Global Unions Launch Campaign for Common Good Quality Public Services-Action Now!

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.

From the

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.

In South

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.

Italian trade

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.

Government and

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.

"We need

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

collective future."

The Quality

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.

Trade unions,

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

Global Unions

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.

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