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Tobias Baudin talar på internationell konferens om kvinnors ekonomiska egenmakt

Citat av Tobias Baudin.
Foto: Fredrik Sandin Carlson.
2021-06-10
Torsdagen den 10 juni håller förbundsordförande Tobias Baudin ett inledningstal på Organisationen för säkerhet och samarbete i Europas (OSSE) konferens på temat ”kvinnors ekonomiska egenmakt”. Talet kommer ta upp vikten av att investera i välfärden – och välfärdens personal.

Organisationen för säkerhet och samarbete i Europas (OSSE) är en organisation som arbetar med att förebygga och förhindra krig mellan de europeiska staterna. De arbetar också för att främja ekonomiskt samarbete och att slå vakt om mänskliga rättigheter, demokrati och rättsstatens principer i de olika medlemsländerna.

Under 2021 är det Sverige som är ordförande för OSSE. Det innebär bland annat att Sverige står som värd under ett flertal konferenser som handlar om de områden som OSSE arbetar med. 

Under torsdagen den 10 juni håller OSSE en konferens på temat ”kvinnors ekonomiska egenmakt” där Kommunals förbundsordförande Tobias Baudin har blivit inbjuden att inledningstala tillsammans med bland annat utrikeshandelsministern Anna Hallberg. 

I Tobias Baudins tal kommer han lyfta det makalösa arbete som medlemmarna i Kommunal utfört under coronapandemin (och innan). Han kommer även i sitt tal uppmana OSSE:s medlemsländer att framöver på allvar investera i välfärden.

Talet i sin helhet på engelska 

Your excellencies, Secretary-General, Ambassadors,

Distinguished participants,

it is an honour to speak before you here today.

First, I want to express my sympathy to everyone who has lost a loved one to Covid 19.

I am the President of Kommunal, a blue-collar union organising over 500 000 of Sweden’s welfare workers. Over 80 percent are women.

In the spring of 2020, the world came to a stand-still. And as I know you all remember: Everyone held their breath. In March, the World Health organization stated Covid-19 a pandemic. 

And the streets emptied. Flights and trains connecting people and the world, were canceled. Cultural events were closed. The Swedish hockey-league was canceled. When my team, Luleå hockey, had the chance to win the title! And everyone who could – everyone who was not essential to our basic needs as a society – were told to stay at home. 

But not the members of Kommunal.

Not the assistant nurses at intensive care units or in the elderly care service. Not the child-care workers, the janitors or bus drivers. Not the firefighters or ambulance attendants.

They were all essential to all of us. Everyone was needed on site.
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I am as proud of the great efforts from the skilled, professional members of Kommunal during the pandemic as I was before Covid-19. 

And will be the day the pandemic is over.

But I am glad – which is strange to say I guess – that Covid-19 turned the spotlight on the importance of the work, as well as the skills demanded, of the welfare-workers in health- and elderly care. 

I’m certain I speak for everyone when I claim they have gotten too little attention – for years.
 
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Distinguished participants,

If there is anything positive to come from the Corona-pandemic let it be that we keep the spotlight on the essential welfare services. 
On the gap between expectations and resources and working conditions and outcome.

And in this context, I have a message I’d like to share with you:

As a union leader the fight for higher salaries and better working conditions is the essence in everything I do.

Today I argue that this is as important to you as it is to me.

Not just because it would be the right thing to do.  Not just because they deserve it. (Which they do.)

But because this is a fundamental question of what kind of society you want. 

What quality do the elderly, the sick and our children deserve? What do they have the right to expect from us as a society? 

And what are we ready to invest to make that come true?

So do take the time and consider: How can you contribute to enhancing the working conditions for the workers, a vast majority being women, doing the essential welfare work in our societies?

And do remember that the working conditions will decide the quality of care the society you live in will be able to deliver.

To me this is part of a bigger issue: this is the key to a future built on trust – a stable, secure and sustainable future. 

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Friends,

The core of the homework given to us by Covid-19 is to respect and value the contribution from the ‘essential workers’. 

This, in turn, demands long-term investments in our welfare systems and the skilled people – or women actually – who turn them into practice.

And if we are up to the challenge – we can make real change come true. And strengthen the cohesion in society. Building a better future – for all.

Thank You.