ITUC OnLine – March 26, 2009

TUCA Organises Continental Day of Action Against the Crisis

Brussels, 26 March 2009:  On 27 March, coinciding with the first anniversary of the founding of the Trade Union Organisation for the Americas (TUCA), the ITUC regional organisation for the Americas, trade union organisations across the Americas are mobilising to express their position on the global economic crisis.

Unions throughout the continent will condemn the rise in job losses and precarious employment, calling on their governments to take measures to stop employers from using the crisis as an excuse to throw more workers out on the street.

In addition, the trade union coordinating body will call for the crisis not to be used as a pretext for “undermining the quality of jobs, cutting the living standards of ordinary working people and downgrading workers’ rights”.

The Continental Day of Action against the Crisis will be staged in every country of the Americas, with trade union organisations holding rallies and other activities to draw attention to their position on the crisis.

International trade union movement demands social and labour chapter in Central America-European Union Association Agreement (AA)

Brussels, 26 March 2009:  The 7th round of Association Agreement (AA) negotiations between Central America and the European Union will take place at Tegucigalpa between 30 March and 3 April. The international trade union movement demands that the Agreement include a social and labour chapter embodying full observance of human and trade union rights, including the eight Core Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The ITUC has appealed to its affiliates to write to their governments and those responsible for negotiating the Association Agreement, asking that everything necessary be done to include monitoring mechanisms involving the trade union movement and a social cohesion fund in order to surmount the imbalances in the Central American region, and that the negotiations not be terminated until the necessary environmental and socioeconomic impact studies have been carried out.

“It is crucial to seize this opportunity to turn this agreement into a major tool in the struggle to eliminate violations of the right to life and of human and trade union rights and to strengthen democracy for the sake of the well-being of all the workers concerned,” ITUC General Secretary Guy Ryder has said.

The Trade Union Coordinating Committee of Central America and the Caribbean (CSACC), the Central American Confederation of Workers (CCT) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) have sent a joint letter to the negotiators of both regions, setting out their demands with regard to the CA-EU Association Agreement and calling for the trade union proposals to be incorporated into the AA in order to regulate and eliminate the violations of human and labour rights that occur – mainly in the form of violations of the right to life and of trade union rights and the impunity that they enjoy.