70 Years of the WFTU
The EUROF of the WFTU holds its meeting a few days before the 70 year anniversary of the WFTU, on October 3rd, 1945. A historical anniversary honored by millions of workers around the world in a militant way and in the great event that will be organized by our organization in Sao Paulo. The big internationalist event with the people and the workers of Syria will also take place in the next days with the participation of more than 150 trade unionists from around the world.
The organization of our Meeting in Prague is very special at this anniversary, where the headquarters of the WFTU had been for many years. For this reason on behalf of PAME we would like to thank our comrades of the OSCMS both for their hospitality and for their hard work for the preparation of our meeting.
PAME has already made a great internationalist event on April 26 in Greece, with the participation of thousands of workers and foreign delegations, where the General Secretary of the WFTU and the General Secretary of the Confederation of Vietnam saluted. Many other events were also held and more are planned to be held by organizations, trade unions, federations which are in the lines of PAME.
The phenomenon of refugees
At the same time, we meet in a period that a painful phenomenon of capitalist barbarism dominates. The phenomenon of migration, refugees, human trafficking nets, the drownings, inhumane living conditions are the results of the brutal policies imposed by the USA, E.U., NATO that intervene and wage wars to secure the profits of the monopolies. On the one hand they train and equip forces like the ISIS to promote their plans and on the other hand they block the borders, they increase the refugee prevention measures resulting in the daily mourning of human lives and children becoming victims of the brutality of imperialism.
We become witnesses of the hypocrisy, the lies and the attempts to hide the real responsibles. We see the murderers shed fake tears. The imperialists, leaders of the EU speaking with pain for the refugees their policies have created.
A policy that creates racism, xenophobia, and fascist -nazi parties like the Golden Dawn in Greece, the League of the North in Italy, Pegida in Germany and also the far right wing governments, like in Hungary. For this situation great are the responsibilities political forces-like the so called “left” government of SYRIZA in Greece- that supported, imposed and continue to put in practice the EU policy for migration and refugees, the Dublin Regulations and Schengen Treaty. Forces that speak of solidarity to the refugees but at the same time support the imperialist interventions in the Middle East and Ukraine; they uproot thousands from their homes.
Faced with the escalation of the refugees’ issue the duty of the class trade unions is of course to provide whatever help they can. PAME has already taken initiatives of solidarity in this direction. At the same time, however, we have the duty to reveal those responsible, to reveal the hypocrisy of NATO, EU and USA. To show the results of the so called Arab Spring
On the situation in Greece
The developments in Greece are complex and in a limited time there were many events that can help us draw conclusions for the European Trade Union movement. Trying to give some key points we have to highlight that peoples’ consciousness was influenced by the non-massive trade union organization of the working class, the extreme growth of the number of the unemployed and the cultivation of the “lesser evil” position, which was promoted by the forces of the employers’ trade unionism eg to accept wage cuts so as to avoid lay offs. All these were utilized so as to impose the majority of the anti workers measures, the memoranda and lead to drastic deterioration of the living standards of the working class.
The big capital in Greece, along with the media and its political servants lead people’s anger to painless paths. They called for demonstrations away from the workplaces, using slogans against “Corruption”, against “Merkel” in favor of a “good and democratic” EU. Such demonstrations promoted, on one hand the opportunist SYRIZA and on the other hand the fascist Golden Dawn. Common ground of the arguments they cultivated was that the problems of the people were created by the memoranda and using the Elections, under another, “honest” and “patriotic” political party, Greece would return to the pre-crisis conditions. Under this illusion dominated a feeling of waiting, blocked workers’ forces. The employers’ were destroying wages and rights and the workers were waiting of a new government which would give them back what was lost.
Before the election of SYRIZA in January, its forces in the trade unions spoke of supporting the participation of Greece in the imperialist EU and called the workers to wait to elect a new government, to suspend their daily struggles and wait for the elections to solve their problems. After the elections they called the workers to surrender their demands and support the Government of SYRIZA in its negotiations.
The elections of January resulted in coalition Government between SYRIZA, which had transformed into a clear bourgeois, social democratic party and the far right-racist party of ANEL. It is characteristic that the “new” government of SYRIZA was formed with the participation by 1/3 of former ministers and leaders of the previous pro-memoranda governments, of both social democrats and conservatives. From day one it positioned itself in support of the imperialist EU and NATO. It voted the extension of the Memorandum 2, in favor of the EU’s support to the fascist Kiev Government. It upgraded the political, financial and more importantly military cooperation with the state of Israel. It gave 500 million Euros for NATO armaments, when the Greek people are starving.
The negotiations of the Greek government with the Troika aimed to defending the Greek capital and not the people. That is why they resulted in the 3rd memorandum of SYRIZA, which crashes the Greek people.
It raises taxation to the people
It destroys social security
It raises retirement age limits
It cuts pensions
It liberates massive lay offs
It legalizes lock out
It illegalizes the reestablishments of the rights and salaries of workers and aims to attack trade union rights and freedoms, to make strikes illegal
The developments in Greece confirm that the EU is not and cannot become pro-people. The contradictions and conflicts inside it are about which kind of policy serves better, which capitalist forces. On the other side, in spite of their conflicts, they agree that to raise the profits of the capitalist corporations demands unstoppable attack against the workers of all countries. The workers of Europe and of Greece must draw conclusions that within capitalist, competitiveness and the EU we will never be able to live as we should. As capitalism rots and the need for profits will grow, the attack against the peoples will escalate with antiworkers’ measures, with imperialist wars and conflicts.
The developments confirm completely PAME’s positions, which warned the working class not to be fooled by the false dilemmas. Not to raise foreign flags.
What did we say? That within the imperialist EU there is no place for solutions in favor of the workers, without conflict with the monopolies. Today’s developments confirm our position. They are a response to the positions and the arguments of the capitalists, the EU and the GSEE.
What were the positions of the GSEE-positions that were supported and promoted by the ETUC-?
The said that the trade unions should rally with the political forces-of the capital- so as to achieve better result in the negotiations!
To accept the proposals-measures of the Troika for a new memorandum and vote YES in the referendum so as Greece to remain in the EU
In reality the GSEE applauded the common line of liberals, social democrats, far rights, and so called “left” who voted all together in the parliament the 3rd Memorandum and now go to elections to have a Government that will impose without delays the new antiworkers; measures.
In the same direction the Union of Greek Industrialists stated that it will support with all its forces the work of the SYRIZA government and the other political forces to impose the new anti workers’ measures of the 3rd memorandum.
That is why we need to strengthen the emancipation from the parties of the capital, the business interests, the EU, the capitalist path of development. In this line, the working class must go, using the experience of all this time.
We are facing developments that are at the expense of the working class and the popular strata. Especially with the adoption by the government of SYRIZA – ANEL, ND, and POTAME of the 3rd Memorandum and what it includes.
These developments should trouble us and draw the conclusion that it is not possible to have trade union forces to support anti-worker governments, as we have seen take place in a series of countries with Solidarity rallies to Greece, which were in essence in support the of anti-labor government of Tsipras who brought the 3rd and worst memorandum. To support governments which are signing memorandums, attack the people, attack workers demonstrations with violence.
The bourgeoisie is concerned and about the international developments. The capitalist crisis strengthens (China etc.) Antagonisms are reinforced. All the business groups, the government, the parties, the EU care about is to ensure conditions for the implementation of the Memorandum. So we need to work to create the conditions for the rise of the class struggle.
Our planning, our action, should prioritize the organization of the working class in order to strengthen the struggle against the new barbaric attack. To strengthen the hope, the fighting spirit, determination, militancy. Because our work will be a weapon for the next day. The elections will not stop the situation in the economy, the effects of the capitalist crisis, the escalation of the problems that will come with the implementation of old and new measures. We prepare our class for hard struggles, for escalation of the conflict and strengthening the fight against the anti-popular policy, and the forces of capital. We will fight with tooth and nail, to put obstacles in the implementation of the new measures.
Moreover, immediately after the elections and with no delays we put forward the preparation of massive-nationwide strike response from all sectors, when the new government will want to proceed with the implementation of the Memorandum or will be bringing the prerequisite measures. In this direction we organize the fight, utilizing all forms, rallies, marches and a nationwide demonstration.
Honoring and utilizing the great experience and militant,
Internationalist action of the 70 years of WFTU
Stepping forward to the 17th trade union congress
With solid, steady, daily, militant action and class perspective
September 10, 2015