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Interview met Guy Ryder - Algemeen secretaris van het Internationaal vakverbond - IVV

Interview met Guy Ryder - Algemeen secretaris van het Internationaal vakverbond - IVV


A First question. What is your opinion about the evolution of this Conference and its outcomes?
Well, this Conference is really focusing on the crisis, particuraly on the job-crisis. All the time people talk about the financial crisis, for us , trade – unionists, is this a crisis of jobs. For what I understood people feel happy here both with the work in the Conference, we seem to be developing a Global Jobs Pact, that if it give forward, would really put jobs in the centre of the crisis response. The presidents of Bresil, France and Argentina are all on the same line, saying that we need to put employment at the center of international policy right now. We want to see the ILO in the G20 again in September, so my answer is: “so far , so good”, but it is only a first step because it is very nice ofcourse to adopt a big document in Geneva. But what it ‘s gonna mean back home in Belgium, in Great-Brittain, in Bresil? We need to make sure that this ideas are taken serious both at the national level by our Gouvernements and then when the G20 meets in America in a couple of months time.

What is the role of ITUC, from which you are the secretary – general, in that second step? How do you face it?
Well, I think the first thing we gonna do is asking our affiliates around the world – we tot a presence in 150 countries – so when you go back to Brussels, we want you to take this up with your gouvernement, with your employer-community, saying, look, the international community decided all these things, to put jobs and protecting our peoples jobs at the center of the policy, what are you going to do in Belgium. And others should do the same in France, in Spain and everywhere. That ‘s the thing you have to do. The second thing is that you want people to get together because the ILO is our organization on the international scene and get his seeds on the table when the G20, this means the big boys and girls, meet in Pittsburgh in September. We will be following through in a very very concrete way.

Guy, you will organize a Congres in Vancouver, Canada, next Year. The outcomes of this Congres will have a consequence on the way we implement the decisions of this Conference? Please tell us about it?
We will have actually a discussion in Brussels next week, about what that Congres should try to do. There are two ideas which I hope they will be approved, one is to say, look, where we want to go with this crisis, I mean, are we just going back to the situation before the crisis or are we going forward to something new? I have to tell you that there are real dangers that the crisis becomes to be slightly less urgent and all the old ideas and all the business as usual - people are coming back. Exactly back where we started from. We got to stop that happening. A second thing has to do with us, unions, with you ABVV/FGTB and all the other affiliates want the international trade-union to be? How can we become an instrument to change the global economy for workers get a fair deal? How do we make ourselves a powerful instrument to change the direction? The last thing I will say: nobody shoud believe ABVV/FGTB or anyone else that you have the ITUC, that you wind it up as a clock and you let it go for a year? If you work with us, you have to make the ITUC strong.

A last question. You are formally the secretary – general of ITUC. What about the man Guy Ryder? You started as a local trade-union delegate in Liverpool. What’s your vision about what’s happening here at the Conference of the ILO?
You know, I think one of the things I always feel conscious of, is that when you sit in these international meetings here for three weeks, are you able to go home and to meet your affiliates and say look, did it I waste my time here, if this is just a lot of international meetings, I mean “bla bla bla” or can I go to a meeting in Liège, in Antwerp, in Brussels explaining to people, FGTB-members, who are scared that their jobs disappear tomorrow, who are scared that their pension is threatened. If you can explain that you spend three weeks here and worked for them, then I think that ITUC and international work has succeeded! If you have trouble in explaining that, then you have still a lot of work to do. You know, in all this years that I have been working internationally, I always try to keep that question in my head. Thus it makes sense? Where I come from in Liverpool or where you come from in Brussels, thus it makes sense to me, thus it helps the workers? If we can’t answer that question, we should ask ourselves some questions.

Thank you Guy, on behalf of ABVV/FGTB for the time you spent with us for this interview.


Gepost door ABVV-delegatie-IAO