Speech at the EAKL-congress in Tallin

International issues Welcome speech by Oscar Ernerot, LO Sweden, at the Congress of Confederation of Estonian Trade Unions, EAKL, 20 October 2023.

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Union friends.

First, I would like to thank you for this opportunity to address your congress.

I would also like to bring you a greeting of solidarity from the Swedish Trade Union Confederation, LO.

There are strong ties Sweden and Estonia,

between our two organisations.

Our increasingly shared labor market

Our cooperation within the European Union.

And finally, our common security challenges, with a war of aggression going on in our neighbourhood.

In LO Sweden we celebrate our 125th anniversary this year.

If those who formed our trade unions back then could travel in a time machine to this year,

they would see our world as pure science fiction.

But there are also things they would recognise.

Even today people are worn down by bad work environments,

forced into inhuman working conditions.

and denied the right to organise.

So, the basics in our union struggle is still the same.

The difference is that the arena has become bigger.

This is why our international work is so important.

Our challenges are many and our counterparts are strong.

But so are we.

And we will not accept social dumping and a race to the bottom when it comes to wages and working conditions.

We will not accept anything else than decent work for all.

We will not accept more of austerity.

It is time to invest! In jobs, in education and in infrastructure.

In Sweden, in the Baltics and all over Europe.

That is the only way forward to full employment, decent jobs and a prosperity for all,

not just a few.

So, we know what we must do.

We must organize.

We must be as effective as possible in our union work.

We must recruit new members and retain the ones we have.

If we do that, the voice of the unions will be even stronger.

If we do that, the governments as well as the employers will have to listen!

Thank you!