From June 24 to 28, public service unions gathered at the Interamerican Regional Conference. Prior to the event, the meeting of the Comité régional des femmes, Executive Committee and several regional meetings were held. People over profit, the PSI’s motto, fuels its action plan, which was adopted by participants at the conference. Every day, workers struggle with the impact of privatization, the lack of fiscal justice and insecurity: these issues have reached global proportions and are better grasped and opposed with global actions. It has become essential that we learn how other public service unions deal with these issues, that we share our experiences, make allies and fight our battles together. The conference provided an opportunity to create closer ties with unions, both in North and South America.
At the beginning of the conference, the unions celebrated the adoption of C190, a Convention concerning the elimination of violence and harassment in the world of work, at the International Labour Organization. FIQ President Nancy Bédard spoke about a resolution, In defense of public services, highlighting the violence suffered by public service workers. Ms. Bédard talked about the reality of healthcare professionals in Quebec and the rise in physical, psychological, sexual and organizational violence. She emphasized the importance of naming organizational violence and applauded the powerful leverage of the international convention on harassment and violence in the workplace. The FIQ will put pressure on Canada to quickly ratify the convention, she concluded.
In addition to committee meetings, adopting the action plan, and the affiliates’ resolutions, panelists from all over the Americas spoke at seven round table discussions:
- Quality public services
- Trade union rights
- Transnational corporations, “free-trade” agreements and public goods
- The future of work, digitalization in the Public Sector and the corporate attack on transformations of labour relations
- Tax justice: Reforms that make the role of the State viable
- Public debt and its impact on citizens
- Climate change and challenges for public services
The FIQ is a member of PSI, which represents over 20 million working women and men in 163 countries and territories and is dedicated to promoting universal public services. Two thirds of PSI members are women who work in social services, health, municipal and community services, central administration and distribution services such as water and electricity.