With 3,000 posters decorating Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka as well as flags and banners at the entrance of the Hall with the logo of the TUI Hotour, local and international guests assempled in the Opening Ceremony of the 2nd Congress of TUI Hotour held today on the 15th of December. Guests were welcomed with the speeches of the leaders of ICEU, CFTU and NTUC on behalf of the Organizing Committee as well as the greeting messages of international guests.
The great importance of the Congress was stressed by all speakers in particular for the selection of Sri Lanka, with its growing tourist economy and sector workers struggles and for the holding of the Congress in the Asia-Pacific were international arrivals are increasing rapidly while workers basic rights and needs are not met. Central in they speeches was the analysis on the general and special problems of the workers in the branch, the challenges of the hospitality workers movement as well as the ways to strenghten and broaden the activity of the TUI Hotour,
International speakers held greeting speeches underlining the necessity for a strong sectoral coordination in the class-oriented hotel and tourism workers movement against the policies of the multinationals to crash workers rights, salaries, healthcare, regular and stable work, collective bargaining and trade union rights. A struggle for the right to recreation for all, for the respect of the natural beauty and heritage of its country against privatization and a struggle for the betterment of the livelihood of the ordinary people.
According to the WFTU representative in the TUI Congress, comrade Alexandra Liberi: “TUI HOTOUR is now in its first steps, a “toddler”, but with the support of its mother body representing 90 million workers in 126 countries with its class-oriented positions and with the action plan and new leadership elected from this Congress it has all the potential to gradually become the Giant that the hospitality workers need on their side to build their international solidarity, strengthen their struggles and coordinate their action against exploitation and capitalist barbarity for their right in dignified work and life and a tourism that will be a right to all”.
The First Session of the Congress works opened with the introductory speech by the Coordinator of the Organizing Committe Janaka Adikari and concluded with speeches from the Congress participants.
Amongst others he said: “We know and we do not forget that the trade union struggle over the past decades has had important gains for the workers rights. Today all of us can become more strong and more determined to fight in class-oriented direction against the monopolies and imperialism for all the contemporary needs of the working class and our societies. We know that so long as the profit is involved, vacation can not be a real right so our struggle has to be a strong against poverty, against imperialist wars, against the plundering of natural resoures. It has to be a struggle against imperialism and exploitation. Contrary to the profits of the employers, we struggle to forward the quality of service to the people, the servicing of the right to affordable and quality vacation for all, the protection and betterment of the working and living conditions of our members”.
Election of the new Executive Committee, Final Declaration and Action Plan are programmed to conclude tomorrow on the 16th of December with the completion of the speeches from all represented trade unions.