BWI – March 02, 2009

Trade Union Declaration on Colombia-Canada FTA/ACL Agreement

The three trade union Colombian centres have adopted a Declaration on Colombia-Canada Free Trade Agreement (FTA) and the Agreement on Labour Cooperation (ACL).

The Declaration was forwarded to the Canadian parliamentarians and next week will be decisive. “The Colombia-Canada FTA was signed behind the backs of the Colombian people, without any real participation from Civil Society and without any study on its impact. This is something that should be made clear to the Canadian Parliament. We are convinced that the stage set for the Agreement on Labour Cooperation is starting off on an uneven keel, and that the FTA will lead to an increase in human rights violations, thereby affecting the sovereignty of Colombia in economic, socio-political and cultural matters.”

The union organizations of Colombia adopted the Declaration after meeting with representatives from the Canadian Labour of Congress (CLC)to discuss the ACL of the FTA.

You can read the Declaration by clicking here.

First World Day of Social Justice: BWI says social dialogue is key

The first World Day of Social Justice, proclaimed by the UN General Assembly last November, was observed on 20 February 2009. Anita Normark participated in the panel discussion in Geneva on “The Crisis: Threat or Opportunity for Social Justice?” organized by the International Labour Office (ILO). The World Day of Social Justice seeks to contribute to the efforts of the international community in poverty eradication, the promotion of full employment and decent work, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.

Juan Somavia, Director-general of the ILO stated “In designating this day, the General Assembly asked the international community to consolidate further its efforts to eradicate poverty, promote full employment and decent work, gender equality, social well-being and justice for all.” Participating in the event, Anita Normark further added: “In BWI sectors, we see lots of informal workers living on less than 1-2 dollar a day and with no social security. And now, the crisis is risking to trap above 50 million more in this situation. The way forward is putting working people at the center and to work together with the ILO, with governments and employers to find solutions.”

Governments have made a commitment to the creation of a framework for action to promote social justice at national, regional and international levels. They recognize that economic growth should promote equity and social justice and that “a society for all” must be based on social justice and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The ILO event brought together representatives from academia, the financial sector, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the world of work for an exchange on international policies coming into effect in the context of the global crisis and their implications for the pursuit of social justice.