Dear sisters and brothers,
Dear comrades and colleagues,
Time has come to meet you all in Copenhagen at the ITUC Congress.
In a few months, after my nomination for ITUC General Secretary, we managed to build a large coalition of trade unions from every corner of the world.
A coalition calling for an effective decision-making role – of women, first of all, and men – for transparency and democracy, more inclusiveness of the differences that make up the heart and asset of the ITUC.
We have the ambition of a deep change in the ITUC. In the meetings and contacts we have had in recent months, most of you have reiterated these demands and given me further reasons to promote a change in the leadership, management and profile of the ITUC.
We will collectively act, at global and national level, against the attacks of neo-liberal policies to the workers’ rights. We will promote and defend ILO as the unique institution based on the Tripartite system, and ILO fundamental principles and rights at work, starting from freedom of association and collective bargaining.
We need a strong international trade union movement, well coordinated with the Global Union Federations to stop transnational corporate greed without hesitation, claiming for unconditional respect for the value of persons and their dignity.
By accepting to be a candidate and presenting my programme, I have made a commitment to you. I shall keep my word and fully engage in pursuing the unity of the ITUC.
No more agreements based on last minute amendments to the bylaws are possible, as they could neither be discussed or shared in our decision-making bodies.
Such last minute agreements cannot be acceptable according to the basic principle of any democracy: it’s not possible to change the rules of the game halfway and without any mandate on this fundamental subject. It would be a devastating signal.
Some said that a ballot could divide and break the ITUC. This may be a threat, if the vote happens in the absence of transparent and democratic rules. There will be no losers or winners, but a stronger and more mature organization, united and committed to supporting the new elected leadership group.
These are common wishes we have to bring to the Congress, certain that we have acted for the good of the organization and for its strengthening.
We will work together with you to elect a plural and fully representative General Council.
We have also worked out a strong, cohesive and united team, with Victor Baez (incumbent S.G. of CSA-TUCA) and Rafael Lamas (FGTB Belgium) as Deputy General Secretaries who will ensure representativeness and commitment to our programmes and values.
Regarding the new President, I shall endorse the candidacy proposed by Africa in accordance with the rotation criteria. I am confident he will represent the whole ITUC and give guidance to its affiliates.
Deputy Presidents should not take sides with any candidate or elected General secretary, instead they should represent and give guidance to the whole ITUC and its affiliates.
I would like to thank you all for your advice, for your great support and trust in these months of campaign.
We will meet and continue to work together, starting from Copenhagen.
Together, we can change the course of the international trade union movement, giving voice, defending freedom and protecting the rights of workers, starting from the most vulnerable.