Intervention of PAME in WFTU Presidential Council, Tehran, February 27, 2018
Dear Brothers And Sisters Of The Workers’ House Of Iran
On behalf of the class unions of Greece, PAME, we express our solidarity with the workers and the people of Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, of all those who suffer the brutal attack of imperialism.
Dear brothers and sisters,
The WFTU Presidential Council has the privilege to meet in this historic region, the crossroad of the continents, which at the same time is an area where the conflicts of imperialist forces are being expressed. Conflicts aimed at controlling the wealth of the region, its oil, gas, etc., as well as controlling the markets, the transport routes of raw materials and commodities. That is why the USA, NATO, the EU and other imperialist forces have launched wars, interventions, embargoes, and a series of other measures in the region, under the so-called “Great Middle East” plan. A plan that, with hypocrisy and lies about supposedly “defending democracy,” has led to the destruction of many countries in our region. In this context, it is not accidental that the US Government recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It is part of their plan to escalate their intervention, not only against the heroic people of Palestine, but a generalized attack against states and governments in the region. We reaffirm our steadfast position that we support the right of every people to decide themselves on their present and future, without any foreign interventions or threats.
In their pursuit of profit, the imperialists escalate their attack on all fronts. Both in Greece and in Europe and the European Union in general, the governments of the countries support NATO’s plans. They support the militarization of the EU and support interventions in other countries. At the same time, they impose barbaric anti-workers policies within each country, with wage cuts, tax increases to the people, privatizations, but also restrictions on workers’ trade union and democratic rights. Xenophobia, racism and nationalism are systematically cultivated.
More specifically, in Greece, the government of Greece which is self-defined as a “left” and progressive government, has recently proceeded to new wage and pension cuts, it has increased taxes for the people and opened the way for banks and the state to seize and auction the homes of workers who have been drowned by debts. They even legislated a new law to imprison any workers or trade unions who defend workers’ home from the banks. In addition, taking into account that the anti-workers’ policies will continue, and the anger of the people is growing, the Greek government has legislated measures to ban the workers’ right to go on strike, and has sent to trial once more 35 cadres of PAME leadership.
This policy is imposed by the governments of the countries of Europe, with the support of forces inside the trade unions. Forces which cultivate the ideology of class collaboration, of compromise, defeatism and fatalism. Trade unions which accept wage cuts while at the same
time act as puppets of imperialism and call on the imperialists, NATO, to overthrow governments, to bring war and thus create refugees.
This is why we think that the WFTU forces can and must play a very important role. There are many struggles, where the forces of the WFTU not only took part, but they also were at the forefront of the struggle, but they were the heart and the soul of workers’ struggles. But at the same time they had to fight against the undermining, the defeatism, the negative correlation and the obstacles created by the employers and their forces inside the trade unions.
That is why we believe that the Regional Offices and the TUIs of the WFTU have the duty to help more practically, more effectively, not only in monitoring but also in organizing, supporting, coordinating and developing the struggles of the workers of each country. That is why it is important to have a good picture of each industry, the developments in them and of the major monopolies in each case. It is necessary for Regional Offices to play a role in coordinating trade unions in the regions. Similarly, TUIs should raise the issue of fighting demands in each sector, to strengthen information among the unions. We must take steps in order for the struggles of a factory, an area to become an issue for the whole industry, of the particular monopoly group, of the whole region.
Regional Offices and TUIs have a key duty to work more decisively and with a good plan to win over unions from the other forces and integrate them into the lines of the WFTU. That is why we need to take initiatives for all workers’ issues. To strengthen the confrontation with the forces of the ITUC. To inform the workers about the actions and the decisions, the documents of the WFTU. This discussion should reach the workers, in the workplaces and help them to distinguish the two lines that exist in the international trade union movement, to reveal the line of class cooperation and to strengthen the presence and class orientation of the WFTU inside the factories and industries. This action and militant interventions with the positions and decisions of the WFTU will lead to the strengthening of the WFTU with new forces.
We think that the action plan and the proposals of the WFTU Secretariat are in this direction and we will support them with all our strength.
In this context, PAME, the class unions of Greece have taken a number of initiatives. On the one hand, we launched a major campaign against the imperialist plans under the slogan “We fight for a world without exploitation, wars, refugees”. A campaign that climaxed with a rally of thousands of workers from all over Greece against NATO bases in Greece. At the same time with international trade union meetings in Greece and in Brussels, in the European Parliament, where trade unions from many countries of the region made an important step of cooperation and resistance. Due to the developments, we think that this task should be supported and we will continue in this direction and we are planning to take new initiatives.
Also, we want to note that unions and thousands of Greek workers joined their voices with the International Campaign of the WFTU Youth Committee to” FREE Ahed Tamimi-FREE Palestine”, while a PAME delegation visited the Tamimi family in Palestine and expressed our support and solidarity.
But at the same time, class unions of Greece played a leading role in the daily struggles of workers for Collective Agreements with better wages and to block the anti-worker measures, to defend the right to strike. We achieved, in some cases to sign contracts, while we revealed the Government’s antiworkers’ plans and delayed some of their measures.
We continue the struggle! With optimism and determination, with faith in the justice of workers’ struggle against imperialism and exploitation.
THE PEOPLES WILL WIN! – LONG LIVE THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING CLASS!
LONG LIVE THE WFTU!