The ITUC world-level event has appointed the ITUC Secretary General for the 2022-2026 period, which was produced through a vote of 720 delegates. The voting agenda took place at the 5th ITUC World Congress in Melbourne, Australia – the global workers’ parliament where nearly 1,000 union members from more than 120 countries meet to set a global agenda for trade unions.
It began with speeches on the vision and mission of the two candidates for Secretary-General, namely, Kemal Ozkan from Turkey and Luca Visentini from Italy. Both candidates delivered their political speeches brilliantly.
Kemal, previously Assistant Secretary General of All Industries, emphasized his mission to strengthen ITUC with the struggle for freedom of association and democracy, which will increase membership in the North and South with a global organizing campaign.
Meanwhile, Luca Visentini, the Secretary General of ETUC from the Italian UIL trade union, conveyed that he would prioritize attention to the problems of marginalized and threatened workers, whether war, racism, regime or social consequences. Visentini added if elected, he would bring innovation in leading ITUC with social justice and concrete solidarity actions. Especially trade unions in troubled countries such as Iran, Ukraine, Belarus, Myanmar, Hong Kong, and Turkey.
After the political speech, all delegates entered the voting booth and voted digitally for 2.5 hours. As a result, the absolute victory was won by Visentini with 72% of the vote and Kemal with 25% and 2% abstention.
“I feel very proud to have the opportunity to lead ITUC and represent the voice of workers on the world stage. Thank you for trusting me,” said Visentini in his remarks in Melbourne Monday (21/11/2022).
“I pay tribute to Sharan Burrow for his outstanding leadership at ITUC. His achievements, along with that of his outstanding team, speak for themselves. He has built a strong and respected organization that is truly the global voice of workers. But I recognize that this is a historically difficult time for working people. The world is on the verge of an economic downturn, and workers are at the forefront of this. Many people have already lived through the consequences.” he explained.
“Peace and democracy are under threat. The emerging right-wing movements place human rights, workers and trade unions at high risk. But we know what it takes. ITUC will call for a new economic model based on a new social contract. We want climate-friendly jobs, workers’ rights, fair wages, social protection, equality and inclusion. This should be at the centre of the plans of all governments.” he said.
Lastly, Luca Visentini emphasized that This is about social justice, peace and survival, and I will not rest in fighting this for workers. Maintaining fair living and working conditions for all people is the best way to build democracy and peace worldwide.