ICFTU OnLine – July 5, 2006(1)

Brussels, 5 July 2006 (ICFTU OnLine):

As officials tie down the last minute details in preparations for the G8 summit in St Petersburg next week, Russian President Vladimir Putin is to receive a global union delegation in Moscow on July 6.

The delegation of G8 and international trade union leaders, which includes ICFTU General Secretary Guy Ryder, and WCL General Secretary Willy Thys, will be led by John Sweeney in his capacity as President of the Paris-based Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD which represents 66 million trade union members. Sweeney is also head of the American trade union body AFL-CIO.

The unions will urge the Russian head of State to introduce labour rights and jobs into the G8 talks as “transversal issues” in the summit discussions on energy, education and health.

The proximity to the summit venue to countries linked with major rights abuses such as Belarus is hard to overlook, and the unions will press President Putin as G8 leader to insist on respect for workers’ fundamental rights. They will also call for more intensive follow-up to past summit commitments on aid and development. One call in particular is expected to touch a nexus of concerns: the suggestion that a G8 working group be established to track progress on tackling the AIDs pandemic.

Click here for the trade union statement being presented to President Putin.