Global trade union strategy meeting

5 Nov 2018 Roger Smith Hotel, New York, USA 5 Nov - 6 Nov

Global trade union strategy meeting

  • 5 Nov - 6 Nov
  • Roger Smith Hotel, New York, USA

2019 promises to be a key year for the global trade union movement at the United Nations: the United Nations (UN) Commission for Social Development (CSocD) in February will address wages and inequality; the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March will focus on access to public services and social protection, and the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) in July and September, will review global progress on education, empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality, including decent work, and the importance of strong institutions and peace. 2019 is also the Centenary of the ILO, with numerous events during the General Assembly in September 2019 that present the trade union movement with a major political opportunity to put labour issues and the need for the democratization of global economic governance at the very heart of the United Nations.

Therefore Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) New York and Public Services International (PSI) propose a Global Trade Union Strategy Meeting, 5-6 November in NYC, to reflect on inputs, joint campaigning and mapping strategic opportunities for trade union action in the lead up to 2019. The main focus of the meeting would be to outline a multi-layer action plan to be launched at the CSocD and carried forward throughout 2019, including side and parallel events at each of the major UN meeting, and connecting on-going trade union campaigns with the main themes discussed at the UN.

This meeting functions as a joint training opportunity for trade union delegates participating in these UN committees. We also want to build more strategic alliances with other major groups ahead of the year so that the trade union priorities are mainstreamed.


Monday 5 November


09:30 – 10:00 | Registration and Welcome Coffee


10:00 – 10:30 | Opening Session

  • Luise Rürup, Executive Director, FES New York
  • Sandra Vermuyten, Head of Campaigns, PSI New York
  • Nerea Craviotto, Advocacy Officer, International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC/Trade Union Development Cooperation Network (TUDCN)
  • Antonia Wulff, Coordinator, Education International
  • Presentation of participants


10:30 – 11:45 | Setting the stage for trade union action at the United Nations in 2019 – the Road Ahead

·         Moderated by Sandra Vermuyten, PSI NYC


  • UN Commission for Social Development (CSocD), February
    Sandra Vermuyten
  • UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), March
    Veronica Montufar, PSI (Skype) and Vicky Smallman, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC)
  • Financing for Sustainable Development Forum (FSDF), April
    Nerea Craviotto, Sandra Vermuyten
  • UN High Level Political Forum (HLPF)  in ECOSOC, July
    Nerea Craviotto, Antonia Wulff
  • UN HLPF in UN General Assembly United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), September
    Nerea Craviotto, Antonia Wulff
  • Others

11:45 – 12:00 | Coffee break


12:00 – 13:00 | Labour issues at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund: Recent developments

  • Moderated by Nerea Craviotto
  • Leo Baunach Research Officer, ITUC Washington DC
  • Group discussion


13:00 – 14:30 | Lunch at Roger Smith

  • Discussion with Bhumika Muchhala, Expert on Global Economic Governance and Sustainable Development, Making the SDGs work for global justice


14:30 – 15:30 | ILO’s Centenary and the Future of Work

  • Moderated by Vicky Smallman
  • Vinicius Pinheiro, Special UN Representative to the UN and Director International Labour Organization (ILO) New York Office for the UN


15:30 – 16:45 | Reflecting on trade union action at the United Nations, SDGs and other processes

  • Moderated by Antonia Wulff
  • Jolanda van Gool, Executive Board Member, Network Roze FNV, Netherlands
  • Group discussion


16:45 – 17:00 | Coffee break


17:00 – 18:00 | Regional UN processes, making the link with affiliates, and on-going campaigns

  • Moderated by Sandra Massiah, PSI Sub- Regional Secretary Caribbean
  • Presentation by Najwa Hanna, PSI Sub-Regional Secretary, MENA region
  •  Group discussion


19:30 – 21:00 |Group Dinner  

Tuesday 6 November


09:30 – 10:30 | Building coalitions with other global trade union campaigns and networks

  • Moderated by Sean Sweeney,  Director, International Program for Labour, Climate and Environment Trade Unions of Energy Democracy (TUED)
  • Presentation by Moradeke Abiodun, Gender Officer and Migration Coordinator Nigerian National Union of Midwives and Nurses (NNUMN)
  • Group Discussion


10:30 – 10:45 | Coffee break


10:45 – 13:00 | The way forward – How can we strengthen trade union action at the UN and beyond?

  • Moderated by Gemma Adaba, UN Representative Global Compact for Migration, Council of Global Unions (CGU) and Solidarity Center
  • Presentation by Kate Lappin, PSI Regional Secretary, Asia Pacific Region (Skype)

13:00 – 14:30 | Lunch

  • Discussion with Ignacio Saiz, Executive Director, Center for Economic and Social Rights, Collaboration between the human rights and trade union movements on issues of economic inequality.


14:30 – 15:30 | Meeting representatives of other Major Groups:

  • Moderated by Florian Lascroux, Coordinator Solidarity and Development Education International (EI)
  • Jeffrey Huffines UN Representative CIVICUS
  • Daniel Perell, UN Representative at Bahai International Community (BIC)
  • Jordan Chiara, Stakeholder Group of Persons with Disabilities                                                                           

15:30 – 15:45 | Coffee break

15:45 – 17:00 | Meeting representatives of UN Agencies and Divisions

  • Moderated by Winnie Lago, Communication Officer Union of Kenya Civil Servants (UKCS)
  • Johannes P. Lang, Advanced and Knowledge Management Specialist, and Vivek Rai, Gender and Humanitarian Action Analyst, UN WOMEN, CSW 63 and preparations for the Beijing+25 process
  • Peter Chowla, Economic Affairs Officer, UN Financing for Sustainable Development Office
  • Makiko Tagashira Social Affairs Officer, Social Policy Analysis Section, Global Dialogue for Social Development Branch, Division for Inclusive Social Development, UNDESA and Amine Lamrabat Public Information Officer, Division for Inclusive Social Development, UNDESA
  • Chantal Line Carpentier, Director NYC Office, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD


17:00 – 18:00 | Wrap-up session

  • Moderated by Sandra Vermuyten
  • Wrap-up: Gloria Mills, National Secretary UNISON United Kingdom (UK) and Women’s Committee President European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC)
  • Closing remarks:  Luise Rürup