ICFTU OnLine – June 26, 2006

Brussels, 26 June 2006 (ICFTU OnLine): The process of building a new international trade union confederation has taken an important step forward, following a series of decisions taken at the 125th meeting of the ICFTU Executive Board in Brussels on 20 – 22 June. The Board endorsed a draft Constitution for the new organisation, and this along with a proposed programme setting out main policy lines for its work, will be taken forward in discussions with the World Confederation of Labour and non-affiliated national trade union bodies which are involved in the process.

Six new member organisations were accepted into ICFTU affiliation at the meeting, including a second affiliate in Bermuda, the Bermuda Trade Union Congress, a new organisation in Bosnia-Herzegovina (KSBiH) which includes the ICFTU’s existing affiliate, a second Swaziland affiliate the SFL, and the CUT-A in Paraguay. The Kuwait Trade Union Federation was also accepted into ICFTU membership, along with a third ICFTU affiliate in India, the Self Employed Women’s Association, which organises women in informal and unprotected jobs.

In its discussion on global economic developments, the Executive Board focused on the current proposals at the WTO concerning Non-Agricultural Market Access (NAMA), which would have disastrous consequences for employment in many developing countries in particular. The Board concluded that effective action is required to prevent the completion of the NAMA negotiations on their current basis. In line with proposals made during the discussion, the Board further agreed that the ICFTU should take an especially strong position in support of the interests of workers in developing countries in the NAMA negotiations, and called upon all ICFTU affiliates to take urgent action to stop the negotiations proceeding in their existing form.

The Executive Board also adopted two Resolutions; one on Albania (click here), where the government has seized trade union assets , and one on South Korea (click here), calling on the authorities to cease their persistent violations of trade union rights, in particular in the public sector.