The Council of Global Unions will launch the worldwide Quality Public
Services-Action Now! campaign on Thursday 23 June, United Nations Public
Services Day. The aim is to advance quality public services for all people
through unprecedented coordinated solidarity action across borders.
American Midwest to the Middle East, Asia to Africa, Europe to South America -
private and public sector unions are uniting as never before to defend and
advance the quality public services that keep communities strong. Unions are
working with a wide range of allies including municipal governments and civil
society groups to build sustainable economies that benefit all people - not
just a select few.
Africa, this means local unions are working with the Durban eThekwini
municipality and community partners to advance affordable housing and reliable
public water, electricity, sanitation and transport services through a campaign
initiated by Public Services International. In Cape Town, this includes
providing books to build public libraries in a partnership effort between
Education International affiliates and the civil society organisation Equal
In Bangkok, Thailand,
railway workers who are members of the International Transport Workers'
Federation are marching with public sector unions to reinforce their message of
protest against government privatisation plans.
In Spain, where
youth unemployment is shooting past 40-percent under austerity measures imposed
by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, leading public and
private sector unions are joining forces under the Quality Public
Services-Action Now! banner to advance a new social and economic vision.
exchanges between American, European, Middle Eastern and North African unions
will take place in the coming weeks. In Egypt, leaders of the American
Federation of Teachers, whose members in Wisconsin have been stripped of their
collective bargaining rights, will meet with the independent Egyptian unions
whose call for a general strike proved to be the decisive moment in toppling
their country's corrupt regime earlier this year. However, Egypt's transitional
military council has just banned strikes and sit-ins.
union leaders, who are celebrating a national referendum victory that halts
moves to privatise water, expand nuclear power, or allow politicians impunity -
will visit unions in Wisconsin and across the United States to share
experiences and strategies.
The Council of
Global Unions has issued a solidarity
statement reinforcing the commitment of all global unions to back the joint
resistance of private and public sector affiliates and citizens to attacks on
working peoples' rights and cuts to public services in Wisconsin.
trade union leaders from Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela are
meeting in a bipartisan effort to promote social dialogue and innovative
proposals for quality public services across the Andean region.
unions are implementing new strategies to convince central and local
governments to provide quality, affordable public services as the basis for
decent work, quality of life, democracy and social justice.
In Fiji, where
the government just passed a law denying public sector workers the right to
collective bargaining, sick leave, anti-discrimination or dispute resolution
measures, and in India, Japan, Lebanon, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Morocco,
Mauritius, Russia, Uganda, the Netherlands and elsewhere, union and community
members are standing together on 23 June to defend the right to decent work and
to reclaim public services for the common good.
"When we look
around the world today, we find peace and improved equality and opportunity
only in countries where strong public services provide equitable redistribution
of wealth, protect democracy and deliver security, justice and decent work,"
Council of Global Unions chair Peter Waldorff emphasizes.
priority investment in quality public services to create jobs and stimulate
sustainable economic growth and development. Spending on clean energy, water,
health care, education infrastructure and transport is an investment in our
Public Services-Action Now! campaign is guided by principles outlined in
the Geneva Charter on Quality Public Services. Of key importance, public
funding must be supported by fair taxes based on ability to pay, an end to
shifting taxes from corporations and the super-rich to ordinary people, and a
crackdown on tax dodgers who hide their profits in foreign tax havens.
Leading up to
the launch of the Quality Public
Services-Action Now! campaign on 23 June, global union members are
participating in the European Trade
Union Confederation Day of Action on 21 June and the Global Day of Action for a
Financial Transactions Tax on 22 June.
political and civil society partners are invited to associate their related campaigns
or to start new initiatives under the Quality Public Services-Action Now! campaign banner, and are encouraged to sign on to the Geneva Charter on Quality
Public Services today. More campaign information, posters and talking points
are available at www.qpsactionnow.org
are international private and public sector trade union organisations working
together with a shared commitment to the ideals and principles of the trade
union movement. They share a common determination to organise, to defend human
rights and labour standards everywhere, and to promote the growth of trade
unions for the benefit of all working women and men and their families.
Together they represent more than 175 million members worldwide.