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In dialogue with  Norberto Latorre


President of the Global Committee of the HRCT Group and new president of the IUF's Latin American Executive Committee


Everyone agrees: Norberto –as he is generally known–

is a great guy. A compañero who stands out for his managing skills, his solidarity and his fraternal attitude. A leader who is carrying out outstanding work in our international federation, garnering wide support.


-In October you were re-elected for the post of president of the Global Committee of the IUF’s HRCT Group…

-I agreed to run for a new term because I think that overall we had positive results in the last term, including achieving greater unity among several major organizations, and because we formed a solid group of leaders that is currently taking on a more active role.


Also, our membership has grown since 2006, when I was first elected president at the Buenos Aires Conference.


We know there’s still a great deal of work ahead of us. Tourism is growing exponentially everywhere in the world, but in many places that growth is not accompanied by a labor presence. What’s more, in some countries, there are literally only a handful of trade unions.


Which is why I will have to redouble my efforts in this new term in office. We need to identify which countries and which multinational corporations we will focus our actions on.


-One thing that should be highlighted is the growing participation in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and in the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)…

-I’m convinced that trade unions need to be involved in every forum where the issues that pertain to them are discussed. The IUF cannot be absent from any of the events organized by the ILO or the UNWTO. We need to participate and use these forums to raise awareness about the problems we face and to give visibility to our legitimate aspirations.


In this sense, we are also lending our support and solidarity to any organizations that face conflicts. An example of this is the IUF and HRCT Committee Mission to Tunisia, where we held a meeting with the participation of several countries from the region who are fighting for democracy and are building a labor movement that will truly represent the interests of workers, breaking with the old structures that are linked to dictatorial processes. The idea for this mission came from the Latin American Regional Office, and it was a way for many of our organizations to present the work we do and the IUF’s capacity for solidarity and activism.


-And now you have also been elected to head the IUF's Latin American Executive Committee…

-That’s right. It’s another challenge I took on at the Conference, which I should add, proved to be one of the best IUF activities I have ever participated in. It was very inspiring to see how the five workshops held were attended by leaders from across the region, who led discussions and participated actively.


It was an example of democratic participation, held in an atmosphere of fraternity, respect and joy. Because despite the many problems faced by our peoples, and despite the widespread injustice and repression, the Regional Office has been growing steadily in numbers and improving its work, and that was evident at the 14th Conference.



Gerardo Iglesias


November 22, 2011






Foto: Giorgio Trucchi




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