NEW! The conference programme
NEW! Code of Conduct - making everyone feel safe and welcome at our conference
You can view and download the code here.
About the Conference
We are pleased to announce that the LabourStart Global Solidarity Conference will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia from 28 - 30 April 2023. The conference is being held in partnership with the Georgian Trade Union Confederation.
The theme of this year's conference is "Trade Union Internationalism Today"
LabourStart has been running Global Solidarity Conferences since 2008. The previous conferences took place in London, Washington, Hamilton (Ontario), Istanbul, Sydney, Berlin and Toronto. The largest of these had 450 participants in Berlin in 2014.
These conferences are open to all trade unionists, usually have a theme and consist of plenary sessions and workshops. These are often generated organically as people suggest topics and speakers in the run-up to the event.
The conferences are not decision-making bodies, and we do not charge people to attend.
We are currently putting together the lists of who will speak at the plenary sessions as well as topics for the workshops for the conference that will open in Tbilisi on 28 April.
Before the conference opens, we invite visitors from abroad to join us for a walking tour of downtown Tbilisi -- with a focus on this city's history and its labour and Social Democratic movements. The tour will start at 14:00 and if you want to participate you MUST sign up here.
OK, but what's the conference really about?
Learn more about how we view this conference here.
This is a partial list of confirmed speakers. We will add more in the coming weeks.
Irakli Petriashvili, President, Georgian Trade Union Confederation
Kirill Buketov, International Union of Foodworkers (IUF)
Kıvanç Eliaçık, Director of International Relations Department for DISK (Turkey)
Eric Lee, Founding Editor of LabourStart
Raisa Liparteliani, Vice President, Georgian Trade Union Confederation
Espen Løken, Political advisor, Industri Energi (Norway)
Lizaveta Merliak, chairperson of the Association Salidarnast e.V. (Belarus)
Kemal Özkan, Assistant General Secretary, IndustriALL,
Khaing Zar Aung, Treasurer, Confederation of Trade Unions Myanmar (CTUM)
This a very partial list. We will add more in the coming weeks. Got an idea for a workshop?Email us to let us know.
Belarus: The struggle for trade union rights
Labour solidarity with Ukraine
The global campaign for trade union rights - with recipients of the Arthur Svensson International Prize for Trade Union Rights
Online campaigning - with unions that have worked with LabourStart in the last year in Philippines, Georgia, Canada, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Lithuania
Workers' struggles in Iran
Rethinking Workers' Education, Reloading Workers' Politics
Building Workers Organisation: Discussion on Trade Unions
Labour Rights in Central Asia: 12 years after Zhanaozen
Organising Palestinian workers in the Israeli labour market (MAAN Workers Association)
Histadrut's project for Palestinian workers (with DGB and LO Sweden)
New! For more practical information about Tbilisi and the conference, please click here to read (and download) a short document prepared by the Georgian Trade Union Confederation.
A good place to begin your trip is the Lonely Planet guide to Tbilisi.
Getting to Tbilisi: There are flights to Tbilisi international airport from all over the world, but very few direct flights. For people travelling from North America or Western Europe, many available flights will stop at Istanbul Airport. Participants are expected to make their own travel arrangements and cover their own costs.
Conference venue: The conference will take place at the Georgian National University SEU -- which is a short walk from the Metro Station "300 Aragveli".
Getting around Tbilisi: Tbilisi can be an inexpensive city to navigate, as the Metro and busses are quite inexpensive. There are also taxis and online car services (like Uber) -- Bolt is one of the better known.
Food: We will provide lunches on Saturday and Sunday at the conference venue, as well as coffee breaks during the day. Participants are expected to make their own arrangements for breakfasts and evening meals. We are currently considering holding one conference evening meal and will update this page.
Visas: Georgia is a relatively accessible country but please do check in advance for visa requirements from your country. If you need a letter of invitation, we can arrange that for you.
COVID: We will update this page with more information when we have it regarding any entry requirements (e.g., proof of a negative test result.)
Where to eat: Our Georgian partners have given us a list of recommended restaurants in the area which you can download here.
There is no need to stay close to the conference venue as it is quite easy to get around Tbilisi, especially by Metro. Taxis and ride services like Bolt are easy and inexpensive (but beware of traffic). Options include AirBNB and various hotel websites-- e.g., hotels.com and booking.com.