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3rd ITUC World Congress

How the Congress works

This Congress is designed to be interactive, to enable participants to engage in discussions and debates based on the experiences, campaigns, political action and organising strategies of trade unions from across the world.

The Congress Statement will be debated directly in the main Congress plenary.

If any resolutions on urgent matters are proposed, the Congress Standing Orders Committee will first decide if the proposals really are urgent and if so, they would then be sent to the Plenary for debate.

Official speeches from leaders of delegations for the Congress record can be given using the “Congress Live” broadcast facility – the speeches will be live-streamed on the internet via the Congress website, and recorded for the official report of Congress.

The speeches will be grouped by region, at the times most relevant to each region, according to the following schedule:

Monday, 19 May
15:00-18:00 Americas

Tuesday, 20 May
09:00-12:30 Asia-Pacific
14:00-16:00 Europe
16:00-18:00 Americas

Wednesday, 21 May
14:00-17:30 Africa

Thursday, 22 May
09:00-12:30 Europe
14:00-16:00 Africa
16:00-18:00 All regions

There will be a time limit of four minutes per speech. Requests to be included on the speakers’ list can be made at the Congress Live facility.

The discussion of priorities and best practice that will constitute the Frameworks for Action will be debated in the sub-plenaries.

Sustainable Jobs - Draft Framework for Action
Realising Rights - Draft Framework for Action
Union Growth - Draft Framework for Action

There are three ways to participate in the sub-plenaries. Participants can intervene in the discussion from the floor, tweet comments and suggestions using the congress hashtags which will be displayed continuously on twitter walls in each of the sub plenaries, or email suggestions to the secretariat using the specific email address for each sub-plenary:
Union Growth: [email protected]
Sustainable Jobs: [email protected]
Realising Rights: [email protected]

To help structure the work in the sub-plenaries, a series of discussion points are planned for specific sessions. The debates will be introduced by short interventions, panel discussions or videos, to help set the scene for the debate on each topic. With large numbers of participants expected to take part in each sub-plenary, participants are requested to keep their remarks short and focused on the topic, and to refrain from delivering speeches in the sub-plenary sessions.

The Union Growth sub-plenary will take place in the main plenary hall, so there is no limitation on the number of participants. However participants will be asked to sign up for the other two sub-plenaries. Access to sub-plenaries will not be strictly limited to participants who have signed up, however the space limitations mean that larger delegations will need to spread their participation across the different sub-plenaries.

The plan for each sub-plenary, subject to possible change is:


Monday, 19 May
Corporate Organising campaigns

Tuesday, 20 May
Regional Organising Targets and ITUC Organising Academy
Organising Campaigns of National Centres

Organising in the Informal Economy

Wednesday, 21 May
Domestic Workers

Thursday, 22 May
Youth - Get Organised
New Forms of Worker Representation

Union Targets - 20 million Challenge


Monday 19, May
The jobs crisis, inequality and redistribution

Tuesday 20, May
Taming corporate power: trade and supply chains

Retirement Incomes: Adequacy, Investment and Governance,
Climate change - will industry save the climate?

Wednesday, 21 May
Count Us In: Women’s Participation in Work and Unions

Thursday, 22 May
09:00-12:30 Trade Unions Partnering for Development


Monday, 19 May
Countries at Risk – Mobilising Global Solidarity

Tuesday, 20 May
09:00-12:30 Migrant Workers – Organising for Rights

14:00- 17:30
Indigenous Peoples – Land, Work and Rights
“We Rise” – Ending Violence Against Women

Wednesday, 21 May
Combatting Precarious Work
Organising for Occupational Safety and Health

Thursday, 22 May
Workplace Discrimination – A Workers’ Hearing
Peace and Freedom – Unions Engaged in Peace and Liberation Struggles

Provision is made for each sub-plenary to meet from 14:00 – 15:00 on Thursday 22 May, to finalise any work which needs to be completed. The reports from the sub-plenaries, with any amendments to the Action Frameworks, will then be sent to the Congress Standing Orders Committee.

Languages: Media and social media content will be mainly in English, French and Spanish, along with content in German for the local media.

Social media will be an integral part of the Congress discussions and of the external communications strategy.

Twitter: You can get up to date information about what is happening at Congress by following @ituc @equaltimes @sharanburrow and using the hashtag #ituc14 - an open public feed about what is happening at Congress.

Spanish-speaking tweeters can select to follow an open Spanish twitter feed using the #escsi14. French-speaking tweeters can select to follow an open French twitter feed using #frcsi14

During the plenary and sub-plenary debates you can use the Congress hashtag to share your thoughts and make comments that will appear on the twitter walls. These are closed feeds and only tweets from pre-approved twitter handles will be posted on the twitter walls. All tweets will be public to all twitter users.

To register your twitter name so your tweet can appear on the twitter wall in congress sign up here

Plenary #ituc14
Realising rights sub-plenary #rights14
Union growth sub-plenary #growth14
Sustainable jobs sub-plenary #susjobs14

Social Media Help Desk: For those new to twitter and Facebook our team of social media experts will help you sign up for twitter and download the app for your mobile or tablet device. Please remember to bring your APPLE ID, GOOGLE ID or BLACKBERRY ID so you can register and download the app.

If you would like to create social media accounts before you arrive at Congress, follow these instructions:



During the Congress we will ask you to take part in twitter actions as part of our campaign for migrant workers’ rights in Qatar and for corporate campaigns.

Facebook: News and updates about what is happening at Congress will also be posted on the ITUC and Equal Times Facebook pages. Check these regularly and post your comments about the Congress.

Equal Times: Equal Times will be reporting from Congress, along with Radio Labour. Regular news, radio and TV studio debates will be available on

ITUC Congress Website: The ITUC Congress Website will feature daily news and updates about Congress events and activities. Live streaming of the plenary sessions, lunchtime TV Studio panel debates and leaders’ speeches will be available at
Some documents (e.g. reports from the Congress Credentials and Standing Orders Committees) are not public – the password to access these on the website will be made available at Congress.

The ITUC Website will also host news and statements from the ITUC during congress.

The main plenary and each sub-plenary will have a twitter wall allowing participation from the floor. The twitter walls are moderated to ensure that only congress participants’ comments appear on screen. In order to make sure your tweets are displayed immediately, please register here If you do not register, your tweets will go in a queue and a moderator will first check that they come from a congress participant.

Hashtags written in tweets are used to follow the sub-plenary discussions. The hashtags for the plenary and each of the sub-plenary groups are:
Plenary #ituc14
Union Growth #growth14
Realising Rights #rights14
Sustainable Jobs #susjobs14.

All tweets sent by you can be viewed by anyone on twitter who follows your twitter handle or uses any of the congress hashtags. The large screens in the plenary and sub-plenary halls will only display tweets from Congress participants.

A congress twitter handle has been registered for any congress participant who does not want to tweet from their own account.

password: ituc2014

In the sub-plenaries, some questions will be opened up for informal online polls of Congress participants. You will be shown where you can take part in polling on the ITUC Congress website. The polls are open to anyone who goes to the Congress website to take part; you can only vote once from your device.

At the conclusion of the discussions on Thursday 22 May, the Congress Standing Orders Committee will consider changes made in the full plenary (Main Congress Statement) and sub-plenaries (the three Frameworks for Action) to ensure that there are no inconsistencies between them and that the proposals are in line with the ITUC Constitution. It will then submit them to the Congress Plenary for endorsement on the morning of Friday 23 May.

Further to these formal sessions, there will be lunchtime panel debates and interviews on key topics broadcast on Congress Live.

The affiliates and individual participants at Congress will be asked to ‘Sign up for Climate Action’, to take direct action in the call to FIFA to demand fundamental rights as a condition for the World Cup in Qatar and to participate in a rally with ver.di and the Communication Workers of America on Deutsche Telekom’s violations of workers’ rights on its US/International operations. The rally will take place after Congress adjourns on Tuesday 20 May.

Congress participants can register at the Berlin City Cube at the following times:

  • Saturday May 17: from 12.00 to 20.00
  • Sunday May 18: from 08.00 to 18.00
  • Monday May 19: from 08.00 to 18.00

The business of Congress will be conducted online.

Participants will be able to access the background information, draft decisions, reports during Congress, multimedia materials, and other relevant ITUC products via their electronic device (laptop, tablet or mobile phone).

As documents will be ready in advance, delegates will still have the option to download and print their own documents before coming to Berlin. Documents modified or created during Congress will, however, only be made available electronically.

Seating at Congress will be “free” – i.e. there will be no pre-allocated seating of delegations. In the main plenary sessions, official delegates, advisers and interpreters should sit in the front section and observers should take their seats in the rear section.

For the opening ceremony on Sunday 18 May, participants are requested to collect their interpretation headsets and take their seats by 14.00.

Interpretation in the four official Congress languages, English, French, German and Spanish, will be provided in the main plenary and all sub-plenaries. Official Congress documents will also be translated into these languages. Reports of the Credentials and Standing Orders Committees are not public, and participants will be advised of the password required to access them at Congress.

Participants may also speak in Portugese, Norwegian and Danish

Union Growth
Italian (19 and 20 May only)
Participants may also speak in Portugese, Danish and Swedish ( + Italian 21-22May)

Realising Rights
Participants may also speak in Portugese, Swedish and Italian

Sustainable Jobs
Italian (21-22 May)
Participants may also speak in Portugese, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Italian

Interpretation headsets will be made available each morning at the Congress venue. Participants will not need to change headsets when moving between plenary and sub-plenary sessions. The headsets are expensive, and each participant is required to leave their headset at the collection point in the Congress venue each time they leave the building.

Because there are a limited number of restaurants around the Congress venue, several reasonably-priced catering options, including coffee shops, will be provided on site, from Monday to Friday.

Delegates will be welcomed by staff at the airports.

Staff will assist delegates to find their way to public transportation, the most efficient and sustainable way to circulate in Berlin. Delegates will be given a public transport pass for the duration of Congress.

If you arrive in Berlin on Sunday, the ITUC strongly encourage you to leave your luggage at your hotel before you go to the Congress venue. Delegates are invited to the Berlin Philharmonic after the opening ceremony where it won’t be convenient to go with your luggage.

For more detailed information on public transport in Berlin, visit

Side events will take place at different times during Congress, during lunch-breaks and after sessions.

PERC CauCus 19/05/2014 08:00AM NewYork1
ITUC Africa CauCus 19/05/2014 12:30PM NewYork1
FNV How to build democratic and dynamic trade unions to attract and mobilise new members 19/05/2014 12:30PM NewYork3
ITUC-AP Regional Caucus Meeting (For all ITUC affiliates from the Asia and Pacific Region only. Please send only one delegate, with an interpreter if necessary, to attend the meeting) 19/05/2014 12:30PM Helsinki 1
TUC-PSI-EI Speaking out for LGBTI members - oppressed at work and in law 19/05/2014 12:30PM Helsinki2
ITUC Young Delegates 1st meeting 19/05/2014 12:30PM NewYork2
FES "Confronting the energy crisis: Trade Unions as agents of change" 19/05/2014 5:30PM NewYork2
ITUC Bootcamp "Organising" 19/05/2014 6:00 PM New York1
ITUC Bootcamp "Social Media" 19/05/2014 6:00 PM Helsinki 2
ITUC Bootcamp "Climate action" 19/05/2014 6:00 PM Helsinki1
FNV Film "Working Class Heroes" 19/05/2014 6:00 PM NewYork3
AFL-CIO Investor State Dispute Settlement 20/05/2014 07:30AM Helsinki1
CSA-TUCA CauCus 20/05/2014 12:30PM Helsinki2
AFL-CIO "Global Common Sense Economics" 20/05/2014 12:30PM NewYork1
SNAPAP Algeria "Violations des droits syndicaux en Algérie" 20/05/2014 12:30PM NewYork3
CWC (Workers Capital) Roundtable on Workers’ Capital Strategies 20/05/2014 12:45PM Berlin 2
Commonwealth Commonwealth meeting 20/05/2014 12:30PM Helsinki1
ITUC Youth action - Qatar 20/05/2014 12:30PM CityCube
Wage Indicator "Collective Agreement Database - now in 22 countries - Please join" 20/05/2014 1:00 PM NewYork2
Francophonie Francophonie meeting 20/05/2014 5:30 PM Lindau3
ITUC Deutsche Telekom Rally 20/05/2014 5:00 PM Outside CityCube
ITUC Bootcamp "Climate action" 20/05/2014 6:00 PM Helsinki1
ITUC - FNV "Informal economy - ILC Discussion and research" 21/05/2014 12:30PM NewYork3
KCTU Korea "How to response to SAMSUNG’s No Union Management Policy" 21/05/2014 12:30PM Helsinki 2
Wage Indicator "Collective Agreement Database - now in 19 countries - Please join" 21/05/2014 1:00 PM NewYork2
EDLC & EFITU "Labor in Egypt: the effect of the political situation on Egyptian workers & union freedoms." 21/05/2014 2:30 PM NewYork1
ITUC - TUDCN "Poverty anywhere constitutes a danger to prosperity everywhere" 22/05/2014 3:00PM Subpl A6-RR
CGTM- CLTM- CNTM -UTM "’Mauritania : solidarity with Mauritanian workers in the mining sector" 22/05/2014 3:00PM Lindau3
CNV Internationaal "Strategies to Enhance Youth Employability" 22/05/2014 3:00PM NewYork3
HKCTU Hong Kong-LO Sweden "Building Workers’ Power in China" 22/05/2014 3:00 PM NewYork2
ITUC Bootcamp "Organising" 22/05/2014 6:00 PM New York1
CWC (Workers Capital) Roundtable on Workers’ Capital Strategies 22/05/2014 18:00 NewYork2
ITUC Youth social night 22/05/2014 20:00 Puro Berlin

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