Speaker tour by Domingo Perez, general secretary of Nicaragua Public Service Union (UNE)
NSCAG News |
on: Friday, 3 June 2011
Domingo Perez will be in the UK between June 14th and 25th visiting London, Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester.
He is the General Secretary of Nicaragua’s largest public sector workers union, called UNE (Union Nacional de Empleados). The union is part of the FNT national federation which has about 200 thousand affiliates (Nicaragua has a working population of 2.2 million, most of whom work in the informal sector) The UNE has 30 thousand members, up from a post-revolutionary low of 7 thousand. UNE has always had good links with the UK, having strong links with NALGO in the 1980s and with UNISON since then. Some UNISON regions have twinning links with UNE and UNISON Wales is in the process of setting one up.
The purpose of his visit is to meet with UK trade unionists and express the solidarity of Nicaraguan trade unions with hard-pressed British workers.
In 2007 Nicaragua emerged from 16 years of right-wing cuts, plummeting employment, and loss of union membership - UNE lost 90% of its members. Cuts, and government and media hostility, forced Nicaraguan unions to reorganise and re-think their role in society. Today UNE and the Nicaraguan unions are growing once more and have a good relationship with a government that has built trade union concerns into its agenda.
Domingo is a great speaker, and as leader of a union that endured savage cuts throughout the 1990s, he is well placed to understand the threat to UK public sector workers at the moment. Domingo recently sent a solidarity message to UK unions for the March for the Alternative: http://marchforthealternative.org.uk/why-were-marching/messages-of-support/
Domingo will be speaking at a public meeting in London on 18 June[O1] . He will also be addressing the UNISON Local Government Conference in Manchester and the UNISON Cymru public meeting in Cardiff. In London he will be meeting various trade union officials from UNISON, UNITE and TUC amongst others. Click here to view the Programme[O2]
Domingo Francisco Pérez is an experienced Nicaraguan trade unionist and the General Secretary of UNE - The Public Sector Workers’ union in Nicaragua (equivalent to UNISON in the UK). He has worked in many different trades, from artisan shoemaking to accountancy and administration. He is also a lawyer but above all he has been a loyal militant of the National Liberation Sandinista Front (FSLN) throughout his entire political life.
He started at UNE in 1980, when he joined the union as a bank worker. In 1983 he was given the responsibility of union branch accountant at the National Bank. In 1984 he took the role of administrator of UNE at the national level. After more than ten years, in 1995 he took on the role of the Union’s finances officer at the National Executive Committee, until 1999 when he was elected General Secretary. His role also involves sitting as a member of the National Directory of the National Front of Workers (FNT), which is the Nicaraguan equivalent of the TUC. At the FNT he currently acts as Departmental Secretary.
UNE[O3] – The National Union of Employees. The Public Sector Workers’ union. Its membership has drastically decreased since 1990 in part because of the privatisation of previously publicly owned services and in part because of attacks on unions carried out by successive right wing governments since 1990. However affiliations have been on the increase in recent years due to successes in organising workers in the newly privatised industries; e.g. banking and transport, in areas where unions have disappeared, e.g. the fishing industry; and in areas that have never been organised, e.g. domestic workers. As a result UNE continues to grow and now represents over 25,000 workers.
Speaker tour by Domingo Perez, general secretary of Nicaragua Public Service Union (UNE), London, Bristol, Cardiff and Manchester
June 14th to June 25th 2011
- Meeting with NSC(AG) staff
Wednesday 15/06 and Thursday 16/06
- Meetings with Regional UNISON and TUC officers.
- Site visit.
- Meetings at TUC, NSC(AG)
- 2.00 – 3.30pm: Talk at the Public meeting and film launch, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign & Nicaragua Solidarity Action Group AGM
- Socials and rest
- Morning Time: 9:30 am. Talk at the UNISON Local Government conference
- Evening: Attending the International rally.
- 9:30 am – 4:00 pm. Joining the NSC delegation stall at the UNISON National Conference
- Day time: Meetings in the national assembly and with members of Unison Cymru's International Committee
- 7:00 pm. Talk at the UNISON Cymru Public meeting
- Afternoon: Meeting various trade union officials from UNISON, UNITE,TUC
- Meetings with trade unionists (TBC)
- Site visit
- Departure to Nicaragua