International Eurasian Metal Workers' Federation (IEMF) 52nd Central Committee Meeting convened in Istanbul on 28 November 2021 under the leadership of our President Pevrul Kavlak. The Central Committee, which came together for the first time in a physically held meeting during the pandemic process, discussed the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on working life, trade unions and the activities of member unions.
IEMF's and our unions President Pevrul Kavlak, made the opening speech of the meeting, which started with a short speech by IEMF Secretary General and Vice-president Yusuf Ziya Odabaş. President Kavlak started his speech by expressing that he is happy to hold a face-to-face meeting again, but this situation doesn't mean that the danger has passed, and that the Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the whole world and continues to take lives, and continued as follows: “We are together again, but the risk has not completely passed. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the whole world and continues to take lives. We are together again, but the risk has not completely passed. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to affect the whole world and continues to take lives. With the spread of the vaccine, our lives are slowly returning to normal. However, we still have to take our precautions regarding mask, distance and hygiene. We must turn a blind eye to all anti-vaccine propaganda, follow the advice of health officials, and protect ourselves and our loved ones from this damn epidemic.”
Kavlak continued his speech by mentioning that he was elected to the Executive Committee Member at the 3rd Ordinary General Assembly of IndustriALL Global Union on September 14-15, 2021, and said that he will be the voices of not only Turk Metal but also Eurasian Metal Workers on this platform.
The working class is at the forefront of the Covid-19 pandemic era.
Continuing his speech by drawing attention to a research on Covid-19, Kavlak said, “Some explorations define Covid-19 as a working class disease." The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically changed our lives, the way we work and produce. The economic and social effects of this change are of particular concern to all of us. Due to this epidemic, many workplaces were closed, millions of people were unemployed. For this reason, it is underlined that Covid-19 should be considered an occupational disease in many international platforms not only because of the loss of life but also because of the economic consequences it creates. Covid-19 is a virus that threatens all humanity. Covid-19 is a great danger to everyone. However, it should not be forgotten that the working class comes first among those who suffer from this virus. Workers who worked to death in this process not only fell ill and died but also lost their jobs. That's why, as I have said at every opportunity, the heroes of this difficult process are the workers.
We must fight for humanity to live in a beautiful and clean world.
President Kavlak pointed out that the United Nations' environmental program aims to realize the vision adopted by the UN MS's in order to combat global warming that causes climate change in our world and set forth in the Paris Agreement, and said that this work is not only related to the world in general, but also to the trade union movement. He continued his words as follows: “The ILO defines "green jobs" as jobs that contribute to the protection or regeneration of the environment. Such jobs include increasing energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions in economies, and reducing emissions of harmful gases into the atmosphere. The United Nations also emphasizes that Green jobs should be “Decent Works". This means that these jobs are productive, work with a fair wage, have social security in case of health, unemployment, and disability, and provide equal opportunities for women and men. The United Nations states that with the transition to a Green economy, approximately 6 million jobs will disappear in industries that cause emissions of gases that cause global warming and other consequences. For this reason, the concept of “Just Transition”, another concept put forward by the ILO, is of great importance. Workers and unions around the world are affected by the changing economy and this situation is expected to continue. The concept of Just Transition reveals initiatives that will find solutions to the problems of those who will face difficulties in this transition period. These recommendations include issues such as income assistance and education. For the success of the “Just Transition”, labor unions also have great responsibilities. We as the trade unions, must fight for everyone to have decent work, to contribute to the global economy that protects the environment, and for humanity to live in a beautiful and clean world. We must do this not for ourselves, but for our children, for future generations. The reason why I specifically mentioned these in this meeting is this:
The whole world agrees that salvation from covid-19 has to be through green transformation. However, this transformation should provide better conditions for both people and our planet. This transformation must be fair.
We as the trade unions, must fight for everyone to have decent work, to contribute to the global economy that protects the environment, and for humanity to live in a beautiful and clean world. We must do this not for ourselves, but for our children, for future generations.”
After the opening speech of President Pevrul Kavlak, the members of the central committee took floor and they mentioned in which they evaluated the socio-economic situation of their countries. The IEMF’s training programs to be held in 2022 were also discussed at the meeting. While 26 people attended the 52nd Central Committee meeting of IEMF and Murat Salar, member of the IEMF Central Committee and our Financial Secretary, representing our union Türk Metal.