COSATU-NLC-GTUC Trilateral Leaders meetings statement

Keywords : South Africa Nigeria Ghana

The COSATU (South Africa) – NLC (Nigeria) – GTUC (Ghana) Trilateral Leaders meeting took place in Johannesburg on the 15-16th February, 2011 to take forward the key outcomes of the highly successful Accra Conference between the three federations and their affiliates, held in May, 2010.

The Leaders meeting discussed a number of issues, key amongst them;

    • • The state of trade unions on the continent and the task of building unity amongst workers
    • • The need for transforming the international trade union movement and the role of the global south in redefining a new agenda
    • • The tasks of trilateral partnership in contributing towards the building of a strong and vibrant continental trade union movement
    • • How to ensure that ITUC-Africa Congress in Nigeria, to be held 24-26th October, 2011 arrives at successful outcomes.

The meeting reflected on the challenges facing workers on the continent, the urgency of deepening the struggle for democracy, economic justice and workers rights, and the centrality of industrialization to overcome the crisis of underdevelopment on the continent.

It went on to reflect on the role of the African union movement on the wider international trade union stage, and the importance of a clear, articulate and defined platform and policies with which to engage trade unions and other global players on key issues. In this regard, the question of unity between ITUC-Africa and OATUU was discussed in detail and a commitment was made to do all possible to promote and support unity and co-operation between all workers.

The meetings also reflected the state of governance and the critical issues of participation in multilateral state institutions, such as the AU, and the need to ensure that trade unions have developed policy to enable an effective intervention.

The meeting noted developments in North Africa and reaffirmed the importance of mass democratic action as a vehicle for social change. In this regard, we conveyed solidarity greetings and support to the workers and people of Egypt, Tunisia and all the countries where workers have reflected neo-liberalism and oppression.

Finally it was agreed that the following would constitute an important part of the plan of action of the meeting:

  • • The development of a progressive continental trade union platform with the aim of transforming international trade unionism and inform the struggle for a new and just world order, which would;
      • o Promote workers unity and increase the power of trade unions on the continent and all over the world
      • o Deepen democracy and accountability in trade unions and society as a whole
      • o Strengthen practical solidarity between workers
      • o Honest, open and non-sectarian engagement
      • o Identify areas for comprehensive policy development, such as industrialization of the continent trade and climate change
  • • The centrality of co-ordination and working together on issues affecting workers on the continent, particularly climate change, trade and working class solidarity campaigns
  • • In this regard, the meeting set for itself the following key tasks;
      • o Immediate finalization of the aforesaid platform
      • o The organisation of Summit of African trade unions on climate change towards strengthening a trade union intervention at COP17
      • o Share information on developments within trade unions and wider society
      • o Promote and strengthen trade union linkages between sectoral affiliates within the trilateral formation
      • o Enhance and build capacity to organize, represent and advance workers rights and interests through effective mass power and campaigns

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