ICFTU OnLine – April 26, 2006(1)

Brussels, 26 April 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): Today, on international workers’ day, we celebrate the fruits of decades of collective struggle, and pay homage to all those who have made sacrifices in the name of justice, equality and human dignity. We pledge to continue to use our collective strength to bring about a safe and just world, where every woman and man has the chance of a decent job.

In the face of great challenges confronting working people, the hope that springs from the tenacity of the human spirit is evident everywhere. From young people demanding their rights at work, to migrant workers fighting exploitation, to millions of women in export processing zones or trapped in informal work and striving for justice, people across the world understand better than ever that our common struggle is truly global.

Our international resolve is strong. Long before globalisation became a household word, trade unions understood that the fate of workers in one country is inextricably linked with the fate of workers in another. We will continue to confront those who seek to divide, and to profit from division, by pitting worker against worker. We will carry forward the fight to those who advocate xenophobia and racism. We will stand, as ever, in solidarity with all those who face oppression, discrimination and violation of their rights. We remain steadfast in our determination to end global poverty, and to build a global economy that serves the interests of people rather than capital, where the rules of trade and finance support workers’ rights and development instead of promoting a race to the bottom.

2006 is a year of historic importance for international trade unionism.  A new trade union international will be created in November, bringing together some 200 million workers from all corners of the world. We will be stronger and more united than ever in history, and we will use this strength to transform the world of work and the world at large in the interests of all men and women. By reaching out to all workers, standing with those who fight for their rights against exploitation and dictatorship, and campaigning for global peace and security, trade unions around the world will have a new and powerful voice.

Global action on global issues is essential to realizing our primary tasks of fighting for fundamental workers’ rights, for equality and for safe, sustainable and healthy work for all. It is indispensable in the fight against HIV-AIDS and the other great crises facing humanity. We pledge to fight for a world in which each human being is empowered to fulfill their potential, no matter where they live. We pledge to fight for a world in which each worker is treated with dignity and respect.  Our collective aspiration is timeless, and will live on in the hearts and minds of the millions of working men and women who are the world trade union movement.

Long live international labour solidarity.