Danish Prime Minister addresses Global Labour Summit in Copenhagen
The Danish Prime Minister opened the Global Labour Summit, held in Copenhagen in May-June 1997, by emphasising the need for trade unions to make full use of the new information technology.
From 31 May to 1 June 1997, Copenhagen was the venue for an international conference, known as the "Global Labour Summit". The event was attended by 780 people representing more than 50 countries, 15 international trade union organisations, 115 national trade unions, the World Bank, the International Labour Organisation, 50 different Danish national organisations, ministries, universities and a few embassies. The summit was arranged by theGeneral Workers Union in Denmark (SiD) in connection with its 100th anniversary. SiD is the second largest confederation of trade unions in Denmark, representing some 326,000 employees, of whom the vast majority are unskilled workers.
Among the range of topics dealt with at the summit were the need to strengthen the trade union movement's international cooperation at a time where companies are becoming increasingly international, trade union rights, the environment and work environment, and the disparity between rich and poor.
The opening speech was given by Denmark's Social Democrat Prime Minister,Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, who from 1971 to 1986 worked as an economist in the Danish Confederation of Trade Unions. The Prime Minister addressed the need for international cooperation and solidarity and the importance of trade unions adopting new technology. He stated that: "We must embrace the new information technology and use it as our technology. It is a technology that by no means is reserved for employers and the right wing alone. On the contrary, it is our technology, and my point is that we do not lose jobs because of new technology, we lose jobs because of old technology. "
SiD has traditionally been very active on the European and international scene, promoting closer cooperation in terms of policies and structures.