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Corporate power international seminar

1 August, 2018 to 2 August, 2018
09.00 - 17.00
Sercotel Princess Hotel, Sala Los Andes - Panama City
Event type: 
The principal objective of this activity wasto cultivate a broad discussion of the mechanisms that strengthen corporate power while connecting directly to PSI´s global priorities including tax justice, the fight against privatization and free trade agreements.

We wanted to understand the issue of corporate power in a comprehensive manner, analyzing how corporations capture democracy and control public opinion. We aimed to develop this understanding with a view to building coordinated actions that confront corporate power in accordance with the guidelines contained in the PSI Global Action Plan.

The event was held within the scope of the meeting of the Regional Executive Committee of Inter-American PSI (IAMREC), which took place in Panama City between August 1 and 3.




Wednesday, August 1


18:00 Opening remarks

  • PSI Representative
  • FES Representative


18:30 Concentration of corporate power as the common enemy of workers

  • Saskia Sassen, Professor of Sociology at Columbia University
| Unfortunately, the panelist could not participate due to personal problems. In its place, there was the presentation of Gabriel Casnati, coordinator in the ISP of the Tax / Trade project in Latin America. Read his presentation here (Spanish). |
  • Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary PSI


20:00 Welcome dinner at “Las Tinajas” restaurant

Thursday, August 2


9:00 How globalization has amplified corporate power: mechanisms and consequences for workers

  • Tax Justice and Debt. Panelist: Leónce Nidkumana, ICRICT and professor, University of Massachusetts. Read his presentation here (English).
  • Multilateralism failure, new trade agreements and corporations creating their own trade governance. Panelist: Melinda St Louis, Director of International Campaigns, Public Citizen US. Read her presentation here (Spanish).
  • Multinational corporations and human rights violations. Panelist: Berta Zuñiga Cáceres, coordinator with the Consejo Cívico de Organizaciones Populares e Indígenas de Honduras (COPINH). Read her presentation here (Spanish).

11:00 Break


11:15 Successful campaigns against increased corporate power

  • “Stand Up, Fight Back!”, campaign against Chevron tax avoidance in Australia. Panelist: Jason Ward, global strategist CICTAR (via video)
  • Campaign against investment court system (ICS) in Europe. Panelist: Lucile Falgueyrac, coordinator in Seattle to Brussels Network (S2B). Read her presentation here (English).

12:30 Lunch


14:00 Information as power: how data and media concentration act to legitimize corporate supremacy

  • Media oligopolies and the role of alternative press. Panelist: Olivia Bandeira, board of directors, Intervozes Brasil. Read her presentation here (Portuguese).
  • Control of data, social media and the e-commerce giants. Panelist: Burcu Kilic, Legal Counsel in Public Citizen US. Read her presentation here (English)
  • Electoral campaign and ultraconservative groups funded by multinational corporations. Panelist: Lee Fang, The Intercept US. Read his presentation here (English).

15:45 Break 

16:00 Trade unions policy priorities confronting corporate power
  • Daniel Bertossa, PSI Policy & Governance Director. Read his presentation here (English).
  • Gabriel Casnati, PSI Trade/Tax Justice organizer, Latin America
| The panelist made his presentation during the opening table |

17:00 Conclusions and next steps: English / Español

  • Omar Autón, UPCN Argentina / PSI Interamérica co-chair
  • Candice Owley, AFT US / PSI Interamérica co-chair
  • Jocelio Drummond, PSI Interamérica Regional Secretary


Download the program in PDF: EnglishEspañol 

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