To the trade union leaders and affiliated organizations who nominated me for ITUC General Secretary and to those who expressed their intention to vote for me in the next ITUC Congress:
Thank you for the trust, for the support and for sharing my vision for the future of the ITUC.
Just like you, I am a trade unionist and I have spent most of my life fighting for workers’ rights, trying to increase their power to shape their living and working conditions through collective bargaining and to influence economic and social policies.
You and I stand by the workers’ side and we want to put the value and dignity of work at the center of the future of our societies.
We stand by those who are suffering the most the harsh
consequences of globalization, of the financial crisis, of corporate greed.
Today these people, our people, are facing stronger attacks, growing inequality, lack of social protection. Especially the most vulnerable.
Neoliberal policies have also contributed to create division among workers. We see natives against immigrants, union workers against non-union, informal workers versus formal, the South versus the North.
It’s time to stop any division, it’s time to change.
We must be united if we really want a strong ITUC, a labour movement with teeth, capable to defy the global capital and to shape new, more sustainable and just policies.
International financial institutions would change their policies only under the pressure of a coordinated mobilization of workers at national, regional and global level, framed in a shared strategy for change.
We shall fight to make labor rights a priority in every corner of the world, we shall fight for freedom of association and for the right to strike everywhere.
We must regain power for organized labour and collective bargaining in every country, in every single workplace.
The ITUC we want is based on unity and trust, on a democratic and transparent governance, on participation.
We want shared and open decisions in an ITUC which is owned by the affiliates and which is relevant for them in their daily work, for the interests of working men and women.
We need the ideas and the support of every affiliate.
So let’s start to work together.