IndustriAll Europe conference is taking place in Thessaloniki from May 31 to June 1 under the slogan "Strength in Trade Union". Maksim Pazniakou, chairman of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BNP), who is currently acting chairman of the Belarusian Congress of Democratic Trade Unions (BKDP), spoke at the event.
This is the first major European meeting of trade unionists from IndustriAll Europe affiliates since the pandemic. Some 500 delegates from national unions, including general secretaries and/or presidents of 119 industrial unions from 34 countries participate in the conference. For the first time new affiliates from Ukraine - the Confederation of Free Trade Unions of Ukraine (KVPU) and the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine (FPU) - were included in the event.
Maksim Pazniakou, representing Belarusian democratic trade unions, was given a warm welcome. In his speech he spoke about the situation with workers' rights and the destruction of trade unions in Belarus, and urged not to stand aside and show solidarity.
This includes voting on the resolution on Belarus at the International Labor Conference, which begins in a week in Geneva.
The conference also launched a fund-raising campaign to help trade union activists in detention. Anyone could buy IndustriAll Europe union t-shirts produced by organized workers. The proceeds will be used to help political prisoners in Belarus.
The conference delegates discussed the two years of work by European trade unions and defined the strategic priorities of the organization for the next two years, until the next Congress in 2025.