PERC NIS SEE Communications network meeting

On the 12th of October ITUC PERC held a meeting of the SEE and the NIS communication experts’ network. Meeting was organized in the frame of the Union to Union funded project “Building trade union capacities in SEE and NIS”.

The purpose of the meeting was to equip affiliates with the information on the initiatives and issues promoted by ITUC and ETUC, as to discuss changes and innovations in campaigning and communications of the organizations of the region, exchange in problems solving, projects and achievements.

Tim Noonan, ITUC Director of Campaigns and Communications, presented the ITUC communications agenda to affiliates in the two sub-regions in preparation for the 5th ITUC World Congress. The main priority is the New Social Contract with clear and precise demands of workers - creation of climate-friendly jobs with Just Transition, universal social protection, the implementation of workers’ rights for all, and the achievement of equality and inclusion.

Julian Scola, ETUC Head of Press and communication, shared the ETUC’s plans for the coming year, which include reformatting the work and strengthening presence on social networks, in particular Twitter. Plans include building a database and highlighting trade union achievements and emphasize history of the trade union movement in Europe. Online union resource to create petitions and to promote them is in process. The communication network members were encouraged to join these initiatives whenever possible.

During the round table, the participants had the opportunity to share their experience of overcoming communication challenges in a situation of restrictions due to the pandemic. Thus, work in social networks was intensified, platforms for online actions and mobilizations were created, but there is also an understanding that it is more difficult to promote the trade union agenda without industrial actions and traditional methods of trade union struggle. The participants noted the audience’s "fatigue" from the digital and troublesome agenda. Solidarity was highlighted as a key resource for trade unions to influence the resolution of the problem.

Maja Aase, Communications strategist and press officer in the Union to Union, noted that communication should be based on results of work of trade unions. The results have to show changes and positive impact on the workers’ livelihoods and have to be formulated in clear understandable terms. Trade union achievements should be widely publicized and supported by concrete figures and facts. Participants noted the importance of the project for the development of trade unions in their countries and noted that their efforts to strengthen social dialogue are yielding concrete results (raising the minimum wage, lobbying for the law against violence in the workplace, etc.)