First and foremost, I would like to express my gratitude to the Progressive International and UNI Global Union for organizing this inspiring and essential gathering. I wish I could have been there in Manchester with all of you at the historic Mechanics' Institute, where the TUC was founded in 1868.
I'd also like to extend my greetings to Bernie, Andrea, Paul, Christy, David, Zarah, Kim, and the many others who have made this event possible.
In a time when uncertainty defines our era, amid a profound shift in the paradigm, it is crucial that we strengthen international alliances among progressives, think and act with a global perspective to provide certainty and more rights.
I have long emphasized the need to build a democratic international that prioritizes the interests of working people over the privileges of those who have traditionally held power in our countries. This democratic international must, above all, be a labor-centric international, with trade unionism as the engine of change and labor rights at its core.
In recent months and years, we have witnessed a resurgence in the struggles of working people. We have seen new forms of organization and innovative approaches to asserting both new and long-standing labor rights. For example, your campaign on Black Friday that unites Amazon workers worldwide in a global fight for their rights. Today, the labor movement, in all its forms, is more necessary than ever. Labor, environmentalism, and feminism now demonstrate that the fights for decent work, gender equality, and a sustainable planet are one and the same.
In my own country, unions have always been indispensable. Spanish democracy would not be conceivable without the contributions of trade unions and the labor movement, without the aspirations and struggles of working people. Democratic rights cannot be separated from labor rights. Over four decades of democracy cannot be understood without figures like Marcelino Camacho, Nicolás Redondo, and countless others committed to the fight for democracy and labor rights.
Today, we find ourselves, as in many historical moments, in a conflict over who bears the costs of inflation, a conflict between profits and wages, a conflict over time and its free use, between the greed of a few and the possibility of a dignified life for the majority. This issue is not exclusive to Amazon; it extends much further.
That's why it's crucial to raise our voices and demand things that, though uncommon, are common sense: that large companies respect human rights and the communities where their workers operate; that they pay their fair share; and that they contribute more effectively to the primary challenge facing humanity today, the climate emergency and its solution through a just green transition with rights, a green transition that is social. With an eye on the Global South, which has endured extractive policies and resource exploitation.
In our country, after decades of counter-reforms, often to the detriment of workers, we have shown that labor law can serve the well-being of people, not the profit of a few. Our Labor Reform and pioneering Rider Law are examples of this. With one foot in workplaces and the other in the Council of Ministers, one in the streets and the other in institutions, we have demonstrated that things can be done differently. We have told those who insisted on stripping their workers of protection that no one is above the law, and that we all must contribute to the construction of fair, equal, and sustainable societies.
We have done this with dialogue and patience, but also with great determination.
Now, we must stretch our imagination and explore new ways to fund an ecologically democratic and fair plan, one in which Amazon and many other corporations genuinely contribute. Let's consider, for instance, the climate tax on the wealthiest proposed by Chancel and Piketty, a tax on the extraordinary profits of the fossil fuel industry, as advocated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, or even a global wealth tax that can take various forms.
Let's continue to think about new alternatives, develop them, and work together, including social movements, unions, political forces, and yes, governments, to push in the right direction.
In conclusion, let's keep building that labor-centric international I mentioned.
Thank you once again for the invitation. I am confident we will meet again very soon.
Yolanda Díaz is Spain's Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor.