(17 October 2017) Hundreds of delegates stood up showing their support for stronger workers’ and trade union rights in Europe at the Congress of the Norwegian union Fagforbundet. It was a strong message of solidarity for trade union colleagues like those in Turkey and many other places that are faced with oppression and persecution. Social Rights First is the campaign of the European trade unions to rebalance the European Union and European Economic Area and the links with other countries to ensure that economic freedoms are not determining and limiting workers’ and union rights.
Mette Nord, the president of the union and EPSU vice-president opened the meeting with a rousing appeal to stay true to the union’s progressive course. Recruitment of new members and organizing the workers to give voice at the work place and in society figured prominently in her speech as union density declined in Norway. The union has been successful in fighting for quality public services, in opposing privatization and seeking a return to public ownership of services and companies. Developing the welfare state with good care and services for all is a key issue for the union. She remembered the pioneering work of Marcus Thrane, one of the first Norwegians to organize workers and seen as one of the founding fathers of the Norwegian Labour Party. He remains a source of inspiration for many.
The EPSU General Secretary attended the 4th ordinary Congress of the union 16 October 2017, Oslo.