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Global trade union leaders condemn ‘horrendous’ Somalia bombing

NAIROBI – There has been widespread condemnation in the international trade union movement of the deadliest terror attack in Mogadishu that killed more than 300 people.

The scale and horror of the attack has led the International Trade Unions Confederation (ITUC) to strongly condemned “truck bomb attack, believed to be the responsibility of fundamentalist terror group Al Shabaab, which killed over 300 people and injured hundreds more.”

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said “all acts of terrorism are an attack to our values of democracy, freedom and peace. As a leader of the International trade union movement, I express my determination to maintain the fight for democratic rights and freedoms”.

Leaders of International labour movement have thrown their weight behind

umbrella workers’ body in Somalia – Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU).

“I express full admiration for the rapid response of FESTU, especially given the harassment and oppression your movement has suffered at the hands of the government, which demonstrates how the Somali trade union movement is strong and committed to the values of freedom and solidarity” said Burrow.

On behalf of the British trade union movement – TUC, Frances O’Grady expressed sympathy, condolences and solidarity after the terrible atrocity in Mogadishu this weekend. “I was horrified to hear about the scale of the devastation and loss of life, but full of admiration for the response of FESTU, especially given the harassment and oppression your movement has suffered at the hands of the government” she said in a letter addressed to the General Secretary of FESTU Omar Faruk Osman.

The British union leader affirmed in her letter to FESTU “we reiterate our support and solidarity for the Somali trade union movement, its members and its leaders …..we salute your bravery and commitment”.

Scandinavian trade unions have rallied behind Somali workers and condemned the attack, and expressed their solidarity to FESTU. Leaders of Swedish trade unions confederation (LO-Sweden) who are known to be very close to Somali trade unions were “all shocked by this massacre in Mogadishu” while Danish trade unions confederation (LO-Denmark) president Lizette Risgaard condemned this terror attack.

Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO-Norway) conveyed deapest condolences to the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU) and the families of the people who died when a massive bomb exploded in Mogadishu. LO-Norway said it “stands with FESTU in this time of bereavement and pledged our support that the extremists who is responsible for this horrible crime will be brought before a judicial system”.

Ragnhild Lied, president of Norwegian national trade union center (Unio) similarly expressed sympathy, condolences and solidarity after the horrific massacre in Mogadishu.

General Secretary of Council of Nordic trade unions Magnus Gissler has condemned the horror of the events and the attack against innocent people in Mogadishu on the 14th of October, adding: “We stand together with the Federation of Somali Trade Unions, FESTU, in your trying time in the fight for democracy, peace, social rights, and decent jobs and living conditions for all – it is the best protection against social unrest and violence.”

The Italian trade unions confederation (CGIL) said they stand close to Somali people and workers in such a tragic moment, and conveyed to FESTU members and to the relatives of the victims the Italian workers’ feelings of sorrow and sympathy. CISL – Confederation of Italian Workers’ Trade Unions – expressed their sincere condolences and feelings of brotherhood to Somali workers.

The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-

Africa) conveyed “its profound condolences, through FESTU, to the families that have lost loved ones and to the people of Somalia as well as FESTU members on account of

Saturday 14th October 2017 terrorist attack in Mogadishu.”

“This attack is not only cowardly, revolting and sickening; but also amounts to sheer criminality without any conscience whatsoever. We condemn it and once again ask that the international community come together to effectively tame terror. We salute FESTU for a swift and effective response as exemplified in the resolve, character and show of strength in your statement to this mindless massacre” said Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, ITUC-Africa General Secretary.

In a message of solidarity to FESTU, Laurent Berger, head of French Democratic Confederation of Labour – CFDT, condemned this attack, which killed more than 300 people and injured several hundred people, adding “The trade union movement represented by FESTU defends human equality, regardless of ethnicity, solidarity, democracy, independence and civil peace”. Berger said “we stand in solidarity with the Federation of Somali Trade Unions in your struggle for democracy, peace, social rights and decent jobs.”

On behalf of European trade unions, Luca Visentini, General Secretary of European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC) said “We are shocked for what happened in Mogadishu and we are close to victims, their families and all workers who helped to face this emergency. We condemn any kind of violence and terrorist action, and will continue fighting for defending human rights and democratic values.”

President of Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), Hassan Yussuff, expressed – on behalf of more than 3 million members – solidarity and support to FESTU leaders and members. “The work of trade unions to champion human rights, dignity and solidarity must prevail over these cowardly and hateful acts of senseless violence” said Yussuff.

The National Confederation of Workers of Senegal (CNTS) said they have followed with “amazement and great consternation the cowardly and barbaric terrorist attack”. Mody Guiro, CNTS General Secretary, expressed full solidarity to FESTU for this difficult time.

Ghanaian, Rwandan, South African, Brazilian and Swiss national trade union confederations have  also joined those speaking out against deadly terror attack and expressed their solidarity to FESTU and Somali nation in this time of sorrow.


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