Comrade Sanyasi Dolui, WCM, CWFI, from West Bengal attended
the 7th Asia Pacific Seminar held in Bali, Indonesia.
We the participants at the 7th Asia Pacific Building Unions Seminar held in Bali, Indonesia 1416 March, 2009 representing building and construction unions from Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, Australia, Canada, Mauritius, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Indonesia wish to place the following matters on record.
- We express our deep thanks and appreciation to our Indonesian host, FKUI for the warm hospitality extended to us during our successful seminar in Bali.
- We express gratitude to the Japanese building unions and the Australian union CFMEU who also helped makes this seminar possible.
- We urge all participants to further study the valuable contributions delivered at the meeting and develop action programs around the key policy issues that have been discussed and debated in Bali.
- We urge all trade unions from the building sector and more broadly to seize upon the opportunities opened up by the collapse of neo-liberal economic theory. We must put an end to the period of neo-Iiberal economic and political hegemony through the development of bold, new policies that are in tune with the needs of the working class today.
- We ask that UITBB do further work to develop the key policy themes that have been discussed at this meeting, namely.
* The global economic crisis.
* The development of regional trade unionism.
* OHS issues including the need for a worldwide ban on asbestos. * Organizing in the formal and informal sectors.
* Protection for migrant construction workers.
- We not that none of these issues will be advanced or won in the absence of militant struggle by committed working class organizations striving to build united action.
- We note the recent call by the WFTU for International day of mobilization and action on 1 st April 2009 around the demands of an end to neo-liberal hegemony and rejection of the idea that the working class should bear the brunt of the global economic crisis. We urge participants and all trade unions to take up this call and generate rank and file based action on 1st April 2009.
- We note that the International Day of Health and Safety at work is to occur on 28th April 2009 and we urge participating unions to engage in mobilizing activities on the day.
- We declare that the UITBB Asia Pacific building union seminar process continues to be a useful forum for trade union leaders and activists in our region to come together to exchange views and development strategies for building and construction workers in our part of the world. On this basis we urge that the UITBB look to organizing an 8th Seminar in 2010 with Pakistan, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Canada and Sri Lanka being among the locations that may be considered as possible hosts.
We so decide ...
OUR RESPONSE TO THE GLOBAL ECONOMIC CRISIS NEW TIME-NEW OPPORTUNITIES
What is to be done by Trade Unions?
* We have to be active in explaining the causes of the economic crisis.
* We have to provide leadership for workers to organize and fight for old rights that were taken from us or new rights.
* We have to be active in making the economic crisis a political crisis for the existing politicalorder.
* We have to be active in helping to forge the key elements of a new econoimc and political order.
What are the key elements of that new economic and political order?
- A consensus on the need for development and equitable distribution
- A realignment between the market and the state.
- Serious regulation of the private sector stressing transparency and accountability.
- Corporate power (especially MNCs) put in check by strong national international regula-
- Strenghthening of the international agencies, UN, ILO, etc
- Fair Trade not Free Trade
- A strong set of trade union rights (National and international)
- Environmental and Social Responsibility becomes a dominant issue in economic development.
- Strengthening of civil society and democratic institutions.
- Those who would deny civil and democratic rights (market fundamentalists, religious fun-
damentalists) must be opposed and defeated.
We who have been placed in leadership positions of our working class have to seize the new opportunities presented in the current crisis.
We must respond at a national, regional and global level.
A new oder will not come easily and must be fought for by harnessing the power of working people.