The event highlighted the importance of democracy and workers’ solidarity worldwide and approved an action plan to strengthen workers and fight for the financial system regulation.
The 3rd Conference of UNI Americas Finance, closed Sunday 2 in Montevideo. It approved an action plan for the period 2013-2016, in order to strengthen the organization of workers in the financial sector in the Americas and the Caribbean, and elected a new board that for the second time will be chaired by Carlos Cordeiro, president of Contraf-CUT, the Brazilian Confederation of Financial Sector Workers.
There were 61 delegates who attended the conference from 13 different countries from the Americas and the Caribbean. UNI Americas Finance is the regional representation of UNI Global Union for the financial sector, which represents 20 million workers in the services sectors worldwide.
In the first day of the event, the delegates discussed democracy, workers’ solidarity, the importance of regulating the financial system and strengthening the international networks of international banks workers.
“At this important moment in Latin America, when we expand workers’ rights, the labor movement has an important role in the defense of democracy and to confront those who plan coups,” he said at the opening of the Conference Carlos Cordeiro. “UNI is advancing in the construction of the Global Union, but we still have much to do. We must dare. Before being bank employees, we are workers. It is imperative that we strengthen class solidarity, not only with words”, said Carlos.
For the Brazilian union leader, union international networks “are now the heart of UNI,” which not only articulate continental actions of multinational banks workers but also “raise information that is crucial to our bargaining negotiations in Brazil, such as the value of the wage floor in the various countries”.
Cordeiro called for fostering the campaign for decent work, which involves job stability and creation of jobs, better working conditions, workers’ health and safety, better wages, equal opportunities and decent retirement.
The regulation of the financial system is another fundamental point for the president of Contraf-CUT, which should include the coordination of joint actions for public banks in the region. “There are still many public banks in the Mercosur region. We need workers to appropriate information on the financial system in the region. We will propose an alliance to discuss these banks role in providing credit to the economic and social development of our countries. The union leaders need to articulate this debate. ”
In the second day of the event, Cordeiro thanked the support and promised to work harder in order to strengthen unity among UNI affiliates.
“I want to thank the support and care that I had during this term and I’m it’ll be the same in the future challenges ahead. Nobody is born a union leader. It is a choice of to belong to a class, and it is for workers we have to work. I am very proud to be a leader of my Confederation and of UNI Americas Finance, “said Carlos elected by acclamation.
The first Vice-president of UNI Americas Finance will be the Argentine Sergio Palazzo and the second Vice-president, Trevor Johnson, fromTrinidad and Tobago.
The Action Plan adopted by the 3rd Conference establishes the commitment of UNI American Finance to strengthen “their status as Global Union, connected with the needs of workers in defense of vested rights, national and international, and the commitment to strive for the expansion of rights. ”
Below it follows a summary of the objectives of the action plan by themes.
1. Union Action Policy Plan
UNI Americas Finance in the Americas will promote actions to establish and strengthen unions independent, autonomous, democratic and ethical struggle for political democracy, social and economic and permanently defend the concepts of internationalism of workers.
UNI Americas Finance will encourage and promote the unity of all unions, recognizing it as the most effective form of struggle to achieve the goals of the working class. The unity of the working class is one of the pillars on which the fight to defend rights and interests of workers in the Americas and the Caribbean is based on.
2. Organisation Action Plan
UNI Americas Finance aims to establish projects and campaigns articulated in the defense and promotion of workers’ rights, achievements and well-being, specially facing the intentions of introducing new modes of development and new business practices that ignore social and human impact of technological innovations.
The entity commits itself to act as continental a union, as an organising tool, inovative, coordinator and organizer of affiliated organisations, creating a trade union body for joint action.
3. Collective Bargaining Action Plan
Collective bargaining is a right under the core International Labour Standards and should be exercised with full determination by affiliated organisations with the participation of their affiliated unions, and by UNI Americas Finance. The unwillingness on the part of multinational companies to recognize the right to collective bargaining must be rejected and denounced internationally as anti-union practice in all forums constituted for the defense of workers’ rights.
4. Collective Agreements Compliance Action Plan and Core Fundamental Rights
UNI Americas Finance and its affiliates commits itself to take action for the rule, compliance and enforcement of international labor standards and core labor laws of each country, especially those related to freedom of association, the right to collective bargaining, the abolition of child labor, the prohibition of forced labor and non-discrimination in employment.
The organization also advocates a whole system of human rights, indivisible, interdependent, and the right to life as the main axis, which recognizes the superiority of social and cultural rights. It also reassurs that freedom of organization is essential to ensure real and effective exercise of all rights.
Other UNI Americas conferences
From this Sunday 2 to Monday 3, Montevideo is also hosting the UNI Americas Women Conference. From 5-7 December, it will be the turn of UNI Americas Regional Conference, which will bring together, besides financial workers, union leaders of workers in other service industries affiliated to UNI across the Americas and the Caribbean.Finally, there will be the UNI Americas Youth Conference, on 7 and 8 December.