Austrian public sector union GÖD expresses solidarity with Korean brothers and sisters and trade union leaders in jail 12102016 Vienna Congress
(13 October 2016) We are fighting for another Europe. We need an end to austerity. We argue for investment in public services to grow out of the crises. This addresses the concerns of workers like lack of social housing, attacks on the quality of public services and pay freezes. EPSU has been successful in raising the issue of tax avoidance like that of McDonald. Public service workers in Europe are mobilising with many others to stop CETA, TTIP and TISA. Only corporations support these trade deals that undermine democracy said EPSU’s general secretary to the Congress of the Austrian public sector union GŐD.
The Congress elected a new President Norbert Schnedl and vice- president Hannes Gruber. Hannes will join the EPSU and PSI Executives. Congress said goodbye to its President Fritz Neugebauer and Vice-president Richard Holzer. The EPSU General Secretary thanked them for the work and support of the union over the years. He referred to the work of Richard Holzer member of the EPSU and PSI executives and Peter Korecky NEA member and how they contributed to the trade union work, from the fall of the Iron Curtain and assisting the unions in Central and Eastern Europe to the negotiations on the agreement on information and consultation rights in Europe' public administrations.
And true to his long-stand fight over trade union rights Richard expressed his concerns about the situation in Korea. The government is facing down the unions defending workers’ and union rights. Protesting workers and union leaders are thrown in jail. The strike of public sector workers against the regressive labour reform and performance based pay system was declared 'illegal'. Unions across the world are protesting the repression.
Another speaker was the new State secretary for the public administration Muna Duzdar. She represents the employer of the public administration. She made a strong plea for the quality services which GŐD members offer, the commitment of the civil servants and the perspectives public administrations offer for people. She spoke about the challenge of digitalisation, the impact on workers and services. Social dialogue will be key to ensure just transition. She ended her contribution by addressing the negative image many media create of public services. “Where will we be without the public sector and the commitment of its workers. I commit to work with you and the union for quality public services”.
The 17th Federal Congress took place on 11-13 October 2016 in Vienna.