Rosa PavanelliWith union rights constantly under attack—and trillions of dollars fleeing from state coffers into the pockets of corporate billionaires—the time has come for a united global labour front to resist neoliberalism, Rosa Pavanelli, general secretary of Public Services International (PSI), told delegates at the CUPE National Convention on Tuesday.

Workers are under more pressure than ever to coordinate their efforts, said Pavanelli, because “we are the only barrier to complete profit for the corporate sector and the limits they want to put on us.”

In her challenge to delegates, Pavanelli said that winning the war against neoliberal economics will require a coherent, consistent global agenda for the labour movement. During an interview, she identified three fundamental issues that should be addressed for that purpose.

“The first is taxation, the main factor that is increasing inequality,” said Pavanelli. “Tax havens, loopholes, tax holidays—all kinds of flexible schemes for business are welcomed at the expense of national incomes.”

The second is the ideology of debt reduction: “This has shown to be unproductive, if not dangerous to our economies and our communities. After nearly nine years of austerity, not one country has recovered.”

Finally, the labour movement needs to coordinate its efforts at the national and global levels—just as our opponents are doing. PSI affiliates’ coordinated efforts to oppose trade agreements have seen success.

“Uruguay has decided to withdraw from negotiations for the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA). Paraguay is following. The municipality of Zurich has adopted a resolution declaring Zurich TiSA-free,” she said.