Dear sisters and brothers,
EB-147 in May 2015 heard that PSI had established itself as a global leader in fighting privatisation, harmful trade agreements and multinational corporations dodging tax, as well as taking a strong position against the attack on the right to strike in the ILO and furthering PSI’s Ebola Virus Disease Intervention Strategy. EB–148 noted extensive work in these and other areas including:
- PSI’s Global Leaders’ Meeting on Privatisation, in Washington in December 2015, that explored ways to strengthen the global fight against privatisation and the subsequent launch of PSI’s anti-privatisation newsletter - Privatization Watch.
- The appointment of the General Secretary as a Commissioner to the new United Nations High Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth chaired by French President François Hollande and South African President, Jacob Zuma.
- Participation in the UN Ebola Conference in New York and leading a mission comprising participants from Sierra Leone, Liberia and Ghana to lobby the US Congress, the Surgeon General, the World Bank and USAid.
- The General Secretary’s participation in the widely reported launch of a global declaration of the Independent Commission on Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) with Joseph Stiglitz, José Ocampo and Eva Joly.
- Hosting the Global Labour Tax Summit, the first ever meeting of global trade unions and civil society leaders to progress on a global joint program to make corporations pay their fair share of tax, including the launch of a joint exposé with the ITF on Chevron’s tax avoidance practices.
- Submitted a complaint to the ILO on behalf of 230,000 Federal Canadian Public Servants and supported the UK affiliates in opposing the UK Trade Union Bill.
- Organising the seminar Public Services Welcoming Migrants in Brussels on 14-16 March to initiate discussion on how to enhance the role of public service trade unions in dealing with migration and refugee flows.
- Progress on the implementation of the local and regional government action plan endorsed at Steering Committee – 18 in November 2015.
- Participation in the analysis and publication of the largest ever leak of trade documents exposing the secret Trade in Services Agreement (TISA).
- Organised country campaigns against trade agreements in more than 10 countries including the successful Uruguay and Paraguay campaigns that resulted in both countries withdrawing from the TISA negotiations.
- Lobbied the development of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in an attempt to remove references to privatisation as a means of development.
- Participated in COP21 events including the release of analysis showing that TISA undermines the ability to tackle climate change – receiving widespread print and social media coverage such as The Guardian.
EB–148 noted a range of political developments including the rise of populist, right wing and often racist policies, as the economic fallout of decades of liberalisation and rising inequality breeds anger amongst working people. EB noted the responsibility of organised labour in defending the human rights of refugees in the face of these political changes.
EB–148 positively noted the recent rejection of the draft International Standards Organisation (ISO) standard on occupational health and safety as an opportunity for the ILO to launch a new standard for workers globally within the UN system.
EB–148 expressed its deep concerns about the situation in Brazil, where a “parliamentary coup” brought impeachment proceedings against the legitimate President, Dilma Roussef. Neo-liberal and conservative members of the Parliament have led the campaign to dismiss President Roussef based on highly controversial administrative arguments and on a dubious legal procedure. Beyond the political fight, EB considers that the Brazilian democratic institutions are under attack by conservative forces.
EB–148 expressed its solidarity to the Brazilian workers and unions who are now facing strong attacks on public policies developed in the country over the past 15 years, including programs for the redistribution of revenue, which lifted more than 40 million Brazilian women and men from poverty and hunger. PSI stands with its Brazilian affiliates supporting their fight.
EB-148 discussed future PSI priority work areas and endorsed further work including:
- A plan to fight privatisation flowing from the Washington leaders’ meeting and the establishment of an internet platform to collect and distribute information on privatisation.
- Work on migration and refugees that builds the evidence base, broadens the message to all trade unions and continues engagement at the ILO.
- PSI’s participation in the ILC, the discussion on global value chains and the promotion of discussions at the Committee on the Application of Standards of Algeria, Guatemala and Turkey.
- A Young Workers’ Strategy and a proposal for a PSI Young Workers’ University.
- Preparations for Congress 2017 to ensure Congress highlights PSI’s wins, the role public sector unions play in creating a better world and showcasing how we get stronger.
- Strengthening and democratising the PSI Constitution by granting a mandate to the Constitutional Working Group to develop constitutional changes in advance of Congress 2017.
When available, the minutes will be made accessible to all PSI affiliates on the PSI website.
The next meeting of the Executive Board will be EB-149, to be held on 22-23 November 2016. Prior to this, both the Congress Standing Orders Committee and the Constitutional Working Group will meet.
PSI General Secretary
The communiqué is available in English - French - Spanish - German - Swedish - Japanese