11th TRADE GROUP
Report of the Trade Group Board Meeting
Monday morning, June 18
President Nicos Epistithiou (OEXEV-SEK Cyprus) opened the meeting and suggests that the Board review the agenda and make recommendations, where appropriate, to the Conference.
Under agenda item 2, the Board recommended that the Conference adopt the proposed agenda and scheduling and limit interventions to five minutes per person.
Under agenda item 3, the Board recommended that the Conference formally approve the report on the Trade Group Board Meeting (Cairo, November 13-14, 2000).
Under agenda item 4, Leena Rautavuori (PAM Finland) explained the reduction in IUF-affiliated membership by the merger hotel, commerce and specialised workers’ federations into the Federation of service workers PAM. Membership was realigned following the merger.
In response to a question from Klaus Schröter (NGG Germany), the Secretariat explained that the HRCT sector membership lists had been prepared based on the affiliates paid-up membership and not on the organisations’ real membership.
Under agenda item 6, the Board recommended that the Conference support the Secretariat’s proposal regarding gender balance for the elections to the Trade Group Board.
Under agenda item 7, the Board recommended that the Conference continue its moral and financial support for the employees of the Shangri-La hotel in Jakarta, including through fundraising at the Conference.
The Board recommended that the Conference complete and disseminate the list of members of the research network on TNCs in the sector.
Chris Magoulas , Research Officer with the North American affiliate HERE, presented the research he has conducted on Hilton International, who has recently acquired the Nordic chain Scandic. The discussion that followed highlights the differences in the behaviour of the company toward trade unions in the domestic and European markets, as well as the concerns of Scandic’s employees regarding their employment and corking conditions. Per Olov Lindblom (HTF Sweden), Kerstin Howald (EFFAT-IUF), Mildred Forsberg (HRF Sweden), Klaus Schröter, LeVere Richards (BWU Barbados), Zeljko Herendic (HRF Sweden), Hiroshi Sawada (Leisure Service Rengo Japan) and Aage Jensen (RBF Denmark) took part in the discussion.
On a proposal from the Secretariat, the Board recommended that the Conference call upon the Secretariat to establish a communication and alert network for the Hilton/Scandic chain and to facilitate meetings between trade unionists representing employees of the Hilton/Scandic group in various countries, notably through the meetings of the Hilton European Works Council. The North American affiliate HERE offered to continue sharing its information and research on the chain with organisations interested and to take part in the meetings.
Under agenda item 11, the Board recommended that the Conference approve the document on the IUF policy for the tourism sector, with the amendment proposed by BWU Barbados.
Under agenda item 15, the Board recommended that the Conference consider the resolution on Cuba submitted by several Caribbean countries to be valid despite the fact that it was submitted late to the Secretariat. It should be considered as an emergency resolution. The Board supported the principle of the presentation on an HRCT resolution to the IUF Congress and recommended that the Conference accept the proposed amendment to the Trade Group regulations.
Under agenda item 16, the Board recommended that the Conference determine that the next Trade Group Board shall be elected based on the gender balance principle adopted at the 1994 Calviá Conference and that candidate lists be submitted not later than the second day of the Conference. The Board asked the Conference to note that the Trade Group Board President Nicos Epistithiou and First Vice President Birgitta Kihlberg (HRF Sweden) were candidates for a second term of office; that Brother Hiroshi Sawada has retired and was not a candidate for re-election but that Japanese trade unions have proposed Brother Kunio Akiyama to succeed him; and finally to note that any other candidacy needed to be communicated to the Secretariat before the end of the Conference’s second day.
Under agenda item 18, the Board recommended that the Conference to call on affiliated organisations to submit proposals for the location of upcoming meetings of the HRCT governing bodies, linking them inasmuch as possible with union event by the host organisations.
Report of the Trade Group Conference
Monday afternoon, June 18
Item 1 – Opening of the meeting
Birgitta Kihlberg welcomed participants on behalf of host organisation HRF. Patrick Dalban Moreynas conveyed the excuses of IUF Secretary General Ron Oswald, whose serious health problems have prevented him from travelling to Malmö, and called on participants to make organisation in the HRCT sector the focus of the Conference. President Nicos Epistithiou, who recalled the major challenges facing organised labour in the sector, formally opened the Conference.
Item 2 – Adoption of the agenda
The conference’s agenda was adopted as submitted, as was the schedule.
Item 3 – Adoption of the report of the previous meeting
The report of the Trade Group Board meeting (Cairo, November 13-14, 2000) was adopted.
Item 4 – Membership
The issue of reciprocal affiliation is considered important in a sector where, in Austria for example, on third of youth travel to work abroad, notably for internship. It was reminded that the principle of reciprocal affiliation exists in the IUF and EFFAT Statutes ant that it should be practically expressed to promote the role of the IUF and its regional secretariats in protecting workers’ rights. Bilateral agreements on the integration of unionised employees from other countries in the host country exist in the HRCT’ for example between Austria and Germany. It was suggested that the Secretariat should work to define basic criteria for the application of reciprocal affiliation.
A number of interveners called for the creation of a think tank on union organisation in the HRCT sector. The group will be initially comprised of Aage Jensen (RBF Denmark) and one German-speaking representative (to be appointed), and will work with the Steering Committee (President, Vice Presidents and Secretary).
Paul Abraas (Horecabond FNV Netherlands), Klaus Schröter , Rudolf Kaske (HGPD Austria), Per Olof Lindblom , Thierry Dedieu (FdS-CFDT France), John Herrström (HRF Sweden), Mohamed Elal El Sharkawi (GTUHTW Egypt), Tatiana Krylova (CCCCWU Russia), Leena Rautavuori, Kirill Buketov (IUF Eastern and Central Europe), Javier Siguero (FECHTyJ-UGT Spain), Kerstin Howald et Aage Jensen took part in the discussion.
Item 5 – Regional activities
Klaus Schröter discussed the decrease in activities in the sector resulting from decreasing purchasing power, the introduction of the common European currency (Euro) in 2002, which will allow the consumer to compare prices and could result in a displacement of activities toward lower-price countries, and the merger of service unions in Germany.
Leena Rautavuori highlighted the multiplication of part-time contracts in Finland and the corresponding need to obtain the same guarantees as full-time workers. She describes the measures taken to decrease the inhalation of passive smoke by workers in smoking environment, in particular for pregnant women. She noted that her new organisation, PAM, was the result of a merger of the hotel/restaurant workers federation HRHL with other commerce and service workers organisations.
LeVere Richards presented the action of his union toward the management of the Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados, and highlighted the progression of tourism in the Caribbean zone, notably cruise tourism.
Rudolf Kaske insisted on the high rate of unemployment in the sector, especially at certain periods of the year, at a time where industry sales are growing (7%). Salaries in the sector are still 30% below other sectors, in spite of an agreement signed in May 2001; from this point of view, the extension of the European Union to other countries constitutes a definite social challenge. Atypical work contracts are growing in numbers, especially for young workers. His federation HGPD in not considering joining forces with Austrian organisations in other sectors, but it maintains relations with the NGG in Germany and Horecabond FNV in Netherlands and is considering the establishment of an international union.
Paul Abraas noted a progression in sectoral activities (+5%) in the Netherlands and a reduction in the unemployment rate. He also stated that cooperation between organisations should be nurtured toward mergers, possibly across country lines.
Kirill Buketov presented the activities of the IUF office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which is concerned with supporting the development work of trade unions in the HRCT sector in the region. He recalled the violations of union rights in Belarus and the campaign conducted on this issue at the recent International Labour Conference in Geneva. He thanked those organisations that have supported their work in the region, notably HRF Sweden.
Adou Yapi (CIAGAH-CI Ivory Coast) noted with regrets that 80% of all workers at seasonal tourist sites in Ivory Coast are illegal workers. There is no collective bargaining agreement covering the sector, and only a small number of local agreements in large hotels. Following the recent changes in national political leadership, a promise was made to restart the collective bargaining process and his organisation will strive to benefit from this opportunity.
Frans Dirix (CCAS-CSC Belgium) noted the aggressive posturing of some employers (McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Quick, AC Restaurants, Carestel, Lunch Garden) who went so far as to threaten to resort to legal proceedings to have the sectoral CBA declared not applicable to the fast food industry. The strong and quick union reaction defeated this employer strategy.
Kunio Akiyama (Leisure Service Rengo) presented union developments in the sector in Japan and the establishment, on upcoming July 24, of a large federation Leisure Service Rengo that will make a priority of reinforcing union organisation in the sector.
Kerstin Howald described the new IUF European regional organisation EFFAT, born of the merger of the European foodworkers’ secretariat (ECF-IUF) with the European federation of agriculture (EFA). One of the first initiatives undertaken by EFFAT was the organisation of a demonstration for food safety in April 2001. She then provided information on the status of relations with the European hotel and restaurant employers’ association HOTREC and with the European institutional catering federation FERCO. HOTREC has agreed in principle to joint work on non-discrimination. Training, food security and the criteria for selecting catering companies are on the agenda with the latter. Work in the tourism sector is continuing through the European Tourism Liaison Committee (ETLC), notably on the possibility of coordinated union action in instances of mergers or concentration of the corporations active in tourism and transportation.
Ray Rasing (NUWHRAIN Philippines) mentioned the problems arising from political instability in his country from the point of view of union struggles. CBAs are to be renegotiated and in several instances management is looking to roll back previous union gains. His organisation is involved with an ILO project to fight child labour in the tourism trade. It has conducted a campaign to extend the working conditions of permanent employees to all seasonal or part-time workers
Mohamed Elal El Sharkawi noted that there is an agreement in his country to convert all atypical work contracts to permanent contracts after one year, but that this agreement is not being applied satisfactorily.
Vesna Dejanovic (SSUTH Croatia) described recent developments in the sector: the work week has been rolled back from 42 to 40 hours, the labour code makes strike action legal if salaries have not been paid after 30 days. She calls on the Conference to demonstrate solidarity with the workers of the Zagreb Laguna hotel, who went on strike to protest the stalemate in negotiations. The workers are under threat of a lockout and half of them have been reassigned.
Lena Davor (ICU Ghana) notes that following political changes in her country, collective bargaining has started anew and that progress has been achieved in the sector: 40-hour work week, with two days of rest each week, possibility of personal leaves, maternity eaves, etc.
Rachel Abenaim (NURHW Israel) confirmed the increase in sub-contracting, also apparent in her country, and the salary level, among the lowest for all industrial and commercial activities. She described the difficult situation of workers in the sector, faced for many months now with a slowing down of tourism in Israel, which has resulted in the laying off of at least 30% of the membership in the sector.
Carlos Lopes (SITTUHR Cape Verde) brought the attention on the potential for union organisation in Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa. On the other hand, he denounced the increasing use of atypical work contracts and the practice of suspending work contracts during the off-season. His union will negotiate the first CBA in the sector and he is counting on support from the IUF.
Patrick Dalban Moreynas concluded the discussions: in spite of improvements in certain countries/areas, the trend toward the increased use of atypical work contracts is expanding. Organisations are aware of the need to respond to this challenge through increased organisation efforts, and through a reflection on the reinforcement of union structure that may, but not necessarily in all instances, take the form of mergers between organisations. International cooperation is required, and on this level the tourism liaison committee is a good example of joint work by the ITF, UNI and the IUF. International solidarity is also a reinforcing factor for grassroots organisations, and it is proposed to forward the requested protest messages to the management of the Laguna hotel in Zagreb.
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Session Chair Birgitta Kihlberg welcomed Leif Håkansson, Third Vice President of the Swedish national centre LO.
Leif Håkansson addressed the participants by congratulating himself, as former President of the agricultural workers’ federation of Sweden, for the creation at the international level of a single organisation for the whole food chain, following the merger of the IFPAAW with the IUF in 1994. The issues of child labour, operation of the World Trade Organization (WTO), taxation of capital movements, ethical guidelines in investments are but a few of the reasons that make a necessity, in the view of the speaker, of increased cooperation between national centres and their federations and the international labour movement.
Item 6: Equality
Patrick Dalban Moreynas introduced a document from the Secretariat which highlights the interesting progress achieved at the ILO April 2001 tripartite meeting on issues of equality. He also recalled the Trade Group’s obligation to implement the resolution adopted by the 1994 Conference on the rebalancing of the Trade Group Board along gender lines. He invited the Conference to discuss, and adopt, as appropriate, the guidelines proposed by the Secretariat, and to discuss the best avenues of cooperation between the Trade Group Board and the Women’s Committee of the IUF.
The ensuing discussion raises the following points: organisations should reflect the composition of their membership, including with regard to gender distribution. Organisations in the HRCT sector are striving to abide by the 1994 resolution, but practical hurdles remain and they are requesting a degree of flexibility in its application.
The resolution and the conclusions adopted by the ILO tripartite meeting on women workers’ issues in the HRCT sector contain positive provisions that should be promoted.
It was recommended that the language of the proposed guidelines be changed by putting the verbs in the conditional to the indicative in order to clearly indicate that the Conference expresses not mere wishes, but sets working objectives. The proposal on split-shift work and part-time work should be restated in order not to introduce any gender inequalities.
Paul Abraas, Sointu Toivonen, Klaus Schröter , LeVere Richards, John Herrström, Leena Rautavuori, and Per-Olof Lindblom took part in the discussion.
Birgitta Kihlberg noted that the guidelines were adopted with the proposed amendments. The document will be forwarded to the Women’s Committee of the IUF for consideration as regards the issues specific to women in the HRCT sector. The Chair invited the Secretariat to accept all appointments to the Trade Group Board but insisted on the required consideration of the 1994 resolution.
Claes Borgström , Jämo (Ombudsman for equality issues in Sweden) described his role and the actions undertaken by his office to promote gender equality at work, notably in the areas of access to employment, the sharing of tasks and responsibilities in the society and child-rearing, and the promotion of women to jobs similar to those available to men.
Item 7 – Transnational Corporations
Patrick Dalban Moreynas presented the document from the Secretariat. It sets out current solidarity actions, notably the one in support for locked-out workers at the Shangri-La hotel in Jakarta. He recalled the conclusions of the meeting on the Hilton/Scandic group organised on the previous day in the course of the Trade Group Board Meeting. He proposed to discuss the Accor Group, which had signed an agreement on trade union rights with the IUF, Club Méditerranée, which had just signed an agreement on sub-contracting with the European Works Council, and the work done in other corporations in the sector.
Paul Abraas noted that he has obtained from his organisation’s governing bodies a donation of Euros 25,000 for the Shangri-La workers in Indonesia. A letter signed by the organisation’s leadership was delivered to the Indonesian embassy calling on the government to facilitate a resolution of the conflict.
A draft resolution of the situation at the Shangri-La was adopted, as was the principle of setting up a fundraising effort for out-of-work workers at the hotel.
Patrick Dalban Moreynas mentioned a difficult situation at the Hyatt in Belgrade, and the Conference approved the mailing of messages of solidarity to the workers at the hotel, who are protesting the suspension of 49 union members during difficult salary negotiations.
A resolution supporting the union at the Laguna hotel in Zagreb was adopted following a proposal by SSUTH Croatia. It will be sent to the union with a signed list of participants to the Conference.
On request from the Italian FILCAMS-CGIL, a resolution is also adopted supporting the strike by workers at the Pieve Emanuele depot of Autogrill and opposing the trend toward sub-contracting expressed by the company.
The discussion on Club Méditerranée highlighted the progress achieved by the European Works Council, which had obtained financing for its activities and the signature of an agreement on the reduction of sub-contracting. However, Club Méditerranée does not recognize unions in Ivory Coast.
Kerstin Howald mentioned the progress achieved on the implementation of European Works Councils in the Sheraton chain and at Autogrill. She recalled the support provided by affiliates in Europe to the HERE union at HMS Host, the North American subsidiary of Autogrill. She also described current work at Alpha Catering.
Debbie Anderson denounced the ideological opposition of the Marriott group to the unionisation of its employees. At the Marriott San Francisco, the union signed 20 years ago a neutrality agreement by which management agreed not to oppose unionisation. It took the union 16 years to be recognized as representatives of the employees, but five years have elapsed without the union being able to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement. HERE has succeeded in some instances to intervene with local authorities and preventing Marriott to obtain new hotel contracts and the speaker called on trade unions in other countries to try and effect the same pressures on the group.
The report from the Secretariat was adopted.
Item 8 – General issues
Patrick Dalban Moreynas introduced the document prepared by the Secretariat and discussion casualisation of work contracts in the sector, issues specific to migrant workers, sub-contracting, financial crime, health/safety, education/training and working hours. He drew attention to the work performed by LO Sweden on financial crime and on the study of working hours performed by the Secretariat. HI highlighted the progress achieved at the ILO tripartite meeting on the limitation of sub-contracting and atypical work contracts.
Claudio Treves (FILCAMS-CGIL Italy) wished for a specific definition of atypical work contracts as he felt that part-time contract could hardly be described as atypical. The national agreement covers part-time workers. The reduction in sub-contracting should be based on quantified data. The workweek in the sector is 40 hours on average, with a modicum of flexibility.
José Castro (FGTA-FO France) noted that his organisation would not sign the agreement to reduce the workweek to 35 hours, as they could not condone deterioration in the situation of some workers regarding compensation and the organisation of personal life.
On the other hand, Walter Surian (FdS-CFDT France), whose organisation has signed the agreement, considered that it constitutes a first step toward the harmonisation of working hours with other sectors after many decades of suffering from a discriminatory work regime characterised by unpaid hours (equivalent hours).
Nicos Epistithiou pointed out a mistake in the Secretariat’s document. The number of foreigners working in hotels in Cyprus is not 60% but rather 6%.
Kerstin Howald explained the agreement on the reduction of sub-contracting intervened with Club Méditerranée in Europe.
Amador Escribano (FECOHT-CC.OO Spain) requested a clarification of the terms and concepts. He considered that sub-contracting is often a way for the employer to sidestep the obligations arising from the CBA, and would like that the operations that can be sub-contracted be defined. In any way, it was essential to him that the uniqueness of the union counterpart be preserved for the employer.
Mohamed Elal El Sharkawi noted that trade unions in Egypt had recently succeeded in signing agreements on migrant workers’ rights with appropriate organisations in the host countries. It is necessary to encourage the ratification of Core ILO Conventions.
Rudolf Kaske also wished for a clarification of the concepts. In his country, fixed-term contracts, maternity leaves and sub-contracting constitute one-third of all jobs in the sector. Financial crime distorts competition, and as such ma have negative impact for the workers in the sector. However, he considered that the issue should not be a priority for trade unions but rather is an issue for employers to confront. The quality of services should be a crucial issue for the IUF. On the issue of working hours, HGPD has opened the door to a modicum of flexibility on the application of the 40-hour workweek, notably through the 4-day week.
Sointu Toivonen noted that the study on working hours had been useful to his organisation during negotiations on working hours in his country. Professional training is essentially a national issue but the IUF could help define guidelines on equal access to training, the implementation of lifelong training program, etc.
Klaus Schröter thought that the Conference should provide orientations to the Secretariat for future work, on the basis for example of a limited number of key issues. The survey of working hours should be continued. Priority must be given to reflection and action against all forms of work that tend to undermine working and salary conditions establishes through collective bargaining. Issues pertaining to migrant and illegal workers are also discussed in the context of the social dialogue at the European level. It would be necessary to discuss further the issues of training/education and to define best practices in this area.
Per Persson (HRF Sweden) noted that workers in the sector have not shown any interest for a reduction in the workweek but rather for better salaries. Casual work represents in Sweden 25 to 30% of all work contracts and is increasing. The national centres have established priority actions to fight this trend. HRF has adopted a framework program for immigrant workers prohibiting any discrimination. Financial crime is a priority for his organisation as it threatens both collective bargaining and job security. His organisations cooperated with the employers’ association on this issue, which is the subject of joint work by all Nordic trade unions.
Tatiana Krylova confirmed the emergence, following the privatisation of the Russian economy, of the phenomena described in the IUF document: atypical work contracts, sub-contracting, and arrival of migrant workers in Moscow willing to accept employment in near-slavery conditions. A new labour code is being discussed. It risks to worsen the situation of the workers and to attack their rights. She supported the willingness to fight economic crime while at the same time believing that nothing can effectively be done without strong involvement from the authorities.
Kirill Buketov supported the work on economic crime, which is crucial for his country to the extent that repression and even deadly attacks against union leaders are conducted by organised crime.
Debbie Anderson presented the campaign to denounce, on the occasion of its 300th anniversary, the union-busting attitude of Yale University and called on organisations in other countries to join in actions directed at the Yale Clubs active in some 50 countries around the world. She will provide the IUF and ICFTU with appropriate information.
In conclusion, the Conference recommended to the Secretariat to continue the survey of working hours, to better define the scope and the contents of the work on migrant workers and economic crime, to better identify the extent and impacts of sub-contracting based in sub-sectors, to collect data on best practices in training/education and health/safety in the sector and to continue et further its analysis of the casualisation phenomenon in the sector by better defining what this concept entails.
Item 9 – Fast food
Patrick Dalban Moreynas introduced the document prepared by the Secretariat on three major players in the industry: Autogrill, Tricon and Diageo. A separate appendix is devoted to McDonald’s.
Gabriele Guglielmi (FILCAMS-CGIL Italy) described Autogrill, which employs 40,000 and is emerging as a leader in the industry. FILCAMS-CGIL has created a Web site to allow employees to get together. An e-mail information bulletin is distributed each week to each of Italy’s 400 Autogrill units. The site could be opened as required to comments from Brothers and Sisters in other countries. A collective bargaining agreement currently under negotiation will regulate part-time and night work.
An agreement has been entered with McDonald’s to negotiate general conditions throughout the company. The objective is to counter working hours and salary flexibility.
LeVere Richards signalled that KFC has operations in Barbados but is entertaining rather positive relations with the union, while a local chain, Cheffette, is problematic.
Paul Abraas reported that the relations with McDonald’s were rather positive in the Netherlands. However, his organisation supported the protests against child and women labour at a toy factory in China, and suggested that contacts be established between the IUF and the Group’s corporate management. In the Netherlands, McDonald’s has 187 franchised and 27 corporate outlets.
Natalya Gratchova (CCCCWU Russia) thanked the IUF Moscow office and the CCCCWU federation for their support in the struggle she is leading at the McDonald’s plant in Moscow. She has succeeded in getting the union recognized but must now fight the company’s pressures to encourage members to resign the union.
Tatiana Krylova described the efforts of her federation to organise McDonald’s restaurant employees. The distributions of tracts and leaflets by the union were followed by meetings organised by management to discourage any organising effort.
In conclusion, the Secretariat must continue its work on fast-food companies, notably on McDonald’s.
Item 10 – Institutional catering
Patrick Dalban Moreynas introduced the document prepared by the Secretariat on three major players in the industry: Aramark, Compass and Sodexho.
Fernando Medina considers that the work on these companies should be a priority. Together, they employ over 700,000 people. It is important to reinforce the cooperation between the ITF and the IUF in the work on airline catering.
Gabriele Guglielmi noted that minimum wages have been established in each province for institutional catering and that public administrations and other contractors are called upon to reject any contract proposal that includes conditions below that threshold.
Aage Jensen noted with pleasure the cooperation between the ITF and the IUF on airline catering. He signalled difficulties with Sodexho, which refused to apply the CBA and employed Baltic States workers at conditions below the sectoral CBA. The cooperation with transportation workers has allowed to put pressure on the company and achieve an agreement.
Klaus Schröter agreed on the necessity to establish minimum standards and determine best practices for the sector. We should be able to identify those few companies who apply adequate practices in the sector and discuss means of disseminating that information.
Javier Siguero asked the Secretariat to monitor the development of companies in the sector. The French Elior is entering the airport cafeteria and food services market through acquisitions.
Per Olof Lindstrom and Per Persson are not convinced of the positive impact of eventual black lists and would rather promote the development of a list of positive examples.
Shane Enright (ITF) presented the work of the ITF tourism services section. He described the globalisation process in the airline catering segment, which has resulted in two companies, LSG-Skychefs and Gate Gourmet, together controlling over 60% of the market. The necessity to unite employees in those companies became all the more pressing at the time of the protests organised to oppose the lay-off of over 200 LSG employees at Heathrow in 1998. In this last instance, cooperation with the IUF was required to involve IUF-affiliated organisations representing LSG employees Spain and in France. Cooperation allowed for resolution of the conflict to the satisfaction of the workers concerned. A joint meeting on airline catering was held in 2000 with a second one scheduled for September of this year. Joining forces will become necessary to work on companies such as LSG and Gate Gourmet, which are developing in catering segments such as railway catering. Shane considers the current cooperation between the ITF and the IUF on airline catering as the model for future action. In fact, the ITF is working together with other international trade union federations (PSI, UNI) in work for employees in the air traffic control and airport security industries, respectively.
In the tourism sector, where the ITF represents travel agency and bus tour employees as well as tourist guides, a decision has been made to work closely with UNI (travel agencies, tour operators) and the IUF. This has led to the establishment of the European tourism liaison committee (ETLC), which the ITF considers to be an efficient tool for representing tourism trade unions at the European level. The ITF wishes to extend this experience to other regions and to hold joint conferences on tourism. Globalisation, restructuring and technology are changing the nature of labour relations, making boundaries between sectors more fluid. Organised labour must adapt to this new situation.
The ITF and the IUF have the potential to cooperate in numerous areas: pressure on companies active in Burma and the boycott of tourism in this country, solidarity in struggles such as the one at the Seoul Swiss Grand, where the ITF brought precious help to the IUF, cruise ship employees, where the ITF has launched an organising campaign, airline charters, which involve large tourism conglomerates such as Preussag, etc.
In conclusion, the Conference recommended the establishment of minimum standards for institutional catering, with a view of preparing a list of companies abiding by such standards.
The report from the Secretariat was adopted.
Item 11 – Tourism
Patrick Dalban Moreynas presented the document prepared by the Secretariat and the Appendices on the IUF policy for the tourism sector and the position statement by the IUF on the GATS agreements. He drew the participants’ attention to the necessity for monitoring and updating the list of hotels we recommend and hotels we don’t.
LeVere Richards accepted the Secretariat’s draft for an IUF policy on tourism, which states the fundamental right for local populations to access beaches and coastal properties in their own countries. This appears to reflect his organisation’s concern expressed in a previous amendment proposal. At the same time, he wished that the IUF initiated a reflection and discussion toward the development of a position of the “all-inclusive” hotel formulas.
Per Olov Lindblom, Claudio Treves and Fernando Medina spoke to support the work on sustainable tourism, cooperation between international trade union organisations active in the tourism sector, the development and wide dissemination of the list of hotels we recommend and those we don’t, specifically targeting travel agencies and tour operators. Fernando Medina wished that organised labour get involved in the application of the world code of ethics for tourism, while pointing out its weaknesses.
The document by the Secretariat and its amended appendix on the IUF policy for the tourism sector were approved. The Secretariat is mandated to work on the issue of sustainable tourism, continue its efforts for the involvement of organised labour in the application of the worldwide code of ethics for the tourism sector, identify initiatives for the promotion of green tourism and cooperate with NGOs in preparation of the May 2002 Summit, continue pressures on companies active in Burma so that they put an end to their operations in that country, continue to provide a list of hotels we recommend and hotels we don’t, identify and distribute any information on the development of tourism policy in the regions.
Item 12 – Trade union development projects
The document prepared by the Secretariat was presented and approved.
Item 13 – Child labour
After the document from the Secretariat was presented, Rey Rasing detailed the project conducted in the Philippines by NUWHRAIN, with support from the ILO. In the course of this survey, researchers met with 500 children. Specific cases were presented to the public to make them aware of child labour. Related material (brochures, posters, etc.) was placed in certain hotels. At least one employer announced a willingness to include the IUF model language in the CBA signed with NUWHRAIN. The union is striving to achieve the same result with six other hotels. In the second phase, the project will extend to four large cities near Manila. The NUWHRAIN survey, which led to the publication of a report and an education manual, was conducted for the most part in non-union hotels with non-salaried children engaged in prostitution.
Klaus Schröter expressed his pleasure with the progress made when employers condemned child labour at the April 2001 ILO tripartite meeting.
Hiroshi Sawada noted that his organisation is interested in preparing and participating in the conference on the sexual exploitation of children to be held in Yokohama at the end of 2001. The national centre Rengo is willing to support the work of his organisation on child labour
The document prepared by the Secretariat is approved with a call to organisations to increase the use of the IUF model agreement.
Item 14 – Relations with other organisations
Patrick Dalban Moreynas presented the document prepared by the Secretariat and highlighting the relations with the International Labour Organization, most notably with regards to the tripartite sectoral meetings, and with the World Tourism Organization.
LeVere Richards noted that in his region, trade unions and the regional secretariat have contacts with the Caribbean Tourism Organization, who’s Secretary General attended a regional meeting in January 2001. Relations have also been established with the Caribbean Hotel Association. The regional meeting scheduled for November, 2001 will help develop these relationships.
Kerstin Howald reported on the activities on TNCs active in transportation and tourism. In this context, the issue of “all-inclusive” hotels will be discussed. Europe/Mediterranean cooperation is another work avenue. A conference is in preparation.
Javier Siguero thought important that a number of affiliates be involved with the Secretariat in contacts with other organisations active in the tourism sector.
After a short introduction by Birgitta Kihlberg, Einar Söder introduced the International Hotel and Restaurant Association (IHRA), of which he has been President for a few months. The IHRA is comprised of national hotel and restaurant operators from over 150 countries. It runs program on respect for the environment, education/training, trend analysis, economic and social issues, regulations, and any other issue of interest to restaurant and hotel owners.
Responding to questions from Leena Rautavuori, Zeljko Herendic and Paul Abraas , Mr. Söder recognized that salaries are often insufficient to retain young, qualified employees in the sector and that collective bargaining is necessary, as is the development of career plans. He clearly stated that his organisation does not in any way condone union busting tactics, but also that he cannot speak on behalf of all companies and groups in IHRA.
In response to Klaus Schröter, he recognized that the IHRA does not currently cooperate with union organisations on education/training issues, adding that this question could be examined in the future.
The document is adopted.
Item 15 – Resolutions and statements
After the presentation of the resolution on Cuba by the Secretariat, LeVere Richards sought to explain the proposal: Cuba’s workers must be accepted in the IUF family. His organisation, BWU, has already established contacts with the hotel and restaurant workers federation. He believed it necessary to send a six-person study mission to Cuba and estimated the cost at USD 20,000.
Fernando Medina recalled that the IUF is built on the principles of freedom of association and affiliation and that it should take care not to encourage contacts with organisations that do not abide by these principles. Sending a mission to Cuba should in no way result in unconditional admission for Cuban organisations.
Napoleon Kpoh supported the draft resolution, considering as he does that all workers are faced with problems and should therefore be able to work together.
Javier Siguero believed it necessary to approach the issue of the relationship with Cuban organisations from a global, not sectoral, perspective. In any instances, he certainly believed that conditions should be spelled out in advance.
Claudio Treves supported the resolution, believing as he does that relationships should be established with all trade union organisations.
The Secretariat proposed the following amendments to the draft resolution:
- Amend the first operational paragraph to state that the IUF will begin research to determine the necessity of establishing contacts (not relations) with Cuba’s organised labour;
- Amend the second operational paragraph to state that the mission will be sent to Cuba to assess the situation in the HRCT sector (not to launch discussions with Cuba’s organised labour);
- Amend the final paragraph to state that the mission will report to a future HRCT Trade Group meeting (not to the next HRCT Trade Group Board meeting, to be held in 2002).
The resolution was adopted as amended.
The draft resolution on the promotion of green tourism, which could be submitted to the 24 th IUF Congress in May 2002, was adopted in principle. Affiliated organisations will be invited to complete it as required before it is submitted to the resolution committee of the Congress. In the next-to-last paragraph, the resolution encourages the development of lists of positive examples.
The amendments to the Trade Group Regulations were adopted as proposed by the Secretariat.
The document is adopted.
Item 16 – IUF Congress in May, 2002
The Conference took note of the document submitted by the Secretariat and adopted it without discussions.
Item 17 – Elections
The Conference elected the following to the Trade Group Board:
|Africa||Mohamed Helal El-Sharkawi
|Alouko Fiankan Marie
2nd Vice President
|Caribbean||Helena M. Burgess
2nd Vice President
(Antigua & Barbuda)
|Western Continental Europe||Karl Eugster
|* Jean Paschenko
* Frans Dirix
|* Rafaël Nedzynski
* Valter Surian
|Eastern and Central Europe||Vesna Dejanovic
|Eastern Mediterranean||Nicos Epistithiou
|Nordic countries||Birgitta Kihlberg
1st Vive President
|Southern Europe||See below (1)||See below (1)||See below (1)|
|United Kingdom and Ireland||Vacant||Vacant||Vacant|
|* rotation halfway through the term
|2002||Javier Siguero (Spain)||Pierangleo Raineri(Italy)||Emilio Fargnoli (Italy)|
|2003||Fernando Medina (Spain)||Gabriele Guglielmi(Italy)||Pierangelo Raineri (Italy)|
|2004||Gabriele Guglielmi (Italy)||Fernando Medina (Spain)||Javier Siguero (Spain)|
|2005||Pierangelo Raineri (Italy)||Javier Siguero (Spain)||Fernando Medina (Spain)|
|2006||Emilio Fargnoli (Italy)||Javier Siguero (Spain)||Fernando Medina (Spain)|
Nicos Epistithiou , seeking re-election, was re-elected as President of the Trade Group Board, by acclamation. Birgitta Kihlberg was re-elected as 1st Vice President. The 2nd Vice Presidency will be held as follows:
- From the June 2001 Conference until the Trade Group Board meeting in 2003, by Molly Burgess (BIU Bermudas);
- From the Trade Group Board meeting in 2003 until the Trade Group Board meeting in 2004, jointly by Molly Burgess and Kunio Akiyama (Leisure Service Rengo Japan);
- From the Trade Group Board meeting in 2003 until the Trade Group Conference in 2006, by Kunio Akiyama (Leisure Service Rengo Japan).
Item 18 – Future meetings
LeVere Richards proposed that the next Trade Group Board meeting be held in the Bahamas, on the invitation of affiliate BHCWU.
Mohamed Elal El Sharkawi noted the availability of his organisation to host an IUF meeting.
Item 19 – Other issues
Tomoji Misato (IUF affiliates coordination committee in Japan) insisted on the necessity to support the workers of Burma, of which thousands work in the hotel and restaurant industry in his country.
The President thanked Vice President Hiroshi Sawada for his many years in the service of the Trade Group and wished him many years of happy retirement. He also thanked all the colleagues of HRF Sweden who have, here in Malmö or in Stockholm, worked hard to make the Conference a practical success.
Hiroshi Sawada warmly thanked the President for his thoughtful words and felt thankful for having had the opportunity to work in such constructive manner with the other members of the Steering Committee as well as with all the Brothers and Sisters from HRCT unions over the years. He wished all continued success in fighting for the rights of the workers in the sector.
Nicos Epistithiou thanked participants for their confidence in having him chairing the Trade Group. He thanked the Vice Presidents for their support and the participants for their rich contribution. He closed the Conference by thanking the interpreters and the Secretariat.