Posted: Thursday, 12 May 2011
An International Solidarity Forum at the CLC convention in Vancouver drew panelists from the International Labour Organization, the Kenyan Committee of Experts on Constitutional Review, and the Tunisian General Labour Union. CLC President Ken Georgetti opened the forum, welcoming the international guests. He noted that the struggles of workers around the world are connected to the struggles and work of the Canadian labour movement. CLC Executive Vice-President Barb Byers introduced the panelists and other international guests attending the convention. “Your presence here speaks to the importance of the international solidarity in the labour movement,” she said.
The guest panelists offered their analysis on what’s been happening in their own countries and organizations. They said unions and workers have been at the forefront of grassroots movements demanding democracy and better lives. Tumultuous change has swept across North Africa and the Middle East and elsewhere, resulting in toppled dictatorships, international intervention and calls for change. Inspired by the successes in Tunisia and Egypt, people power actions have erupted across the region with demonstrations in Algeria, Bahrain, Iran, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Syria and Yemen, and elsewhere. The international trade union movement is calling on the G20 to respond to the problems of unemployment and inequities that first ignited the protests.