Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Global response needs to be bolder

Am in Brussels at the grandly-titled Council of Global Unions - an attempt to bring together all the main international trade union groups. It's the follow-up to the Washington meeting I attended last December.

The global economic crisis is dominating our agenda - and how we respond. It's frustrating to see the bureaucracy of the global labour movement at work whilst out on the streets hundreds of thousands are striking, demonstrating and protesting. There are some startling statistics - 800,000 jobs lost in one month in the US, one billion people facing starvation - and our response needs to be bolder, quicker and more pro-active.

Last night I took the chance to do a meeting with NUJ Brussels branch members and try to address some concerns they have about how the union supports members in Continental Europe.

Due to the wonders of wi-fi i have also been able to write to Vernon Coaker about ongoing concerns about photographers' rights, to write to David MIlliband about the UK government's opposition to the draft Ministerial Resolution on developments in anti-terrorism legislation in the Council of Europe and its impact on freedom of expression and information. I've also sent emails to NUJ executive members, chapels, branches, councils about mobilising for a lobby of Parliament in March over the future of local media.

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