PERC pre-ILC meeting

The annual PERC meeting to start preparing the International Labour Conference took place in Warsaw, 26-27 March. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation provided administrative and financial support to the meeting.

Some thirty representatives of trade union organisations from different parts of Europe took part in the meeting. They discussed ideas and actions in relation to the ILC agenda: the position of employers on the right to strike and mandate of the Committee of Experts of the ILO and the need to mobilise support to counteract that attack, the standard-setting processes on informal economy and forced labour protocol, as well as priority countries for the discussion at the Committee of Application of Standards.

The tentative proposal list was formulated on the basis of the national and regional contexts, with Conventions 87 and 98 on freedom of association and collective bargaining, 81 on labour inspection and 122 on employment policies being in focus. Greece and Belarus were footnoted by the Committee of Experts and will be discussed by the CAS while other cases would be defined in negotiations between the workers’ and employers’ groups.

Situation in some countries was discussed in details. In particular, of Belarus, where the regime continues repressing independent unionists and their organisations by the means of short-term contract system, of Turkey, where hundreds of unionists are considered being extremists, of Georgia, where only through massive strikes the workers are forcing employers to recognise their unions and to bargain collectively.

Preparation for the ITUC Congress and its sub-plenary on "realising rights" was also in focus, as well as the renewed ITUC Survey on violations of trade union rights.

The participants agreed to make sure their organisations would take actions regarding ITUC calls about the need to adopt binding protocol on forced labour and to influence position of certain governments and employers in that regard, about specific solidarity actions to promote trade union rights challenges in specific countries, about the information flow to feed the ITUC Survey web-version stream.