Strengthening relationships of friendship and solidarity

NSCAG News | on: Monday, 2 June 2014

Commenting on her recent visit to the UK, hosted by UNISON’s West Midlands Region, Camila Mejia, member of the National Executive of the Nicaraguan health union FETSALUD, spoke of the importance of the visit in terms of strengthening friendship and solidarity with trade unions in her country. She said that the visit had been a very positive experience for her in terms of sharing experiences. She was struck by the similarities between the challenges being faced by unions in the UK in terms of fighting austerity and privatisation and the challenges which had faced the trade unions in Nicaragua during 17 years of neo-liberal rule from 1990-2007. She said that Nicaragua is a poor country, but it has strong unions which have the potential to grow further. One of the highlights of her visit was attending a May Day celebration organised by Birmingham Trades Council, where she was able to meet members of the Miners’ Wives Action Group. Having lived through years of dictatorship followed by a vicious war unleashed on Nicaragua by the United States in the 80s, Camila identified very much with this group of women and their 30 years of struggle. She said that it was important that workers’ struggles of the past remain a permanent reminder to be passed on to future generations. She commented further that whilst our respective countries have different social, economic and political situations, workers’ needs remain the same. She looks forward to building on the experiences of her visit and further strengthening links with unions in the UK.

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