Workers Uniting to attend ICEM World Conference for the Pulp & Papermaking Industries

Workers Uniting, the Global trade Union formed by Unite of the UK and Ireland and the United Steelworkers (USW) will be attending the International Chemical, Energy and Mineworkers Conference for the Pulp & Paper Industries in Piriápolis, Uruguay on December 8-10, 2008.

The theme of the conference is “North Meets South Global Unity, Global Strength”. This will be first time that Workers Uniting has attended a major trade union conference as one delegation.

The Workers Uniting delegation will consist of full time officials of Unite and USW along with lay union reps from such global companies as Georgia Pacific, SCA, UPM and Meadwestvaco.

The Pulp and Paper Conference will feature a panel and discussion on the state of the industry – both in the emerging economies and in the traditional pulp and paper countries. That forum will discuss the current economic crisis, its effect on the industry at present, as well as trends over the past few years on output shifting from the global north to the global south.

Metsä-Botnia President and CEO Ilkka Hämälä and Jeronimo Ruiz, Director of Pulp and Paper Industry, São Paulo State, CEO, BRACELPA (Brazil Pulp/Paper Association will address the conference.

Industry growth in China will also be on the agenda panel of trade union and NGO leaders. They will develop a concise solidarity action and collective bargaining plan for ICEM affiliated trade unions and others representing global paperworkers.

The host union, ICEM affiliate Centro Unión Obreros Papeleros y Celulosa (CUOPYC) of Uruguay, has already done much groundwork to make sure the conference will be a success. Uruguay President Vázquez said: “It is a great challenge for CUOPYC, but it is also an excellent opportunity. Not just for CUOPYC, but for all in Uruguay, and the national government has committed to organize this event. We declare this meeting to be of national interest.”

Third day activities will be taken up with festivities commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 10th, 1948.

Union representatives from pulp and papermaking unions from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Finland, Indonesia, Malaysia, Russia, Sweden, Thailand, as well as several countries from Europe and Workers Uniting from the UK and USA will be attending the conference.

Note to Editors: Workers Uniting represents some 3 million workers in North America, the UK and Republic of Ireland.

For more information in UK and Europe, contact:
Tony Burke, Unite Assistant General Secretary, Tel: 07831 659959.

For more information in UK, contact:
Wayne Ranick, USW Communications Director 412-562-2444

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Media Contacts

Communications Director:
Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor Jim McKay

For industry specific inquiries,
Call USW Communications at 412-562-2442

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