Saturday, 18 June 2011

International Trade Union Ties Re-Built


Apologies for the delay in posting a new item since the last but I have recently been on bereavement leave following the tragic news of the death of my brother Weldon Manborde.

Thank you to the many people who have sent messages of condolence - a great help at a difficult time.

My brother sadly passed away I was with students of the MA programme that in Cyprus.

We were being hosted by officers of the Cyprus Workers' Federation (SEK). The trip came in to being as 5 officers of SEK are currently part-time students of the MA.

What I hadn't realised however was that SEK saw the opportunity of the visit as repayment of a long-standing debt to Ruskin, and I am pleased to see the visit as one of the ways of rebuilding the historical ties between the two organisations.

Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 SEK, (see the SEK web-site for more historical information: alongside many other parts of the labour movement, found itself fragmented and struggling as resources and infrastructure were displaced. A number of SEK officers were hosted by Ruskin as a result for 3 months in 1974 which gave the Federation time and scope to consider how it would respond to the partitioning of the island and the weakening of the organisation as a result.

Despite this SEK is now the largest trade union federation on the island and I am proud of the fact that SEK and Ruskin are able to develop a new relationship on the back of support provided to them by Ruskin at a difficult time in the Federation's history.

I send messages of thanks and solidarity to our colleagues in SEK (and I know the MA students had a great time as your guests) and look forward to growth and stability of organised labour on the island.

In Solidarity