Global Trade Unions Hold Toronto Conference on Economic, Environmental

TORONTO, June 17 /CNW/ - Two global union federations representing 45 million workers from 132 countries begin a two-day conference tomorrow on economic, environmental, and social sustainability, aimed at forging a worldwide workers' and communities' declaration for the G8 and G20 summits.

The Triple Crisis of Sustainability Conference is sponsored by Geneva-based International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine & General Workers' Union (ICEM) and International Metalworkers' Federation (IMF), and will include 270 trade union and other leaders from over 50 countries.

The conference runs June 18-19, from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., in the Dominion Ballroom of the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, 123 Queen Street West.

"The financial crisis that brought the world's economy to its knees needs correcting and it needs the resonating voices of those most affected by runaway greed and banking calamities," says ICEM General Secretary Manfred Warda. "Environmental catastrophes, monetary disparities, and destabilized societies all have related origins, and this is the pivotal time for the world's economic and political leaders to correct the imbalances."

Adds IMF General Secretary Jyrki Raina: "The uncertainties that workers and their families face are unprecedented. We want guarantees that the G8 and G20 summits address the legitimate concerns of workers for social justice, long-term, sustainable employment and the introduction of a global tax on financial institutions."

The two federations believe the crises of failing economies, environmental inaction and social disorder are interconnected and have been produced by an absence of global regulations and inept financial governance of markets. The conference will ensure the voices of global workers are heard on these issues before the G8 and G20 summits convene.

A keynote speech on 18 June will be delivered by United Steelworkers President Leo Gerard, whose members have been victimized by merciless globalization, including unprecedented attacks on Canadian workers by Vale, one of the world's largest and most profitable mining companies.

Conference panels will address the economic crisis, sustainable development and climate change, and corporate governance.

David Donnelly, a leading environmental attorney involved with Canada's Blue-Green Alliance, will speak June 19, as will John Evans, General-Secretary of the Paris-based Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: For further information: Dick Blin, ICEM Information Officer,, +41 79 734 8994 (mobile); or Alexander Ivanou, IMF Communications,, +41 22 308 5033

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