President Ann Selin at the UNI Global World Congress: “Trade unions are essential to challenge the capitalist idea of competition”
Trade unions are, according to President Ann Selin, the force that can and will make the change for the future. To get to a socially sustainable world engagement is required. Photo: UNI Global
In her opening speech on 17th June at the World Congress UNI Global, President Ann Selin emphasized unions need to set the tone of the future world of work. Workers deserve better and unions are making it happen. The President also revealed her concern about the growing inequality and the widening gap in distribution of wealth. Constant growth at any price, competitiveness that drives for the race to the bottom is not sustainable. Trade unions are therefore in a key position to challenge the capitalist idea of competition.
The 5th UNI Global World Congress gathers 500 unions from 110 countries with representatives from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Europe for a four day assembly in Liverpool. During the Congress, some of the major topics are sustainable economy and the future world of work, pushing trade unions towards new ways of thinking and working together for a better future. Trade unions are the force that can make the change.
According to President Ann Selin, it is essential that trade unions fight poverty, fight for justice, equality, decent jobs and fair pay, which means fighting for basic human rights. Peace is what is required first.
“We want there to be peace, for people to get the opportunity to live a decent, meaningful life ant have the dignity they deserve”, she stressed in her speech.
Selin mentioned that this is challenged over and over in a world which is changing rapidly. Distribution of wealth is getting worse in the global scale. 1 % of the wealthiest own more than the rest 99% put together. The economy is based on the idea of constant growth and competition. In order to reach the desired growth, everything should be done more efficiently, regardless of the impact on people – the workers in particular.
“It is obvious that constant growth is simply not possible. At some point, we will destroy our planet and our communities in the greed for wealth, that will still be out of reach for so many. Ecological sustainability should be a priority in order to save the world for our children”, Selin pointed out.
Apart from ecological sustainability, social sustainability is of utmost importance.
“Work and working conditions are not separate from the other building blocks of our societies. Work is actually one of the most important ways to include all. Work or the lack of it, is in the very core of people’s existence. This is why it is so important, that the quality and terms of work are decent”.
Selin also pointed out the world need businesses that are doing well – they are the ones that have the chance in offering decent jobs. But, how much is enough profit and how much should the workers get, so it would be a fair share?
Trade unions are, according to the President, the force that can and will make the change for the future. Unions have to engage actively in a dialogue with all the other actors in societies and work together to create trust and understanding. To get to a socially sustainable world engagement is required.
“As we will do this together, taking action all over the world, we will also challenge the capitalist idea of competition. If the production of goods or services would be made abiding fair rules everywhere, would the outcome be fairer to the workers as well”, she stated at the end.
Read Ann Selin's whole speech here.
The 5 th UNI Global World Congress is organised under the theme “Making it happen” in Liverpool between 17th to 20th June, 2018. Read more about the programme on the congress’ homepage.
Mikä Palvelualojen maailmanliitto UNI?
- Palvelualojen maailmanliitto UNI edustaa yli 20 miljoonaa työntekijää yli 150 maassa.
- Toimii maailmanlaajuisesti sektoreittain ja jokainen sektori valvoo oman alansa liittojen ja niiden jäsenten etuja.
- Neuvottelee monikansallisten yritysten kanssa puitesopimuksia, joilla korostetaan työelämän perusoikeuksien noudattamista.
- PAMin aloista UNIin kuuluvat: kauppa, myyntiedustajat, vartiointiala, kauneudenhoito- ja kampaamoala, rahapeliltyöntekijät, siivous ja kiinteistönhoito.
- PAMin puheenjohtaja Ann Selin on toiminut Palvelualojen maailmanliitto UNI:n puheenjohtajana kuluvalla nelivuotiskaudella, joka päättyy maailmankongressin jälkeen 20.6.
- Palvelualojen maailmanliitto UNI Global Union järjestää Maailman naisten konferenssin (14.-15.6.) ja viidennen UNI:n maailmankongressin (17.-20.6.) läheisessä yhteistyössä Ison-Britannian ammattiliittojen ja ammattiliittojen keskusjärjestö TUC:in kanssa.