Unite assistant general secretary joined the debate on global solidarity, supporting the general council statement. He said,
“Coronavirus swept across the globe in weeks – spreading so rapidly it was – and still is – impossible to keep up with.
“It has exposed the fact that neo-liberal model of globalisation cannot cope with its effects.
Workers in countries where industries and sectors rely on cheap, precarious labour have been hit hard.
“Millions of workers cannot take time off work to isolate – never mind recover.
The lessons we have learned is that global solidarity matters and there cannot be a return to business as usual.
“Whether you are an engineer, teacher, transport worker or health worker in Europe or the USA, Brazil, South Asia, Latin America, or Australia – everyone is effected in the same way – fear and worry, not just for our families, our children, our elderly but also for the wider community, and economies.
“That is why we must ensure that we end the massive global inequality between nations, between rich and poor and between men and women, between black and white.
“There must be an end to deregulation, unending precarious work, and privatisation where the highest bidder squeezes the last drop of profit out of our essential services as they roam the globe looking for a lower bottom line.
“We also need to stand with working people in Turkey, in Palestine, in Belarus, in Columbia, in China, in south Asia, in Brazil, in the USA and here in the UK where workers rights are being trampled on and discarded.
“We know that trade between nations is important, but we must not let trade agreements undermine workers’ rights whether that is in agreements with the EU, USA, Australia, NZ or trans-pacific countries.
“Neither must we allow multi nationals to use secret courts to undermine our public services and laws and move to another country to make bigger profits – and like Amazon and many tech companies pay less tax.
“And most of all we must have a global right of workers to organise into unions to treated with respect and dignity at work.
“This must be our mission and our goal,” Burke concluded.
By Tony Burke, Unite assistant general secretary @TonyBurke2010