In the last years, the Independent Trade Union Alliance of Venezuela (ASI Venezuela) has become a key driving force for a sustainable development model that contributes to peace and stability in the country. In 2020, ASI Venezuela will carry out a series of campaigns to raise awareness about the important role that the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) play for trade unions and workers in Venezuela.
By Marcela León, Secretary General of ASI Venezuela
Despite working amidst great socio-economic difficulties that have plagued the country since 2015, ASI Venezuela has managed to intelligently combine trade unions’ vision of a just society with the 2030 Agenda’s vision of a better future for all.
“When we look at the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and compare them against the work of our union, it is very clear that both are complementary and necessary for us to continue living on our beautiful planet. The 2030 Agenda shows that the injustices, exploitations and abuses of the powerful against the rest of us are not compatible with the sustainability of the planet,” said ASI Secretary General Marcela León.
In light of this, ASI will implement a series of sustainable development campaigns in 2020. They will aim at triggering a national debate on the need for a New Social Contract with decent work for all as an instrumental tool to progress towards peace, stability, justice and sustainability in Venezuela.
Towards a trade unionism of services
“These campaigns will be carried out as part of a progressive transformation of our work. ASI will implement a trade unionism of services that will provide direct intervention tools to enable working people and the general population to live in dignity,” explained León.
Trade unionism of services is the immediate and most direct expression of solidarity and humanity that unions can give to workers. It is about securing access to food, medicines and health. The collapse of public services in Venezuela is having a dire impact on worker’s life. Therefore, ASI Venezuela plans to organise activities such as low-cost food days, donations of medicines, exchange of medical equipment, low-cost pharmacies, haircut services, exchange of uniforms, shoes and school utensils etc.
#Timefor8 – The clock is ticking for a New Social Contract with decent work for all in Venezuela (SDG8)
Taking advantage of the space for discussion that the ITUC campaign “#timefor8 – it is time for a new social contract” has opened in several countries, ASI will continue to advocate the realisation of a New Social Contract with decent work for all as a means to address Venezuela’s multidimensional crisis. Among other things, ASI will focus on:
- Training trainers to sensitise and guide trade unions, workers and civil society organisations on the relevance that SDG 8 and its targets have for workers’ daily lives;
- create a national #Timefor8 network to monitor and coordinate the campaign throughout the country;
- promote social and tripartite dialogue, as well as strategic alliances; and
- advocate the restoration of the Venezuelan legal framework of respect for human, labour and union rights as an essential condition for realising a New Social Contract.
In addition, ASI will diversify this campaign and adapt its message to different population groups: working women (“Working women deserve decent work”, young workers (“Young workers are future and present, you are decent work” ) and the LGBTIQ + community (“Decent work for a decent life with inclusion”).
Furthermore, ASI will also support the ITUC global action on governments to ratify the ILO Convention 190 on harassment and violence in the work place.
My right NOT to migrate (all 17 SDGs)
In line with #timefor8 and supported by the slogan “We are not going to pack, we are going to build our country” the campaign “My right not to migrate” will be dedicated to strengthening and defending the living conditions of the working class of Venezuela, with emphasis on their labour and human rights.
ASI Venezuela will also work towards strengthening the political competencies and capacities of union managers to effectively lead negotiations on the fulfillment of workers’ constitutional rights and the fulfillment of the fundamental pillars of decent work (full employment, social protection, labour law and social dialogue).
Recycling with SINTRANDECOS (SDG 13)
This campaign aims at supporting informal economy workers’ accession to the formal economy and at promoting the importance of sustainable lifestyles. Through this campaign, ASI Venezuela will support the organising work of the National Union of Non-Dependent Workers of the Informal Economy (SINTRANDECOS).
“In Venezuela there is not yet a culture of recycling. In addition, people still tend to stigmatise those informal workers who survive recycling the trash. With SINTRANDECOS and this campaign, we want to change people’s mindset and give recycling the socio-economic and environmental value that it must have in any society that aspires to sustainable development”, said León.
Organising for workers’ fundamental rights (SDG 8)
“ASI’s work reflects the rich diversity of Venezuela’s society. ASI’s team delivers a fantastic job, and the more we are, the stronger we are and the stronger Venezuela will be,” explained León when talking about the national organising campaign “Organise and resist with ASI! By joining ASI, you win! We all win!”.