Head of ver.di Frank Bsirske : UNI Global Union is our platform and huge step forward
The President of ver.di, Frank Bsirske says that UNI Global Union is essential in the international strategy to improve workers’ lives and hold companies to account.
Addressing the UNI Commerce Global meeting in Berlin, the President of ver.di, Frank Bsirske, says that UNI Global Union is an essential tool in labour movement’s international strategy to improve workers’ lives and hold companies to account.
“UNI Global Union is our platform where we can share our experiences and strategically plan together. UNI is essential and a huge step forward. We need UNI for our work with Amazon and across global supply chains, not least in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and other countries in the textile industry where conditions are not worthy of human beings. Those workers have our full support. UNI is the tool for deciding how we work all along the global supply chains.”
In his speech to the 300 commerce union leaders gathered in the German capital, Bsirske updated them on the challenges facing ver.di and its more than 2 million members.
“We are not going to get anything in Germany or elsewhere in the commerce sector without fighting for it. The key is collective bargaining and we are demanding that collective bargaining is applied and binding on all companies in the commerce sector because we know that those under collective bargaining earn 20-30% more than those without.
“It’s clear that to get ahead in commerce companies are looking to e-commerce, examples are Amazon, and Zalando where we expect to have successful negotiations on collective bargaining next week.
“Amazon is moving to become a global monopoly and is determined not to accept collective bargaining. At the heart is a cultural struggle and the relationship between labour and capital. We are supporting the concentrated power of workers who stand united against the power of ownership.
“We’re going to continue to do this until we force Amazon to accept a collective agreement – that’s what a living union is about – standing up for workers and influencing government policy.
It is very important that we can leverage support internationally through UNI Global Union and work with colleagues and in France, the UK and Poland. “
Bsirske also spent a special message of support to Turkey, where Turkish union activists are facing a crack-down and risk losing their livelihoods for standing up for workers’ rights.
The head of ver.di rounded off his remarks by urging the participants to continue to share and learn from each and underlined the significance of UNI’s work and the importance of strengthening the organisation.