On October 7th, 8th and 9th, a hundred activists from the trade union, association and academic worlds from 18 countries gathered at the Bergerie de Villarceaux, in the Paris region, for the second edition of the French-speaking trade union university. The focus: to think about the links between trade union movements and other civil society movements.
The participants of the University of GLI 2019 were able to imagine the possible alliances between trade unions and other citizen movements thanks to the stories of speakers from France, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Russia and Senegal. The victories of the La Lucha movements in the DRC and Y'en a fed up in Senegal inspired the participants and gave some room to reflect on the means of action to be implemented.
Breaking down the struggles: why? The University was an opportunity to share experiences of alliances that strengthened feminist demands in trade union organizations through the stories of Benin and Burkinabe trade unionists recounting the fight against sexual harassment in ACCOR hotels or that of Swiss trade unionists who organized the women's strike.
Participants also focused on combating the rise of the far right in the workplace and the climate cause. The urgent need to articulate the fight against global warming and the fight for more social justice has led to the launch of a TUED network -Trade Unions for Energy and Democracy – between French-speaking trade unionists modelled on the American TUED.
Organize the unorganized
Worker,euse.s migrants in Quebec, instructor.ices of independent climbing and canyoning and delivery drivers on bicycles in France, street salesmen in Senegal, all have in common to work in sectors far from trade union organizations. By cross-checking the experiences of the speakers, the GLI participants identified the various levers of action and tactics to organize collectively.
What are the forums for transnational struggles?
The University of the GLI was an opportunity to look at how to conduct transnational campaigns. The transnational federation of bicycle couriers, the Stop Impunity campaign or the struggles against the giants Amazon and McDonald's are just a few examples that have fed the activists to lead the global struggles of tomorrow. The planned launch of a Global Labour Institute branch in Africa could further fuel reflections and alliances.