During his welcoming speech Ambet Yuson called upon the delegates to show their solidarity by co-signing the joint letter of BWI and EFBWW to the Australian Senate to respect international labour law and reject the Ensuring Integrity Bill. Following his speech, gathered more than 100 signatures from the delegates. He also called for support the people’s mobilization in Chile.
Central to his speech was musical “Stop the World – I want to Get Off.”
He stated, “Of course we cannot stop the world to get off. We can stop climate change, social dumping and harassment and violence at the workplace, and we can change this to a better world.”
He commented on the European unions’ responsibility for trade and investments and the task sfor the European trade unions to organise not nationally but regionally as well.
Yuson said, “If unions are to have real impact, then we need to ensure that those efforts are in sync with trade union policies on critical issues elsewhere in the world. In other words, be part of global strategy. Key global trade and investment issues for trade unions include ensuring that the rights of investors are not privileged over human rights; that investors cannot protect themselves from national legislation or regulations or from international labour standards. There is a world of difference between performing well in the global economy due to efficiency and quality, and, winning on the world stage on the backs of unfree workers without rights to form unions or bargain collectively or based on forced labour or the work of children.”
He noted that one campaign that BWI and EFBWW can work together is in ensuring that Chinese multinational construction companies as well as European construction companies comply with international labour standards in Europe and around the world.
He called upon the delegates not to fall into the trap of the radical right winged and populistic politicians by espousing anti-migrant and refugee rhetoric. He reminded everyone that, “Refugees and migrants are human beings. They are entitled to the same human rights as all of us. They should not be exploited or used by employers and governments to undercut wages and working conditions in their host countries. That is why the best protection of national workers is to ensure that newcomers have equal rights and protections.”
In congratulating the newly elected leadership of EFBWW: Johan Lindholm, as president; Carsten Burckhardt, Brahim Hilami and Janna Mud as vice-presidents; Gunde Odgaard as chair of the standing committee Building; Mercedes Landolfi as chair of the standing committee wood; and Tom Deleu as General secretary, he stated, “I am looking forward to working together with the incoming leadership because BWI is truly committed to a harmonious and constructive cooperation with EFBWW.
He concluded his remarks by stating, “This is a very important time to consolidate and affirm our European Unity in the period of when people are losing trust to politicians. It’s time to bring back EU to the workers and the people. He closed with the slogan “TOGETHER WE ARE STRONGER”.