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Day Four begins

The first sessions this morning are entitled "Organizing - our common priority" and will feature speakers from Russia, Kyrgyzstan, the USA, Indonesia, Germany and Colombia.

Following the adoption of several resolutions (Sri Lanka, West Bengal, etc. - details to follow), the first speaker was Kirill Buketov from the IUF's Moscow office, who spoke about the challenge of organizing workers in the former Soviet Union.

He was followed by Kumushbek Mambetov, president of the AWU in Kyrgyzstan, who addressed problems faced by his union in the largely rural, mountainous former Soviet republic, where the privatization of agricrulture led to a massive decline in union membership among small farmers.

Mark Lauritsen of the UFCW in North America spoke about the struggles at Smithfield, one of the world's largest meat manufacturers, which seems intent upon exporting its low-wage, anti-union model to Europe.

Adela Torres of SINTRAINAGRO (Colombia) closed the session.

Delegates are now responding and discussing the issues raised.

The second session featured speakers from Germany, Indonesia and North America.

Franz-Josef Mollenberg from NGG (Germany) spoke about NGG's organizing strategy.

Anas Haryanto, president of FSPM (Indonesia) emphasized the key role played by the IUF and international solidarity, which he said were essential to the union's survival and growth.

Bruce Raynor, president of UNITE HERE, talked about organizing hotel workers, private equity, and other issues facing unions in North America and around the world.