PAME Speech at the 22nd Congress of UD CGT Val De Marne France

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PAME Speech at the 22nd Congress of UD CGT Val De Marne France, May 2024

 Nikolas Theodorakis, PAME Secretariat

Dear comrades

PAME feels a great honour to be in Paris today, with our comrades of the UD CGT Val de Marne with whom we have developed in recent years fraternal, comradely relations, relations of solidarity and support in our struggles against the common enemy, against the monopolies, the governments and the mechanisms that serve them.

It is a great honour for us today to be at your Congress, after the great, huge mobilisations that preceded last year against the anti-workers’ policy of the Macron government. Mobilisations in which PAME has been there again and again to support them.

While at the same time, let me note, it was in the big strikes that PAME was with you here in Paris and other cities in France, at the same time in Athens thousands were demonstrating outside the French Embassy. While similar mobilisations were held in many cities in Greece and around the world by the WFTU unions.

Also, as a sign of solidarity, PAME carried the militant message of the French workers with a huge rally on 1 May in Athens with the participation of a large delegation of French trade unionists.

At the same time we want to thank you for your support to the struggles and actions of the workers of Greece.

Before, during and after the pandemic, you were at our side whenever we needed you. Whether at our congress, at international meetings, or with messages of solidarity in our major mobilizations.

In recent years in Greece, we have organized huge strike mobilizations. We managed to found new, mass unions in the ghetto spaces of multinationals such as the Chinese COSCO, the French Teleperformance, in Pfizer, etc. With a firm orientation in the organization of workers, in the demand for increases and contracts, in conditions where labour law in Greece has been dismantled and collective bargaining is practically non-existent, we managed to sign Collective Agreements in a number of areas and sectors with significant increases.

e.g. builders 20-30% increases, shipbuilding 10% + additional settlements, etc.

At the same time, we tried in every way to support our brothers and sisters, workers from other countries. Last year, after the devastating earthquake in Turkey, PAME was the first trade union organisation abroad to reach the earthquake-affected areas to deliver material aid into the hands of the workers in the region. Within a few days more than 100 tons of food, medicine, etc. were collected from all over Greece and travelled from Europe to Asia, making solidarity a reality, just as you here a few days later supported the earthquake-stricken people of Morocco.

Dear comrades

Our fraternal relations are strong, but unfortunately developments are forcing us to focus on something more important.

As we speak, our peoples are witnessing a genocide in live television. The greatest crime of the 21st century. The Murderer State of Israel, with the support of the US-NATO-EU and governments, is murdering an entire people. That is why from here, from your Congress, we say again and clearly FREE PALESTINE! FREE PALESTINE!

The conclusion is one. The workers, the peoples of the whole world, every union in every country, we have two choices before us.

With capitalism, with imperialism of even greater poverty, misery, wars or with its workers and the peoples of Cuba, Palestine, with the workers who are fighting for their lives and their future.

This is not a rhetorical question.

At the recent Qatar World Cup, unions around the world mobilized and denounced the conditions and mass killings of workers. At the same time, the ETUC and ITUC Secretary was funded to say that everything is beautiful.

While the workers of France had been on strike for so many months, the President of the ETUC, that is, the President of the CFDT, was calling for “social dialogue” and speaking out against the striking workers.

In Greece last month, with 2 national strikes involving millions of people, the only ones who opposed it were the member organisations of the ETUC, the GSEE and ADEDY.

At the time when masses of workers are mobilising all over the world and in Europe, the ETUC is trying to turn their anger and indignation into a vote for the European social democracy that for so many years has been promoting anti-worker policies in every country. ETUC even proceeding with a campaign of advertising and embellishment of the EU.

But we, the class unions in Greece and all over the world, do not want workers to support the representatives of their exploiters and leave their fate in the hands of others.

We call on workers to organise in the unions and fight against the class enemy, without dividing workers based on religion, race, gender etc. against racism and xenophobia. And that is why we do not accept to divide workers and unions into “democratic” or not based on whether they are supporters of the USA. But we strengthen the struggle with the workers of the whole world against US-NATO-EU imperialism.

Comrades, last year you fought a great, a huge struggle against the Macron pension reform. A historic and just struggle

The pension reform may have been voted, but your struggle leaves a huge legacy.

The struggle has shown the injustice and the anti-labour nature of this law, which has never been legitimised in the consciences of workers.

But at the same time, your struggle has brought back the power of the organised working class, the power of the workers’ strike and the class struggle. This legacy is the strength that will lead us to new victories.

Today thousands of students in Greece, in the US, all over the world who last year saw you and were taught by your struggle the importance of fighting for what is right, are today demonstrating for Palestine against intimidation and repression.

Millions of workers around the world, many of whom had lost faith in organized struggle, this year have themselves gone on strike across continents also by your example.

All those who last year shouted VICTORY TO THE WORKERS OF FRANCE

Today we shout louder



We take the baton from your struggles




Long Live the Congress of UD CGT Val De Marne

Long the International Working Class


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