New strategies help trade unions tackle racism, discrimination and the far-right

ETUI Training communication strategies to combat the far-right.

(29 June 2022) EPSU has attended a series of events examining how unions can address the growing issues of racism, discrimination and the far-right.

In May 2022 EPSU attended a conference on how companies and unions can tackle racism and discrimination in the workplace. The event was organised by the German Trade Union Confederation (Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) and addressed the findings of a two-year study on the influence of far-right parties within companies and the role of trade unions in the fight against far-right ideology.

The project was led by Seongcheol Kim, researcher at Kassel University, and conducted in cooperation with trade unions in six countries: ACV/CSC in Belgium, CGT in France, DGB/IGM in Germany, MASZSZ in Hungary, Cgil in Italy and OPZZ in Poland. It consists of a comparative study of far-right strategies at the workplace in Europe, examining not only the messaging strategies of far-right parties on labour issues but also the organising strategies of the far-right as well as the response strategies of trade unions.                                

Unionists from all six countries were present at the conference. During the conference the author presented different openings in which far-right can enter the workplace and how trade unions could adequately address these situations. Unions present were able to share their experiences and best practices with the audience.

On 14 - 16 June EPSU’s communication team participated in an ETUI training on communication strategies to combat the far-right. Communicators from different trade unions and confederations such as CGIL (Italy), FGTB (Belgium), CC.OO (Spain) and Akava (Finland) took part in the training. The training provided an opportunity for participants to share their experiences in the fight against the far-right narrative and to listen to the examples at the European level. Julian Scola, the head of the ETUC Press and Communication department made a presentation and highlighted the importance of the data in the struggle with the far-right. Scola also briefly introduced the online digital trade unionism platform Action-Europe, which will be launched at the end of June.