Solidarity with UK Workers at FP-CGIL Congress 14-16 February 2023, Cervia, Italy
(17 February 2023) The fight of UK workers against the attack on their trade union rights resonates across Europe. Delegates to the 12th Congress of CGIL FP stood up showing their support for the UK workers. They also sent a message of solidarity for all striking workers in Europe by waving their hands to all of you on strike. The General Secretary of CGIL FP Serena Sorrentino reflected on the many challenges facing Italian public service workers. She opened her contribution to the Congress with a strong defence of women and women’s rights under so much pressure abroad like in Iran and Afghanistan, in Europe and at home. The main topic concerned the work of the union to promote and protect the interests of public service workers, and those delivering public services even if done by private operators. She and the General Secretary Maurizio Landini of CGIL, the confederation, reflected on how to deal with the new government which includes a extreme right party with fascist roots. Confronting lies and policies that go against people while building a broad alliance of like-minded organisations for change are part of that.
The theme of the public service unions’ struggle against the extreme-right and fascism was addressed by the EPSU General Secretary. He announced that EPSU would be signing the anti-fascist manifesto developed by CGIL after the attack on their head offices in Roma by neo-nazis 8 October 2021 and the big solidarity demonstration the year. Its aim is to bring together unions and other networks that stand up against the extreme right and explore how we can learn from each other in dealing with those parties and governments supported by them. Congress was also addressed by Rosa Pavanelli, the General Secretary of PSI. The union leaders focused on the many actions in Europe for higher pay and conditions, the war in the Ukraine and its aftermath, the role of public service workers dealing with crisis like the one following the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria and the fundamental changes that are needed in our economy and society to bring more democracy, social justice and equality. Wealth distribution from the rich to the poor must be on the table.
The congress was attended by a large group of unions from across Europe and Italy. It took place 14-16 February 2023 in Cervia.