Trade Union Forum

10th BRICS Trade Union Forum. India. July 14, 2021.

10th BRICS Trade Union Forum held under Indian chairmanship

Plenary session of the BRICS Trade Union Forum was held on July 14, 2021. Due to difficult epidemiological situation the meeting of trade union leaders was held in the video conference mode. The Forum was attended by delegates from the national trade union centres of all five BRICS countries.

This year, India chairs BRICS under the slogan "15 years of BRICS: "Intra-BRICS Cooperation for Continuity, Consolidation and Consensus".

The was the tenth plenary session of the Trade Union Forum, which demonstrates the relevance of such form of joint activity of the largest national trade union centers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

As is customary at the plenary sessions, each delegation presents its country report with an assessment of the current socio-economic situation and measures taken by trade unions to achieve their goals, as well as the trade union position on topics selected by the BRICS Ministers of Labour and Employment for discussion with social partners during the ministerial meeting.

Mr. Binoy Kumar Sinha, General Secretary of the Indian Workers' Union (BMS), delivered a welcome address on behalf of the Indian presidency. During the meeting, presentations were also made by the representatives of five leading trade union centres of Brazil: Sérgio Arnaud (CSB), Antônio de Lisboa (CUT), Eduardo Maia (NCST), Lourenço do Prado (UGT), Ruth Coelho Monteiro (Força Sindical). The FNPR President Mr. Mikhail Shmakov delivered national report on behalf of trade unions of the Russian Federation. Indian trade unions were represented by Mr. Saji Narayanan, president of the BMS, and Mr. Ramendra Kumar, national president of the AITUC. National report from the delegation of the People's Republic of China was presented by Deputy Chairman of the ACFTU Mr. Jiang Guangping. A joint message from the three national trade union centres of South Africa was made by Ms. Sonia Mabunda-Kaziboni, COSATU international secretary.

As follows from the interventions and national reports, workers in all five BRICS countries have similar problems: tensions on the labour market, which have worsened during the pandemic; slow or zero economic growth; falling incomes of the working population; reduced workforce mobility; difficulties in legislating new forms of employment emerging during the pandemic, etc. Trade union representatives presented their vision of how to resolve the most acute problems proceeding from specific local conditions.

The main item on the agenda of the 10th Trade Union Forum was the discussion and adoption of the joint Declaration which this year was drafted by Indian trade unions.

In accordance with established procedure, in 2022 the chairmanship of the Trade Union Forum will pass to the trade unions of China.