1. OUR MISSION
The global economy is in the throes of a unique crisis. The ideology that unbridled greed for profits is the driving force behind human progress has been discredited. What we need is a new approach where politics and economics serve the development of society and quality employment. The current crisis is not only the result of misjudgements and misguided developments in the market, or the result of overheating financial markets. It is entirely the result of the ideology of an unrestrained market and economic and political policies directed at maximising short term profits. On a positive note however, while undoubtedly the next four years of the International Metalworkers´Federation work will be tough and difficult, the current economic situation also provides us with a real opportunity to create a new international development model that rivals that of neoliberalism and is based on regulation, fairness, equality, sustainability and decent trade union and labour rights.
Therefore, the fundamental mission of the trade union movement is more than ever to improve workers' wages, working and living conditions, and to ensure that workers and workers' rights are respected. The mission of the IMF is to work towards the achievement of these goals in metalworking and related industries by working with its affiliates and on the global level.
Today, corporate-led globalisation is still massively infringing on the rights of workers. The policies promoted by employers, most governments and the international institutions they dominate have resulted in increased economic inequality, precarious employment and a reduction in the bargaining power of working people around the world.
Recognizing that union building/organising and collective bargaining are at the heart of our work, metalworker unions must organise and mobilise union members to challenge the neo-liberal agenda of corporations and most governments, and ensure working people have a fair share in the wealth generated through economic growth.
The goal of the IMF is to support, coordinate and strengthen the activities of its affiliates to:
- Improve workers' wages, working and living conditions;
- Organise new members into democratic workers' unions throughout the world;
- Build and strengthen national metalworking unions;
- Ensure that internationally recognized Core Labour Standards are applied in every country and that national laws are changed to reflect these standards;
- Defend and protect workers' rights;
- Fight for safe and healthy working conditions;
- Make women's rights, interests, and representation one of the highest priorities;
- Struggle for sustainable economic growth that protects the environment and improves social conditions;
- Strengthen the power and unity of trade unions to build a counterweight to the power of transnational corporations (TNCs), including their power over the allocation of employment and investment;
- Struggle for fair trade, social justice and the elimination of poverty; and
- Support and build solidarity with countries and governments who promote progressive policies aimed at delivering fairness, equality and social sustainability.
It is clear that trade unions cannot achieve these goals only at the national level. National initiatives must be complemented with international action in order to be successful
For this reason the role of the IMF is to:
- Unite national metalworking trade unions in a global union structure capable of mobilising its membership in solidarity at all levels wherever and whenever required;
- Bring unions together to share information, overcome conflicts of interest and build common strategies;
- Coordinate solidarity and support for affiliates during major disputes or when fundamental workers' rights are infringed;
- Provide information on developments that affect the activities of metalworker unions;
- Actively voice the concerns and interests of metalworkers in effective and innovative ways that involve and mobilise trade union members and bring the IMF into the daily activities of affiliate unions;
- Direct resources and solidarity support towards building strong national unions in countries where unions are weak or non-existent;
- Support trade union education that tackles core trade union activities such as organising, collective bargaining, defending workers' rights and international solidarity;
- Coordinate an international strategy for building unionism in TNCs and their suppliers at the sectoral and enterprise levels. Challenge the power of TNCs by developing the capacity to bargain collectively at the international level - based on a case by case mandate from the affiliates and by such means as sharing information and experiences among affiliates and building on the work of negotiating, implementing and monitoring International Framework Agreements (IFAs);
- Expose and challenge governments that violate fundamental trade union rights or interfere in the functioning of independent trade union bodies;
- Represent the interests of metalworkers in international bodies which take decisions affecting jobs and employment conditions, such as the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the World Trade Organization (WTO);
- Work with other Global Union Federations (GUFs), the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD to pursue closer cooperation and action in the interests of affiliates; and
- Build, whenever possible, dialogue, alliances and joint actions with appropriate political and social organisations.
- Affiliates of the IMF will make significant contributions to the attainment of our goals by:
- Strengthening their political influence, capacities, and resources through organising and collective bargaining at the national level;
- Sharing information and actively communicating with the IMF and other affiliates at the national, regional, and international level;
- Engaging in the regional and global structures of the IMF;
- Supporting each other during disputes or when fundamental workers' rights are violated;
- Participating in international actions and international networks organised through the IMF; and
- Giving visibility to international trade union action by incorporating IMF co-ordinated activities in day-to-day trade union work.
Ultimately, to achieve our goals, the IMF must go beyond simple coordination and become a truly global trade union organization that is able to counteract social and economic challenges and is based on the principles of independence and democracy following the mandates given by the decision-making bodies.Jun 18, 2009 – Alex Ivanou