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The WFTU General Secretary addressed the 106th ILC Plenary Session today on June 12th, 2017
12 Jun 2017106th ILC, GS SPEECHES, ILO
106ILC – Plenary – June 12,2017

Speech of the World Federation of Trade Unions General Secretary Mr. George Mavrikos

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions, we would like to extend our warm greetings to all representatives of trade union organizations of workers.

We live in a time period in which life, life quality, work and working conditions for the working class and the poor farmers are getting worse and worse day-by-day in all capitalist world.

The situation for all workers is crucial; the younger generations, the young workers, the young scientists and the young farmers are living in uncertainty and insecurity about the future.

The WFTU tries to organize the resistance and the struggles of trade unions in every corner of the planet, with the aim of defending the rights acquired by workers in every country and sector.

From this podium, we condemn the trade union persecutions in Kazakhstan; we express our solidarity with trade unionists in Colombia who suffer from the violence of paramilitary groups; especially we stand by the side of Colombian trade unionists who struggle against the efforts for dismantling of their trade unions. By the side of the workers in Honduras who struggle for collective bargaining agreements, by the side of Teachers in Mexico in their struggles against the education reforms, we express our solidarity with the ex-Braceros and with our brothers in Angola. We express our solidarity with the teachers and the working class in Turkey who suffer the consequences of the anti-democratic policies of the government of Turkey. We condemn the anti-labor policy of SAMSUNG multinational and we support the Samsung General Labor Union and its General Secretary Kim Sung Hwan who was in prison for 3 years because of his trade union activity.

The situation is complex and uncertain. The severe poverty and high unemployment generate a lot of difficulties in the development of struggles.

But we have no alternative. It is our duty to unite all workers according to the social class they belong to and to organize our resistance, sometimes through the defense, sometimes through the attack; with a flexible and clever strategy so as to have concrete positive results for the benefit of workers.

Along with the struggle for our financial, social, democratic and trade union rights that we must carry-out, we must also strengthen our action against the strategies of imperialism, of multinationals and transnationals that cause bloodshed to many peoples and force millions of people to abandon their country, region and home.

As WFTU, within the international trade union movement, we have at the forefront of our struggles our solidarity and internationalism with the peoples and the countries that are suffering imperialists interventions.

– Venezuela is today the target of the policies of the US and their allies.

– Cuba continues to suffer from the criminal US blockade that lasts more than 55 years.

-The Palestinian people still live without having their own country, while thousands of Palestinian children are imprisoned in the jails of Israel.

– The Syrian people suffer from the attacks of thousands of mercenaries who have been recruited and supported by imperialists.

– The peoples of Iraq, of Mali, of Libya, of Afghanistan, are suffering from undemocratic policies.

-The Gulf region is on fire because of the economic rivalries and intra-imperialistic antagonisms.

-The people of Mexico experience racism and the threats of the US President, who threatens to build a wall and persecute all economic immigrants.

This is the outline of the dark reality of today’s capitalism.

Under these circumstances the world working class, all workers, we need a militant, efficient and active trade union movement. We need trade unions that will have courage, that will withstand, that will be democratic; that they will pay attention to the base of their members and that will unite all workers irrespective of religion, color, gender and language.

In today’s framework the theme of “Building a future with decent work” is more accurate than ever and can be achieved only through class oriented struggles having in their center the satisfaction of workers contemporary needs.

The trade union movement also needs a representative ILO, without exclusions and discriminations; with equal treatment of its members trade unions, with democracy and transparency.

In this direction the WFTU has composed and distributed a text of general principles. We will continue our fight until the current unilateral picture of the Governing Body comes to an end. Proportional representation, equality and transparency are the preconditions for decent work and decent relations.

Thank you.

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