Its a real energy boost to chair this conference in the presence of such dynamic leaders of union organizations from countries in different parts of the world all active in the energy industry.
The idea of organizing this union conference parallel to the conference of E7 employers being held at the same time in a hotel not far from here comes, I must say, from our brothers in the FNME in France. However, as soon as the idea was suggested, we got down to work developing it, given the importance of the debate and our interest for it.
The E7, composed of the biggest electricity-producing companies in the industrialized countries, has international aid to developing countries as its basic philosophy, and sustainable development in the energy sector as its objective.
The purpose of this first meeting of the unions representing the workers of these corporations is to exchange information, concerns and their respective union outlooks on the strategies of the E7, and to work out a joint union position that will enable us to work at creating a strong, dynamic international voice for labour to help keep our companies going in the right direction, i.e., towards the development of electricity in countries where there are needs, in the framework of sustainable development.
There is also another very important subject: the deregulation of markets, especially the market for power, which is changing the context for all of us. This is why we will be collectively examining this issue, which has already had unintended negative effects on Central and South American countries. And the representatives of the leading combative unions there are with us, an asset for all us.
We will also discuss the impact of this on our own institutions and our fellow citizens, since we cant really talk about it as some future problem any more: the consequences of deregulation are on the doorstep, if not already inside the front door.
So I am persuaded that the information and discussions at this first conference of E7 unions will enable us to build, I hope, a vast social movement that will result in a better quality of life for a very large part of the earths population that is today still deprived of something that is a vital necessity for the normal development of all human beings: energy.
Now, a few words about logistics.
A new changes in the agenda:
Ms. Judy Darcys speech.
In response to the wishes of a number of union organizations, which had even approached their own corporations about it, we have approached Hydro-Qub0065c about organizing a meeting with the E7 corporations.
The Sherpa committee the Sherpas being the leading figures in the E7 who advise and influence the CEOs is ready to receive us this afternoon at 5:00 p.m.
This will be a formal meeting, included in the minutes of the E7. The information exchanged will be passed on to all the presidents, who will meet tomorrow.
The purpose of this first meeting will basically be to establish contact, receive the information transmitted by the E7, discuss our interests and positions and lay the groundwork for future meetings already scheduled for next November and February. In our opinion, the intended objective will be achieved by this meeting, and I propose that a delegation composed of one representative of each union organization meet with the E7 representatives at 5:00 p.m.
Another point: during the day, brothers and sisters from CUPE, with the assistance of visiting colleagues, will listen attentively to the opinions of each delegation and try to work out a joint position that rallies all of us and that could be the first action and position taken by the E7 union organizations.
While the delegation is away, the rest of the group can continue discussions planned to prepare our future meetings.
In conclusion, any adjustments required in the course of the meeting will be decided upon collectively. This E7 union conference is a first, so I ask you to be flexible and indulgent.
My time is up, so lets turn now to the presentation of our respective international strategies and the question of whether opening up markets contradicts these strategies. Im turning the mike over to the first delegation.