Where is the ITUC going? Chairman of Global Labour Institute Dan Gallin questions Sharan Burrow

Dan Gallin , Chairman of Global Labour Institute  thinks  the fight against fascism has now reached the ITUC and he is losing.


The first Global Labour Institute was established in Geneva in 1997 and is chaired by Dan Gallin, a former General Secretary of the International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Association (IUF) who has published widely on the history and future of the international trade union movement. The international GLI network is now formed of four organisations: GLI Geneva, GLI Manchester, the Praxis Centre in Moscow, Russia, and the Trade Unions for Energy Democracy initiative


In words of Dan,


As soon as Dan recovered from his shock from hearing about Alexei Issaev, First Vice President of the FNPR, addressing the national congress of the Front National in France, last November, he  wrote the letter below to Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the ITUC.

To date (May 7) he didnt received an answer. He made this an open letter because the issues involved should be of concern, indeed alarming, for all our movement.


The Swiss Trade Union Federation also sent a letter raising the same questions and did not receive an answer either.


Global Labour Institute questions ITUC
Global Labour Institute questions ITUC


The two major French trade union confederations (CGT and CFDT) wrote directly to the FNPR demanding an explanation and received a reply from Mikhaïl Shmakov, FNPR General Secretary, who wrote that the FNPR did not know that Issaev would attend the Front National congress (i.e.: the General Secretary of the FNPR does not know what his First Vice President is up to) and anyway he did not represent FNPR but United Russia (Putin’s party) (i.e.: the FNPR is connected at top level to the Russian government party and has to jump through whatever hoops it is ordered).


Shmakov’s reply of course does not answer any of the real questions arising from Issaev’s venture into FNPR international politics, nor was it meant to.


What happened next: Sharan Burrow attended the FNPR congress held in Sochi on February 7, addressed the congress, called Shmakov her personal friend, praised the active role of FNPR in the international trade union movement, said that Russia under Putin is at the forefront of the struggle against inequality in the world and can be a peacekeeper in the international arena.


This, together with other incidents in recent months involving herself and her deputy, Jaap Wienen, in problematic situations, is raising the issue of whether the ITUC still understands and accepts the traditional acceptance of what is a trade union (an independent, democratically run workers’ organization) or if she is prepared to accept the legitimacy of any institution anywhere that claims to be a trade union, although the entire evidence,based on historical tradition and practice, and international law, would disqualify this institution as a workers’ organization.


Where is the ITUC going?






For the detailed conversation between Dan and Sharan :  READ FULL 

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