The participants of the meeting of the Trade Unionist Network Europe (TUNE), held on 7–8 January 2015 in Brussels, declare: Our total opposition to the austerity programs imposed on their own peoples by the EU, the Troika and leading European Governments – causing unnecessary and unacceptable hardships, destroying social achievements, undermining economic development, threating democracy
The participants of the meeting of the Trade Unionist Network Europe (TUNE), held on 7–8 January 2015 in Brussels, declare:
- Our total opposition to the austerity programs imposed on their own peoples by the EU, the Troika and leading European Governments – causing unnecessary and unacceptable hardships, destroying social achievements, undermining economic development, threating democracy and fundamental rights;
- Our solidarity and support of the Greek Labour Movement, other social movements and our comrades in Syriza and other left forces who are seeking to liberate their country from the dictatorship and the blackmailing of the Troika;
- Our belief that a victory for the left in the forthcoming election can open the path for a progressive renewal in Greece, in Europe and beyond;
- Our rejection with indignation of the arrogance of those who would deny the Greek people the right to freely choose its own government and who are interfering in the Greek electoral process by campaigns of disinformation, scare tactics and threats;
Consequently, we call upon the European and International Labour Movement to confront the threats and scare tactics which are now being used against the Greek population and to make clear that any attempt to void or overturn the result of the Greek elections of 25 January will be met with coordinated trade union actions across Europe.
On the Trade Unionists Network Europe – TUNE
TUNE was established in the middle of the 1990s as a network of progressive (but in principle party political independent) trade unionists. Trade union representatives of the IG Metall in Germany and the CGIL in Italy were instrumental in making that happen.
The starting point was the fact that living and working conditions in our countries are increasingly influenced by European policy and that trade unions do not influence this process sufficiently. The aim of the Forum is to encourage a broad societal debate about the development of Europe and European policy in order to design a political alternative to the dominant neo-liberal logic. This will also contribute to European trade unions becoming a strong movement overcoming their institutional and national barriers. The deep economic, political and social crises which have hit Europe over the last few years, have only further reinforced this need. Since the establishment of the network, the number of participants has slowly been growing – over the last couple of years also from Central and Eastern Europe.
The members of the Forum are convinced that a strong and autonomous trade union movement is indispensable for the creation of a social Europe. We support a process of social development of Europe in which the employees and their unions are protagonists – in accordance with our conviction that the unions have to be a movement in the first place and should not be constrained by institutional limits.
The network has had a number of functions:
- It has been an important meeting place for progressive trade unionists in Europe in a situation in which moderate forces have controlled (and still control) many of the European trade union federations.
- It has been an important arena for the exchange of information between the GUE/NGL group and progressive trade unionists as regards labour market and other related questions.
- It has increasingly become an arena in which representatives of workers and trade unions in ongoing struggles have been invited to inform of their struggles and to build support and solidarity.
- It has been a forum for discussion and development of trade union policies and positions on actual questions as well as the development of alternatives (the “Towards a New European Social Model” document being one of the concrete results of this work).