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Uruguayan affiliates resolve to continue organizing

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11 November, 2016When evaluating the work carried out by affiliates UNTMRA, UOC and FOPCU during the three-year project period 2014-2016, the IndustriALL Uruguay national council unanimously approved a resolution to continue implementing organising activities in 2017 using their own financial resources.

"We must continue to press for trade union training and member recruitment, focusing on youth and gender," said IndustriALL Global Union’s project coordinator in Uruguay, Hector Castellano.

During 2016, the project held eight training sessions, produced two organizing videos and eight organizing drives that resulted in more than 700 new members.

Training sessions covered labour legislation, political economy, organizing skills, collective bargaining, communication and access to media. During the three year period, 2,000 new members were recruited and many local union branches were re-activated.

"The courses provided an opportunity for unions to develop a network and the joint training sessions promoted exchanges of information and working toward common goals," said Enrique Seveso from Uruguayan affiliate UOC.

Since 2014, several unions in Uruguay have been invited to join the training and organizing activities, aiming to build unity and strength in the trade union movement. The unions include the oil workers union, FANCAP; Chemical workers union, STIQ; the Pharmaceutical workers’ union, SIMA, as well as FOEMYA, the millers union, which are discussing affiliation to IndustriALL

IndustriALL project officer Suzanna Miller welcomed the project's achievements; solidarity among affiliates and their increased political impact on national policies. She highlighted the need to strengthen women's participation to meet the 40 per cent quota approved at IndustriALL's Congress by 2020.

Magnus Palmgren, from Swedish affiliate IF Metall, urged unions to continue working and planning together:

"What kind of society do you want for your own children? Women must have room to gain more experience, and you need to work together and show greater solidarity."
The meeting unanimously resolved to:

  • Continue focusing on inclusive organizing and hold two meetings in 2017, one on youth and one on gender, at national and local levels
  • Promote the growth of IndustriALL in the Uruguayan trade union movement, strengthening coordination between the unions and to continue working towards the creation of an industrial federation
  • Organize further membership recruitment days, training courses and debates on national issues such as the inclusion law, industrial development, Industry 4.0, precarious work, outsourcingand training on gender for the union leadership

The National Council decided to continue with its monthly meetings and offered support and cooperation to the trade union movement in other countries, such as Paraguay.
Fernando Lopes, from IndustriALL, highlighted the importance of increasing the participation of Uruguayan affiliates in worldwide sectorial activities and networks.

"We congratulate you on your work and on the increased interaction between Uruguayan unions. We must continue to work to together to achieve the basic points in the action plan. We will fight to increase the strength of trade unions in Uruguay, for greater solidarity, organisation and unity."

"The need to increase women's participation means we must challenge inertia and create a momentum to achieve the changes that will include more women and young activists and strengthen the fight for a better world,” concluded Jorge Almeida, IndustriALL regional secretary for Latin America and the Caribbean."