The seminar was organised and facilitated by the ITUC HTUR department and the PERC Secretariat with the support of Romanian affiliates. There were 37 participants (17 women) from 26 affiliated organisations and 2 from associated organisations coming from 20 countries of the PERC region as well as 2 representatives from European federation (EPSU) and European office of International Global Union Federation (ICEM).
Organizers emphasised the need to continue the work begun in Bratislava and to strengthen the PERC HTUR Network especially in terms of autonomy, solidarity and contribution to the ITUC HTUR work. They recalled that the PERC HTUR Network could also be a tool to contribution to the development of trade unions policy and stabilization. The final objective being to provide the circumstances to make sure workers will gain in terms of rights and working conditions. Stephen Benedict referred to the HTUR Resolution adopted during the Vancouver Congress as well as the general direction given by the Congress on how to provide a model to come out of the crisis that would reflect fundamental trade union and workers’ rights.
Overall, since September 2009, the PERC HTUR Network has been established and strengthened through subregional meetings and the set up of communication tools. Participants were asked to reflect on the need and utility of such tools and activities. Each participant had then the opportunity to present the HTUR activities carried out as well as the prominent problems trade unionists were facing in their country. They all stressed the importance of human and trade union rights on the ground (hence the need for a PERC HTUR Network) and of strengthening solidarity and exchange of information as well as the importance of future commitment and follow-up.
Key elements to focus on within the PERC HTUR Network highlighted by participants include:
Flexibilisation (fixed term contracts)
Multinational companies and TURs and cooperation between TU as well as with GUFs
Erosion of social dialog and non respect of collective bargaining agreements
Trafficking for labor exploitation and the need for international cooperation
Migrants workers and TURs and the need for international cooperation
Adoption of new Labour legislation and their impacts on TURs
Legal issues including: representativity, registration, lack of TURs’ implementation due to deficient judicial and administrative bodies (labour courts and inspection)
Countries at risk: Belarus, Georgia, Ukraine
Concrete actions to be taken by the network:
Lobbying of EU institutions and pressure on governments
European campaigns and demonstrations as well as conferences on TURs to increase public awareness
Use of ILO mechanisms
Designation of subregional coordinator
Involvement of youth and women networks
Increased communication and bilateral cooperation on specific cases between TUs
Institutionalisation and stabilisation of the Network and the PERC HTUR strategy
Regional preliminary meeting to prepare the ILC
Regional promotion of the ITUC Annual Survey (regional/national/local media)