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Summer School 2019 Wexford

Issued on August 26, 2019 at 02:57 PM

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About 80 trade union delegates from across the island attended the 11th Global Solidarity Summer School in Wexford on 22nd and 23rd August. (Pics available here)

They were welcomed by Maura Bell, Deputy Mayor of Wexford and Michael Wall, Chair of Wexford Trades Council

 The opening address was given by Gerry Murphy, Congress President who summarised global solidarity work over the recvent period and wished dekegates well at the seminar. 

The main theme was marking the ILO Centenary and the first session heard inputs from David Joyce from Congress and Siobhan O'Carroll from the Department of Business Enterprise and Innovation. David reflected on the history of the Workers Group in the ILO and the recent  achievements at this year’s International Labour Conference – the ILO Declaration on the Future of Work and a new ILO Convention and Recommendation on Violence and Harassment in the World of Work; Siobhan spoke about Ireland's role in the ILO and her own role as EU spokesperson in the Declaration Committee. Both David and Siobhan also reminded delegates of the Conference in Dublin Castle on 17th September to mark the centenary of the ILO. 

There was also a video link to Elizabeth Tang in the Hong Kong Council of Trade Unions and delegates also poised for a solidarity photo. Congress also wrote to the Chinese Embassy in relation to Hong Kong. 

A session on Organising against Discrimination and Exclusion followed and included:

  • A presentation in relation to the Irish Government is presenting its joint Fifth, Sixth and Seventh State Report to the CERD (Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) in Geneva in November 2019. In response to this, ENAR Ireland is co-ordinating a Collective Civil Society Alternative Report and Lucy Michael, ENAR, spoke to dlegates about possible points for inclusion. 
  • Makhosi Sigabade, from the Housing 4 All group spoke about "A prison without Walls" a publication by the group campaigning to ensure that all people seeking asylum are given the opportunity to lead dignified and secure lives - 

On Friday 23 August, Alison Tate, ITUC spoke to delegates about ITUC Frontline Campaigns and strategic priorities and plans including the four pillars of Peace, Democracy and Rights; Regulating Economic Power; Global Shifts - Just Transitions; and Equality. She applied a particular focus to the Climate Proof our Work campaign and urged people to try and also do this during the week of action in September. Congress has written to Minister Bruton in relation to Just Transition at the UN Conference.

 A number of presentations on particular campaigns followed, including:

  • Exploring the impact a new Social Contract could have within Global Supply chains illustrating his work in Cambodia amongst Garment Workers – David Cichon, ACT;
  • Update on the work of Justice for Colombia – by Nick MacWilliam and also Anne Speed from UNISON and Peter Nolan from Fórsa, both of whom had been on recent delegations to Colombia.  
  • Report back on discussions on Goal 8 – Decent Work – at recent UN High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals in New York, including this video on #Timefor8 – Niall McGuirk (Fórsa);
  • Climate Connect -Trade union engagement with the climate movement including the global school strike on 20th September  – discussion lead by Yvonne O’Callaghan (SIPTU)
  • Delegates also made a number of announcements from the floor, including:
  1. Upcoming Trade Union Friends of Palestine Palestine Children's Conference in the CWU, Dublin 22nd and 23rd November;
  2. Possible solidarity actions with Hong Kong;
  3. Venezuela action