We will continue to push for a better GSP which truly improves the lives of workers in developing countries.
As part of the GSP Engagement Week (22-25 March), industriAll Europe took part in a range of high-level meetings and events demanding that workers’ rights are put at the heart of the keenly awaited Commission proposal for a revised GSP post-2023.
IndustriAll Europe met with the Cabinet of European Commission Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis, the European Parliament’s rapporteur, MEP Heidi Hautala, and Commission representatives responsible for international partnerships. Furthermore, Deputy General Secretary, Jude Kirton‒Darling, was a guest panel speaker at the GSP Hub event on labour rights, joining speakers from the ILO, the Pakistan Workers’ Federation and the General Services Employees Union of Sri Lanka.
Jude Kirton-Darling, Deputy General Secretary for industriAll Europe, said:
‘’Our focus during the GSP Engagement Week was to make sure that the voices and demands of trade unions are heard. The Commission has a real opportunity to revise the current system and make the working and living conditions of workers better in some of the poorest countries in the world. European trade unions demand that all workers’ rights are seen as human rights and that all GSP beneficiary countries enforce the key ILO conventions.’’
The recently adopted industriAll Europe position on the GSP revision was shared with key EU policy makers. Further meetings are also planned with co-rapporteurs in the European Parliament with the aim to build strong political support for an improved GSP, with more trade union and stakeholder involvement.
Jude Kirton-Darling added:
‘’Trade unions can play a vital role in a revised GSP, whether through enhanced monitoring or an improved complaints procedure. However, this must go hand in hand with protection for whistle blowers, as trade unionists have faced real threats in some of these countries. European workers stand in solidarity with their brothers and sisters across the world and demand good working rights for all. We will continue to push for a better GSP which truly improves the lives of workers in developing countries.’’