The General Assembly of PANARTES was held on November 13 in Mexico City. PANARTES brings together affiliates in the UNI Americas region in media, entertainment and the arts. This growing community of unions from the Caribbean, Latin America, the United States and Canada has now 35 member organisations representing more than 180 000 workers.
The Assembly reviewed the actions over the last four years that saw an increase in membership, strong cooperation between FIA and UNI and the implementation of impactful peer-to-peer union capacity building programmes on organising, collective bargaining and equality. The sector’s strategic plan put a focus on Colombia where a breakthrough has been achieved with the growth of unions in both broadcasting and film & TV production.
Miguel Ángel Paniagua – Secretary General of the Argentinean Union for Entertainment Workers (SUTEP) and Secretary General of the Argentine Confederation of Entertainment Workers (CATE) – was unanimously elected as President for the next four years.
“For SUTEP and for me personally, the confidence expressed by the delegates of PANARTES in electing me as President is a great honour and gratification. I am committed to undertake my best efforts to reach the expectations and I am looking forward to work with all affiliates and the Secretariat. I especially would like to thank our colleagues of SITATYR for being an exceptional host and for making the meeting a success. I would like to recognise the strong support of Secretary General, Professor Patricio Flores Sandoval and his entire Executive Committee”, said President Paniagua.
There is no doubt that PANARTES will continue growing, strengthening union representation and action. At the same time, all affiliates are very much concerned with the impact of political instability and the new wave of populism, acts of suppression and of violence that is sweeping through the region. The testimonies of colleagues from Chile describing the horror of the violence of police forces against the democracy movement, citizens and media workers were terrifying but also a sign of courage, resilience and hope. PANARTES and UNI will support the democratic movements and campaigns of trade union colleagues in any way our community can.
The Assembly issued statements in support of colleagues in Chile and Brazil. Together with its sister organisation FIA, participants adopted a joint declaration that stresses the commitment of the two organisations to further develop the cooperation in the region.
The newly elected PANARTES Executive Committee will meet in summer of next year to review reshape UNI MEI’s the action plan in the Americas ahead of the UNI Americas Conference, Fortaleza, 4-6 December 2020.
“I am increasingly proud for my union to belong to UNI Global Union. Our global community is driven by a mutual endeavour to fight for decent work and protect workers’ rights around the world. Together, we are striving for equal opportunities, fostering cultural diversity and fighting against discrimination in all its forms, in search of social justice ”, President Paniagua stressed.
Paniagua also extended his thanks to the team of UNI Americas & UNI MEI, Richard Polaček (UNI MEI Coordinator) and Alan Sable (Regional Director of Trade Unionization of UNI Americas and UNI MEI) as well as UNI MEI’s head, Johannes Studinger who have been stepping up the sectors work over the past four years working closely with affiliates.