PERC Summer School 2023

On June 29-30 the PERC Summer school gathered in Warsaw over 50 trade union leaders and officials to discuss challenges for workers in Europe, to brainstorm trade union responses and to outline priorities for the PERC programme in preparation of its General Assembly. The meeting was chaired by PERC President Irakli Petriashvili.

ITUC Acting General Secretary Luc Triangle addressed the School, explaining the preparatory process and timeline for ITUC extraordinary Congress to take place on 12 of October. He spoke about New Social Contract that was adopted by ITUC as a strategy for the coming years as well as highlighted the ITUC Global Rights Index which was published on June 30th. The 2023 Index recorded the highest levels of violations of labour rights in a decade as well as testified to shrinking democratic space and ubiquitous lack of freedom of association.

PERC General Secretary, Esther Lynch, dwelled on the key challenges for workers in Europe, underlying the need for just transition with “no one is left behind” principle at the core, the need for efficient campaigning and organizing to reach the common goals in the region, need to ensure economic justice as new austerity cycle is coming.

The consequent sessions were dedicated to vision of PERC future. Participants discussed the role of PERC, its relevance to the current challenges, ways to make it more efficient and areas where it could deliver most, as well as ways to support its actions.

Daniel Kostzer from ITUC economic and social department explained in detail the logic and philosophy behind the New Social Contract as well as offered the methodology of its adaptation and localization.
That enabled participants to discuss PERC policy orientation document ‘NSC for Europe’ lined up around key NCS elements and included such areas as democracy, rights and solidarity, equality and inclusion, just transition, economic justice and trade union renewal for common actions.

PERC affiliates also discussed continuous burning issues, such as the war in Ukraine and its consequences for working people, the appalling situation with the independent unionism in Belarus and the historical decision in ILC to initiate the Article 33 of ILO Constitution, the struggles of SEE countries unions.