Regarding the article “ITUC at a crossroads as Sharan Burrow is challenged” published on 7 November 2018 by the Swedish website Arbetet.se, in which some inaccurate, biased and misleading information about my candidacy circulated, I wrote a letter to the authors. Find below a reply from the editors.
To Ivar Andersen
cc Yonna Waltersson
Editor in Chief
Sent by e-mail
Rome, 28 November 2018
Dear Mr Andersen and Mr Larson,
we are only a few days ahead of the ITUC Congress in Copenhagen, and there is a very lively debate around the future of work and of ITUC.
This is already an added value of my candidacy, the world’s trade unions are debating around the future of work and of the ITUC. This debate itself is precious and important for unions and for the world of work.
Indeed, among the reasons behind my candidacy are transparency and a more
collegial management of the ITUC.
I am sorry to note that lots of the information included in the article is misleading: I am confident that if you contacted one of the organizations supporting my candidacy, or CGIL, you would have gathered a lot of correct information.
First of all, you describe CGIL as a “conflict prone organization”, whereas I would like to highlight that CGIL, together with CISL and UIL, has never signed as many agreements with employers organizations as in the last 8 years.
It is a piece of fake news that Italian trade union organizations support Sharan
Burrow. Nothing to add on that, see the support letters attached.
As for the solidity of my support, not only it is solid, I can even report an increasing support in all continents, including Africa. I wonder if the same thing can be affirmed for the other side.
There are strong reasons behind my candidacy, and they are available also on my website (www.susannacamusso.info). Some of them are connected to internal issues, but most of them concern the vision and the future of work. A document has widely circulated and it is attached here, too.
I want a plural and democratic ITUC, also by the language point of view. You could approach me and have a conversation, not only in English as it is the case for the present SG. In any case, nobody should be prevented from running for ITUC leadership because of language barriers; this would be an intolerable discrimination.
Failure to build future vision and also a future leadership is certainly not the
responsibility of a large group of national unions that are democratically putting forward an alternative for ITUC. I am engaged to this and much more, and thank all organizations for the huge support to change the ITUC.
With my kindest regards,
Here is the reply sent by the editors of Arbetet.se “Clarification on article appeared on Arbetet” on 30 November 2018
Dear Susanna Camusso,
We are surprised but delighted that you decided to get in touch. It will provide us an opportunity to dismiss some of the misunderstandings currently surrounding our article, and also a chance to explain the standards that guide our work as journalists.
First, let us express our genuine regrets that the English version of the article incorrectly stated that Italian unions did not support your candidacy.
That paragraph was the result of a human error which was discovered and corrected in the Swedish version, but unfortunately made it into the English translation. That is, like any erroneous information we publish, a failure. That being said, the error was corrected the instant it was pointed out to us and a clarification was published alongside the article.
Second, please allow us to briefly clarify some of your statements:
“I am confident that if you contacted one of the organizations supporting my candidacy, or CGIL, you would have gathered a lot of correct information.”
This was not the case. We contacted several of the organizations that support your candidacy. None of them agreed to go on record. Several did, however, give anonymous comments.
It was not only the organizations that support your candidacy that requested anonymity; the same was true for most of the organizations supporting the current SG. Obviously, a lot of people in the global union movement feel that the upcoming election is a sensitive issue. In light of the lies and falsehoods currently being spread about us and our article on social media – and in light of the fact that the 208 million workers the ITUC represents are entitled to information about issues such as this – we believe that the movement would benefit from greater transparency in discussion. This is something the next SG, whoever it will be, might want to address.
”you describe CGIL as a ‘conflict prone organization’”
This is not a pejorative term. Several people we have spoken to are hoping for a future ITUC that becomes more activist in its approach to global challenges.
“I want a plural and democratic ITUC, also by the language point of view.”
The opinions regarding language voiced in the article do not represent our position, but the position of our sources. As we are confident you understand this, you will also understand that your letter can easily be interpreted as implying that we should not present the views of people supporting the current SG.
We will always, in compliance with the basic ethical rules of journalism, speak to both sides. Our article on the upcoming election presents arguments for and criticism against both candidates. Our job is not to judge between opposite opinions, but simply to present them in an impartial and balanced manner. If you read our article, we are confident you will find that we have.
We will be covering the World Congress in Copenhagen and we would like to take this opportunity to request an interview with you ahead of the election, preferably on Sunday or Monday. This interview would cover your future vision for the ITUC, challenges awaiting the global trade union movement and the arguments put forth by organizations supporting the other candidate. The same request will be sent to the current SG.
Yonna Waltersson, editor in chief Arbetet
Erik Larsson, editor Arbetet Global