Founding of the PERC gives hope to European workers

Brussels, 19/03/2007

The creation of the PERC is the result of a resolution adopted at the ITUC Founding Congress last November in Vienna. In line with the PERC Constitution, John Monks, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), will serve as its General Secretary while Mikhail Shmakov, President of FNPR Russia, has been elected as the President of the Council.

According to the Constitution adopted today, the PERC will work to promote the strategies, priorities and policies of the ITUC and will seek to contribute to social development, the consolidation of democracy and to respect for human and workers' rights in the region. Promotion of trade union action, and representation of workers' interests through the strengthening of the trade union movement and support for bilateral and multilateral cooperation, will be central objectives of the Council.

In order to promote social dialogue, decent work and the European social model across the entire continent, the PERC will cooperate closely with the ETUC. The PERC consists of 87 national centres affiliated to the ITUC representing more than 85 million trade union members across the continent, from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

The PERC will work to promote and sustain workers' rights and decent social standards throughout the continent, at a time when globalisation is posing ever new challenges to trade unions everywhere,” declared Guy Ryder, ITUC General Secretary, during the founding ceremony this morning. “It will strengthen and solidify the trade union presence in all the countries involved,” he added.

This is a new, exciting start for European trade unionism across the whole continent of Europe. PERC will soon make its presence felt,” said John Monks, ETUC General Secretary.

Fundamental workers' rights are violated not only in Russia, Belarus, Georgia and Moldova, but also in Western Europe, Baltic countries and in the Balkans. That is why PERC is putting protection and promotion of workers' trade union rights among its highest priorities,” said Mikhail Shmakov, President of FNPR Russia.

- John Monks' speech

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