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Labourstart Global Solidarity Conference opens this Friday in Berlin

Trade unionists from across the globe to meet to share ideas and strategies and to build transnational links

May 20, 2014
3 min read

The annual Global Solidarity Conference of the news and campaigning website of the international trade union movement, LabourStart, will open in Berlin on Friday, 23 May, immediately following the close of the 3rd World Congress of the International Trade Union Confederation. The conference runs until Sunday, May 25.

Nearly 700 trade union activists from 75 countries have registered to attend the conference, which will provide a crucial opportunity for trade unionists of all levels from different countries and industries to share and discuss ideas and strategies and to build strong transnational inter-union links

The theme of this year’s conference is “Global Crisis – Global Solidarity” and follows upon successful LabourStart Global Solidarity Conferences in Sydney; Istanbul; Hamilton, Ontario; Washington, DC; and London.

Among the speakers at the conference’s opening plenary on Friday, 23 May at 19:00 will be Mostafa Berrchid, a worker at the Total Call Center in Casablanca, Morocco, who was sacked for his union activity and who is the subject of a LabourStart ActNOW campaign that has generated 8,200 messages of protest in 15 languages.

Berrchid will be joined by Dave Oliver, the Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions; Michael Bride, Deputy Organising Director for Global Strategies, United Food and Commercial Workers (USA and Canada);  Kıvanç Eli Açık, Director of the International Relations Department for the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DISK) and Mag Wompel from LabourNet Germany.

The opening plenary on Saturday will be addressed by Claudia Rahman from IG Metall (the German metal workers union); Petra Brannmark from IndustriALL Global Union; Nazma Akter from the United Garments Workers’ Federation of Bangladesh; a representative of the newly-formed International Domestic Workers Federation; Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (USA and Canada), and Burcu Ayan from the International Union of Food workers.

In addition to plenary sessions there are more than 50 workshops taking place on a wide range of issues. The conference will also see the former general secretary of the International Union of Food workers, Dan Gallin, launch his new book,Solidarity: Selected Essays, published by LabourStart.

The conference will take place in the headquarters of Ver.di, the 2.2 million member German union, at Paula-Thiede-Ufer 10, 10179 Berlin.

Although the conference is already full, if you are in Berlin and would like to attend email the organisers at gisela@labourstart.org and they will try to arrange your attendance.

@labourstart on Twitter.