Brussels/Kathmandu—A member of Nepal’s Sherpa trade union, Dorje Khatri, planted the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) flag on the summit of Mount Everest last Thursday, symbolizing the trade union commitment to protect the planet from climate change.
Dorje’s organization – the Union of Trekking, Travel, Rafting and Airline Workers – said that the ascent was to let the international community know that “our planet is melting down”.
“Dorje Khatri’s union protects Sherpas from exploitation and also is helping to protect the planet from catastrophic climate change,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow. “We salute the amazing courage and commitment of Sherpa Dorje and his colleagues.”
Dorje, 43 years old, has now climbed Everest – which is known to Nepalis by its original name Sagarmatha – seven times.
On previous ascents to the summit, Sherpa Dorje planted the flags of the ITUC Nepalese affiliate General Federation of Nepalese Trade Unions, and its member organizations, as well as those of global union federation members Building and Woodworkers’ International and the International Metalworkers’ Federation.
CUPE stands in solidarity with trade union workers from around the world who face similar, but even greater struggles than we do in Canada. As a member of the ITUC, our union joins with 175 million workers in 151 countries and territories, as well as 305 national affiliates.