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Mid-Term Policy Conference lays down strategic goals for a just future

29 June, 2023A colourful background displaying building blocks to close the growing inequality gap set the scene for discussions on current and future challenges and strategic priorities when 600 representatives from 179 unions in 64 countries met for the IndustriALL Mid-Term Policy Conference on 20-22 June.

"If we want defend human and trade union rights, oppose global capital and want a humane economy with an ecological, social and fair transformation, then we have to expand our trade union power resources - especially through organizing. All topics that we work on, all activities that we carry out must lead to strengthening our organizational power. There's no way around it,"

said IndustriALL president Jörg Hoffman in his opening remarks.

IndustriALL president Jörg Hoffman

Sweden’s former prime minister and former IF Metall president and IndustriALL Exco member, Stefan Löfvén, said in his address:

“There are no empty spaces in democracy. We need Ubuntu, respect, sharing, trust, community. I am because we are. What matters is the change you have made to the lives of others.”

Stefan Löfvén

Breaking into four break-out sessions, participants had the opportunity to hear and strategize on addressing growing inequalities in the world, building union power through organizing, strategize and develop plans towards companies and brands and lastly shaping our future through Just Transition.

Break-out session one centered around addressing the growing inequality in the world.  This session discussed streamlining strategies, mapping multinational corporations and their supply chains, leveraging digital technology, and fighting for a global living wage. Participants agreed that the right to organizing and collective bargaining are essential to address inequality and participants said that the global north should demonstrate global solidarity to ensure the fair distribution of wealth.


Building union power through organizing, was the main goal for break-out session two. Subcontracting, precarious work and the ever-expanding supply chain is the common threat to organizing. Organizing young workers and women workers was top of the agenda during this session. Affiliates said that there would be more constructive collaborations between unions, especially support from north to south. Delegates decided that strong legislation, international tools and IndustriALL’s role was a strong foundation for organizing.


Holding multinational corporations accountable was the theme of break-out session three. Multinationals often resort to numerous tactics to avoid accountability, they do union busting, renaming the companies, relocation, and tax evasion. They have all these maneuverers which harm workers every day. The group said a clear strategic campaign to defend freedom of association, human rights’ due diligence laws and health and safety accords, for all brands and countries must be developed.


Shaping our future through Just Transition sparked inspiring ideas from affiliates in break-out session four. Delegates decided that social dialogue and collective bargaining were central to Just Transition. Affiliates were adamant that unions must lead the Just Transition conversation and pressurize governments for support. The session demanded collaborations between north and south for stronger union networks. Another key outcome from this session was decent work opportunities for all, especially women workers.


IndustriALL general secretary Atle Høie said:

“This Mid-Term Policy Conference gives us a good idea of the status of our affiliates. There have been many thought-provoking discussions, which will take us forward both politically and organizationally. We need to work together to implement our decided plans and better the lives of workers.”

Atle Høie

Going forward a working group will develop a conclusions document, and this will be submitted to the next executive committee meeting, which will be held in November.