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Positive @ work Working positive at times of crisis views and experiences from a European trade union perspective. IAC 2014 Melbourne – MCEC THU. 2014.07.24 14.30 Salvatore Marra - CGIL/Italian General Confederation of Labour

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Positive @ workWorking positive at times of crisisviews and experiences from a European trade union perspective

IAC 2014 Melbourne – MCEC THU. 2014.07.24 14.30

Salvatore Marra - CGIL/Italian General Confederation of Labour

ETUC / European Trade Union Confederation Youth Committee President

international trade union confederation
International Trade Union Confederation
  • ITUC - the world's largest trade union federation. It represents 175 million workers 155 countries worldwide.
  • in consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)
  • ITUC + IOE - institutional partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO).
  • extensive engagement with HIV- and AIDS- related processes: G8/G20 campaign, the World Social Forum, the World Economic Forum, the Global Campaign against Poverty and many others. The ITUC has the
  • status of observer in the UNAIDS Programme Coordination Board.
  • 2011 - United Nations General Assembly President’s CSTF for the 2011 High Level Meeting on AIDS, UNAIDS Universal Access International Advisory Group (IAG), UNAIDS UBRAF consultation, GFATM 3rd Partnership Forum, GFATM expert consultation for the Strategy 2012-2016.

ituc hiv aids program goals
ITUC HIV/AIDS Program - Goals:
  • Support trade union HIV/AIDS network
  • Develop capacity to adopt rights-based approaches to HIV/AIDS to promote the legal and policy change at the national level (esp. implementation of the ILO R200)
  • Coordinate between the labour movement and relevant international organizations
  • Coordinate the trade union platform for information exchange on coordination, complementarity and coherence of trade union HIV and AIDS related activities across sectors and regions (Global Union AIDS Program)

being hiv at times of crisis have things changed
Being HIV+ at times of crisis: have things changed?
  • Economic downturn worldwide as of 2009
  • Response to the crisis in the EU: austerity
  • National reforms: overall cuts in education, welfare, health and social protection
  • Overall increase of poverty in the EU and social exclusion
  • Cuts in health systems = decreased access to care
  • Cuts in social protection = restricted access to invalidity benefits and pension compensation
  • Labour market reforms leading to increased precariousness and attacks to social dialogue
  • Youth disengagement: 27 milions of NEETs; school and training drop-out; less activism and political engagement; strong lack of confidence in institutions etc.

our perception
Our perception
  • Stigma and discrimination exacerbated by the crisis and cuts to welfare and health;
  • Increasing privacy concerns: never disclose your stats; losing a job at times of crisis;
  • Increasing number of HIV+ asylum seekers;
  • Need of training/research on addressing intersectional people’s specific needs (young HIV+ asylum seekers; HIV+ workers with co-morbidity and exclusion from tasks; lgbtq HIV+ migrants; sex workers with a migration background etc.);
  • Reduced access to care for HIV+ people turns into increased discrimination.

if austerity is not the answer what to do
If austerity is not the answer, what to do?

Action needs to be taken by unions in order to counter detrimental effects of austerity measures on HIV+ people

  • Defend the welfare system and the most vulnerable
  • Increased training for TU shop-stewards
  • Strengthen the relationship with NGOs and launch more cooperation schemes
  • Address specific issues via collective bargaining, company level bargaining and social dialogue (ex.
  • Address the increasing stigma and discrimination/fear at workplaces with campaigns, awareness raising events etc

actions taken by cgil
Actions taken by CGIL:
  • AIDS e lavoro Project (see next)
  • Joint trade union/NGO awareness raising actions (on December 1st and more)
  • Joint trade union/NGO training schemes aimed at lgbtqi volunteers and/or migrant communites
  • Research on the condition of HIV+ people well being at the workplace conducted in 2010
  • Lobbying the local, regional, national and EU institution on HIV/workplace related issues

aids e lavoro project
AIDS e lavoro Project

Started in 2009 by CGIL and some of the most active NGOs in Rome and Italy

Objective: you’re positive, what should I do work? Help positive workers: how?

Training and joint protocol of actions with local authorities/unions/NGOs/employers(?)

Publication of a brochure with info on:

HIV/AIDS related legislation

Basic info for HIV+ workers

Trade union essentials for workplace shopstewards

Basic info on prevention / treatment

Who should I contact for…

aids e lavoro project main outcomes
AIDS e lavoro Project, main outcomes

5k printed and distributed to 120 local union branches throughout the country;

About 20k downloads from CGIL website + ?? From NGOs website

Training sessions organised in cooperation with NGOs aimed at unionists, activists, social workers and public officials

Training material mainstreamed in general TU education courses

Awareness raised among membership; grass root trade unionists on HIV+ workers and their needs


Salvatore Marra

CGIL Officer (Italian General Confederation of Labour)

ETUC Youth President (Youth Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation)

[email protected]

Skype: s.marracgil

Twitter: @salvamarra