Speech of H.Mahadevan, WFTU Deputy General Secretary, at the Congress of GSEE, Rhodes, Greece 16-18 March 2016
Dear friends and comrades, brothers & sisters,
On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions I convey my best wishes and fraternal greetings to your important Congress for its resounding success in fully protecting all interest of the Working Class of Greece.
I come from India, as I represent the All India Trade Union Congress –AITUC- which has 14 million (14.000.000) members and democratic as yours, and this year celebrated 95 years since its foundation in 1920. AITUC is the mother of the trade union movement in India since it was the first national level trade union Organization of the working class in India. AITUC is also a founding member of the WFTU. There in the founding Congress of the WFTU in Paris in 1945 it was for the first time that AITUC and GSEE leaders met since both our Organizations played a decisive role in the 1st World Trade Union Congress.
With these few words I want to share with you about our proud and worthfull, exemplary history of the past.
Today, the WFTU reaffirms and expresses its solidarity and proletarian internationalism towards the working class, our class allies, the poor farmers, the youth besides in particular the people of Greece who are under the anti-labour onslaught orchestrated by the IMF, the European Union, the Greek Governments and the bourgeoisie of Greece.
A few days ago, a delegation of WFTU including me from many countries visited the Farmers Blockade of Nicaea. We were directly informed about the attacks you have experienced on account of the privatization of the ports, due to the salary-cuts, by the pension-cuts and so on. We are fully informed about the adverse attack of the so called Left Government against the various Social security measures and against the public social security funds. This Government has been continuing the anti workers measures of the previous ones is targeting the rights of the poor and middle class strata. They target the rights of the younger generation, who would be the future of the nation, They target the trade union and democratic freedoms in several direct and insidious ways. And alas, they target the Right to Strike which is a fundamental Right of the Working Class.
Dear friends and comrades,
On behalf of the WFTU, allow me to congratulate the common Greek men and women in the islands and cities of Greece who show such humanitarianism, such great feelings of solidarity and sympathy to the refugees and migrant workers. For the class-oriented trade union movement it is clear that the European Union, the USA and their allies are just hypocrates. They pretend to care about the migrants and refugees while they are the ones who drove them to abandon their homelands because of the imperialist intervention and wars. The refugees and migrants abandon their homes by force because of the bombs, the deaths, the rapes that are utilized to form new boarders, new markets, new targets of control. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Mali, amongst others, fully experienced the imperialist barbarity and the consequences of the imperialist competitiveness which ultimately draw them to the present unacceptable inhuman situation.
Our position is that all foreign armies must leave the territory; that the NATO to be dissolved. The people should decide by themselves, freely and democratically their present and future.
Friends, comrades and contemporaries,
In our country in India the problems for the toiling people are multifarious. Unemployment, poverty, souring prices of essential goods, homelessness. 200 thousand (200.000) are the suicides of poor farmers and indebted agricultural people in India. Against this situation we organized many united struggles. Most recently, the great general strike organized along with other trade unions on 2nd September 2015 wherein around the country more than 170 million (170.000.000) working people participated in India.
A few days ago on the 26-28 February, my premier Organization of the Indian working class, AITUC held its National Congress in the city of Coimbatore in South India. 3 thousand (3.000) elected delegates from the lengths and breadths of our country representing 14 million members participated. In this Congress we had the proud privilege and joy of having amongst us the General Secretary of the WFTU, comrade George Mavrikos who was previously General Secretary of GSEE. We were immensely inspired by the participation of the General Secretary of WFTU.
Beloved Friends and comrades,
The militant trade union movement around the world is closely following your consistent struggle which is historic and forerunner to the other movements world over . We importunate upon you to continue this pride and decisiveness. Your struggle and the resistance of the Greek people against the policies of the capitalists under the neoliberal globalization policies and of the bourgeoisie inspires us with courage, impells to march forward.
We wish you all the best to your historic Congress and your glorious struggles. We will continue to be on your side.