PERC SEE and NIS Communications network meeting

On June 24, ITUC-PERC held a meeting of trade union communications officers network from SEE and NIS countries. This year, as the COVID19 pandemic broke out, discussions took place online.

Representatives of the information departments of the trade union centers of SEE and NIS gathered to discuss and analyze the communications agenda of the trade unions during the period of quarantine and restrictions of movements.
The meeting was divided into two blocks. In the first, the participants were given an overview of the situation of trade union international information resources and documents related to labor rights and relations during the pandemic (such as the ETUC COVID19 Briefing notes, theITUC Global Survey, etc.), as well as updates on regular ITUC campaigns (CEPOW, ITUC Global Rights Index, etc.

Julian Scola from ETUC noted how the focus of communication shifted during the pandemic, the most essential of which are the importance of workers in essential industries and public services, the need for strong social dialogue to build the resilient economy.

In the second part, the participants were asked to share their best practices, experiences and challenges, both in external and internal communications, which they faced during a urgent restructuring of the work of trade unions.
The key presentation was delivered by Amanda Florin from the Swedish trade union center TCO, in which she touched on the adjustment of political messages from the unions to the pandemic situation, the technical aspect of transition to new tools, as well as the difficulties, but at the same time, the need to involve activists in the work of the unions on-line.

This was followed by a round-table discussion, in which participants from both subregions spoke up. In addition to the emergency transition to remote work and digitalization of communications, some national trade union centers were forced to repulse attempts to worsen labor laws, both related to COVID19 measures and those which begun long before the pandemic. Participants noted that with the transition to digital format, the quality of trade union information should increase in order to reach its target audience and not get lost in the growing information flow.

In conclusion, the PERC Executive Secretary, Anton Leppik, listed the messages of the trade union movement for the ILO Global Summit and noted that it is around them that the union’s communication policy will be built in the coming year both at the global and national levels.

The meeting was held as part of the Union-to-Union project.