The National Union of Eritrean Workers (NUEW), today’s National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW), has had good relations since the 1980s with the InternationalTrade Union Confederation (ITUC) which embraces over 200 million workers worldwide. This organization was providing moral and political support to our liberation struggle.
After independence NCEW formally became a member of this organization in 1994. Its objective is on one hand to expand and strengthen its international solidarity through its membership in ITUC, and on the other hand to foster social justice and the right to self determination of people, to advocate for the rule of law to reign and to enable people to march through the avenue of peace, stability, growth and prosperity using the solidarity and common understanding thus created by the relationships.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is one of the big international organizations which struggle alongside the exploited peoples for the supremacy of peace and justice. That is why in all of its congresses and resolutions it was depicting the conditions of the Eritrean people and workers in their correct and truthful form. Nevertheless, it fell short of taking effective measures to enforce the resolutions it passed.
At the time when the sovereign Eritrean territory was invaded by Ethiopia, when the Eritrean workers and people were deprived of peace and stability and prevented from the pursuit of their national construction by continuous Ethiopian provocation and creation of a state of war, and when in 2009 an unjust sanction was passed against them because they marched along the road to development unfettered by the conditions, ITUC did not play an effective role that went beyond making a statement saying “the Boundary Commission’s ruling should be implemented, the sanction must be lifted”. We say that since the relocation of its offices from Nairobi (Kenya) to Lome (Togo), the International Confederation of Trade Unions- Africa Region (ITUC-Africa) also could not make the necessary close follow-up of the conditions in Eritrea as well as our region.
Nonetheless, there has been a good progress in the strengthening of relations between NCEW and ITUC, due to the relentless efforts carried out by the NCEW to expose all the baseless smears by enemies which claim “Eritrea is using forced labour; there is human rights violation in Eritrea...” and the invitation which enabled the ITUC Deputy General Secretary, Mr. Chibebe Wellington and the ITUC-Africa General Secretary, Mr. Kwasi Adu-Amankwah to pay an official visit Eritrea in August 2015 and to meet with the NCEW leadership, senior PFDJ officials and diplomats resident in Eritrea and to get the true picture of our country.
As a result, upon the initiation by NCEW, the International Confederation of Trade Unions (ITUC) and International Confederation of Trade Unions Africa Region (ITUC-Africa) jointly with the NCEW are conducting an international conference, “Giving Practical Demonstration to Descent Work Agenda in Eritrea” from 23rd – 25th March 2016 in Asmara.
On this occasion, the national Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW), as an independent national organization, reaffirms its readiness to discuss any issues with its partners and counterparts and its commitment to national and international interests, and ascertains that Eritrea is a country which openly welcomes issues that pertain to common interests for peace, prosperity and development.
In this international conference momentous topics of paramount significance internationally, such as issues concerning migrant workers, employment opportunities, forced labour and unity and regional integration of trade unions, etc will be discussed. Certainly, the outcome of this conference is anticipated to make a significant contribution to instilling a commonly shared objective and understanding on the contemporary global workers’ causes and give an impetus to the ITUC-led struggle for development, justice and improved livelihoods of workers internationally.
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