Sunday, December 2, 2018

Copenhagen, 2-7 December 2018

Dear Brothers and Sisters, 
The General Confederation of Trade Unions, which unites in its ranks trade unions of countries in the post-Soviet space, sends its warm greetings to participants in the 4th World Congress of the International of Trade Union Confederation.
The establishment of the ITUC in 2006 marked a crucial step towards the unity of action, to which the world trade union movement had aspired for decades. In a short time, the ITUC has successfully established itself as an influential body representing the common interests of a significant part of world workers, rallying around itself a powerful system of global trade unions. Today, it undoubtedly plays a leading role in mobilising the working people for organised opposition to the frontal offensive of transnational capital, for the fight to add a reliable social dimension to world development, preserve and expand democratic space, safeguard peace and international security, and secure sustainable development.
The opinion of the ITUC is taken into account by the G-20 and other influential state groupings, as well as international financial and trade institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Trade Organisation. Its policies aiming to enhance the global role of the UN and, first of all, of the International Labour Organisation are given full trade union support in our countries. We highly appreciate the efforts the ITUC has been making to strengthen the stance of the Workers’ Group within the ILO structure, as well as its continual promotion of the Decent Work Agenda.
The ITUC’s mobilisation potential is in particular demand now that the world of work is facing formidable challenges generated by the global social crisis that came in the wake of the economic crisis. Across the Earth, hundreds of millions of able-bodied people found themselves behind the closed company gates, many without any hope of getting a new job, while those who do have a job are often unable to make ends meet. Social inequality is growing, and the gap between developed and developing countries keeps widening.
In a situation of global omnipotence of large corporations, oligarchies, banks and TNCs, the needs and aspirations of working people are being relegated to the background of economic development, while their basic rights together with social justice principles are openly and blatantly violated. All this undermines the implementation of the commitment to eradicate global poverty that world leaders undertook within the UN framework, and impedes the achievement of the UN sustainable development goals.
It is significant that, in a context of rapidly advancing automation and digitalisation of the economy, your Congress will devote serious attention to various aspects of the institutional strengthening of the trade union movement, and increasing its role as a principal force in society protecting the rights of employees and, in particular, women, youth and migrants. Equally significant is the fact that Congress documents mention the protection of workers’ fundamental rights enshrined in ILO conventions as a top priority in the Confederation’s future activity.
Within the frames of its own region, the GCTU pursues similar tasks. The permanent consultative status with the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and other intergovernmental bodies enables us to formulate and uphold our standpoint in the course of interstate decision-making wherever workers’ destinies are affected. We campaign for the implementation of decent work principles, adequate rates of wages and pensions, the eradication of poverty and social injustice, and against attacks on workers’ and trade union rights. Our Confederation is permanently monitoring the ratification and compliance with international labour standards in the region’s countries. This community of purpose provides a sound basis for our further useful interaction with the ITUC, in particular, through its regional organisation, PERC.
The main slogan of your Congress: “Building Workers’ Power: Change the Rules!” is today topical as never before. We express our solidarity with this call and will be ready to contribute to a joint trade union campaign aiming to radically change the nature of globalisation and build a new model of world economic development where the interests of working people will be in the foreground. We will insist that this new model should be based on the values the trade union movement has been fighting for, i.e. decent work and social justice, equal social dialogue, respect for internationally recognised labour standards and human rights, with strict international control over the activities of TNCs and monetary institutions.
The GCTU believes that the success of actions to be taken towards this end will largely depend on a new kind of trade union cohesion, at national, sectoral and global levels. We are confident that, guided by the principles of international solidarity of workers, the ITUC will remain at the forefront of this battle, and decisions to be taken by this Congress will provide new guidelines for world trade unions in their struggles for a fundamental change of the rules in the global economy in favour of workers.
We wish you a successful congress!
General Confederation of Trade Unions
Moscow, 2 December 2018