The programme is designed to bring together workers who are linked by the same geographical industrial hub - and part of the same supply chain - to give their unions more industrial power and influence over negotiations with management and decisions made by employers. Unions representing workers in oil, manufacturing, food and drink, maritime, dockers, construction, road and rail were all part of the workshops.
The hubs programme has been launched in the UK in conjunction with ITF and IndustriALL affiliate Unite the Union. There are plans to build on the UK project and develop it on an international scale. Norwegian, Irish, American and Arab World unions were also represented.
ITF coordinator for the industrial hubs programme Mark Lyon said: “We’ve had mind blowing potential in the room in Grangemouth this week; across sectors and across continents.
“To be clear, we’re not building a council of war here. As trade unions we want to work with good employers, we can help them. But where there are rogue employers who don’t respect the rights of workers we need to protect our members, and working collectively, building our strength by breaking down the barriers between sectors – that’s what the industrial hubs programme is all about.
“Grangemouth is an obvious industrial hub as a key exit and entry point for good in the UK - 10% of the GDP of Scotland comes through the port. But industrial hubs don’t have to be ports, airports too are crucial convergence points for supply chains. What we’ve developed is a model that can be translated globally.”