The Coordination Meeting of the 4th European-Mediterranean Metal Industry Unions Permanent Conference (EMUIC) was held on Tuesday, June 17 via video conference. The Permanent Conference of European Mediterranean Metal Industry Unions, the first of which was held in 2017 and the fourth planned in 2020, was postponed due to pandemic conditions. The place, time and content of the 4th Conference were discussed at the preparatory meeting held before the Conference, which aims to develop and strengthen the cooperation and solidarity among the trade unions in the metal industry in the Euro-Mediterranean region.
The preparatory meeting started with the presentations made by Yücel Top and Barbara Arsieni, Coordinators of the Permanent Conference of Euro-Mediterranean Metal Industry Unions, on the content and functioning of the conference.
In the first part of the meeting, the opinions of the participants regarding the 3rd Congress of the IndustriAll Global Union, which will be held in September, were shared. Taking the first floor in this episode, our President Pevrul Kavlak started his speech by greeting the representatives of the Belgian metal union ACV-CSC METEA, who took part in the meeting for the first time, and stated that international cooperation and solidarity among the unions has improved significantly in the recent period and said, “As unions fighting for the common goals of the working class, I am happy to be a strong group within the European trade union movement. This partnership is very valuable for us,” he said.
Kavlak, shared his views on the possible candidates for the upcoming 3rd Congress of IndustriAll Global Union and continued as follows: “We are all members of IndustriAll Global and industriAll European Trade Unions. So far, we have not been very effective in the decision-making processes as a group. industriAll Europe, of which we are a member, held its 3rd Congress last month. Before this congress, we did not come together and set a common goal. But now the congress of the global organization is approaching. In this respect, it is very important that we came together before this congress. Maybe in this meeting, maybe in another meeting with this agenda, I think we should talk about what messages we will give in this congress and what kind of division of labor we will make between us. In my opinion, we should discuss what political priorities our global organization should have in the future, how we need it to be managed. Each of us, of course, has our own opinions. These are important and valuable to all of us. However, we can transform our views into a common opinion. Especially in this congress, we can contribute to the agenda by acting as a group. Our group is a very strong group in terms of both the number of members and the payment of affiliations fees. For example, 17 unions from Turkey are with us. Three unions in France are here with us. The same is true for Spain and Italy. Therefore, we must put the necessary weight on our international organizations. All other unions should listen and wonder what we think.”
In his speech, Kavlak emphasized that the unions in the member countries of the Euro-Mediterranean Permanent Conference should act together, “Let's hold another meeting shortly and reveal our common strategy. Let's prepare a joint manifesto for the global union congress. Let's show what kind of Global Union we want. Let's include our unions in other industries within our own national confederations. Then, let's meet with The President of our Global Organization and let him feel our unity and solidarity. Let's realize a new phase of our strong cooperation that will last for many years," he said. After the speech of our President Pevrul Kavlak, representatives of other unions also shared their views.
In the second part of the meeting, opinions about the place, date and content of the 4th Euro-Mediterranean Permanent Conference were shared. Kavlak, who also took the floor in this episode, expressed the views of our union as follows: “Unfortunately, we could not hold our traditional Euro-Mediterranean Conference in 2020. I guess 2021 will be like this. This union we formed in the Mediterranean basin has been a very important gain for us. It enabled us to take significant distances both in our struggles for organizing and in our international relations. As Euro-Mediterranean metal unions, we had very productive meetings. We discussed important issues, therefore, as I said in our last meeting, I think that this cooperation should definitely continue.”
Stating that two possibilities should be considered regarding the organization of the 4th Euro-Mediterranean Permanent Conference, our President Kavlak said, “We will either hold a meeting via video conference in the autumn of 2021 or we will wait until 2022 to hold our face-to-face meeting with the easing of pandemic conditions and the start of international flights.” said.
In the preparatory meeting of the 4th Permanent Conference of European Mediterranean Metal Industry Unions, besides Türk Metal, Italian FIM-CISL, FEMCA CISL and FLAEI CISL, Spanish FI-USO and UGT-FICA, French FGMM, FO METAUX and CFE- Representatives from metal unions of CGC Metallurgie, German IG-BCE and ACV-CSC METEA from Belgium attended. Our President Pevrul Kavlak and our Financial Secretary Murat Salar, our President Advisor Helmut Lense and our International Relations Department Coordinator Burak Ekmekçioğlu also attended the meeting.