ITUC World Congress – Poll: Governments told to tame corporate power

3rd International Trade Union Confederation Congress opens in Berlin representing the world’s working people.


International Trade Union Confederation

International Trade Union Confederation

Workers across the globe are losing faith in their national governments whom they see as putting the interests of big corporations ahead of their own, according to a new international public opinion poll from the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

Released at the opening of the 3rd ITUC World Congress in Berlin, Sunday 18th May, the ITUC Global Poll 2014 commissioned from market research company TNS Opinion, covers the general public of fourteen countries which have half the world’s population.

The global economy needs co-ordinated action to raise living standards around the world. Seven years into the economic crisis has left structural damage to the global economy and the global workforce with more than 200 million people unemployed and many more struggling with low wages. Governments are in the grip of corporate power and are failing their people”  said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation.

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Confronting the most difficult challenges facing the international labor movement

by Eric Lee

global-solidarityIn the next couple of days, more than 1,500 trade union leaders from 161 countries will meet in Berlin for the Third World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). The ITUC unites national trade union centers all over the world.

The ITUC event will be followed on Friday in the same city by a slightly smaller one: the LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference. Almost 700 people, from 75 countries, have registered to attend.

To a casual observer, these sound like very similar events. And there’ll certainly be some overlap. For example, the leader of Australia’s trade unions, Dave Oliver, will open the LabourStart event, though he’s also attending the ITUC Congress.

Here’s the difference: the ITUC Congress is a bit like a TUC Congress in the UK  or the AFL-CIO in the United States.  Elected leaders attend, discuss issues, pass resolutions, elect a leadership and so on. Although, unlike TUC, ordinary rank-and-file workers, shop stewards, branch union officials and others won’t be there. It is where the senior leadership of the international trade union movement meets.

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