Pro is a member of 6 international federations at Global, European and Nordic level. The federations represent the following fields:
- Public sector
- Private service industry
- Construction and wood industry
- Food industry
The main aim of Nordic cooperation is to exchange information on the development of working life in different countries and to find common ground in policymaking on a European scale. The key target of policy influencing and supervision of interest is the European Union. Pro takes active part in the secretariats of international trade union federations as well as in the EU’s social dialogue where negotiations with the European employers’ organisations take place.
Establishing new networks and being in constant contact with other trade unions from different countries is an important part of Pro’s activities and ensures that Pro is at the forefront in the development of European working and business life.
On a company-level shop stewards of Pro are active members in European Works Councils. Pro’s shop stewards and specialists are influencing structural changes and take part in supranational company-level cooperation.
The goal of Pro’s global policy influencing is to promote fundamental rights at work and fair free trade. Pro is a member of The Trade Union Solidarity Centre of Finland SASK and works together with other Finnish unions in development cooperation projects in developing countries. Our aim is to promote fundamental rights at work by strengthening the trade unions, thereby ensuring that global free trade is also fair.
As a member of STTK, Pro also follows the activities of ILO and OECD. In 2021 important global themes include fair corporate taxation, prevention of tax evasion and juridically binding corporate responsibility for human rights.
Trade Union Pro is involved in a total of 12 projects in cooperation with the Finnish Trade Union Solidarity Centre SASK and Finnish trade unions. The projects are funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through development cooperation funds. For more information on SASK's projects, please visit SASK''s webpage.
Pro's projects help trade unions in developing countries to become stronger by increasing union membership, training union activists to improve collective bargaining at local level, involving women and young people in trade union work at all levels, and training union leadership and experts in a range of topics. Pró projects focus on the fundamental rights of workers and workers' rights and equality at work and in society.
The projects Trade Union Pro will be involved in from 2022 to 2025
The project aims to strengthen Brazil's industrial trade unions and their capacity to act, in partnership with IndustriALL Global Union. Workers in Brazil face challenges linked in particular to technological change and a just transition towards a carbon-neutral society. IndustriALL Brazil and its six trade unions are partners in the project, formed by the two main confederations Força Sindical and CUT. In addition to Pro, the Federation of Austrian Industries is a co-sponsor. The project will enable the organisations to be well placed to negotiate industrial policy, giving the trade union movement a voice.
Colombia and Brazil
The project will help to secure decent work in the private service sector in Colombia and Brazil, in partnership with the World Federation of Service Industries (UNI Global Union). In both countries, workers' rights are weak due to violent corporate anti-trade union practices. The partners include some 30 trade unions from the IT and telecoms sector, the private security and health sector, and the commercial and financial sectors. The project is funded by PRO and PAM, the trade union confederation for the service sector, and promotes workers' rights, human rights and democracy. and communication campaigns to help unions raise the issue of decent work and livelihoods in the public debate.
The project will strengthen the African trade union movement's knowledge and influence on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), in partnership with the ITUC, the global confederation of trade unions. So far, the African trade union movement has not systematically lobbied for the ratification of the agreement, due to a lack of trade union understanding of the agreement as a whole. The partner is the ITUC-Africa affiliates in 5 countries and the donors, in addition to PRO, are the confederations STTK and SAK and 5 Finnish trade unions. The studies carried out in the project will support trade union advocacy and the trade unions will develop a monitoring mechanism to follow the development and implementation of the FTA.
The project will strengthen the capacity of public sector trade unions and social dialogue in 10 African countries, in partnership with the World Public Sector Organisation (PSI). The project combines four sub-projects into a single cluster on gender-based violence, informal workers, just transition and climate change and trade union rights. More than 40 trade unions are partners and the project is funded by PRO, JHL, Tehy and Loimu. For the first theme, the project will result in the ratification of ILO Convention 190 (Elimination of Violence and Harassment at Work). The second theme will improve the status of informal female nurses. The third theme is a just transition, i.e. workers' rights in the transition to a climate-neutral economy. The fourth objective, on which Pro specifically focuses, is to strengthen trade union rights in the public sector.
Eswatini, Lesotho and Malawi
The project will reform industrial unions in three southern African countries to meet the needs of today's workers, in partnership with IndustriALL Global Union. In all the project countries, workers' rights are violated and workers are in a precarious and vulnerable position. The partners are seven trade unions from the countries and the donors, in addition to Pro, are the Confederation of Industry, the Paper Federation and the Engineering Federation. The project will help the unions to improve their digital skills, develop their internal democracy and increase the activation of their membership, including through the involvement of women and young people, and increase their bargaining power through new members.
Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique
The project aims to make the working environment in the trade, finance, security, IT and customer services sectors in these three countries safer and healthier, especially for women workers, in partnership with the World Federation of Service Industries (UNI Global Union). The corona pandemic also highlighted the importance of the services sector in crisis situations, while exposing the lack of occupational safety and health protection and the serious exposure of workers to health risks. Partnered by 9 trade unions in the countries and funded by the PAM, the Professional Association for Services, in addition to PRO, the project will help to reform the countries' collective bargaining model to be more gender-sensitive, increase training for female collective bargaining agents and help unions learn to pay attention to issues that improve well-being and quality of life at work.
The project will strengthen workers' rights in the food processing and hospitality sectors in Malawi by increasing union density and bargaining capacity. In Malawi, workers' rights are widely violated, wages are very low, employment relations in the service sector are precarious and unionisation is very weak. The partner is the HFPCWU trade union and the donors, in addition to Pro, are the SEL Food Workers' Union and the PAM Service Workers' Union. The project's training activities include the basics of organising, negotiation skills, labour protection issues and gender equality training for women and men.
The project will increase the membership base of the metalworkers' union and increase the number of organised workplaces. In the Philippines, the challenge is increased human rights abuses and reduced trade union empowerment. The partner is the Metalworkers' Union (PMA), with funding from the Confederation of Industry and the Engineering Confederation, in addition to Pro. The project will strengthen the capacity of future union leaders and also ensure the representation of young people and women in union work, both at company and national level.
Philippines and Indonesia
The project will promote human rights at work in the public administration, health, energy, water and local government sectors in the Philippines and Indonesia, in partnership with the World Public Sector Association (PSI). Public sector workers in both countries are still struggling for full trade union rights. The 15 public sector unions are partners and the funding partners, in addition to Pro, are the Public Services and Welfare Union (JHL) and Tehy. The project will promote the ratification of ILO Convention 151 on the protection of the right to organise and bargain in the public sector and will help the unions to step up their campaign for the ratification of ILO Convention 190 on the elimination of violence and harassment in the workplace.
The project will promote the rights of workers in the Indonesian metal and mining sector, in partnership with IndustriALL Global Union. Indonesian trade unions are relatively weak and the country's labour laws have been weakened to encourage foreign investment. The partners are 4 metal and mining trade unions and the funding is provided by the Federation of Austrian Industries, in addition to Pro. The project focuses in particular on increasing the participation of women and young people in the activities and management of the unions. As a result of the project, metal and mining unions will be recognised as strong and cohesive actors whose leaders and members are able to influence social decision-making and negotiate better collective agreements.
The project will improve the working and living conditions of workers in the construction and wood sector in Indonesia, in partnership with the World Building and Wood Industry (BWI). In Indonesia, the sector faces challenges in terms of poor working and living conditions, weak union capacity and low union density. The partner is the SERBUK trade union and the donors, in addition to Pro, are the Construction Union, the Federation of Industry and Loimu. As a result of the project, workers will become more aware of their rights and their situation in the workplace and in society, for which communication and campaign materials have been developed.
Through this project, in partnership with UNI Global Union, the aim is to improve the enjoyment of human rights at work by trade workers, especially young people and women. Working conditions in the sector are currently sub-standard, for example the lack of proper and clear employment contracts and the low level of unionisation in the sector are among the reasons for the poor working conditions in the sector. The partner is UNICOME and the funding is provided not only by PRO but also by PAM, the Professional Association for the Service Sector.