Young trade unionist from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia and Poland met in Budapest from 22 to 24 April to discuss about the role of trade unions in society - traditions vs. trends. This was already the sixth meeting of this highly successful network which allows promising active members of trade unions to grow closer together and build mutual trust across borders.
The conference started with a “talk show” in which the Presidents of the five Hungarian trade union confederations together with the respective Youth Presidents discussed what they see as their role, how to attract youth and in which societal topics trade unions should engage or not. During the discussion the historical burden on trade unions in former socialist countries became apparent. Eventually, the five confederations, which are an expression of pluralism after 1991, are nowadays gradually working more closely together as they see that they can only strengthen their positions by joining forces.
During the warm up and ice breaking exercises, CEYTUN members had to take positions on different topics and attitudes, using original methods such as having to convince the other side from the counter argument of their position.
On the second day, the group divided into working groups. Two parallel sessions on “Equality” (related to all forms of inequalities) and “Social dialogue” took place and later on “Future of work” and “Mobility and the future of the EU”. External experts gave important input for the discussion among the participants.
In the afternoon, the network visited the Museum of Terror which contains exhibits related to the fascist and communist dictatorial regimes in 20th-century Hungary and is also a memorial to the victims of these regimes, including those detained, interrogated, tortured or killed in the building. The visit to the Museum was a strong reminder for the CEYTUN members of the responsibility of young trade unionists in Europe to never let war and dictatorship rule the continent again.
As a result of the conference, CEYTUN drafted a resolution trying to express what they think should be today’s trade unions’ role.
CEYTUN was created in 2012 with the objective to promote the exchange between young trade unions members in Central Europe and to address common challenges.
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