This Monday, the Trade Union Confederation of the Americas will start four days of intense work with its affiliated organisations, allied and international institutions that support its work, through four pre-congress workshops ahead of their 4th Continental Congress to take place from 20-23 April. Both events will be held online.
“The creation of these spaces is part of a process of political accumulation led by the TUCA and its affiliated organisations aiming to build their advocacy capacities, but it is also part of a practice by the TUCA intended to build policies as a collective and participatory process,” said the Trade Union Policy and Education Secretary of the TUCA, Jordania Ureña, in interview with Real World Radio. The trade union confederation is inviting workers from all its affiliated organisations to participate in the pre-congress workshops and the public in general to follow the online broadcast. All workshops will take place from 1pm to 3pm (Southern Cone time) and can be followed through the Facebook page of the TUCA.
The workshops are:
12 April. Gender: The gender perspective and gender justice: where are we headed as a trade union movement?
13 April. Social Protection: The trade union strategy related to the reforms of social protection systems in light of the “Future of Work”
14 April. Just Transition: The regional perspective of just transition: where are we headed?
15 April. Racial Equality: The fight for racial equality in trade unions and the world of labour.
According to the TUCA on its website, the goal of the pre-congress workshops is to “contribute to the discussions to be held at the 4th Congress around the transformation and strengthening process of the TUCA, in a world of labour that is rapidly changing and where trade unions play a key social and political role.” In the interview with Real World Radio, Ureña highlighted that the TUCA is holding these workshops because “we see the need to broaden the debate about some of the issues that have been part of our agenda and will continue being a priority in the years to follow.” And she added that “allied and affiliated organisations play an extremely important role in the search for alternatives.” That is why the Development Platform of the Americas (PLADA) included different perspectives from feminist, peasant, environmental movements and many others. That is why the TUCA is involved in the Continental Day for Democracy and against Neoliberalism process. Next week´s pre-congress workshops “are part of a necessary dynamic to promote a different economic system, one that is sustainable, inclusive, with equality,” states the Trade Union Policy and Education Secretary of TUCA.
Ureña made reference to the issues that will be discussed in each of the workshops. The Gender workshop will analyse, among other things, the issues that “disproportionately affect women in the region, and how the pandemic has widened the gender gaps that have always existed.”
According to Ureña, the goal of the workshop about Social Protection is “to analyse the state of play of social protection systems in the current context of the health crisis” and raise awareness about “the main challenges to ensure the rights of workers.” We need to move towards “public, universal and high-quality” social protection systems.
The third workshop will deal with the concept of Just Transition, which is key for social movements around the world that consider that Just Transition should be prioritised in the global efforts to fight climate change and the serious biodiversity crisis. For trade unions, the cost of the urgent and necessary changes in the global energy system cannot be paid by workers. That is to say, the path away from fossil fuels cannot bring losses for the working class.
Along these lines, Ureña said that the Just Transition workshop will aim to “identify the main tools of trade unions to influence the commitments adopted by governments on climate change and the environmental crisis.” And she highlighted that the goal is to “deepen the proposals of regional trade unions related to the democratisation of energy, to production and consumption models that include aspects of just transition, in order for the transition to be truly just with workers.”
Lastly, the Trade Union Policy and Education Secretary of TUCA made reference to the Racial Equality workshop and said that “the goal is to build trade union proposals against the different ways Afro-descendant workers are discriminated against in the Americas.” The TUCA also aims to mobilise the affiliated organisations so that they exert pressure in favour of “public policies that address job issues, education and housing problems experienced by Afro-descendant people.” Real World Radio will cover these pre-congress workshops of the TUCA and will join the important communication work started by the trade union confederation on its website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube channel.