Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Pictures from the recent strike of Greek workers

The mass militant strike demonstration of the All-workers’ Militant Front (PAME) sent a resounding message for the escalation of the struggle over the collective bargaining agreements and against the anti-people political line on Wednesday 20th of February in over 70 towns in the country, in the framework of the 24hr general strike.

PAME’s strike demonstration in the centre of Athens was magnificent, in which a delegation for the farmers’ blockades participated with the banner of the All-farmers’ Militant Rally (PASY) and 2 tractors.

Separate contingents of the Nationwide anti-monopoly rally of the self-employed, shopkeepers, small retailers (PASEVE), the Students’ Struggle Front (MAS), the Federation of Greek Women (OGE) also participated in the demonstrations of PAME and PASY.

There was a mass strike demonstration in Thessalonica, while in Piraeus the march ended in the port, where the striking seamen were abolishing in practice the banning of their strike and civil mobilization and were on the picket lines on the ships’ ramps.

Speeches at the Strike Demonstrations

Giorgos Perros, member of the executive secretariat of PAME, speaking at the Front’s strike demonstration in Omonia, saluted the mobilizations of the militant farmers and characterised the battle for the signing of a National and sectoral bargaining agreements as a major confrontation, stressing the need for the discussion to be initiated in a more decisive way in every workplace. He called for an escalation of the struggle, castigating the state violence, while he warned the multinationals-government and their supporters in the media not to dare to move forward with their plans to ban the right to strike.

Joaquin Romero, Vice-president of the WFTU and president of the Metalworkers Federation of Colombia, a representative of the farmers from the Nikaia blockade, as well as a representative of PASEVE addressed greetings at the strike demonstration.

Afterwards there was a magnificent march through the central streets of Athens, which ended in front of the Parliament.


A large delegation of the KKE, headed by Aleka Papariga, GS of the CC of the KKE, attended PAME’s strike demonstration. In the statements she made in Omonia, she underlined that: “The working people who are suffering must take a decision. To discover their strength and advance combatively, towards the rupture and overthrow, to the very end. Otherwise they will find themselves trapped against the wall.”

She noted in relation to the assault on the trade-unionist of PAME in the Lavrio region by members of the fascist “Golden Dawn”: “Golden Dawn is the Nazi hit squad of the system. And in this sense, it is of service to all those who wish to maintain this political line and to move forwards against the people. We denounce the assault against the trade-union cadre of PAME in the Lavrio region, an assault which is not of course unique and the people must finally teach Golden Dawn a lesson. They must socially isolate them, so that they cannot be found amongst or next to the workers without being on the receiving end of the political denunciation of the workers and without being politically isolated.”


The farmers at the Nikaia blockade (near the city of Larisa) symbolically closed the national road there, which connects Northern and Southern Greece, together with thousands of workers after the strike demonstrations in the 4 nearest towns (Larisa, Karditsa, Trikala and Volos).

Strong police forces at Kileler attempted to impede 6 coaches with striking workers who were heading for the blockade, but after the intense protests of the strikers, they opened the road.

The magnificent strike demonstrations which reached the blockades set up by the farmers’ struggle, answered the intransigence and authoritarianism of the government, as was stressed by the National Secretariat of PASY. It noted that the small and medium farmers are stronger because they have as their allies the working class and the other popular strata and stressed that the struggle will continue, will have many forms and will not cease.

The farmers who are continuing the coordinated struggle for their survival for 4 weeks are reinforcing their blockades all over the country and today participated in the strike demonstrations in many cities.

KKE: an undeniably resounding response to the government

The KKE stressed that the great participation in the demonstrations of PAME has been an undeniably resounding answer to the coalition government and to all those who seek to bring the working class to its knees, who seek to chain the people with lies, intimidation and authoritarianism.

In addition it noted that the participation of the seamen in the strike, who defied the order of civil mobilisation, the large joint demonstrations of workers, poor and medium sized farmers and the blockades of the farmers show the way that the working people and the popular strata must follow, even more decisively, in order to repel repression, in order to form a militant people’s alliance against the common enemy, the monopolies, the EU.

The KKE stresses that there should not be a moment’s rest. The barbaric anti-people measures and repression, the operation to deceive and trap the people will escalate. The battle will become even tougher. For that reason, the participation of the working people, of the unemployed and the young people in the struggle, in the organization of the struggle, above all in workplaces, in people’s neighbourhoods and villages, must NOW become more dynamic, more decisive and conscious.

The working class has not utilized yet its great power which lies in its class organization, in its political and ideological consciousness, stresses the KKE. The mass participation in the demonstrations of PAME showed that there are strong forces that can lend momentum to the regroupment of the labour movement, to the creation of a strong, emancipated, class-oriented labour movement that will be capable of impeding the reactionary plans of the government, the EU and capital, of leading the big social alliance that will put an end to exploitation and liberate the people from the power and the oppression of the monopolies.


PAME notes in its statement that there is a need to escalate the activity for the signing of a National Collective Bargaining Agreement, against the tax plundering, for the protection of the unemployed, for the satisfaction of the demands of the farmers. PASY underlines that small and medium sized farmers are more powerful because they have the working class and the other popular strata as their allies.

SACP statement on the State of the Nation Address

The SACP welcomes the broad thrust of the State of the Nation address delivered by the President of the Republic, Cde Jacob Zuma last night. The address details achievements and tables new proposals as government continues to be seized with the task of fighting the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The SACP however wishes to caution that the challenges we are experiencing should never push us to a point of nostalgia on the economic policy front. Chasing growth rates as a panacea to our problems has and will never be an appropriate response to our challenges. Similarly the myth that there are legislative and other bottlenecks to be unlocked in favour of business must be carefully examined. It seems to us that all business wants are concessions without any commitments on its part to realise our goals of tackling unemployment, poverty and inequality. The SACP will strongly resist all attempts by business to try and blackmail us into succumbing to their narrow concerns about profits without telling us about their own contributions.

The SACP notes and welcomes progress being made in the infrastructure roll out programme. Specifically we appreciate the intensification at the level of school infrastructure and the work that will commence in September on the two sites of the new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape.

The SACP welcomes the implementation of the NHI pilot sides and the specific announcement around the launching of the NHI fund this year. The SACP will watch this development with keen interest in order to ascertain that the fund is kept free of private sector interest including the tendency to flirt with a PPP`s model which we regard as problematic.

We share the idea that indeed where government has intervened it has been able to turn around key industries and thus saved many jobs that could have been lost in the system. The SACP is of the view that in order to deal effectively with our triple challenges our government must deepen its industrialization programme in order to build the productive capacity of our economy. Skills, innovation, technology and research capacity are crucial if we are to succeed in this front of industrialization and we must therefore invest more in that line.

We hope the tax review to be undertaken will once and for all make sure that the people of our country share in the countries mineral wealth. The SACP calls for the process to be inclusive and communities in the mining areas must be accorded an opportunity to explain the exploitative practices of the mining houses. If this is kept as a technical tax review process it may not ultimately address the social ills created by the mining houses.

The SACP applauds the tough stance that government has adopted in the fight against corruption. We cannot allow the few to continue to enrich themselves at the expense of the majority of our people and at the helm of the fiscus. In order for our corruption combatting measures to be seen as effective it is crucial that successful prosecutions of those involved is achieved. Sentences must be befitting of the treasonous act committed by those involved regardless of their perceived standing in society.

We are energised to continue with the SACP`s struggles with the people of Cuba, Western Sahara and Palestine after the remarks of the President. This commitment by government is indeed welcomed. The SACP will continue to struggle to highlight the plight of the people of Swaziland and elevate the significance of the struggle of the Kurds including the campaign for the release of Abdullah Ocalan.

The SACP on its part will continue to actively mobilise our people to be critical players in partnership with government to drive forward the programme to better the lives of our people.

Issued by the SACP

Malesela Maleka

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

CPI On Croke Park II

The General Secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, Eugene McCartan, commenting on the conclusion of the talks between the Government and the public-sector trade unions, described it as a dead end, a handcuffs and leg-irons deal for public-sector workers.
There is nothing in this deal for workers other than longer working hours, pay cuts, and a worsening of their terms and conditions. All for what? To pay an odious debt that does not belong to us, to bow and scrape and prostrate ourselves before the gods of the markets, and tug the forelock to the European Union.
If this deal goes through it will give a green light for further attacks on all working people, on the unemployed, pensioners, the weak, and the vulnerable.
He went on to condemn the leader of the Labour Party for attempting to prevent other political parties intervening in trade unions’ discussions and debates or to show solidarity with public sector workers. This is rich coming from a party devoid of any understanding of the plight of working people, a party scrambling to save a collapsing and bankrupt economic system. The deal is seen as a lifeline for a bankrupt party. The majority who negotiated this deal on the trade union side are in fact senior members of the Labour Party.
What Gilmore on behalf of the government wants is to give the bosses’ media a clear field to bully and coerce public-sector workers into accepting this deal and to whip up the anti-trade union lobby to marginalise and break public-sector workers. Statement ends

Saturday, February 16, 2013

CPI condemns EU military adventures in Africa

Eugene McCartan, general secretary of the CPI, condemned the joint military agreement between the minister for defence, Alan Shatter, and the British minister for international security strategy, Andrew Murrison, to send Irish soldiers on a “joint training mission” to Mali as part of the European Union’s military training mission. He called on Labour Party activists to bring pressure to bear on the Labour members of the Government to oppose this agreement.

      The military adventures now under way in Mali have little to do with human rights but are for the purpose of restoring regimes in Africa under western control. This is further evidence, if that were needed, of how more deeply entangled the Irish army is becoming in the military activities of the EU and NATO.

      The announcement comes only one day after a visit to Dublin of Anders Fogh Rasmussen, secretary-general of NATO, a body whose sole purpose is to back up and defend western economic and political interests throughout the globe, a military alliance that has the blood of hundreds of thousands of poor peasants, workers and their families on its hands, from Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yugoslavia, and many other countries.

      This action has little to do with training and more to do with the defence of imperialist interests in the region, nearly a century after the same political forces called on tens of thousands of Irish men to fight in Flanders in a bloody inter-imperial conflict, resulting in the slaughter of millions of working people. Once again they now want Irish people to rally to the flags of imperialism.
This is not the future that the founding leaders of this state struggled to bring about but is another significant step away from a position of military neutrality.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Free George Abdallah - 29 years in French Prisons

George Abdallah, a Lebanese Communist militant, who fought for the Palestinian cause believing in the right of the Palestinian in Liberation. Detained in the French prisons for 29 years.

29 years in French prisons, George Abdallah a Lebanese Communist militant was held captive in 1984 by the French authorities, for his struggle in the Palestinian cause. Releasable since 1999 the French authorities, under American – Zionist pressure, still refuse to release him.

George Abdallah was one of the thousands militants who believed in the right of liberation of Palestine from the Israeli occupation. Influenced by the rise of the Lebanese patriotic resistance, and after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, Abdallah believed in resistance towards peoples’ freedom and liberation from colonization.

In November 2012, after 14 years of arbitrary detention the French Appeal court issued the release of Abdallah, under the condition of departing to Lebanon as soon as liberated. However, the French minister of Interior Affairs refused to sign the release, following the latest statements and pressure from the United States condemning the release of Abdallah.

The release was suspended twice, awaiting the signature of the French Minister of Interior Affairs. No definite reason of suspension was given. The imperialist intervention and American- Zionist influence on the French authorities prevent the ligament release of George Abdallah.

Similarly, to the thousands of Lebanese and Palestinian militants who are fighting against the occupation of Palestine; George Abdallah forms a threat on the imperialist interests of occupying Palestine by Israel.

However, George Abdallah is considered to be captive in the French prisons, since the ending of his sentence in 1999 and specially after the latest French court release issue.

Imperialistic countries, preaching about democracy, are the ones detaining Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, among others, captive without legitimate reason, for their own benefits. George Abdallah’s release became a judicial matter after the decision of the French court, though it was due 14 years ago.

WFDY calls for the immediate release of George Abdallah from the French prisons, demands the French authorities to commit to its judicial orders and perform the democracy they call for. We stand in solidarity with the struggle of Abdallah against imperialism and towards the freedom and liberation of the peoples.


February 13, 2013

Monday, February 11, 2013

Working people should not be fooled

The Communist Party of Ireland states that working people should not be fooled by the bluff and spin being carried out by governments and EU spin-doctors.

      This is not a deal that will change anything in reality for the lives of hundreds of thousands of Irish families now struggling to keep a roof over their heads or put food on the table.

      As we have pointed out for some time. the Irish internal troika (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Labour Party), representing the Irish economic elite, has been and continues to be committed to paying this odious debt. no matter what the cost to the people. They see no other role for themselves than as junior partners to the imperialist powers: witness their constant declarations of loyalty to the European Union.

      They are happy to sacrifice the nation’s sovereignty to the interests of the capitalist class and the elite of our society. The government is blatantly seeking to buy time—not a solution to the country’s debt. This deal serves the international finance houses, not the Irish people.

      They have got themselves more time and perhaps a cosmetic victory of sorts (accidentally or otherwise) in time for today’s demonstration. The external troika, representing international finance capital, has got what it wanted: Ireland immersed in debt slavery for an even longer time.

      This supposed deal has copperfastened the debt burden on the backs of our people and has simply transformed the promissory notes into sovereign bonds, making it very difficult for the Irish people to reverse this debt slavery. Our destiny as a people is now firmly locked into one of control and domination by the European Union and the ECB.

      There is no solution but repudiation of this odious debt: it is simply unpayable. Permanent debt servitude means permanent poverty and permanent austerity for the Irish people.

Friday, February 8, 2013

We must build on Connolly's legacy


The great lock-out in 1913–14 was “an apprenticeship in brutality, a hardening of the heart of the Irish employing class” (Connolly). The current attack on Irish workers by the state sees the ruling class re-enacting that brutality through its continuous austerity measures being hurled at workers, their families, the unemployed, and community organisations.

      For the last three years we have been active witnesses to this. There is not a household or an individual unaffected—some worse than others—unless you are in the “fat cat” bracket.
The consequence of the triumph of the bankers and their fellow-travellers has led the country to an economic crisis, which has almost destroyed our existence as an independent, sovereign state. Now, self-interest furnished by greed is not unusual in a capitalist state: what is unusually was the previous Government’s response. They accepted liability for the debts of private speculators. The second staggering blow to the Irish people is that the present Government is continuing with this policy. These policies are not in working people’s interest: the poor, the marginalised, the unemployed are the scapegoats.

      Let us put the debt and the present economic and political policies into context. The decision to continue to pay the speculators has resulted in Ireland carrying 42 per cent of the entire euro-zone bank debt. Now that is overwhelming: to put it in context, every man, woman and child pays €9,000 of bad bank debt, compared with €192 per capita in other euro-zone states. (These figures were supplied by Michael Taft of Unite.)

      Connolly understood that the working class needed fighting, militant trade unions to defend their interests, given the irreconcilable divisions between workers and a capitalist class that sought to brutally maximise profits at its expense. But trade unions are only one part of the representative coin. It is political parties that make the decisions that affect all citizens. The question is, are trade union interests being represented by present Labour Party policy?

February Socialist Voice

This months Socialist Voice, articles listed below.

  • We must build on Connolly’s legacy
  • CPI calls for support for the ICTU demonstration
  • The ICTU’s “better, fairer debt” strategy [EMC]
  • 2013: the continuing of the great scattering [EMC]
  • James Stewart (1933–2013)
  • “Social Europe” for the EU’S privileged [COM]
  • The truth behind the myth of “social Europe”
  • Rarefied Davos air fosters elite illusions [COM]
  • More on monopolies globally [NL]
  • Poverty and wealth in France
  • Democracy and the crisis—Part 1 [FC]
  • Is Ireland a tax haven? [EON]
  • Another imperialist intervention in Africa [TMS]
  • Slanted media attack Caribbean socialism [TMS]
  • Red westerns [AF]
  • Wednesday, February 6, 2013

    On Irish complicity with Imperialism and Colonialism

    According to an RTE news report of the 6th of February, 2013, the Irish government is considering sending Irish Defence Forces troops to Mali to aid in the training of the Malian military, as part of the intervention by Western powers, led by the French, in Mali’s internal conflict with Islamist militants. Despite the benevolent sounding nature of this exercise, if it indeed comes to pass, it will in fact be just the latest in a long line of collaborations that successive Irish governments have undertaken with the Western imperialist powers, to further the agenda of those powers in establishing political, economic and military dominance over the world’s poorest, yet most resource-rich, countries.

    The story of the conflict in Mali, as told in the Western media, is the usual formula of the noble West intervening to help save another poor backward African nation from the evils of Islamic radicalism, and restore democracy and freedom. This fairytale would at this stage in the ‘War on Terror’ be utterly laughable if it were not for the deadly serious consequences of its acceptance by the populations of the Western countries.

    The conflict in Mali is in fact, and unsurprisingly, quite a bit more complex than we are told on the news; it has its roots in the decades-old fight by the indigenous Tuareg peoples of North Africa for independence from a number of states in the region. But with the fall of Muammar Gaddafi and the destruction of the Libyan state by NATO and the West in 2011, the conflict in Mali took on a new dimension – the increasing hold of Islamic fundamentalist forces in the north of the country, sometimes allied with the Tuaregs, sometimes in conflict with them, but massively strengthened by the abundant flood of weapons throughout North Africa as a result of the instability caused by the destruction of Libya. Essentially, the ‘Islamist problem’ facing Mali and other countries in the region is largely a result of the policies of the West of arming and supporting these groups to do their dirty work; thus the argument of ‘rescuing’ Mali from the evil Muslims becomes a bit fallacious. One has only to look at the situation in Syria at the moment, where Islamic fundamentalist rebels are supported, armed, funded, trained and co-ordinated by the West and its allies to see the glaring hypocrisy of the French argument for intervention.

    As for restoring democracy in Mali, it would be a fair argument to make for intervention if there was any democracy there to restore. The elected government of Mali was toppled in a military coup in 2012 led by an officer named Amadou Sanogo, who received extensive military training in various fields in the United States throughout his military career, in Georgia, Virginia and Texas. Yet, when this coup took place, there was no intervention by Western military forces to restore democracy. Other than hand-wringing, the cutting off of some development aid, and standard pronouncements on the apparently undesirable nature of military coups in Africa, the ‘international community’ did nothing. One could speculate that Sanogo is now the West’s favoured military strongman in the country, the latest in a long list of corrupt puppet rulers used to maintain the neo-colonial interest of the Western powers on the continent; even though historical parallels make this very likely, it would still only be speculation.

    Thus, from a glance at the facts, we can safely conclude that the French intervention in Mali, along with the continuing Western proxy wars in Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and other countries, is simply one more step along the road of Western re-colonisation of Africa and Middle-East, to plunder their resources and ensure that up-and-coming global capitalist powers such as Russia and China do not get their foot in the door first. Africa was, is and will be a key battleground in the resource wars of the 21st century, and, as always, it is the poorest, most downtrodden people of the world who live there that will have to suffer and die for the power games of the rich countries.

    So where does Ireland fit into this global chess game? Historically, Ireland has always occupied the same position as the countries of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Indeed, Ireland is unique in the world, as the only white, Western, European nation to feel the boot of colonialism and imperialism on its neck, and for far longer than many others. Ireland, alone of the European nations, has been the colonised, and not the coloniser, the oppressed, and not the oppressor; and this places us firmly in the camp of the other oppressed nations of the world. Ireland has more in common with Vietnam than it does with Britain, would ideally be more at home in the company of Africa, Asia and Latin American than with the butchers and exploiters of the United States, France or Germany.

    Would that it were actually so. For today, Ireland, more than almost any other of the nations who share our historical experiences, has been subsumed and incorporated into the very same Western power structure that for so long ground our people into the dirt and pillaged our country. Our unique position, as a European nation, has also meant that we lie in the heart of one of the new, emerging imperialist powers, the European Union. Our joining of the EEC in 1973 was the first step on a road that few who voted for it at the time could see leading to where it is today. The various treaties of ever-increasing EU economic and military integration, the likes of the Maastricht, Nice and Lisbon treaties, have meant that the EU is more and more becoming a monolithic economic and military power in its own right, allied to the United States and a new bulwark against rising capitalist powers in the East.

    The results are obvious: the participation of Irish Defence Forces troops in integrated EU military exercises and trial-runs for future wars, so-called ‘peacekeeping’ missions abroad, the participation of Irish soldiers in training local forces to defend the new US client state in Afghanistan, the current government’s knee-jerk support of the so-called rebels in Libya and now in Syria in blatant ignorance of the facts, and of course, who could forget successive Irish governments’ criminal refusal to stop the US military using Shannon airport as essentially their own airfield for their imperialist adventures in the Middle East and elsewhere? Who knows how many hundreds of thousands of US troops, how many tens of thousands of tons of weapons and equipment, how many secret CIA rendition flights, have really passed through Irish soil, willingly facilitated by Irish governments, on their way to slaughter innocent people and pillage their resources for the profit of the capitalist system? We could cite many more examples of Irish complicity in imperialist adventures, but we have neither the time nor the space.

    And so, Irish troops could soon be on their way to Mali, to help train the army of a country that will invariably take on the role of another puppet state in Africa, run for the benefit of the imperialists, its resources hoovered up by foreign corporations. The Malian army, like others on the continent, will in all likelihood be used to crush any real resistance by the people of Mali to the rape of their country by the West, that will also likely come when the pro-French sentiments of the population have faded away and the truth becomes apparent. Malian forces have already been accused of atrocities in the areas they have occupied. They will also be used to mop up the nuisance elements in large part created by the West’s scheming elsewhere in the region, namely the Islamists; and Irish military personnel will play their part in training up such a force.

    Perhaps the Irish government actually believes that it is doing the ‘right thing’ in sending Irish soldiers to train Western proxy forces in Africa. Perhaps they actually do believe that the benevolent West really does have the best interests of the poor African people at heart. Or, as is more likely, perhaps the Irish government, like Irish governments before them and certainly after them, have readily accepted the Irish state’s new role as a small cog in a much larger imperialist war machine, the European Union, in return for the scraps and crumbs from the capitalists’ table that keep our pathetic economy, an insignificant little tax haven for the mega-rich corporations of the US and Europe, labouring on.

    In conclusion: Irish troops have no place in Mali, or anywhere else in Africa, or indeed anywhere else but in Ireland. Ireland itself, as a country, has no place in the power games of the very same imperialists that for hundreds of years have kept our country subservient, downtrodden and strangled economically, culturally and socially.  Ireland’s place is not curled up under the table of the oppressors of the world, begging to be praised – it is with the oppressed peoples of the world, resisting the very imperialism and neo-colonialism that today is taking place in Mali and all across Africa and the Middle East.
    Alán. C. Cienfuegos, February 6th, 2013
    The blog would like to thank Alan for submitting this original piece of writing to us.

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

    WFTU: A militant, class conscious international trade union federation


    2nd Pan-African Trade Union Meeting of WFTU Affiliates and Friends
    February 4-6, 2013, Khartoum Sudan
    Speech by WFTU General Secretary George Mavrikos

    Dear comrades,

    Dear brothers and sisters,

    We want to thank the Sudan Workers Trade Union Federation, one of the historic organizations of the WFTU and comrade Ibrahim Ghandour a great personality of Africa and a member of the WFTU Presidential Council., as well as all of those who workers for this meeting to take place in Sudan with the great hospitality of the SWTUF.

    The participation in this Pan-African Meeting is larger than ever before. 37 countries of Africa have registered their participation which is double than our last meeting.

    This massive participation shows the agony, the militant will and simultaneously underlines the prestige, the recognition and the respect that WFTU is gaining every day with its position, its action and its initiatives.

    Today’s meeting in Pan-African level is a great moment for the contemporary African trade union movement and an initiative that will give a new impetus to the class-oriented trade union movement in the African countries. In any case it proves the special attention and priority given by the World Federation of Trade Unions to the most exploited and most looted continent of the world, the continent which is the richest in natural wealth with the poorest workers.

    Since the foundation of the WFTU in 1945, it has been struggling on the side of the African workers against colonialism, against racism, against slavery and has substantially supported the organizing of the workers and the creation of trade unions, their enhancement and strengthening in ideological and trade union level. WFTU supported and continues to support all the struggles of the workers.

    The role of the African unions in the WFTU has been significantly enhanced. For the support of the initiatives and the coordination of the English-speaking African trade unions the WFTU opened a new office in South Africa, in Johannesburg and conducted there is last Presidential Council. We are intensifying our efforts in order for our regional offices in Africa as well as the sectoral organizations of the WFTU to reach up to the demands and the needs of the African trade union movement.

    Today’s meeting is a proof that the more powerful the WFTU gets, the more stable and substantial steps it makes towards the support of the class-oriented trade union movement in Africa.

    Along with the members and friends of the WFTU in Africa we can build a powerful trade union movement which will fulfill the contemporary needs and will struggle for the rights of the African workers, against the multinationals and the monopolies, against the exploitation of human by human. For a social system with social justice and labour power.

    The WFTU strongly believes in the dynamics of the class-oriented trade union movement in Africa and the realistic solutions that can be provided to the acute problems of the African workers and the peoples’ of Africa with the development and use of the wealth-producing resources and the production exclusively in their benefit and not for the profiting of the monopoly groups and the local bourgeoisie.

    The class-oriented trade union movement in Africa must be prepared and capable to lead effectively the movement of the workers under the frustration and anger that will inevitably bring revolt, for the victorious outcome of the struggles according to the interests of the workers and the poor people; To transform the agony to class consciousness and conscious struggle. To radicalize the struggles and not to separate the economy from politics.

    The leadership of the WFTU over the last five years has prioritizes and paid special attention to the African Continent. It visited many countries and discussed the needs of the trade unions in their countries, it organized dozens of seminars and trade union training for African trade unionists, it supported the African trade unionists to participate in international fora, in ILO, UNESCO and FAO activities. It welcomed in the WFTU Central Offices in Athens many delegations from African Countries. It organized in the European Parliament important conferences with subjects relating to Africa and its working class. IT organized many meetings with ACFTU of China.

    WFTU expressed in many ways its solidarity and internationalism in various times. Without fear and with stability it defended the right of each people of Africa to decide on its own for its present and future. WFTU exposed the plots of the imperialists, it organized a special protest at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in Geneva demanding the erase of the depts of the African Countries. During these five years dozens of trade union organizations of Africa decided to affiliate to the WFTU.

    Those are smaller and larger trade union organizations which play

    an active role in their countries and their regions. We consider as an important step for the militant trade union movement that the central confederations of Egypt, South Africa and other countries have decided to affiliate to the WFTU.
    Dear comrades,

    The Secretariat of the WFTU evaluates the functioning and the action of the Regional Offices of Africa which is based in Johannesburg of South Africa as positive. We invite all the members and friends of the WFTU to strengthen their communication and relations, their inter-communication, the cooperation amongst them, their militant coordination.

    The Secretariat of the WFTU is at the same time worried for the inactivity of the Regional Office of the Francophone Africa. During the 16th World Trade Union Congress in Athens, we had discussed in a special meeting the situation and the organization problems of the office in Senegal. Based on these discussions and the proposals of our members from the Francophone Africa we proposed the seat of the Regional Office to be transferred in ……….and the responsibility to be undertaken by the organization…………….

    Hence, we have made significant progress and we continue in an upward course. But we have weaknesses; we have delays; we need to discuss these weaknesses and to find ways to confront them.

    The plundering of the natural resources of Africa
    Dear brothers and sisters,

    Dear comrades,

    We consider as our duty to denounce once more from this podium the imperialist intervention in Mali led by France and supported by the European Union, the NATO with the pretext of the crack down of the extremist groups moving for the independence of Northern Mali.

    The intervention of France in Mali exposes the following facts:

    1) that while the world capitalism, especially the EU and the USA, is getting deeper in its crisis confronting its own contradictions; while the life and death competition between the large monopoly groups is intensified; while they seek for new sources of energy, of natural wealth and wealth-producing resources and while the rivalry for the spheres of influence of the imperialist forces increasing, the more fires and new wars will be prepared.

    The developments in Africa, the Middle East and the Mediterranean with the attack against Libya, the dangerous continuing intervention in Syria, the threats against Iran prove exactly this point. No people are safe whilst the monopolies and their political representatives are ruling.

    2) These are wars that have in their center the oil, the uranium, the gold etc. and have no relation with the pretexts that are utilized for “democracy”, “against terrorism”. “against a nuclear danger”. Where the enemy does not exist he is manufactured. These is obvious in the Mali case when the enemies of today where a few months back the allies of the imperialists against Libya and for the overthrow of Kaddafi.

    3) Now a year after the so called “Arab Spring” which proved to be “a dark winter” it is internationally obvious that the only ones who are benefited are the multinationals, the European cartel, the NATO which builds new bases, the EU and the monopoly capital. The losers are the workers and the people of the region.

    4) In our times it is clear that the position that each national and international organization holds towards the imperialist war is a defining criterion of that type of trade union force it is. If it is a class-oriented or a collaborationist one it becomes obvious by whether it puts the interest of the international working class above the games of the bourgeoisie of its own country and the international capital.

    The denouncing of the imperialist interventions, of the plots of the monopoly groups and the defending of our brothers who are hurt in other countries is a basic principle of the class-oriented trade union movement. The slogan: “no more blood for the profit of the multinationals!” must be a common slogan for all the members and friends of the WFTU in Africa.

    5) On the occasion of the imperialist intervention against Mali we want to warn the people of the region that the imperialists are preparing their next murderous plots. The Nigeria, the Niger, Algeria, Chad, Burkina Faso and other rich countries have opened the appetite of the capitalists. The inter-imperialist competition for the new spheres of influence, for the new boarders, for the control of the roads of energy confirm that the struggle against the imperialist interventions cannot be isolated from the struggle against the exploitation and the anti-capitalist struggle.

    The numbers themselves prove it, but it is important to study the statistics and to expose the truth that the transnational monopolies and their mass media want to hide.

    Africa is a rich continent in wealth-producing resources. 85% of the African oil production comes from Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Angola. In Africa there are: Uranium, natural gas, diamonds, gold, ivory, oil, cobalt, iron, coal, platinum, agricultural production etc.

    In comparison to the world production, the African production of Cobalt reaches 57% (DRC, Zambia, Morocco), 53% of diamonds (Botswana, DRC, South Africa, Angola, Namibia), 39% of Manganese (South Africa, Gabon, Ghana), 31% of Phosphate (Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, South Africa, Senegal), 21% of Gold (South Africa, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania), 9% bauxite (Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana), 7,5% nickel (South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe), 5% copper (Zambia, DRC, South Africa) according to the data of 2005. The oil production reaches 12,5% and of gas 6,5% with very low percentages of consumption at the same time (3,5% and 2,8% respectively) according to the data of 2007-2008.
    The uranium has an enhanced importance in the global market while the increase of the exploitation of the uranium in Chad and Sudan as well as plans for its exploitation in the Central African Republic and Namibia are on their way. 18% of the global recourse of uranium are in Africa and in particular in Niger, Namibia and South Africa while the consumption is at 0.5%.

    The most acute problems:

    The large wealth would be enough to cover the vital needs for infrastructure. Agricultural production materials, transport, telecommunications, energy that are so necessary in Africa. However, the raw materials and the agricultural production are a target of exploitation by the monopolies and the local capitalists while the people and the working class of the African countries are suffering from acute problems.

    In the Sub-Saharan Africa 69.2% of the populations survives with under $2 per day. The life expectancy is at 54 years of life. In Angola, in Congo, in Lesotho, in Chad it reaches the 47 years. 49 years is the life expectancy in Nigeria, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Swaziland, Mali.

    The unemployment reaches dramatic percentages especially to the young and female population. The official data do not show the exact hard reality that millions of educated and unskilled workers are facing.

    At the same time, we witness a huge price hike in the commodities and a multiply of the prices of the metals for four to five times up. From 2001 to 2007 maize has risen 82,7%, fishmeal 141,9%, palm oil 173,1%, round timber 408,1%, cotton 31,9%, coffee robusta 214,5% and cocoa 82,6%. While the data of 2010 show that the price hike has broken every record of the last 30 years in wheat, oil derivatives, vegetables and legumes.

    While the prices rise huge profits are being announced by monopolies in the food industry such as Nestle, Cargill, Kraft, General Mills, Pepsico, Coca-Cola Company etc. The dramatic truth that with the agricultural productive abilities and the current climate conditions, if there where no monopolies and cartels controlling the food industry to keep the prices high, the agricultural production would be sufficient enough to cover the needs of a double population of earth.

    300 million people in Africa do not have constant access to clean and drinking water, dozens of thousands die each year from polluted water whilst at the same time the scientists talk about a rich amount of unused aquifers and while the rivalries between the countries of the Nile for the use of water are intensifying.

    Equally in the field of education, the situation is tragic with 1/3 of the children in Sub-Saharan Africa not going to school and the rate of illiteracy in the 21st century being extremely high (23% for boys, 32% for girls in Sub-Saharan Africa only) In Sierra Leone the percentages reach 36 and 56%, in Burkina Faso 53% and 67%, in Mali 64% and 77% for boys and girls respectively. The right to free qualitative public education must be a constant priority.

    The problems in habitation are burning for the people of Africa. A large part of the population leaves in slums and huts. The struggle for cheap and safe housing must be in the top demands of the trade unions. The delay in the electrification and the problems in the reliable infrastructure of electric power are important issues that don’t have to do with natural deficiencies of Africa but with political choices.

    Moreover, the policy of the multinationals and the cartels in the production of pharmaceuticals is murderous as they create patents and limit the production of medicines to keep the prices high. Diseases that could have been extinct or controlled continue to kill and afflict millions of inhabitants of Africa. The percentages strike a record in Swaziland (26%), Botswana (23,4%), Lesotho (23,3%), South Africa (17,3%). It is tragic to note that from Africa comes the 90% of deaths and the 80% of children victims of malaria.



    The WFTU strongly believes that only the people and the workers of Africa have the power to change their lives. No charity from the stolen wealth of the African workers can smoothen the barbarity of capitalism. No “Non Governmental Organization” can heal this situation. Only the organized class struggle can bring results for the fair demands of the class-oriented trade union movement. This struggle must be well prepared, with a plan, proper content and suitable forms of struggle.

    We have the duty to tell the truth to the workers and expose the ITUC and the other trade union leaderships from the European Countries, from the USA, Canada etc. who materialize the dangerous trade union imperialism. Our objective is the pan-african coordination together with OATUU and ICATU. We want those organizations to become stronger, to strengthen the African trade union movement.

    We want the strengthening of the trade unions in Africa so that the workers in Africa are not manipulated by the strategies of the multinationals coming from USA, Britain, French, Germany, Belgium etc. to invest in African countries. Also from the looting of the wealth-producing resources in Africa a part of the Labour Aristocracy in Europe gains, becomes richer.

    The struggle against corruption and against bribery is crucial for the orientation of our unions. The matter today is not how shinny our banners are, but what their slogans are.

    For us, besides the description of the pain of the workers in Africa which each one can do, what is crucial is to discuss substantially on how we will organize that movement in African and international level that will effectively form demands and dynamic against these conditions and especially against the causes that give birth to these conditions.
    We cannot refer to a trade union movement in Africa if this does not include a consistent resistance against the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. These mechanisms are the ones who forced the African countries into the complete privatization of their resources, they facilitated the international capital to loot the African people and then they left the African countries in dept.
    The WFTU struggles for substantial trade union liberties and democratic rights everywhere. For the respect of the right of each worker for participate and struggle for his rights. We will continue our efforts for the respect of the trade unionism for all. The WFTU is clear and continues to act demanding the right for complete cancellation of the depts of the African countries.

    Therefore we propose a Panafrican day of action with this demand with mobilizations, demonstrations and activities. In top of this the WFTU will organize in the framework of the ILO Conference, an international conference exposing the policy of the IMF. We propose this panafrican day of action to be on the 25th of May in the “African Day”. Next crucial issue where we believe we must have substantial and concrete intervention is the issue of the salaries and the wages.

    As WFTU we struggle for the substantial increase of the salaries and the establishment of a minimum salary as a result of the negotiation between the employees and the employers under the national collective agreement. We propose the collection of data and facts though the WFTU Offices with the help of the trade unions for the preparation of a campaign per region for the rises of the salaries. We will demand everywhere collective agreements that will satisfy the needs of the working people in each country.

    For the vital issues of food, water, medicine, books and housing against the plundering of the wealth-producing resources by the multinationals, the WFTU organized on the 3rd of October an international action day with the participation of dozens of countries. We propose the escalation of these demands with the organizing of a new international day of action in 2013.

    We believe that the militant participation with strikes, demonstrations and activities in all African countries for these crucial demands is very important and the contribution of everyone in the coordination and the success of this struggle is necessary. This day we demonstrate on the streets, on the squares our fair demands. With such an action and such orientation the dynamic or our trade unions will be enhanced, more workers will enroll in the trade unions, more young people will understand the value of the organized struggle.

    New life will enter into the trade unions, new forces will be aligned in the trade union movement. Furthermore, we are in the position to announce the opening of a permanent Trade Union School – Training Center of the the WFTU in cooperation with ETUF in Egypt where the African trade unionists will study the history of the trade union movement in the world and Africa, politico-economic issues and the experience of the movement in all fields.

    Moreover, already we are organizing in cooperation with members and friends of the WFTU trade union seminars in various countries. We believe that these seminars are important opportunity for the exchange of experience, formation of common positions, and preparation for better and more effective coordinated struggle.

    Such seminars will take place within 2013 in Gabon in March for education, in Uganda in June for the Mass Media and later again for the Education, in Rwanda on September for the rural employment, in Nigeria on October against poverty.

    In March in cooperation with ACFTU a delegation of WFTU by 15 women trade unionists from the Arab-speaking countries will be visiting China and will take place in a seminar for the role of the women in the national and international movement.

    Finally, on the occasion of the celebration of the 70year anniversary of the WFTU in 2015, there will be a series of initiatives in all countries, as well as publications, renaming of squares into “International Trade Union Movement Square”. The WFTU will award books that will be written under the subject: “70 years of the WFTU – together with the workers and the people of Africa”.

    Dear brothers and sisters,

    The national organizations and the Regional Offices in Africa will coordinate all our action and activities.

    We request from you here to discuss openly, democratically, freely. We request you proposals, your criticism. The Secretariat of the WFTU will examine all the proposals and opinions that will be addressed here, very carefully.
    The discussion which will take place here will make our action plan for 2013 more rich and more complete. Give us your proposals and feel free to send in the central offices and the regional offices all your thoughts, your remarks, your criticism.