UNI Americas P&L with an eye on the future
On February 5 and 6 in Bogota, UNI Americas P&L held its 4th Regional Conference. Jim Sauber of Letters Carriers U.S. was elected President of UNI Americas P&L for 2014-2018.
More than 40 delegates from the Americas were in attendance at the 4th Regional Conference of UNI Americas P&L, held in the capital of Colombia. The current situation of the post and logistics industry in the world and the region, and the union strategy to be developed in the period 2014-2018 were the centres of debate. Also, a new Regional Executive Committee was elected, bringing new unions to the work and activities of management and other members. Our brother, Jim Sauber was unanimously elected President of UNI Americas P&L for the period mentioned above.
The daily sessions were directed by our sister, Lynn Bue, of CUPW Canada, who was the sector’s President for the region for two terms. In attendance were delegations from the Spanish and Finnish post unions (UGT and PAU, respectively), from the Solidarity Centre of the latter (SASK) and the Solidarity Centre of the AFL-CIO in the United States, as well as CUT of Colombia. Also present was the Regional Secretary of UNI Americas, Adriana Rosenzvaig, Head of UNI P&L Dept. Stephen De Matteo, and UNI Americas P&L Regional Director, Javier Carlés.
The post unions’ struggles during the last period were exemplified in the 2013 strikes of SINTECH Chile, and FENTECT Brazil. Also for the battles that are still to come, the point of reference was the campaign begun by the CUPW, who is fighting against the closure of the Canadian Post distribution services. The postal liberalization, its impact and the unions’ response was a topic for debate, as well as the postal sector’s progress and the opportunities that can be found with innovation. Also, the organising campaign of DHL workers presented their achievements.
The signing of the Global Framework Agreement between UNI and PUASP in the second half of 2013, the negotiation process that led to this, and the opportunities it opens up for the future, opened a critical debate on the importance of joint action by post unions in supranational organisations. MERCOSUR, UNASUR, CELAC and in a broader sense PUASP, are ideal areas to advance public, legislative and regulatory policies in Post and logistics matters. Also, to promote research and campaigns in the areas of environment, gender and education.
The Conference adopted a strategic plan for the period 2014-2018. Among its objectives it is worthy to highlight the increased regional institutional influence of UNI Americas P&L, the defence of national post services, the organisation and joint mobilisation of post unions, and the strengthening of its members and involvement in UNI Global Union, UNI P&L, UPU and PUASP, deriving specific action plans which include the creation of working groups, the establishment of union networks and other mechanisms of joint union work.
The participating union leaders expressed the perception that UNI Americas P&L regained its activism during 2013, and committed their efforts toward making the period 2014-2018 to be one of significant progress for the post and logistics sector at regional and global levels.