On June 13 the 28th IUF Congress of the International Union of Food Workers was launched. The event was attended by the acting chairman of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP) and chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP) Maksim Pazniakou, who addressed the delegates.
On June 13, the 28th Congress of the International Union of Food Workers of the IUF started. The event was attended by the acting chairman of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BCDP) Maksim Pazniakou,.
The Congress opened with solidarity greetings from IUF President Mark Lauritsen, IUF General Secretary Sue Longley, representatives of the Canton of Geneva and Martine Docourt from Swiss IUF affiliate UNIA.
Delegates representing millions of food, agriculture, hotel, restaurant, catering and tobacco workers gathered from around the world, from Australia to Zambia, from Argentina to Zimbabwe, to discuss the future strategy of the IUF.
Gilbert F. Houngbo, Director General of International Labour Organisation (ILO), addressed the Congress. He drew attention to decent work in agriculture, building sustainable food systems and ensuring food security for all. He also stressed the importance of the right to organize and collective bargaining in the agrifood sector.
The representative of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions talked about the situation of workers' rights in his country and the importance of solidarity in the current context as the main tool of workers' struggle against injustice and violations of their rights.
Mark Lauritsen, President of the IUF, addressed the Congress delegates:
“We’ve seen fascist movements rise across the globe, military juntas, and the right wing and their constant attacks on human rights, be it in Italy, Myanmar, even the United States and Brazil. And even now we are meeting in the shadow of the war in Ukraine. A strong labor movement is the only thing that can push back against these right-wing forces. It’s the IUF that is going to push back. The fight for our future starts here. The fight for our future starts now.”
As the 28th IUF Congress takes place under the slogan "Fighting for Our Future," trade union rights, equality, climate justice, and peace, democracy and human rights are on the agenda of the Congress and beyond.
It is worth noting that the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP) is the only IUF member organization from Belarus.