Workers of UD CGT13 Bouches du Rhones, of the historic Marseilles
It is a pleasure and an honour to be with you today at the Congress of the Workers of Marseilles. We welcome the presence of delegations from Cuba, Italy, Monaco.
We express our solidarity and support for your great struggles for workers’ rights against the business groups, against the anti-popular policies of the Macron government.
We salute the great, heroic struggle of the workers in the refineries! We salute the strong, unique response of the working class of France against the requisition!
Your action, your response to the treats and the requisition means one thing. You are already victorious!!! Justice is on your side. That’s why the workers of the whole world, the militant unions all over Europe, the forces of the WFTU, all of us, are on your side. That’s why on the day after the requisition in France, the workers in the refineries of Greece near Athens came out with banners at the gate and shouted
“SOUTIEN AUX RAFFINEURS!”
Your struggle is our struggle and that is why we are here with you today!
We are here to say
There is no preventive strike!
There is only workers’ struggle for their rights. And either you support the workers and their struggle, or you support the bosses and their profits…
We were, are and will be with the workers who are fighting. And we will win!!! Because we produce the wealth, not the parasites the capitalists!
We have the power! We have justice on our side!
First of all to convey to you a big thank you from the class unions of Greece, from PAME for your enormous solidarity and support to the struggles of the workers of Greece.
Your messages, your protests and actions, the visits of your delegations, the greeting of the UD CGT 13 Secretary himself, comrade Olivier Matteau on 30 November 2019 at the great workers’ rally in Athens was an important weapon in our struggles, it was a shield against the attacks of governments and employers, but it was also a support to build our victories and successes. Victories such as the recent Collective Agreement of the Construction Workers with 30% increases, the victory of 2000 delivery workers of EFOOD, the 1000 miners of LARCO, the workers of Greece in the struggle against the NAZI-criminals of Golden Dawn and others.
The importance of solidarity, communication, exchange of experience and the development of joint actions and initiatives between the militant trade unions of Europe and the global family of the WFTU becomes more urgent today as we experience the consequences of capitalist development, imperialist competitions and wars such as Russia’s imperialist invasion of Ukraine and the dirty role of the US-NATO-EU.
EU and Governments in the service of the monopolies are leading us to conditions of the Dark Ages, darkness and cold. To poverty, misery, war. They cultivate xenophobia, racism, support neo-Nazi fascists, attack militant trade unions, ban the right to strike. They want workers scared, disappointed, isolated. In this they also use forces within the trade unions, such as the forces of the ETUC, which for years have been cultivating illusions about class cooperation, or for the trade unions themselves become a mechanism of the bourgeois parties to make workers support one or the other camp of our exploiters. So in Greece they told the workers not to fight but to wait for the social democratic party of SYRIZA to vote for them to throw out the memoranda, but SYRIZA brought the 3rd and harsher memorandum. Having no more arguments they talk about choosing the lesser evil. A choice that has always paved the way for a bigger, more violent attack on workers’ rights.
The growth promised by the capitalists is what we are living today. On the one hand, a handful of parasites go on holiday in space, on the other hand billions cannot cover their bills, their rent, their electricity bills. They are preparing us to sacrifice our children in the imperialist wars over who controls the energy roads. They are asking us to choose between imperialist Russia, which arrests and imprisons militants, and the Ukraine of the fascist Azov battalion, of Zelensky, who has banned all trade unions and opposition parties. They have gone so far as to present the US-EU-NATO as defenders of peace. But we do not forget their crimes in Yugoslavia, Syria, Libya, Mali and Yemen. We do not forget that even today they are murdering the children of Palestine. We do not forget that these so-called ‘progressives’ like the Spanish Prime Minister Sanchez who murdered dozens of migrants in Melilla in cold blood.
We do not forget that whoever has been in government in Greece in recent years has turned the Aegean into a graveyard for refugees, built and maintained concentration camps for migrants. They have attacked trade unions, beaten and arrested workers. Every form and shade of government was tried in Greece. The answer is one. ONLY THE PEOPLE WILL SAVE THE PEOPLE.
The workers have the power, we can overthrow them. With organization, with solidarity, with class struggles.
By massing our unions, by isolating the logic of waiting and class cooperation, with daily presence and action in every workplace, with self-sacrifice and selflessness.
Here in the land of the Commune
Here in the country where the WFTU was founded
Here in Marseilles of the great struggle in Gardanne,
Here at the Workers’ Congress, is where Hope is born,
Our future is not to become slaves of the 21st century
Our future is not a new Dark Age
Our future is the struggle to overthrow capitalist barbarism for a society without poverty and wars, where workers are masters of their lives and the wealth we produce.
Long live the UD CGT13 Bouches du Rhones
Long live the International Working Class