The backdrop to this conference was an agreement among the worlds seven largest energy production and distribution companies, organized eight years ago into the E-7, that they would work to electrify developing countries in a sustainable way.
In response, the unions representing workers at these companies decided to come together to form their own strategy. The meeting was hosted by the unions at Hydro Quebec: CUPE Locals 957, 2000 and 1500.
Most important, delegates agreed that electicity, like water, must be considered an essential service and not a market good.
Speaking to the conference, National President Judy Darcy underlined the importance of this joint initiative, not only to ensure that workers were closely monitoring the E-7 but “also, and more importantly, to develop our own vision of sustainable development, a union vision that brings together the vision of workers around the world.”