretariat with developing a concept for a global action day on inequality and present it to the affiliates in the first quarter of 2022. The Executive Committee meeting on 30 June next year will decide whether or not this action day will happen.
Delegates expressed confidence in the new leadership team, and in the strength of the organization to confront challenges together. Future executive committee meetings will be held twice a year, once virtually and once physically, if pandemic conditions allow.