APPEAL TO WORLD TRADE UNIONS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY
OF THE GENERAL CONFEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
Adopted by the session of the GCTU Executive Committee
16 April 2007
Fifteen years have passed since the foundation of the General Confederation of Trade Unions (GCTU) affiliating
the major part of the trade union movement in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Today it comprises
national trade union centres from ten CIS countries and 31 industrial Trade Union Internationals of the region.
Over the short period, the GCTU has become an essential element of the CIS public system. It has been granted
respective statuses with the supreme authorities of the CIS and the Eurasian Economic Community, which has
enabled it to participate efficiently in their activities, and contribute to the law-making processes in the
inter-parliamentary assemblies of the two interstate organisations, and in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of
Belarus and Russia.
On the initiative of the GCTU or with its direct involvement, 98 framework legal acts for CIS countries have been
worked out and adopted, including such as the Charter of Social Rights and Guarantees for Citizens in the Newly
Independent States, the Concept of a Framework Labour Code, the Guidelines for Reforming Wages in the CIS
countries, the Core Provisions of the Integrated Social Security, etc. The Confederation has taken part in the
development of interstate agreements signed by the CIS Heads of State. Many of the GCTU-affiliated industrial
Trade Union Internationals have been active participants in the work of interstate industrial councils, where they
promoted issues relating to labour relations and social policies.
The statuses the GCTU enjoys with the UN Economic and Social Council, the ILO and the UN Department of Public
Information, together with its successful cooperation with a lot of regional and national trade union centres of the
world, testify to the fact that the GCTU has been recognised as part of the international trade union community.
Ever since its emergence, the General Confederation of Trade Unions has been advocating consolidation of forces
in the international trade union movement. That was why it welcomed with satisfaction the establishment of the
International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) in November 2006 hailing the event as a crucial and realistic step
towards future global trade union unity. The GCTU Executive Committee reiterates that the Confederation is willing
to maintain broad cooperation with the ITUC and its Pan-European Regional Council (PERC) in the struggle for
workers’ rights and interests, full and productive employment, and against mass poverty, exploitation, oppression
and inequality of working people.
We are positive that was just the beginning. Workers worldwide are in an urgent need of even stronger unity and
solidarity as they confront with the formidable challenges of globalisation and the extent of its negative impact on
the entire world system of social security. Globalisation escalates and internationalises poverty and unemployment,
leads to innumerable violations of human rights and trade union freedoms, generates social uncertainty, and
aggravates discrimination against various categories and groups of workers. Trade unions also need a broad-based
unity that will enhance their strength and confidence in their complicated relations with transnational corporations and
other international finance-industrial groups that have emerged from globalisation as practically the biggest employer
in the world.
We reaffirm our full support for the International Labour Organisation, together with our commitment to its tripartite
principles and our respect for its Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and Decent Work
Agenda, and for the findings of the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalisation set up on its
initiative. The GCTU and its affiliates, together with the rest of the trade union world, will continue pressing for full and
universal compliance with international labour standards They will seek ratification and practical implementation by
CIS countries of the most important ILO conventions. We subscribe to the demand by the world trade unions that
ILO social and labour standards should be made an integral part of the international instruments and activities of the
WTO, international monetary and financial institutions and transnational corporations.
While highly appreciating the United Nations initiative to add a social dimension to world politics and the role it plays
in strengthening peace on Earth, the GCTU will keep supporting UN efforts aiming to achieve these ends, and insist
that all countries, and, first and foremost the CIS states, implement the UN-proclaimed Millennium Development
We note with optimism that the growing community or similarity of trade union approaches to vital social and political
issues such as the protection of trade union rights and freedoms and the rights and interests of young workers and
migrants; gender equality, eradication of forced and child labour, elimination of social exclusion, peacekeeping and
peaceful settlement of military conflicts is a distinct factor of the today’s world development. Throughout their history,
the GCTU and its affiliates have participated, and will continue to participate actively, in the struggle being waged by
the international trade union movement to fulfil these vital tasks.
On the day of its 15th Anniversary, the General Confederation of Trade Unions appeals to world trade unions to
support and carry on the initiate process of progressing towards their organisational unity, jointly seek the ways to
their global cohesion based on the principles of new internationalism, constructive dialogue and mutual respect.
Achieving global trade union solidarity will guarantee a successful common struggle for the rights, interests and
decent lives for all working people!
General Confederation of Trade Unions