Switzerland) In the face of
widespread cuts to public services, leaders of private and public sector trade
unions, municipal governments and civil society groups have made the
unprecedented joint commitment to work together to promote investment in
quality public services backed by fair taxation policies as the key solution to
the economic crisis, and the best way to build peaceful, equitable, democratic
and ecologically-sustainable societies.
It's "our turn, our
future" concluded participants in the international Quality Public Services-Action Now! conference in Geneva,
Switzerland this week. The Council of
Global Unions, sponsor of the three day conference attended by 400 delegates,
announced the launch of a major global campaign guided by a charter and action
plan that links local, national and international efforts to promote quality
public services. The CGU collectively represents more than 176 million working
men and women.
CGU chair Aidan White
said, "This is a call to the trade union movement to advance its historic
responsibility to work in broad social coalitions and act as a force for social
change that improves the quality of life for all citizens. We don't have time
executive director of Greenpeace International and council member of Global
Call to Action Against Poverty, called for "a new activism" to back demands for
quality public services as the foundation for social justice policies.
us that when decent people take risks and engage in struggle peacefully,
principally and courageously, pursuing civil disobedience where necessary, then
those who occupy the instruments of power, whether in government or in the
financial sector, will listen and respond," he said.
president of Education International, said, "We are conveying a powerful
message in uniting as advocates for strong schools, decent health services and
social services, clean water and proper sanitation, effective fire and security
services, affordable housing and utilities, accessible communications and
transport, public media and culture, and good public administration and
municipal services. Quality public services provide the foundation for
sustainable growth, equitable redistribution of wealth, and the means for
justice, good governance, and the exercise of democracy."
general secretary of the International Transport Workers' Federation, said the
new campaign would start in selected cities as "a rallying point for the
industrial and political power of the global union movement" and was needed
"because public services benefit both private and public sector workers, our
families and our communities."
general secretary of Public Services International, said the campaign will show
that as governments break collective agreements with impunity while cutting
public services and benefits, unions and allies are applying new strategies
that will build a more sustainable world and ensure social protection for all.