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Trade union movement’s solidarity and unity in Latin America and the Caribbean

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20 May, 2013Delegates at the meeting of regional affiliates in Buenos Aires, Argentina, ended the meeting by raising IndustriALL’s banners and calling for international solidarity and regional unity.

The second day of the meeting began with a debate on industrial policy, employment and sustainable development. Ricardo Pignanelli, secretary of the Confederación de Sindicatos de Industria in Argentina stressed the value of work as a mobilising factor and as an engine for industry. The FETIA general secretary, Pedro Wasiejko, highlighted the renewed trade union action in Mercosur as a basis on which to link workers in the various supply chains.

The Colombian economist and academic, Bethoven Herrera, made a presentation on the need for trade unions to influence and participate in the development of industrial policies.

The Argentinean Minister for Industry, Débora Giorgi, described the progress made by industry in the country, for example, balanced regional development, growth in sectors previously felt to be unviable, an increase in the added value of each industrial worker and the creation of a million jobs. She portrayed workers as protagonists of this growth and said they “deserve a good and fair wage”.

The afternoon concentrated on IndustriALL reports and resolutions. The Regional Office gave a report on its projects and their place in the action plan. Youth representatives described their experiences  of regional links. Other contributions covered women, gender and precarious work.

The meeting approved the proposal put to the IndustriALL Executive Committee by the women’s group that participated in the workshop on 14 May on actions to strengthen women’s participation and gender equity.

“The struggle continues”, said Jyrki Raina, IndustriALL Global Union’s general secretary, at the end of the meeting. He emphasized the need to provide more opportunities for women and young workers and the need for action to take the struggle forward. He was greeted with immediate applause when he announced that the next regional meeting will take place in May 2014 in Colombia, as a demonstration of solidarity towards the struggle of the trade union movement in that country.