ACTU Congress 2009

Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) – International Policy 2009

“The ACTU International Committee continues to [seek] democratic, peaceful outcomes.”
– Paragraph 21, ACTU International Policy 2009

[Excerpt Paragraph No.21 re Israel-Palestine conflict]

21. Congress notes that working people continue to organise and create free, independent and democratic unions in countries where workers lack rights and face suppression for voicing their demands for workplace change. Congress applauds the efforts to create new unions and reform existing state-controlled unions in these countries. Australian unions have supported the development of free and independent unions in many parts of the world and will continue to assist to strengthen these efforts. The ACTU International Committee continues to monitor and seek to influence democratic, peaceful outcomes to support the workers and people, especially those, of:
a) Fiji and the Pacific;
b) Burma;
c) Zimbabwe;
d) the Middle East with a focus on the impact of Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the rights of all workers in the region and their families – Palestinians, Israelis and other communities.

[Excerpt Paragraph No.16-17 re corporate responsibility and accountability]

16. Congress acknowledges the United Nations’ Business and Human Rights agenda, and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s report that calls for corporate responsibility to respect human rights and be held accountable to them. Congress calls on the ITUC to campaign for the full inclusion of workers’ rights.

17. Congress acknowledges the work of the ITUC ‘Workers’ Capital Committee’ and supports capital strategies in countries such as Burma, where workers’ capital can be effective in providing practical interventions of international solidarity. Congress also acknowledges that the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment (UNPRI) framework provides an important vehicle to advance environmental, social, and governance objectives internationally.

Commentary – ACTU International Policy 2009:
> Noting that there was no international policy resolution in the immediately previous 2006 Congress, unfortunately Paragraph 21 indicates a significantly weakened policy statement from that of the 2003 Congress.
> We welcome the call in Paragraph 16 for corporate responsibility and accountability to respect human rights standards.
> We welcome the acknowledgement in Paragraph 17 of the power of workers’ capital in effecting “practical interventions of international solidarity”; and we welcome the endorsement of the UNPRI framework to advance positive social objectives internationally.

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