USW leaders meet with SOEPU activists in Argentina to strengthen global solidarity

Leaders with the USW traveled to Argentina this month to attend the SOEPU (United Petrochemical Workers and Employees Union) Congress and forge relationships with chemical workers in South America.

USW attendees included International Secretary-Treasurer John Shinn, Carolyn Kazdin (retired from Strategic Campaigns Department), and Local 12075 President and Dow-Dupont North American Labor Council Chair (DNALC) Kent Holsing.

On the first day of the conference, April 8, Shinn was able to provide a report on the state of the chemical sector in North America while Holsing spoke on the DNALC. Activists from Argentina presented reports on the negative effect of President Milei's recent decree on labor law, which will potentially devastate working families, unions, and the country as a whole.

“It is incumbent on all of us to educate our members not just on the situation we experience at home but also about the experiences of workers around the world,” said Shinn. “Corporations have gone global, therefore our movement must be global as well.”

The second day of the conference provided an opportunity for the USW attendees and others to meet with municipal and provincial leaders. They were also presented with a proclamation recognizing the USW’s participation and the importance of the SOEPU and its Congress.

The SOEPU Congress closed with Secretary General Mauricio Brizuela urging delegates to understand the history and importance of labor's struggle, and the fight that is forthcoming to ensure the wellbeing of the union's members and their families.

“This conference was a ringing success for the SOEPU and solidified the importance of solidarity across borders,” said Holsing. “The struggle and challenges that are faced in one country and its unions will be felt and experienced by another country and its unions.”

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