Speaking about the plan adopted by the Congress, IMF General Secretary Marcello Malentacchi said that in today’s globalised economy, the only way trade unions will achieve a better life for working people is to act together across national borders.
“Across the planet unions are fighting a daily battle for workers’ rights. This global action plan brings us together in this struggle and through our international solidarity we will stand united in the face of powerful transnational corporations,” he said.
A central plank of the plan is the negotiation of International Framework Agreements with transnational companies. These agreements are a practical way of negotiating for the respect of workers’ rights. To date, the IMF has signed 11 agreements and delegates attending the Congress committed themselves to continuing to target transnationals with these agreements.
The IMF World Congress also took the historic step of electing eight women to its Executive of 25 people. This was also supported by two statements on the need for gender equality and detailing the specific effects of globalisation on women.
The Congress debated trade unions responses to China’s increasing presence in the global economy following the IMF declaration to engage with workers at multinationals in China.
Metalworkers worldwide also launched a campaign for a global asbestos ban seeking an end to the continued production, distribution and use of asbestos, a substance that kills 100,000 people each year.