6GUFs “Trade Union Modernisation and Organising in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Transcaucasus” project opening conference, Moscow, 2 June

The opening conference of the 6GUFs “Trade Union Modernisation and Organising in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Transcaucasus” project was organised in Moscow, 2 June 2009. The conference brought together different sectoral unions affiliated to the partners of the project – the IUF, the UNI, the ITF, the IMF, the BWI and the ICEM – who expressed their readiness to engage in organising actions in their field of activities and the respective MNEs in particular. The ITUC-PERC was invited to the conference to ensure synergy with the PERC run programmes in the region of NIS. The Project is supposed to cover 6 countries: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrghizstan, Russia, and Ukraine.

The Project is mainly focused on developing skills and organizing campaigns by the GUF local affiliates preferably in the MNC identified as targets by the relevant GUF. The Project consists of 6 training blocks where 3 blocks are the main ones: Organizing Strategy, Work with MNC and Union Modernization; and 3 supporting blocks: Training the Trainers, Legal Assistance and Equal Opportunities.

While the project directed on the sectoral unions and their activities, the ITUC-PERC the ITUC affiliates and partner organizations in the NIS will benefit if their sector union members will upgrade their functional, structural and financial effectiveness. On the other hand the support and union expertise, i.e. on the juridical aspects – of the TU national centers legal departments – can be used to accompany the sectoral unions in their organizing work.

The conference also provided an opportunity to inform the participants about the PERC programmes that can be complimentary and supportive to the actions of national sectoral unions: the programme to protect and unionise workers engaged in informal economic relations, the evaluation of trade union education programme, the programme “Decisions for Life” to outreach young working women, the programme on building trade union identity in the EU Eastern Partnership frameworks and the respective reforms policies, networking on issues of trade union rights, macroeconomic and employment politicizes, occupational health and safety, as well as to further contribute to trade union activities with regard to policies and the International Financial Institutions.