More than 1,000 delegates from more than 350 unions across the globe were welcomed by the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen Frank Jensen, president of the Nordic-IN union Arve Bakke, IMF president Bertold Huber, ICEM president Senzeni Zokwana, and ITGLWF president Hisanobu Shimada.
All the welcoming speakers shared an intention to create a counterweight to the power of the global capital and fight for decent work and a sustainable future.
While Arve Bakke talked about the welfare state model of the Nordic countries and its exemplary success, Bertold Huber emphasized the global nature of modern supply chains and the need for the unions to act effectively on a global scale. Senzeni Zokwana presented a passionate plea for the united struggle against the atrocious practices of employers who disregard workers’ safety, and Hisanobu Shimada underlined the immense importance of creating the new global union federation, IndustriALL.
“Whenever the workers are feeling the pain, the unions are there to fight,” said Senzeni, to a unanimous applause, catching perfectly the mood of the union leaders gathered at this historic event.