Power-packed BWI delegation attends CFMMEU national conference

To express its strong sense of solidarity, BWI sent a power-packed delegation to the National Conference of the Construction Forestry Manufacturing Maritime Energy Union (CFMMEU) on 23 November in Melbourne, Australia. 

The delegation was led by BWI Deputy Presidents Dietmar Schaefers from Germany and Saul Mendez from Panama, BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson and BWI Regional Representative Dong Tolentino. It also included trade union leaders from SERBUK (Indonesia), KFCITU (South Korea), IGBAU (Germany), SUNTRACS (Panama), construction unions from Hong Kong, BATKARTEL (Denmark) and PROFUD (Ukraine). 

Carrying the theme " Power in the Union, the conference had an international solidarity session wherein BWI underscored the urgent need for trade unions to defend democracy and fight for global peace.

“The fight for democracy mobilises trade unionists because strong trade unions need democracy and democracy needs strong and free unions. The fight for democracy and the fight for trade unions are — one and the same fight,” Yuson said. 

Yuson also thanked and recognised CFMMEU’s contribution to BWI’s multifaceted work, especially in the campaign for gender equality and trade union organising. 

“We would like thank CFMMEU for its unwavering support for BWI’s global campaigns.  Dave played a very important leadership role in BWI.  Dave had brought the CFMMEU brand globally: militancy and organising. We also recognise CFMMEU’s role, especially Lisa, in BWI’s last World Congress. Through your efforts, we now have a policy that secures the mandatory 30 percent participation of women workers in BWI’s Presidium and World Board,” Yuson said. 

For his part, PROFUD President Vasyl Andreyev, who was warmly welcomed by the conference participants, expressed his union’s gratitude to CFMMEU for its relentless support to the Ukrainian people’s defense of democracy. “Our fight is your fight; we will eventually emerge triumphant through the help of your unwavering solidarity.”