Combatting far right and right-wing populism at the workplace requires a multi-faceted approach that involves education, open communication, and a commitment to promote inclusivity and diversity. In this sense, more than a year ago we started developing the training program called: Building trade union responses to combat far-right.

In this framework, a network of trade union trainers, communication and/or diversity officers, experts and trade union representatives was created. Hundred and twenty trade unionists are now affiliated with this network. An online platform facilitates the exchange of different news and actions happening in the union or country of the members, but also the exchange of training ideas and materials. In this one year period 5 trainings were organised. Two of them (held in Brussels, on 26-28 April 2022 and 8-10 March 2023) were dedicated to create the network, from setting the common goals, building the profiles and sharing experiences, to engaging and maintaining the network. After the first training and based on the information and experiences shared, many of the participants started to develop training curricula to raise awareness within their union on the negative impact of the far right actions and narrative for promoting diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.

During the training dedicated to the trade union communication officers, held in Bruges, on 14-16 June 2022, participants analysed their trade union narrative and image,  and discussed ways how trade unions can counter far-right activities in the social media. Some social listening tools were introduced and a short video about the training was created to disseminate the results of the training. The main message was that the trade unions should develop an alternative to the far-right narrative which creates a division in the society.

Last but not least, two other trainings were designed and conducted in Brussels, on the 27-29 September and 18-20 October 2022 on political education to empower trade unionists to effectively represent and defend workers ‘collective interests. This covered topics like trade union history, the democratic economic knowledge, its foundation and values. The participation of Dr Stiofán Ó Nualláin from Trademark Belfast contributed to the success of these training.

The training program organised in partnership with FGTB, TUC and CGIL was designed to contribute to the application of the ETUC roadmap “Building trade union responses to the rise of far-right” and it will continue also this year with three more trainings, one on strengthening communication (7-9 June 2023 in Brussels), one more on political education ( 18-20 October 2023) and another network meeting on the 6-8 March 2024.

With these types of activities trade unions aim to build a better society.