Europe: Unions push back against right-wing attacks

(File photo: BWI ERC 2019)

Alarmed by the growing right-wing attacks against trade unions worldwide, European trade unions affiliated with BWI held a meeting to discuss various ways to mount a strong democratic response to the different assaults on workers’ rights. 

In its annual statutory meeting, BWI’s European Regional Committee (ERC) on 28-29 October expressed its deep concern over the rising attacks against trade unions, particularly a fascist-led mob attack against the headquarters of Italy's General Confederation of Labour (CGIL) last October, and a right-wing infiltrated protest that attacked the Victorian branch of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) in Australia in September.

The committee also issued an emergency resolution expressing its support to the Construction and Building Materials Workers’ Union of Ukraine (PROFBUD) which is in the middle of a tough battle against its government’s plan to push for the passage of anti-union measures. The trade unionists called on the Ukrainian government to remove from its parliamentary agenda all draft laws that undermine union and labour rights, and act to ensure elimination of wage arrears on thousands of workers in the country. 

The ERC also evaluated its action plan for this year and identified preparatory activities leading to BWI’s Global Congress in 2022. It started by presenting the reports of the regional committees on women and youth. 

“We acknowledge the work our women and youth leaders are doing in the region. Thanks to their efforts, our agenda becomes more dynamic and inclusive,” BWI Regional Vice President Yohan Lindholm said. 

BWI Pan Europe Regional Representative Coen van der Veer lauded the ERC’s efforts in the region as he calls on the committee members to prepare for BWI’s Global Congress in Madrid, Spain. “Amidst a two-year pandemic, we have learned a lot and managed to overcome outstanding challenges. With all the acquired knowledge in our bags, we are now moving to the very important stage in our work – preparations for the BWI World Congress in October 2022. Next year, we will have preparatory meetings, including another ERC statutory meeting in June.”