Frank Moreels speeches at FTTUB Congress

The complete speech of BTB & ETF President Frank Moreels at the FTTUB Congress in Bulgaria.



Brothers and sisters,

Let me tell you first of all that I am so happy to be at this congress.
Not only because it is my conviction that the president of ETF should stay in touch with the affiliates of ETF.
But most certainly because your union and your president play an important role in ETF.

We all know that trade unions have not an easy living nowadays. Certainly not in Central and Eastern Europe. We all know that right wing populism and nationalism is spreading all over Europe. This populism and nationalism are the opposite of what trade unions try to build with ETF. And that is international solidarity.

That’s why our Barcelona congress last year decided that more has to be done to support our affiliates in Eastern and Central Europe. And I can assure you that your president Ekatarina Yordanova played a major role in urging ETF of the importance of this issue.
So, yes my friends, I am happy to be with you,
Yes, I am happy to be at the congress of one of the strongholders of ETF.
And yes, brothers and sisters of FTTUB,
you should be proud of your leadership who is indeed fully engaged in ETF.

We all know that working together in an organization as ETF,
which represents 5 million transport workers,
from 230 affiliated unions
from 42 countries is not always easy.
But as trade unionists we know that it is not because something is difficult that it is impossible.

To realize this unity that we need so much,
we have to talk a lot with each other,
listen carefully,
we have to respect each other,
and search for good compromises that are acceptable for all of us.
And once decisions have been taken,
we have to respect these decisions.
We have to be very careful that we do not fall into the trap of right-wing politicians, populists and employers.
We must not believe this is a story
of East against West.
Or North against South
We must not accept to be divided.
Because they have an interest in us being divided.
They know that a division in the union movement, in ETF
is better for employers and populists
to push through their plans.
ETF does not stand for the sole interests of Western European workers,
neither is ETF a vehicle for Eastern European workers.
Instead ETF must be an efficient machinery that stands up
And fights back
An organization that works
for the interests and the social rights of all the workers in Europe
Wherever they live
Wherever they come from

I also came to this congress with an appeal.
ETF needs you brothers and sisters.
As you know ETF is actually running a campaign called “Fair Transport”.
In different ETF sections this campaign is already running at full speed.
Road section is campaigning for a Road Package that is positive for all truck and coach drivers in Europe.
Aviation is successful with a “low cost” campaign,
challenging Ryanair to recognize union rights.

Just to mention these two examples.

In March 2019 we will have the culminating activity of our Fair transport campaign.
From the 20th till the 27th of March an ETF convoy will cross Europe,
and on the 27th of March 2019 ETF will demonstrate in Brussels.
Just before the European elections, we have to give a loud and clear signal to the politicians:
we need change in the transport industry!
We need fairness in our industry!

We want:

  • More and fair jobs for European transport workers
  • A pay rise for European transport workers
  • A binding European Pillar of social rights
  • The creation of a “Social Europol”
  • Public transport for all European cities
  • A stop to attacks on workers rights
  • A social dimension of automatization and digitalization

That’s why I hope that every single one of you will engage in our fair transport campaign
That every single one of you will mobilize
and that FTTUB will be present in the convoy,
and at the gathering in Brussels on the 27th of March.

But I know that ETF can count on you
We know that we can count on your president Ekatarina Yordanova
We know that we can count on our Bulgarian brothers and sisters!

Let me end this message with at least one word in your language
Brothers and sisters: