Public Services International (PSI) passed a resolution at its 31st World Congress condemning the government and security forces’ continued repression of workers and trade unions including Hong Kong, Cambodia, the Philippines, and South Korea.
PSI reiterated that workers’ dignity could only be realised through peace and democracy and vowed to ensure PSI colleagues can exercise their rights as workers without being isolated.
The resolution was introduced by five Japanese trade unions. Liz Wheatley, International Affairs Chair of UNISON, spoke in support of the resolution during the congress, highlighting the situation in Hong Kong. She said that 170,000 people in Hong Kong had come to the UK fleeing the repressive National Security Law. “Among them are people fleeing certain prosecution for the so-called crime of being trade unionists and pro-democracy activists simply for doing something that those of us in unison and many other unions represented here do every day and take for granted.”
She went on to say that UNISON hosted an event last week to mark the second anniversary of the disbandment of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) due to the National Security Law. “We stood with some trade unionists now in the UK, and we stood in solidarity, and we remained in the free trade union movement in the territory.” She said.
Lastly, she mentioned that not all unions can freely offer their solidarity as some unions might face “consequences” for supporting the resolution. She urged the PSI to make sure that all trade unions can safely access information and to set up a network so that all unions can offer the solidarity that is needed by the Hong Kong trade union movement. “We say people over profit, but we also have to say ‘solidarity over profit’.”
PSI is a global trade union federation with 700 trade unions worldwide. It represents 30 million workers who deliver vital public services in 154 countries and territories. Its members work in public services including health care, emergency services, schools and universities, public administrations and local governments, water and electricity utilities.