A Congress to fight for what really matters

Oct 04, 2021
Today, ELA presented its 15th Confederal Congress, which will be held on the 24th and 25th of November at the Bilbao Euskalduna Jauregia under the slogan “Benetan garrantzitsuak diren gauzak; Aktibatu, Lortu, Zaindu” (“What is really important; Activate; Achieve; Care”.) The pandemic has clearly shown, more than ever, our society’s deficiencies and virtues. Crises show both the most positive and the most negative aspects of people and of societies. While we had still not overcome the 2008 crisis, the healthcare crisis caused by this pandemic has incurred serious economic, labour and social consequences for the working classes.

Far-reaching changes are approaching (labour reform, pension reform…) and ELA must manage to ensure that they are favourable for the workers. We must activate, achieve and care for the things that are really important against the Capital:

1) Putting life and health at the centre.

2) Making the public services free of charge and universal.

3) Spreading the right to decide to all areas of our lives.

4) Reaching gender equality.

5) Promoting a society model that looks after the environment.

6) Improving living conditions.

 The main points of the presentation:

For a social, ecological, democratic and feminist transformation

- The physical limits of our planet are obvious. Now, we must become more aware that the trade union must also make a leap when linking ecological and class conflict in the work centres.

- The pandemic has shown us what is essential: a sustainable lifestyle along with care services. This cannot be forgotten. However, these jobs are invisible and are undervalued and insecure.

- The economy and finance must be placed under public control to ensure that they are used in the service of the social majorities.

 For an independent state; for a republican culture

- Europe is an unassailable fortress for people’s demands. The Basque Government and the Government of Navarra are just administrative managers of the decisions taken in Madrid.

- ELA will defend a Basque State, a sovereign, independent Republic, as a goal for national and class emancipation.

 For a different collective bargaining process to face up to job insecurity

- The very tough positions adopted by employer associations and governments force us to put strikes and mobilisations at the heart of our action, particularly if we want to achieve structural changes in the feminised areas.

- The Basque political parties with representation in Madrid have the chance to determine the decisions regarding collective bargaining.

- ELA is the reference trade union for many workers, but we want to become this for all of them. This is one of the strategic goals set forth by this Congress.

 An integral, better and more organised militancy

- Any organisation with a transforming vocation needs a growing number of militants; extending this militant bedrock will be the essential centre point of our work.

- Not all militancy models can be used. Our model is inclusive and plural; it must guarantee the participation of women and it must create the conditions for this.

- Our legal services take on a very important role in the fight against inequality and the violation of rights.

 Alliances and synergies that are coherent with our goals

- ELA considers that only the so-called “Basque trade union majority” brings together the necessary conditions to form a strategic trade union alliance.

- The course followed by all the transforming social movements indicates that the creation of the Social Charter of Social Rights of Euskal Herria was a strategic success.

- We will continue working with the trade union organisations we belong to, from our trade union point of view as a counterweight, committed to human rights and the rights of the people.

Executive Committee – People and functions

The National Committee has already presented the list of people and functions for the Executive Committee that will be voted on at the Congress. Three new people are included in the proposal:

- Leire Gallego López de Goikoetxea (Gasteiz, 1989).

- Alazne Mantxola Mintegi (Legazpi, 1988).

- Ane Miren Zelaia Arieta-Araunabeña (Durango, 1989).

Therefore, after the Congress, the Executive Committee will be a gender-equal body (formed by 6 women and 6 men):

- Mitxel Lakuntza Vicario (General Secretary)

- Amaia Muñoa Capron-Manieux (Assistant General Secretary. International)

- Amaia Aierbe Beloki (Legal Services)

- Xabi Anza Olarra (Training. Iparralde)

- Leire Gallego López de Goikoetxea (Social Action. Immigration. Gender-equality policies)

- Iván Giménez Gil (Communication)

- Pello Igeregi Santamaria (Collective Bargaining. Health at Work. Basque language)

- Alazne Mantxola Mintegi (Treasury)

- Mikel Noval Fernández (Social Policies. Study Office. The Environment)

- Leire Txakartegi Iramategi (Organisation)

- Joseba Villarreal Olaizola (Trade union elections. Membership. Confederal actions)

- Ane Miren Zelaia Arieta-Araunabeña (Unionisation. Planning. Strategic plan for Gender Equality).

Congress Information:

By statutory mandate, there will be 736 delegates who debate the Management Report presented by the Executive Committee, as well as the presentation that will define the working areas for the next four years. This process is being very rewarding due to the participation of hundreds of militants. The 736 delegates chosen for the Congress come, on the one hand, from the regional or territorial unions that belong to the trade union and, on the other hand, from the sectorial federations (Industria eta Eraikuntza –Industry and Construction-, Zerbitzuak –Private services - and Gizalan –Public services-), in terms of the membership of each organisation. 350 congress-goers have been chosen by the local and territorial unions and 350, by the federations. The remaining 36 people form part of the National Committee.

Of the 736 delegates who will attend the Congress, 384 are men and 352 are women (47.2%). This shows the trade union’s commitment to gender equality. At the 2008 Congress, the participation by women was 30.3%; in 2013 it reached 33.4%, and in 2017, the figure rose to 42.8%. All this information and other new developments are available on the website created for this reason: www.ela.eus/kongresua-15

Today, more than ever, ELA is a counterweight, a social instrument to fight for the rights of the working class, a means for achieving the things that really matter.

This, precisely, is ELA’s mission:

Aktibatu. Lortu. Zaindu. Benetan garrantzitsuak diren gauzak

(Activate. Achieve. Care. What is really important)