President Ann Selin of Service Union United PAM of Finland becomes the president of UNI Global Union that represents over 20 million service sector workers. The resolution was taken today by the UNI world congress in Cape Town, South Africa.
- I want to thank you all from the bottom of heart for the confidence you have put in me. To be elected President of a huge international organisation is at the same time humbling and so exciting, Ann Selin said in her thank-you speech.
She promises to do her very best for the UNI members during her four-year mandate. She also adds that peace is what we need first.
- There are no possibilities to better the lives of workers in the presence of war. The labour movement needs to realise this and strive for peace all over the globe.
According to Ann Selin, the idea of tripartism carries widely in promoting peace. The ILO is still the only worldwide organisation where international cooperation is not only the business of diplomats and governments, but also of workers and employers. Lately, tripartism is under some attack in various countries.
- Neoliberalist politicians do not seem to be too keen on giving the workers a voice. Some enterprises certainly are in the same choir, singing the same song over and over: It is called “Money and only money is power”.
The top half percent of the global population has a 36% share of global wealth, whilst the bottom 70% has a 4.2%. Even if workers around the world are being pressured to accept less and less, we should not settle for this, Ann Selin insists.
- We need decent jobs. We need jobs that provide a living wage, safe environment, prospects for the future and common dignity.
Indeed, improving the quality of services employment, generating sustainable growth, and ensuring a high quality of services are objectives that should be on the agenda of UNI Global Union according to Ann Selin. UNI Europa has already created a services policy agenda that is called the Services Manifesto.
For Ann Selin, the theme of the congress Including You – Ubuntu! means the very core of labour unions: organisations that by including as many as possible, give the voice for the workers.
- The labour movement needs to include the whole working world to union work. We need to listen what the workers need for their unions to do for and with them. Only together we will succeed and gain the leverage that we need and deserve, she concludes her speech.
Palvelualojen maailmanliitto UNI represents over 20 million workers of over 900 unions. Among the PAM agreement sectors, commerce, guarding, hairdressing, cleaning and facilities services are included in UNI. UNI negotiates framework contracts with multinational companies on basic rights to be applied in the world of work.
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Service Union United PAM of Finland is a trade union for people working in the private services sector with 230 000 members.
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