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Date: Thu, 13 Feb 97 12:31:54 CST
From: rich@pencil (Rich Winkel)
Subject: ICFTU On Labor Leaders At Davos Economic Forum

/** labr.global: 420.0 **/
** Topic: ICFTU On Labr Leaders At Davos Economic Forum **
** Written 9:47 PM Feb 8, 1997 by labornews in cdp:labr.global **
From: Institute for Global Communications <labornews@igc.apc.org>
Subject: ICFTU On Labr Leaders At Davos Economic Forum

Labour leaders' session at Davos Economic Forum

By ICFTU, LaborNews, 8 Feburary 1997

Brussels, January 29 (ICFTU OnLine): Senior Trade union leaders will focus on the need for social cohesion in the global market in a plenary session at the World Economic Forum, the world's top economic meeting, in Davos on February 3. The WEF itself lasts from January 30 - February 4.

A plenary session will be devoted to the theme "Labour 97: what is next on labour's agenda".

In his speech to the plenary, Bill Jordan, general secretary of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), will be making the point that insecurity is a poor foundation on which to build business success, and that companies now recognise the value of retraining and motivating workers. "Down-sizing is no longer seen as the magic key to the kingdom of higher efficiency, companies are learning that an ethical approach is also good for business" , Bill Jordan will suggest.

According to trade union research another trend is that consumers prefer not to purchase goods that they know are made under exploitative conditions, after they learn that young children are involved in the production of toys, sporting goods or carpets. "Consumers have been revolted to find that toys or footballs which they have bought as presents for their children are made in sweatshops by children who never have time to play themselves", says Mr Jordan.

John Sweeney, President of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the US trade union centre, will stress the importance of a "Social cohesion in a competitive World"" and how the AFL-CIO is attacking injustice in the US labour market.

Philip Jennings, general secretary of the International Federation of Commercial, Clerical, Professional and Technical Employees, FIET, the global labour union for white-collar workers, will talk about the rising tide of labour unrest provoked by the side-effects of the globalisation and put forward union alternatives.

Philip Jennings and Bill Jordan have recently returned from a 10- person trade union mission to South Korea to show solidarity with those striking against new unjust labour laws, and where they met with government officials and trade unionists.

The labour leaders' team at Davos consists of seven trade unionists as follows:

  • Bill Jordan, general secretary, ICFTU,
  • Marc Blondel, general secretary (FO - France),
  • Ursula Engelen-Kefer, vice-president (DGB - Germany),
  • Philip Jennings, general secretary, FIET ,
  • Sam Shilowa, general secretary,(COSATU - South Africa),
  • John Sweeney, President , AFL-CIO - USA),
  • Friedrich Verzetnitsch President ( GB -Austria, and President of the European TUC).

In Davos, Bill Jordan can be contacted at: Hotel Pischa tel ++81 413.55.13 fax:++81 413.16.19

The ICFTU which represents 124 million members in 195 affiliated organisations in 137 countries and territories, has its headquarters in Brussels.

For details contact ICFTU Press at ++322 224 02 12. Other OnLine news on Poptel Bulletin Board ICFTU-Online for geonet users and on the WWW at:http://www.icftu.org