Making Austerity History: Reclaiming Finance to Pay for the Future We Want

3 Sep 2020 New York, NY, USA 3 Sep - 3 Sep

Making Austerity History: Reclaiming Finance to Pay for the Future We Want

  • 3 Sep - 3 Sep
  • New York, NY, USA

On September 3rd hundreds of trade unionists from more than 60 countries will meet for the fifth in a series of virtual global dialogues aimed at strengthening our response to the current crisis. Join us.

This session is part of a series of 2-hour virtual meetings "Pandemic and Beyond: Workers Organizing for a Public Future" held during July, August and September 2020.

Register here

Thursday, September 3, 2020, 7:30 AM - 9:30 AM EDT check local times.

21:30 Sydney / 20:30 Seoul / 19:30 Manila / 17:00 Mumbai / 13:30 Cairo, Johannesburg, Paris / 12:30 London / 08:30 Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro / 07:30 New York / 06:30 Chicago.

In response to the economic consequences of social lockdowns, governments have offered various combinations of bailouts for big business and income support for small businesses and households. What lessons can the global labor movement draw from these interventions? How should trade unions and their allies orient themselves to calls for debt cancellation for countries of the South? What role is there for the international financial institutions and development banks in financing more and better public services and greater public ownership and democratic control over key sectors?

Making Austerity History: Reclaiming Finance to Pay for the Future We Want

Welcome and Introduction

  • John Treat, Special Projects Coordinator, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, International Program for Labor, Climate and Environment, City University of New York, School of Labor and Urban Studies

  • David Hall, Visiting Professor and former Director of the Public Services International Research Unit (PSIRU) at the University of Greenwich Business School — Moderator

Part 1: Dealing with the Legacy of Debt

  • Sara Murawski, Research Associate, Transnational Institute (TNI), The Netherlands

  • Khalid Mahmood, Director, Labor Education Foundation, Pakistan

  • Hauwa Mustapha, focal person, African Labour Research Network (ALRN), Nigeria

Part 2: Debt, Deficits and Decolonization: New Perspectives

  • Fadhel Kaboub, Associate Professor of economics Denison University, U.S.; President of the Global Institute for Sustainable Prosperity (GISP)

Part 3: Trade Union Perspectives on How to Pay for the Future We Want

  • Daniel Bertossa, Assistant General Secretary, Public Services International (PSI)

  • Kaylie Tiessen, Economist and Researcher, Unifor, Canada

Part 4: Panelist Reflections: Moving Forward

  • David Hall, Moderator: Reflections from panelists on key ideas or questions from the session and the way forward.

More than 60 unions from 35 countries and regions have now signed on as convenors of the Assembly. To date, more than 1,100 people have registered for one or more sessions. The full list of convening unions is available here.

TUED is coordinating the work of the Assembly’s planning committee, with support from the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, and the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung’s New York Office.

The 2020 Global Trade Union Assembly

A group of unions from both North and South who believe workers' organizations and their allies need to come together in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to discuss the implications of the current crisis and find fresh ways to strengthen global worker solidarity.

The international trade union movement is today on the front lines of efforts to address the impacts of the COVID pandemic, and policy responses to it, on workers and their communities. The opening session of the Assembly will feature trade union voices from South and North, with insights to help our movement navigate the crisis, and forge a vibrant internationalism that can reshape global policy and politics.

2020 Global Trade Union Assembly

Pandemic and Beyond: Workers organizing for a Public Future. A series of virtual meetings during July, August and September 2020.

click here to visit the global assembly website

Click here to see the full Assembly Program.

Click here to see the latest list of convening unions.

For more information or to register: https://slucuny.swoogo.com/gtua2020/

Session 5

The global collapse of energy demand is already having a massive impact on workers in oil, gas and the power utilities, as well as transport systems. The current situation has led to calls for governments to buy out—rather than bail out—energy companies. How can unions stop the return to “business as usual” at our expense? Is now the time for unions to rally behind efforts to advance a “public goods” approach to the transition to a low-carbon future?

Introduction

  • Daria Cibrario, Policy Officer, Local Governments and Multinationals, Public Services International (PSI)

Global Energy: Before and During the Pandemic

  • Sean Sweeney, Coordinator, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED) and Director, International Program for Labor, Climate and Environment, School of Labor and Urban Studies, City University of New York (CUNY)

  • Scott Doherty, Executive Assistant to the President, Leader of Local 707-A, UNIFOR, Canada

Union Perspectives on Defending and Reclaiming Public Energy

  • Ruth Mamolaba Ntlokotse, 2nd Deputy President, National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (NUMSA)

  • Paulo de Tarso, President, National Confederation of Urban Sector Workers (CNU), Brazil

Towards a New Energy Paradigm

  • Ilyes Benammar, Deputy Secretary General, General Federation of Electricity and Gas (UGTT), Tunisia

  • Moisés Barón Cárdenas, president, United Federation of Workers in the Mining, Energy, Metallurgical, Chemical, Extractive, Transport and Similar Industries of Colombia (FUNTRAMIEXCO)

Session 3

Welcome

  • Cornelia Berger, Policy Officer at UNI Global Union

Part 1: Global Movement to Reclaim Public Services

  • Daniel Chavez, Fellow / Senior Project Officer, Transnational Institute (TNI)

  • Hugo Godoy, Secretary General, Association of State Workers, and Deputy General Secretary, CTA-A, Argentina

  • Junsik Choi, President, Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU)

Part 2: Sectoral Opportunities and Strategies: Health, Education, Transport and Post

Health

  • Nayareth Quevedo Millán, Subregional Secretary for the Southern Cone, PSI

  • Carolina Espinoza, National Leader, CONFUSAM, Chile

Education

  • Edwin Morales, Vice President, Teachers’ Federation of Puerto Rico (FMPR),


Transport

  • Wol-san Liem, Director of International Affairs, Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU), Vice Chair of Road and Urban Transport Steering Committees, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)

Post

  • Jan Simpson, National President, Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW)

  • Cornelia Berger, Policy Officer, UNI Global Union

Next Steps and Closing

  • Wol-san Liem, Director of International Affairs, Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union (KPTU), Vice Chair of Road and Urban Transport Steering Committees, International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF)

Video

This third session is part of a series of 2-hour virtual meetings "Pandemic and Beyond: Workers Organizing for a Public Future" held during July, August and September 2020.

Session 3: Defending & Reclaiming Vital Public Services

Session 2

Part 1: Global Perspectives

  • Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary, PSI

  • Haldis Holst​, Deputy General Secretary, Education International

  • Sue Longley, General Secretary, IUF

Part 2: Solidarity Dialogues

  • Siobhan Endean, National Officer for Education, Unite, UK

  • Mugwena Maluleke, General Secretary, South African Democratic Teachers Union

  • Jean Ross, RN, President, National Nurses United, USA

  • George Poe Williams, Secretary General, National Health Workers' Union of Liberia

  • Bruce Hamilton, Vice President, Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU), USA

  • Angela Mata, National Confederation of Transport Workers Unions, Philippines

This second session will help us prepare for the Global Trade Union Assembly’s thematic discussions and frame the issues that are to be explored.

Unions understand that the multi-dimensional crisis set off by the coronavirus presents our movement with opportunities to organize for a “public future”—one that establishes an economy that puts need before profit, advances equality and can tackle the existential dangers of climate instability and ecosystem collapse.

Video

This session is part of a series of 2-hour virtual meetings "Pandemic and Beyond: Workers Organizing for a Public Future" held during July, August and September 2020.

Session 2: Towards A Public Future

Session 1

Welcome

  • David Boys, Public Services International

Part 1: A World to Win, But How?

How might the pandemic experience shape our movement’s political goals and strategy? What changes are needed in the way unions organize on the ground?

  • Adolfo Aguirre, Central de Trabajadores de la Argentina Autónoma (CTA-A)

  • Sara Nelson, Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA-CWA), USA

  • Zwelinzima Vavi, South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU)

Part 2: Workers Without Borders: North-South Conversations

As we struggle through and beyond the current crisis, what forms of internationalism and solidarity can help us build the world we want?

  • Aira Firdaus, United Workers Union (UWU), Australia, and Josua Mata, Sentro, Philippines

  • Samantha Mason, Public and Commercial Services Union, UK, and Catalina Caro Galvis, Mesa Social Minero-Energética, Colombia

  • Asbjorn Wahl, Norwegian Union of Municipal and General Employees (NUMGE), Norway, and Maicon Michel Silva, Confederação Nacional dos Metalúrgicos da CUT (CNM/CUT), Brazil

  • Kelti Cameron, Candian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), and Justina Jonas-Emvula, Metal and Allied Namibian Workers Union (MANWU)

Next Steps and Closing

Video

This first session is part of a series of 2-hour virtual meetings "Pandemic and Beyond: Workers Organizing for a Public Future" to be held during July, August and September 2020.

First Session: Unions Standing Together: A World To Win