Invitation to an international union meeting 22 March to 24 March Paris
International Trade Unionism : we are building the future
This call has been launched by trade unions from Europe, Africa, America and we have diverse affiliation or non-affiliation to the International Trade Union Confederation, the World Federation of Trade Unions. We also participate in various international trade union networks, etc. All our unions recognize the unionism of struggle, workers' democracy, self-organisation of workers and the need for social transformation.
The crisis of the capitalist system has consequences in the world. Economic, financial, environmental and social crises interact and become self-reinforcing. The global crisis of capitalism shows a shared impasse based on increasingly unequal distribution of wealth produced, financial deregulation, free trade and the widespread disregard for ecological imperatives.
To save the profits of the shareholders and owners, to ensure the future of banking and global institutions (the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, etc.), governments and employers place increasingly heavy burdens on workers' rights and workers.
The current economic and political system organises the looting of many countries, forcing millions of people to leave their region of origin in order to survive ... and then they are denied all their rights because they are immigrants.
The destruction of public services, the questioning of all social rights, attacks on trade union rights, trade union rights being violated, the development of precariousness and unemployment to put pressure on people ... these are the same methods that are used in all countries!
To achieve their goals, they use every means to criminalise our struggles: trial, arrests, police actions, military occupations, all kinds of obstacles to collective and individual rights. Punishment is one of their weapons against those who resist, as they are opposed to building alternatives. Our solidarity crosses borders, it is one of our answers.
The unionism we are building does not affirm pacts with powers including validation of antisocial measures. Unionism has the responsibility to organise resistance to the international hierarchy and to build through struggle the necessary social transformation of society.
Our unionism aims to overthrow the model of economic, social and political development based on the hegemony of finance, profit and competitiveness. Instead, we want to build a system based on common property, the redistribution of wealth between all those who are contributing to its creation, the rights of workers and ecologically sustainable development.
We demand the extension, democratisation and social appropriation of public services (education, health, transport, energy, water, housing, etc..). The free movement of persons, equal social and political rights for everyone, regardless of nationality, origin or gender, are part of our common goals.
Our unionism combines immediate workers’ demands, and willingness for profound social change. It is not limited to protest in the economic field, it covers topics such as the right to housing, land, equality between men and women, racism, ecology, anti-colonialism, etc.
The interests we defend are those of the working class (active or retired workers, unemployed, trainees) and they relate to peoples from all regions of the world. In this, we oppose employers, governments and institutions serving them and we assert our autonomy vis-à-vis all political organisations.
International trade union organisations exist; union networks were created on geographical or professional fields. From one region of the world to another, our union histories, structures and affiliations are different.
But we share what is essential: we are determined to move by coordinating union struggle internationally.
We are organising the meeting in March 2013 as part of this process.
By organising this meeting, we do not proclaim the establishment of a new international organisation! We want to strengthen, expand, make more efficient a network of trade unionism that is on the offensive, democratic, independent, alternative and internationalist.
We want to share our experiences, strengths and enhance achievements for all, build unity across borders, implement international solidarity of workers. Faced with the crisis in the populations of all countries that is the responsibility of capitalism it is necessary to coordinate and unify our struggles. We call on the unions collectively to join us to build this united union action needed to combat social decline, win new rights and build a different society.
This approach is being built up step by step, with all unions to fight against capitalism, a system which is not an impassable mode of organisation for our society, and is building change through collective struggles and daily reflections on the society we want for tomorrow.
For this international meeting in March 2013, we have proposed objectives. But together we can define and implement them:
· Implement union solidarity, focused on one or two countries.
· Intervene in a united and coordinated way in support of the existing international struggles and campaigns, in support of the Palestinian people, in recognition of independent trade unionism in the Maghreb and the Middle East, against the military occupation of Haiti, against the European Treaties imposing austerity, for the right of all peoples to decide their future, ...
· Strengthen and expand the international work carried out in professional sectors (transport, education, call centres, industry, commerce, health, etc..) and on inter-professional issues such as women's rights, immigration, housing, ecology, health and work , etc.
We invite you to tell us if you are interested in the process, if the project seems useful and if your organization is thinking of participating in this international meeting.
Solidaires Union Federation Union and Popular Central Conlutas
Christian Mahieux Dirceu Traverso
Workers Democratic Organisation General Workers Confederation