national news

21/8/2016

NEW CHALLENGES TO ARGENTINE TRADE UNIONISM

  • NEW CHALLENGES TO ARGENTINE TRADE UNIONISM

By GERARDO MARTINEZ (UOCRA Secretary-General - CGT RA Foreign Affairs Secretary - Member of the ILO's Governing Body

The ongoing and consolidated process of CGT reunification represents in itself one of the actual challenges that the Argentine Trade Union is willing to take on and carry out with the responsibility and the commitment that nowadays reality demands to union leaders, deprived of personal preferences and focused on a programme strategy.

CGT unity began to take shape two years ago, regardless political processes, period during which, together with a small group of leaders, I had to take the leading role and the initiative of building bridges of dialogue and consensus between different sectors that are referred to each other and make up this new unified management.

This process of unit does not obey to a definition of an economic situation facing a new administration. From trade union management we value and recognize that alternation in power strengthens and revitalizes democratic processes, although we are ideologically and politically far away from a ruling administration whose economic policies are negatively impacting on employment, the purchasing power of salaries or labour and social conditions of workers.

CGT, historically represented, and still represents, the vast majority of trade union organized workers in our country. And this responsibility of majority representation that differentiates it from the rest, summons us to multiple challenges, such as consolidate in practice trade union unity and think critically by reinforcing their principles and actions.

This new CGT assumes with the commitment to represent those who have a job and those who do not have one, promoting a collective response to workers and their families, which necessarily includes: the defense of the freedom of Association and collective bargaining as fundamental labor rights, the fight against modern slavery, child labour and job discrimination; the promotion of registered employment,  youth employment and guarantees of decent work; opposition to policies that seek to impose labour flexicurity in order to dismantle working conditions;  occupational training as a priority in trade union action as well as occupational safety and workers and their families healthcare;  meet and express the demands and needs of the retired workers and the most excluded sectors of our society; call for the need that the problems related to addiction, especially drugs consumption and their impact at workplace, are assumed by the ruling administration as a true State policy to ensure the physical, social, and employment potential of workers.

These are only some of the challenges that CGT has ahead in this new stage. And we have the commitment to take them on and carry them out with the conviction and strength that unity and the value of the institutional structure that CGT represents give us, honoring its past and projecting towards the future.

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