Founding Congress

Text for foundational congress TUI - July 2012

Call letter - August 2013

discuss texts

Initial intervention of Congress Founding - Feb. 5, 2014


Comrades and friends:

As President of the Committee commissioned to prepare this Congress that we open today it is my duty to proceed with the start of this working session.
First of all I want to let you know that I greatly appreciate the big effort performed by all delegates that are here today with us; all of them have made this congress possible. Afterwards I will try to name them all, one by one, for we must be completely conscious of their presence´s importance and in order to make a brief summary of the common trade unionist and cultural background that we share.

Many other delegates are not here today due to different reasons in spite of their aim of taking part of this Congress. It is important in any case to summarize this long extended list of comrades.

The true starting point of this Congress lies in the FSM´s  Congress held in Athens in April 2011, when our General Secretary, George Mavrikos (who send us his warms regards) accepted my proposal of celebrating a new meeting as we are doing  here today.

On behalf of the CSU of Pensioners and Retirees, and as head of the Spanish delegation, I proposed during the sixteenth Congress of the FSM to study our chances to create an International of Trade Unions as part of the  FSM in order to coordinate the different struggles kept by Pensioners and Retirees. It will be the tenth International of Trade Unions attached to our beloved FSM.

It was during those Congress of the FSM when the firsts steps to start up this International and the present Congress were taken. A first meeting was held with the delegates, Pensioners and Retirees, present there. Among them were comrades from all over the world that however I am not going to mention now for the sake of time. There, the proposal brought to Athens by the Spanish delegates was enthusiastically received as a common aim of all Pensioners and Retirees present at the sixteenth Congress of the FSM.

After the sixteenth Congress, the first Presidential Board of the FSM held in South Africa in February 2012 commissioned the Secretariat of the FSM to make possible the Congress that begins today.

It was the Secretariat of the FSM who, among the many tasks in which is involved, shaped the proposal approved by the FSM´s Congress and its Presidential Congress, and it was he who made the appeal to the first meeting of the Committee, held in Athens on May the 9th, whose tasks were to prepare the present Congress. At this point I would like to greet the valuable help and kind hospitality showed on those occasion by the veteran Pensioners and Retirees´ organization, member of the Greek PAME. Needless to say, the meeting´s needs were absolutely met by those comrades to whom we send today our best regards.

At those meeting a document was approved ; the document you all know as can be founded at the new International of Trade Unions of Pensioners and Retirees´ web site :
Further information that I am not going to mention now can also be founded at the web site.

However, I want to recall that among many other agreements reached then it was very important the  order given to the CSU of Pensioners and Retirees to look for the best place and the best material conditions so this foundational congress could be celebrated; it was also ordered to prepare a first set of documents to be discussed at the Congress and to look for its economic means. I want also to recognize the order to appoint me President of the Committee in charge of prepare the Congress.

In spite of all difficulties the job is done. We, members of the FSM, fairly know that the class struggle will end in victory only if we are able to overcome the obstacles put in our way by the ruling class (while they still hold power). Its mere existent and its ways are being analyzed through the Congress´ documents.
At the same time it was also ordered to the Spanish Pensioners and Retirees´ organization to carry out a survey that comprises the much needed data about the daily reality of Pensioners and Retirees all over the world. For the time being this survey with 38 questions has been released in six different languages, and so we count with no less than 28 answers

You can know these answers through our mentioned web site.

 … About this let me tell you that the web site is currently under construction. In any case is a very ambitious project whose aim is to serve as a high quality tool to the activities of the new International of Trade Unions. That´s why it contains ten languages, including four from the Spanish state: Catalan, Basque, Galician and Castillian – mistakenly known as “Spanish”. We want this web site working in full force in the near future; for this reason we have called for help offered by different trade unions, especially in terms of language.    We will ask other trade unions to help us to complete the management team from their own places of origin.

Back to the survey, we must gather as many answers as possible to realize a complete analysis. Among the materials contained in your folders you will find – on the three languages of the Congress  - a brief commentary on the contents of this 28 answers.

I want to underline that the main proposal included in this text…, I mean the creation by this Congress of an International Commission  formed by the most technically skilled comrades able to analyze these answers so they may be able to elaborate a document useful for the trade union activity everywhere in the five continents. It will be a device to be so special use to the Pensioners and Retirees´ trade unions. Apart from this, it will be also available to other International of Trade Unions so the fight for the improvement of living conditions of Pensioners and Retirees will be a common trait of the struggle waged by the whole FSM.

This International Commission should work, except under determined and special conditions, on an Internet inter-change  basis. Doing so, we will be in a good position to make a better use of our funds. Obviously it would be a great advantage to find among our comrades the person able to carry on this job.
To put an end to the point concerning the survey our intention is to know the world´s living conditions of people over sixty years old so, as an International  of Trade Unions increase our fight for their betterment, as the main objective of this Congress is to achieve a dignified life for everyone in the world older than sixty.

Following with the procedure previous to the Congress I may remind you that we only know in full detail another European meeting of Pensioners and Retirees who are members or associates to the FSM. This conference took place in Spain, namely in the Canary Islands, in 2008, and it was sponsored by the trade union known as Intersindical Canaria, member of the FSM and linked to the Cypriot trade union PEO. As a result of t this meeting several documents and resolutions were issued by a group of unionist. Afterwards, comrades from Cyprus and from the Canary Islands will explain us the details of this meeting.

We also know that different meetings of Pensioners and Retirees´organizations have taken place to discuss their experiences in various South American countries: in proper time, these comrades will share with us their conclusions.
In any case I would like to remind you that it is precisely in South America were the bigger number of Pensioners and Retirees´ organizations, and with the biggest figure of adherents, are currently developing its work. Thiers delegates present here will take their time to explain and report to us their activities. 

Here let me remind you too that it is in Bolivia where a greater improvement to Pensioners and Retirees have been achieved in clear contrast with the setbacks suffered by our class in Europe. While President Evo Morales, under pressure from trade unions, lowered the age of retirement to workers from 60 years old to 55 (49 in the case of working women with three or more children, with a supplementary social bonus of tow year for every new born), in Spain, for instance,  this age was delayed from 65 years old to 67 thanks to the agreement signed by the social democratic government headed by the PSOE along with the “official” trade unions – by this I obviously mean CCOO and UGT (Workers Comissions and Workers General Union), following the directions issued by its International managers, CES and CSI.

We may also say that once again is in South America where the capitalists run a better management of information (due among other reasons to their big wealth taken from the workers), being this information a powerful weapon of class and ideological struggle. So, they hide from us the workers´ victories, and it is our duty to let other people know about these victories just to make, for any of them will be of great use to further conquest.

For instance, we must remember and tell about the fight and the great victory achieved by Pensioners and Retirees of Ecuador, who in 2004 faced the new shock measures established by President Lucio Gutierrez, who advised by the FMI tried to cut public pensions paid by his government up to fifty per cent. At those moment, the government clashed with an impressive fight organized by Pensioners and Retirees´ trade unions, a fight whose highlight would be the hunger strike in which, unfortunately, 20 Pensioners their lives. However, against all odds, they, and the working class as a whole, won this major fight. It have always been by blood, suffering, tortures, repression and human lives that the working class has achieved its goals, but in this case, victory was able to overthrown the FMI plans. When the time comes, I will  ask the delegation from Ecuador to share with us their memories from this battle and its various details.

To finish this brief summary of current trade union realities for Pensioners and Retirees all over the world I may recognize that for me the best experience related to trade union fight was that of Athens during the 20th Congress of Pensioners and Retirees adhered to PAME. It was then when more than 65 years of trade unionism were told… And probably that´s the reason behind the great battles they have fought for more than half a century. Once again I may ask them to share their experiences with the audience.

The documents issued and approved by the CSU of Pensioners and Retirees as a draft of further discussions were translated to French and to English. They were studied during the second meeting of the Committee in charge of preparations at first scheduled to be celebrated in Brazil a few days before the FSM´s Presidential Congress for 2013. Several problems made impossible that meeting: dates ´s confusion by the person in charge in Brazil, last hour absences of many of the delegates, and so on…

During some breaks at FSM´s  the Presidential council held in Lima in Mars 2013 a date for a second meeting was appointed for May 2013. However and due to some difficulties aroused the meeting was canceled.

Finally, this meeting of the Committee in charge of preparations took place in July 2013 in Athens and once again counting with the hospitality and support from Pensioners and Retirees of the PAME. In that meeting several documents were approved and subsequently released as all of you know – they have been included in your folders for the Congress, so they can be thoroughly discussed. At this opening time we have received some interesting comments, but however, a few less than expected. We hope to gather more comments and opinions concerning this documents during the Congress.

It was during this meeting of the Committee in charge of preparations that the date for our Congress at Barcelona, February 2014, was appointed, and it was in this town were our Pensioners and Retirees worked out the different details that made possible this Congress.

Two days ago we held the last meeting with the Committee in Barcelona, so we have been finally able to establish the schedule of the collective work in progress since yesterday, when we held the Congress´ opening session.

Although the Committee in charge of preparations knew during its second meeting in Athens, but I consider of the highest importance to say that all the details were placed under the exclusive responsibility of the Spanish CSU of Pensioners and Retirees, whose invaluable help, along with those from the JUBIQUÉ organization, based in Madrid, has granted the work of the Spanish  Committee of the Congress.

We have organized this Congress with very small economic resources… this may explain the absence of many delegates whose travel expenses from their countries to Barcelona we were unable to pay for even in some cases in which they directly asked for our help. As I previously said, there are in some countries trade unions of Pensioners and Retirees stronger than us, but we understood from the very beginning that it was our duty to organize this Congress without furthers delays due to our economic weakness. This was something we could not accept.

We have opened a bank account for the gathering of economic resources. To this account we have received generous contributions from several Pensioners and Retirees´ organizations as well as from individuals. We are going to place this account at the disposal to the collective directory to be elected during the Congress to make it possible a complete report of every single penny we have spent on preparations. 

Another vital aspect in which we have worked consisted in our aim to celebrate this Congress at the lesser possible expense. Here we are, without paying any fee for this place and enjoying of proper working conditions. These facilities are a property of the Lawyers Collective Team in defense of workers´ rights called Col-lectiu Ronda, whose representative was here with us yesterday. All this work have been performed on a strictly militant and voluntary basis. To these comrades and to the cooking team under supervision of an outstanding professional cook I want to extend our appreciation as well as the big applause they all deserved from us.

Before the end of my speech I want to name and say thanks to the organization team, from comrade María Majó, responsible of this facilities where the Congress takes place, to the technicians in charge of Computers, to the drivers and to many other people, all of them volunteers, in charge of different areas. Also I want to give my special regards to the translators, those in the cabins and those who help us to hold our meetings and conversations at break-times; those who have translated and will translate many documents. Without them this congress would have not been possible, so I ask you for them your applause.

Now I want to explain the Barcelona event. Here where we are it has been possible to offer technical facilities as the simultaneous translation system; however, we couldn´t have this facilities at the place ge had got for free here in Barcelona. Had we celebrated the whole Congress in Barcelona it would have been under a shorter schedule and much more expensive: about triwe the expenses in Hotels and accommodations and almost five times other expenses as catering.

Anyway, the use of that place located in Barcelona where yesterday we made for the first time the public presentation of the FSM in Catalonia,  allowed us to extend our invitation to many people in whose presence we were highly interested. Probably most of these people wouldn´t have been able to assist had not the event taken place in downtown Barcelona-.

For those who could not assists to the yesterday meeting I want to let you know that it wasn´t part of the activities properly attached to the Congress. For that reason not any decision was taken: it simply worked as an announcement of the Congress´ opening in this cottage we called Masía in catalan, that as most of you know is our mother tongue in Catalonia.

However, our yesterday´s meeting was of great importance to our class conscious struggle even before its opening sessions, as it granted us a place in the capitalists Media´s agenda forcing them to give news about us and about the FSM, a mainly unknown organization in the majority of the Spanish territories since the times when the leaders of CCOO betrayed the principles of the International class conscious trade unionism whose help was so important in our fight against Franco´s dictatorship.

Then, yesterday´s presentation has enabled us to make this Congress widely known.

In this same days and during the previous weeks and months the different attempts to worsening the rights and living conditions of Pensioners and Retirees have resulted in huge demonstrations in which hundreds and thousands of us have played an active role. Actions have been carried out almost every Hjek, and in all of them we have tried to explain the CSU of Pensioners and Retirees of the FSM´s points of view. That´s is why we may consider a great success our yesterday´s meeting held in the Engineers College of Catalonia with the presence of some many people and friends.

Then, the event we celebrated yesterday gives us a chance to explain, not only in Catalonia but on the whole Spanish territory, the contents of the Congress´ agreements.  At this point let me tell you that prior to our current activities we have been making several presentations and conferences about the Congress in many places through Spain. This is the reason why so many Spanish Pensioners and Retirees are here with us.
Other point that however its importance should not to be discussed here is the way in which we must improve the collaboration among the many groups and organizations operating in Spain.

Actually, this is not a problem of the Spanish trade unionism but of the trade unionism of every country. Divisions in trade unionism is a common trend with maybe its highest point in places as in the Democratic Republic of Congo, represented here, with more than 500 different trade unions.

This division means a great advantage to our class enemy, as there are also of great advantage for capitalists the difficulties we, Pensioners and Retirees all over must face whe trying to organize ourselves. One of these difficulties must be one of the main topics to be discussed in this Congress.

I´m talking about this question: Where may we advise a worker to keep his or her trade union membership when becomes a Retiree? Once they finish their working life most of them leave his or her membership, as they tend to think that trade union´s assistance is no longer needed. This is a big mistake, and here, among the delegates, we can find many instances of how this mistake could be of great important. On the other contrary, class conscious Pensioners and Retirees remain as members of their trade unions helping others with their experience and even taking new responsibilities.

It is not bad news that “old timers” among trade unionist should help to continue their work performed during previous decades, but this must be made while trying not to disrupt the fighting capacities of our class conscious unions in anything related to the needs of Pensioners and Retirees.

Pensioners and Retirees are not currently exploited by a company, neither public nor private. We can´t be fired, that´s true, but still the system can lesser our income (sometimes with a small increase situated under the growing average cost of living). They can also take away our right to proper medical care or to our free of charge leisure opportunities. They can deprive us of home assistance programs, as it´s happening in Spain, where the government has proceed with deep cuts to the national Budget in order to void of any real content its own laws, especially that known as Dependents Law…  It doesn´t matter: Pensioners and Retirees actually remain and will remain in the future with our claims, whether from a class conscious or a trade unionist´s approach.

For this reason the Pensioners and Retirees organizations that aren´t part of class conscious trade unions do not fight for those goals of us, as they are unable to realize that what determines what we get from the different governments will mainly depends on who holds the political power, the capitalists or the working class.  

It is not in front of this audience that I may remember neither the social conquests for the Pensioners and Retirees made possible by the socialist governments of Eastern Europe, nor those enjoyed in Cuba even in spite of the American blockade and other circumstances (I have no data about other socialist countries; we should be able to gather it and to release it…).

I want to remind you that the first document written during the preparation process of this Congress was titled: “IT WILL BE USEFUL FOR THE WORKING CLASS TO ORGANIZE  THE PENSIONERS AND RETIREES OF THE WHOLE WORLD IN TRADE UNIONS”. This title perfectly summarize our main objectives today.

We are to establish the International of Trade Unions of Pensioners and Retirees to help the working class, as veteran trade unionist, in its fight to end with capitalism as a blot for the whole human being. We are going to make reality what our Greek comrade and head of PyJ of PAME told us: We are veterans and former workers…, but we will always continue, side by side with our class, fighting for our rights.

We work and therefore we fight in a world under almost complete control of the capitalists system, a social and economic structure analyzed by Marx and Engels and whose continuous crisis we all know well. Year by year a concentration of capital is underway as well as the social abbys between rich and poor. Today 85 million of people (those responsible of everything that happened or was decided at the International meeting recently held in Davos) own the same wealth as another 3.500 million inhabitants of the planet. In other words, any of this millionaires hold as much as wealth as 40 million people. It may seem impossible, but this are figures provided by those same capitalists. From her ewe know how unfair the capitalist system is and will be in the future if we allow it to continue its existent.

The capitalist´s crisis is systemic and affects all its structures. Neither the FMI´s advise, nor the formulas proposed by the EEC, the Troika, of G-20 will put an end to the crisis.  For the working class there will be no solutions at all on the recipes proposed to the EEC by the collaborating trade unionism, whose leaders are trying to teach some economics to their masters, helping with this attitude in the ideological war waged by the capital against workers.

Those reunited here know that as long as capitalism exits exploitation of man by man will continue, as well as inequality, poverty, hunger, war and a complete absence of social justice. This is what the collaborating trade unionism will never tell.

The FSM´s fight aim, side by side with other organizations with whis it shares its common goal, is to destroy capitalism, to overtrown it, to bury it in the deepths of History as something that mustn’t be repeated (as well as our forerunners overthown slavery two centuries ago). The International of Trade Unions that we are creating now strives to this final goal.

We can organize millions of people. For instance, only in Spain we are more than nine million people those Pensioners and Retirees who live on our public pensions. That means 20% of the Spanish inhabitants and up to 30% of voters.

That this big group would be able to influence in the political decisions that could affect them most will depend only on our way to organize them and on our way of giving them an active political and social  role.
And this not only in Spain, but in the whole world.

That´s why the International of Trade Unions that we are going to create will be helpful in the further development of Pensioners and Retirees´ organizations for acquiring the presence and the strength needed to defend our rights.

We are to condemn the FMI´s President, who says that Pensioners and Retirees are living too much without being productive (we are not for the capitalist´s interests, but we are useful for the further development of human values all over).

We are going to condemn the Japanese Ministry of work that with great publicity has proposed to the Pensioners and Retirees of his country to commit suicide through hara kiri so the could die with honor while avoiding at the same time a future in poverty.

We are also to condemn the activities and collaborating ways of CES in Europe and of CSI in the rest of the world, who help capitalists to worsening the living conditions of Pensioners and Retirees.

This our main task that could not being carried out by the FSM as a whole, as its task is also of crucial importance. This is our responsibility. An that´s what we are going to do following the agreements to be reached here in our Congress.

We are going to issue a trade union document with contributions from all delegates. Following this same procedure we are going to approve the regulations of the tenth International Union of the FSM.

I could try to make a joke saying that ten scores as the best qualification, as it happens in most educational systems…, but I can tell you for sure that as long as we remain healthy we will have at our disposal the best trade union members, as from the inner of class conscious trade unionism we are the most experienced, we have fought in many battles and we have learnt more.

Now, let me introduce the delegates that are here today. Also I will name, continent by continent, those who can not assist.

I will try to make it short, for time´s lack, but I propose that little by little we may be able to enrich and enlarge our web site at the new International of Trade Unions, placing there in order to be known by everyone interested, the trade unionist story of every qualified member of the International of Trade Union of Pensioners and Retirees. It is true that not any other International of Trade Unions will gather such a big story of courage and struggle.

It started in Australia,
Then Asia,
Now Africa,
After America…
And finally Europe

Don´t be upset for those who think in our small numbers. It is true that we could have been more – as I have explained - , but our main goal right now is to start: this should be only our first step. Actually, it is the objective fixed to us during the sixteenth Congress by the FSM´s secretariat.

As proposed in our regulations to be approved today, the first task to be carried by our borrad will consist in establishing the schedule of future Regional Congresses to be held in Africa, America, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

In preparing this Regional Congresses we are to count with the collaboration and presence of Pensioners and Retires´ organizations who in spite of not being here today with us have sent us their warmest regards, and also with other organizations that we will meet in the near future, when we start to explain and spread the agreements to be reach in this Congress.

Those present here are about to take the first decisions concerning this International of Trade Unions actually unpaired in the whole trade unionist´s spectrum. CSI has only one European office, just one, that only once in a while produces some theoretical texts without organizing – even without the slightest Desire to do so – the Pensioners and Retirees. Then, we are going to be the only  World Trade Union Organization of Pensioners and Retirees. We must bear this great responsibility by ourselves, as it should mean a fresh and great opportunity for class conscious trade unionism all over the world.

Comrades and friends…,

I would like to end this opening words of our Congress declaring that we are taking a historical step that will be greatly added to the wolrd class struggle waged and headed by the only class conscious organization, the FSM.


Quim Boix
Presidente Comité Preparatorio
Primer Congreso Mundial de Sindicatos de clase
de Pensionistas y Jubilados (PyJ)
Comprometidos con la lucha de la FSM

VIDEO of George Mavrikos, General Secretary of the WFTU.

Greetings from George Mavrikos to 1st Congress of (UIS) of (P&R) of the WFTU, in its Opening Event held on Feb. 02, 2014 in the Col · legi d'Enginyers at Barcelona.

VIDEOS opening session - Feb. 4th 2014.

Costas Skarparis - PEO - Cyprus

Speech of Costas Skarparis member of PEO ( - Cyprus

Dimos Koumpouris - PAME (Greece)

Speech of Dimos Koumpouris member of PAME ( - Greece


Tony Donaghey - RMT - Great Britain

Speech of Tony Donaghey, member of RMT (

V.A.N. Namboodiri - BSNLEU (India)

Speech of  V.A.N. Namboodiri, President of BNSLEU ( and AIBDPA  (

SPEECHES made ​​by congress delegates

All India BSNL Pensioners Welfare Association’s Document

All India BSNL Pensioners Welfare Association’s Document
to International Conference of Pensioners & Retirees (organized by WFTU)
to be held at Barcelona (Spain) on 5th & 6th February 2014

Comrade President, Leaders from various countries and fellow delegates, we extend our heartiest greetings to all of you.

We have come from a developing country (India), the largest democratic, 2nd populous, 3rd largest standing army, 3rdlargest purchasing power parity, 7th largest by area, 11th largest in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in the world.

We have come to a developed country (Spain) which is 5th largest in Europe, having 10th index rating in Quality of Life, 13th largest economy, 52nd largest in the world.   Spain is solar power leader in the world and it runs fastest train in the world.  No one can ignore Spain’s contribution in Sports and most successful football clubs in the world are ‘Real Madrid C.F and F.C. Barcelona.  Spain won FIFA world cup in 2010 and Rafel Nadal won Wimbledon 2010 in Tennis.

Both the Nations practice ‘Parlimentary Democracy’.  Both Nations have two houses of Parliament.  Both Nations are ‘Secular’ and do not have any state religion.  Both Nations are multi-lingual and multi-ethnic.  Both Nations have many provinces with ‘Indivisible Unity’ and federal in character.  Both Nations have free and compulsory education (6 to 14 age in India & 6 to 16 age in Spain).  Bull fight is common in both the Nations.  Both Nations have revolutionary background.

In India, the head of State is elected whereas the head of State in Spain is a Monarch.  In India, general elections are held once in 5 years whereas in Spain it is held once in 4 years.  Spain has ‘Gender Equality Legislation’ passed in 2007 and 50% of Ministers are women, Among the congress members 36.3% are women and 30% senators are women.  India is yet to pass a legislation for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and State Legislatures.

We congratulate WFTU for taking the initiative to form a separate Global organization for Pensioners and Retirees.  It is the need of the hour because there is a concerted and calculated attempt by most of the Governments in the world to reduce the quantum of pension by various methods and they call it as ‘Pension Reform’.

Reforms in civil service pension schemes in OECD countries include

1. Increase in pension age
2. Restrictions on early retirement
3. Reduced pension or increased service requirement
4. Change in updating procedures
5. Integration of civil service with General state scheme
6. Increase in contribution rates
7. Introduction of some form of Pre-funding
(Source Robert Palacios and Edward Whitehouse, 2006)

Governments advocates Pension Reform mainly for the following reasons:-
a)      Increase in Unemployment
b)     Rising Longevity
c)      Low Average Retirement Age
The average Retirement Age in OECD Countries is 63.9 for Men and 62.8 for women.  But it is to be noted that the average age of workers is 58.8 only.
In Poland in 2012 Prime-Minister Donald Tusk proposed to raise the Retirement Age of women from 60 to 67 and of men from 65 to 67.  Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski gave the reason for this reform because Pensioner/People in working age Ratio was 1:4 in 2010 which would become 1:2 in 2035.

Civil Servant Pension: The Genesis and Issues
Pension Payments refer to the periodical payments made to the individuals beginning with retirement which continue until death.  Pension provides lifetime income security for however long the retiree lives.  There are largely two forms of financing the same, first, the Pay as you go system (PAYG), an unfunded scheme, wherein the current workers meet the bill of the retiree payments (by way of tax resources raised by the government) and secondly, the workers save from their current income to earn their future retirement income, a funded scheme.  Thus the pension is a form of transfer of income from the working phase to the retirement phase.  Pension therefore serves two essential purposes.  The first is consumption smoothing over an individual’s lifecycle i.e. a person provides an income in retirement when someone is no longer working in exchange for contributions into a pension scheme when they are.  The second is insurance, especially in respect of longevity risk-the uncertainty attached to an individual’s life.

There are two forms of pension.  Civil servant pension, payment made after retirement to its employees who were engaged in the discharge of fiscal responsibilities of the Government from time to time.  The second one is a welfare measure provided to various sections of society such as old, destitute, women etc.  The criteria for these two are different and mixing up these two forms of pension payments could lead to very erroneous conclusions.  Decisions based on such conclusions could result in faulty policy design.  An important aspect is that while the old age related pension payments are related to the demographic status of a society, the civil servant pension is directly dependent on the employment policy of the respective governments in the corresponding past period.  Larry Wilmore observed that Civil Service Pension is nothing but a ‘Deferred Wage’.

The main objectives for providing pension to Government employees are:-
• Securing the independence of public servants
• Making a career in public service attractive
• Shifting the cost of remunerating public servants into the future
• Retiring older civil servants in a politically and socially acceptable way

Military was the first to receive pension especially with regard to disability and survivor benefits.  English and Spanish Governments were providing pension to their veterans in 17th Century itself.  Naval pension was introduced in US before the ratification of its constitution in 1787.  According to a study by Mr. Raphael (in 1964) initially British civil service pension scheme was on a discretionary and individual basis.  Formal superannuation pension was introduced to custom officials in 1712 in England.  In 1810, British parliament passed an act for British civil servants scheme.  So, civil servants pension system is more than 2 century old.

Struggles against Pension Reform
There were several struggles in various countries against Pension Reform.  But the struggle in France is noteworthy to quote here.  France introduced Pension Reforms in 1995, 2003 & 2007.  In 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy regime introduced another pension reform which included raising the retirement age from 60 to 62, Increasing the contribution period to 41.5 years.  Against this reform, lakhs of workers were on the streets on 27/5/2010, 24/6/2010 and 12/10/2010.  It was a powerful movement and Sarkozy was defeated in the election which was held subsequently in 2011.  Francis Hollande was elected as President of France and the retirement age was restored back to 60.  But he also proposed a different reform which include 41 years contribution to get full pension which may go to 43 years contribution by 2035 and contribution to pension scheme increase by 0.3%.

Spain’s Employment Minister Fatima Banez said that the link between Pension and Inflation should be ended; Pension will depend on Spanish Economy and Life Expectancy; Pension will not increase more than 0.25% above inflation.  It would be linked to the amount of contributions paid into the social security system.  From 2019, pension payments will also be coupled to longevity which means if one gets older, pension will fall.  Nine million pensioners in Spain would be affected by this reform.  Banez also said that Spain would have a population of 37 million by 2050 and 45.94% of that population would be pensioners.  We understand that the real reason is high rate of Unemployment which stands at 26%.   Workers have conducted several struggles against this reform.

Civil Servant Pension in India
The concept of security for old age in India dates back to 3rd century B.C.  According to Sukraniti, a king had to pay half of the wages for people who had completed 40 years of service.  Royal Commission brought in retirement benefits for Civil establishments and Pension Act 1881 was introduced by British colonial rule.  But it was contributory pension and the employees contributed 4% of their salary.  It was made applicable to all Europeans but to only some Indians.  When ICS provident fund was introduced to non-Europeans the practice of contribution was stopped.  The provisions of pension benefits were strengthened in the Government of India Act 1935.  Thus, the civil servant pension system originated in India on the lines of the UK system.

There was a sharp increase in the employment base created for almost three decades after  independence under various five year plans.  But there has been a considerable decline in the numbers recruited from one plan period to another.  There was negative growth in eighties and nineties.  In 1960-61, the expenditure for Pay & Allowances was Rs.417 crore which was 2.7% of GDP.  It rose to Rs.36,704 crore in 2004-05 but it was only 1.18% of GDP.

The Central Government Employees Pay is revised once in 10 years on an average through Pay Commissions appointed by the Government.  So far 6 Pay Commissions were appointed after independence.  Government of India made an announcement for appointment of 7th Central Pay Commission and its recommendations would be implemented from 1/1/2016.  Till 3rd Pay Commission, Pension was not revised to old pensioners on the basis of pay revision.  But following the judgement of Constitutional Bench of Supreme Court of India on 17/12/1982 subsequent Pay Commissions recommended for pension revision on the basis of pay revision.  Price-rise is compensated by way of Dearness Relief and revised once in 6 months.  At present, 50% of Last Basic Pay is granted as Pension.  In the event of death of pensioner the spouse is getting family pension for life.  30% of Basic Pay is granted as Family Pension.  After the death of spouse also, family pension is granted to anyone like widowed/ divorced daughter, handicapped child, dependent parents for life. Almost all State Governments follow the same pattern for their employees and teachers.  Among the working population, only 12% have formal pension coverage.

Pension in India is statutorily guaranteed.  There was a land-mark judgement on pension by the Constitutional Bench of Honourable Supreme Court of India (consisting of 5 honourable judges including Chief Justice) on 17/12/1982.  It gave clarity on many issues.  It paved the way for revision of pension to past pensioners and ensured regular payment of Dearness Relief to compensate price-rise.  So 17th December is celeberated as ‘Pensioners Day’ in India by the Pensioners Organisations.  We herebelow quote some important portions from that judgement.

The “Magna Carta” of Pensioners
The basic contention as hereinbefore noticed is that the Pensioners for the purpose of receiving Pension form a class and there is no criterion on which classification of Pensioners retiring prior to specified date and retiring subsequent to that date can provide a rational principle correlated to object, viz., object underlying payment of Pensions.

The reasons underlying the grant of Pension vary from country to country and from scheme to scheme.  But broadly stated they are (i) as compensation to former members of the Armed Forces of their dependents for old age, disability, or death (usually from service causes) (ii) as old age retirement or disability benefits for civilian employees and (iii) as social security payments for the aged, disabled, or deceased citizens made in accordance with the rules governing social service programmes of the country.  Pensions under the first head are of great antiquity.  Under the second head, they have been in force in one form or another in some countries for over a century, but those coming under the third head are relatively of recent origin.

From the discussion three things emerge (i) that Pension is neither a bounty nor a matter of grace depending upon the sweet will of the employer and that it creates a vested right subject to 1972 Rules which are statutory in character, because they are enacted in exercise of powers conferred by the Proviso to Art. 309 and clause (5) of Art. 148 of the constitution; (ii) that Pension is not an ex-gratia payment but it is a payment for the past service rendered; and (iii) it is a social welfare measure rendering socio-economic justice to those who in the heyday of their life ceaselessly toiled for the employer on an assurance that in their old age, they would not be left in the lurch.
A Pension scheme consistent with available resources, must provide that the Pensioner would be able to live (i) free from want and with decency, independence and self-respect (ii) at a standard equivalent at the pre-retirement level.

Those who rendered the same service earned less Pension and are exposed to the vagary of rising prices consequent upon the inflationary inputs.  If, therefore, those who are to retire subsequent to the specified date would feel the pangs in their old age, of lack of adequate security, by what stretch of imagination the same can be denied to those who retired earlier with lower emoluments and yet are exposed to the vagaries of the rising prices and the falling purchasing power of the rupee?

Life Expectancy in India
It was 71.8 in 1951-61 for Men which rose to 75.7 in 1995-99.  For the same period for Women it rose from 73 to 77.7

Minimum Pension
There was no Minimum Pension before 1.1.1964.  From 1.1.1964 it was Rs.25/- p.m..  It was changed to Rs.40/- p.m. from 1.3.1970, to Rs.60/- p.m. from 1.1.1980, to Rs.150/- p.m. from 1.4.1982, to Rs.160/- p.m. from 1.4.1983.  IVth CPC only introduced the concept of 50% of Minimum of Minimum scale and under this concept it became Rs.375/- p.m. from 1.1.1986.  It rose to Rs.1275/- p.m. from 1.1.1996 (Vth CPC) which was changed to Rs.3500/- p.m. w.e.f. 1.1.2006 (VIth CPC). 

Maximum Pension

Before 17.4.1950 Maximum Pension per annum was Rs.6,000/-.  It rose to Rs.6,750/- from 17.4.1950, to Rs.8,100/- from 17.4.1956, to Rs.12,000/- from 1.1.1973.  From 31.3.1979 it became Rs.1,500/- p.m. and from 1.1.1986 (IVth CPC) it rose to Rs.4,500/- p.m.  The concept of 50% of the Maximum Pay in the Government as ceiling was introduced by IVth CPC.  The same concept was followed by Vth CPC & VIth CPC.  So the ceiling from 1.1.996 was Rs.15,000/- p.m. and from 1.1.2006 it was Rs.45,000/- p.m..

Family Pension
Family Pension was introduced in April 1950.  FP is eligible for those  who have put in a service of 25 years.  FP was 50% of Pension.  It was allowed for a total period of 10 years subject to a maximum of 5 years beyond date of retirement.  The service condition of 25 years was reduced to 20 years from 1.4.1957.  Family Pension Scheme 1964 was introduced and it was made applicable to all those who were in service as on 31.12.1963.  Upto 22.9.1977 two months gratuity was deducted towards Family Pension.  It was withdrawn from 22.9.1977 on the basis of Apex Court Judgement.  From 1.1.1986, on the basis of IVth CPC recommendations, upto the Basic Pay of Rs.1,500/- FP was 30% of Pay with a minimum of Rs.375/-.  For those who drew a Basic Pay of Rs.1501 to 3000 it was 20% of pay with a minimum of Rs.450/- p.m.  and for those who drew a Basic Pay above Rs.3,000 it was 15% of pay with a minimum of Rs.600/- p.m. 
The ceiling of Family Pension was Rs.1,250/- p.m.  As per Vth CPC recommendations from 1.1.1996 FP is granted @ 30% of Last Pay Drawn.  Minimum Pension of Rs.1,275/- is made applicable to family Pensioners also from 1.1.1996.  Both Son and daughter is eligible to receive FP upto the age of 25 years or marriage or employment whichever is earlier. But handicapped children are eligible to get FP for life. Vth CPC introduced the concept of ‘Enhanced Family Pension’ for 7 years or pensioner would have attained the age of 67 whichever is earlier, if the employee died in harness (i.e. 50% of Average emoluments instead of 30% of LPD).  From 1.1.2006 on the basis of VIth CPC recommendations, the period of 7 years was increased to 10 years (for those died in harness).  As per the existing orders, if the period of 7 years falls beyond 1.1.2006, then FP at enhanced rate should be given for 10 years.

A portion of pension is granted as lump-sum at the time of retirement is called Commutation.  A commutation table is applied on the basis of the age at which one retires.  If one retires on completion of 60 years of age, then it is calculated as Pension X 12 X 8.194.

Upto 17.4.1950, 50% of pension was allowed for commutation.  It was reduced to 1/3rd from 17.4.1950.  From 1.1.1996 (Vth CPC) 40% is allowed.  BSNL retirees are eligible for this 40%.  Upto 31.3.1985 there was no scheme of‘restoration of commutation’.  On the basis of Supreme Court Judgement ‘Restoration of commutation’ was allowed after 15 years from 1.4.1985.  Though Vth CPc recommended for restoration after 12 years, Government did not accept that recommendation.  BSNL retirees are entitled for restoration of commutation after 15 years.

Death-cum-Retirement Gratuity
DCRG was introduced from 17.4.1950.  For each completed year of service it was 9/20 of emoluments with a maximum of 15 times.  It was changed to 1/4th for every 6 months service from 22.4.1960.  Maximum was raised to 16 and half times from 1.1.1973 ( III CPC).  The ceiling was raised to one lakh from 1.1.1986 (IVth CPC).  From 16.9.1993 20% of Basic Pay was treated as Dearness Pay for DCRG.  97% of Basic Pay was treated as dearness pay for DCRG and ceiling was raised to Rs.2.5 lakh from 1.4.1995.  On the basis of Vth CPC recommendations, from 1.1.1996, Pay + DA was taken into account for payment of DCRG (till then only Basic Pay was taken into account).  On the basis of VIth CPC recommendations ceiling was raised to Rs.10 lakhs from 1.1.2006.
Retirement Age
Normal retirement age of civil servants in various countries varies from 50 to 67.   In India, it is 60 for Central Government Employees and 58 for State Government Employees & Public Sector Employees.

Number of Pensioners in India
According to 6th Central Pay Commission Report (in 2007) total Central Government Pensioners were 38.41 lakhs (Defence – 19.40 lakhs + Railways – 10.18 lakhs + Civil – 5.83 lakhs + Postal 1.58 lakhs and Telecom 1.42 lakhs).  If Para-military forces and Public Sector are included, then the figure may touch 10 million.  In India we have 28 States and 7 Union Territories.  Their employees & Teachers are also getting pension.  We have authentic figures from two states viz. Tamilnadu has 7,00,350 pensioners as on 1/1/2013 and Kerala has 5,28,296 pensioners as on 31/3/2010.  Overall State Government Pensioners may cross 10 million.  So 20 million pensioners are in India out of a population of 1200 million (1.67%).

On an average a pensioner is getting pension for 20 years.  5% of pensioners die every year.  On an average Family Pensioner is getting pension for 10 years and 10% of Family Pensioner die every year.  During 1964-65 total pension expenditure was only 31.24 crore rupees.  It rose to Rs.26,205.07 crores in 2004-05.  The increase was due to three factors viz. 1) Implementation of Pay Commission Recommendations 2) Inflation (Price-rise) 3) Increase in number of pensioners. Pension bill would increase until 2036-37 and subsequently it would decline.  The average growth rate works out to 18.45%.  On an average pension expenditure for defence works out to 54.73% followed by Railways with 21.94% for the same period.  The overall trend and its increase are largely for pension payments to Defence sector.  In proportion to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) pension expenditure was 0.13% in 1964-65 which rose marginally to 0.93% in 2004-05.  On an average pension expenditure is only 0.51% of GDP.  A study by Centre for Economic Studies and Policy, Institute for social and economic change revealed that the pension liability would be 0.54% of GDP till 2024-25 after which it would decline.  It is understood that the Civil servant pension payments in OECD countries works out to 1.8% of GDP on an average and in Middle & Low Income countries it is 1.2% of GDP on an average.

Health Care
Railways, State (Provincial) Governments and Public Sector Undertakings are having their own health schemes for their employees and pensioners.  Central Government Health Scheme under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare provides comprehensive health care facilities to Central Government Employees, Pensioners and their dependents.  It is available only in 25 cities.  Totally 254 Allopathic dispensaries, 19 Polyclinics, 78 Ayush dispensaries, 3 Yoga centres, 65 Laboratories and 17 Dental clinics are available in those cities.  Those who are living in those cities are eligible to take treatment.  The Employees and Pensioners have to pay a monthly subscription ranging from Rs.50/- to Rs.500/- depending upon their grade pay.  Pensioners can pay 120 months subscription in lumpsum and get a life-time card.  For those who are living beyond the limit of those 25 cities are paid a monthly allowance of Rs.300/-.

In BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited), a public sector undertaking in Telecom has got its own health scheme.  Out-door treatment and indoor treatment is allowed both to the employees and pensioners.  They have to take treatment in empanelled hospitals as in-patient.  For out-door treatment, they can submit original bills and claim reimbursement.  There is a ceiling for each individual.

Old Age Pension
The Central Government, under “Indira Gandhi National Old age Pension Scheme” is giving Rs.200/- per month for those who are ‘Below Poverty Line’ in the age group of 60 to 79 and Rs.500/- for above 80 years of age.  State Governments are providing such financial help to destitute, disabled, helpless widows etc.

Pension Reform in India
World Bank released a report called “The challenge of old age income security” in 2001 which said that 1/8th of world elderly live in India.

IMF working paper on Pension Reform in India states “Pension obligation or promises made by Government, which have potential of exerting pressure on Govt. finance, have been the subject of increased focus in assessing medium to long-term fiscal sustainability”.

National Democratic Government (headed by Bharatia Janata Party) led by Shri Vajpayee established Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA) through a resolution on 10/10/2003.  An Ordinance was promulgated on 29/12/2004.  A Bill was introduced in Parliament on 21/3/2005 but was opposed by Left Parties which were supporting the Government from outside.  However United Progressive Alliance Government (headed by Indian National Congress) led by Dr. Manmohansingh passed a resolution on 14/11/2008.  It was passed by Parliament in 2013 called PFRDA Act 2013.  Both the Ruling Party and main opposition party joined hands in enacting this Act.  Only Left parties were stoutly opposing this, inside and outside Parliament since 2003.  Though all State Governments have implemented this Act, only one State which is Ruled by Left has refused to implement it.

By enacting this Act, the concept of ‘Defined Benefit Scheme’ is changed as ‘Defined Contributory Scheme’.  It is called National Pension Scheme (NPS).  This NPS is mandatory for all Government Employees (Except Armed Forces) who joined the service on or after 1/1/2004.

There are two tiers in the scheme.  According to this new scheme, in tier one, 10% of Basic Pay + Dearness Allowance would be deducted every month from the salary and Government would contribute the equal amount.  The amount would be deposited in an account and the employee would be allotted a 12 digit number which is called Permanent Retirement Account number (PRAN).  The accumulated amount cannot be withdrawn by the employee before retirement.  Pension Fund Managers are appointed to manage and maintain the funds.  If the employee retires on completion of 60 years of age, 40% of accumulated amount would be taken to purchase an ‘Annuity’ and the remaining 60% would be given to the employee.  If the employee retires before completion of 60 years, then 80% of the accumulated amount would be taken for purchasing ‘Annuity’ and only 20% would be given to the employee.  7 Annuity Service Providers are appointed out of which 5 are Private Companies and only two are Public Sector Companies.

As on 2/3/2013, there were 44.93 lakh subscribers in NPS out of which 27 lakh are Government employees.  It has a corpus fund of Rs.28,400 crore.  The corpus fund is expected to reach one trillion USD by 2025.  This huge amount is going to be pumped into share market to boost the profit of capitalists.

The amount in Pension Account would be invested in purchasing bonds, government securities, share market etc.  All investments are subject to Market risks and there is no guarantee or assurance that the investment objectives shall be achieved.  Investment risks such as trading volumes, settlement risks, liquidity risk, default risk including the possible loss of principal.
Dean Baker (co-director for centre for economic and policy research, Washington) said “Privatisation means that you would not have a guaranteed benefit that you have today.  It would depend on how will your investments do or how well they have done at the point you retire.  He quoted the collapse of NASDAQ and Enron.  In Britain, Insurance companies could not honour their promises and the government had to compensate with 8 billion pounds”.

Joseph Stiglitz (Chief economic advisor to Bill Clinton, former vice-chairman and chief economic advisor, world bank, Nobel prize winner, Professor of economics, Columbia university) said that “Stock market does not guarantee returns.  It does not even guarantee that the stock values will keep up with inflation.  Privatisation would not protect retirees against the social security systems insolvency.  Argentina’s privatization of its pension system was at the centre of its fiscal woes”.

The working class in India have conducted several struggles including General Strikes (atleast one strike in every year) but it could not force the Government to retreat.  The weakness of the movement is that the employees who were in service prior to 1/1/2004 feel that their pension is safe.  Trade Unions could not educate the employees about the impending danger.

Our Organisation
We have formed our All India Organisation on 20th August 2009.  We have Branches in all States.  Within 4 years we could reach a membership of nearly 40,000.  We are functioning democratically.  Our Central Executive Committee meets regularly once in 6 months.  State Conferences are held once in 2 years and All India Conference once in 3 years.  We have settled many problems of the pensioners.  Pension Revision on the basis of pay revision to pre-2007 retirees was the most important achievement of our organization.  Nearly 60,000 pensioners got the benefit.  Their pension got doubled and they got sumptuous amount as arrears which they have not seen even during their service.  In India nearly 85 to 90% pensioners are unorganized.  In Telecom we are the best organized one but still nearly 50% of Telecom Pensioners are unorganized.  We are trying our best to rope them.

Most of the Governments in the world are dancing to the tune of World Bank, IMF & WTO.  The Governments are washing off their hands from providing social security.  They are advocating that everything would be decided by the Market Forces.  The gap between the rich and the poor are widening day by day.  Unemployment is enormous and loss of jobs are also increasing.  We are of the opinion that unemployment is the prime reason for bringing in pension reform.  Pensioners while protecting their right to pension, they should protest against unemployment in whatever manner they can.  In our opinion, pensioners who are in the age group of 60 to 70 are active in the movement.  Due to ageing and ill-health, pensioners beyond 70 are only silent spectators.  The conference should deliberate on all these aspects and arrive at a proper conclusion.

(G.Natarajan)                                                                                    (D.Gopalakrishnan)
General Secretary                                                                            Vice-President

Intervention of comrade Antonio Pérez, in Andalusia (Spain)

Good afternoon colleagues, companions and comrades.

Go ahead an affectionate greeting and appreciation, both delegates and delegates, as guests and guests present, from different parts of the world, the Organizing Committee of this Conference, and to all the volunteers and volunteers who make it possible to be this new TUI.
This TUI's pensioners and retirees must face important challenges and tasks, many of them have been mentioned in the different shifts from Word. My statement doesn't bring about collected, which already has a large consensus.

The purpose of intervention is to claim that you among the Group of pensioners and retired persons, there is not only "older adults", as here has manifested itself, who have completed their active working life. Within this group, the pensioners count among their ranks workers working age, who have been away from their regular professions, by suffering from health problems, and that by the circumstances of age, are trying to raise a family, or should keep them with all intact economic loads; they have to pay a home that does not have property, have to meet the needs of a few minor children,... they are impelled to continue selling its work force to survive.

In these cases, these workers, and affect both attacks carried out on pensioners and retired persons, such as the increase in the rate of exploitation that takes place on the working class. The economic benefits that are offered to companies that they hire workers with disabilities, it makes them an easy and vulnerable target. Easy because everything is to lower the price of the labour force is exploited by the operator, and vulnerable because in practice it does not provide that disability, which may be limited, in the performance of the functions. Reaching, even cases in which is used to bully the self-esteem of labourer; "where are you going to leave your as well, who will hire you with your problem, more worth you appreciate what you have"...

Given the low incidence of unionization among the working class, and the high temporality in employment, we should aspire to organize to pensioners, that being able to change profession or branch, are not going to change in their condition as such. This TUI's pensioners and retirees that is born today, already boasts a great legacy both of life and struggle, provided by participants and their organizations. This experience should also be leveraged by active pensioners, to improve their capabilities of organization and struggle.

To give one example of this sector of the working class, and the challenges are facing, I put laundry Flisa, of the Group Once, company awarded the Prince of Asturias Concord. That promotes a wage reduction of 43% among its workers, moving their salaries from 1,000 euros, to 640 euros, for the same work.

Thanks a lot.

Barcelona, on February 5, 2014.

Intervention of comrade Fred Krausert - MUA Veterans (Australia)

Comrades and Friends,

I bring fraternal greetings from the MUA Veterans and the Fair Go For Pensioners, and the retired movement of Australia.

I thank you all for the opportunity to be here to learn and understand your hardships which may be no different to ours in Australia.

Australia is no different than any other developed country in the world, for the greed factor has taken control through the ideological influence of the National and International Corporates. The Federal and State Governments are implementing the corporates agenda under the guise of creating jobs while not addressing the needs of our people as a whole.

The manufacturing and all related industries have gone off shore, the blood and guts of our country has been torn out. There is some resistance and struggle taken by some unions, allied with the social movement and the community.

With automation taking a leading role and the loss of thousands of jobs, coupled with jobs going off shore, we are not alone, the same concerns are expressed right around the developed countries with governments having no regards for the welfare of their people.

The huge profits of the corporates have never been in question, only the hard won conditions of the workers and retirees. There is an ever increase of the working poor and homeless, the intention is to throw the burden on those that can least afford it, where will it leave the people of our Nations The MUA Veterans have been involved in the campaigns to resist and defeat the attacks on our people, whether it be workers, retirees or the underleveraged we cannot sit back and let the structure around us fall to pieces while our countries are being drained of the resources and wealth.

To much emphasis is placed on our opposition social democratic parties which compromise to often,instead of leading a grass root movement, and doing what we have always done fought for the welfare and conditions that are needed in our societies.

In Australia we have three major retired groups that represent the retired pensioners of Australia, but we have great differences, two of the organizations do very little within the struggle, the first 0rgansition work only in the frame work of self- funded retirees and have no real political agenda other than looking after themselves.

The second organization of the retired community works only on its own agenda within the frame work of government policy but are not involved in a class struggle, they have the media outlets and employ personal but at the end of the day they compromise, for they receive funding from the government, which hinders their actives, The third which is called a “Fair Go For Pensioners” which is made up of the Retired Trade Unionists along with community and social conscious groups and minor political party activists and State Pension organization which is partly funded by the State and the membership but is very active and distributes newspapers to the aged and raises issues which are class concessions and struggle based, and this organsation is the one that the retired trade unionist work with.

Out of the seven states of Australia “Fair Go For Pensioners” is active in five states and the last two are developing , we meet on a regular two month bases for State and National act ivies and do phone hookups and communicate on a regular bases to keep the struggle alive.One of our national objectives is for an increase of the pension from 27.7% to 35% of the average male wage, this would enable a better life style for pensioners who have no other support other than the pension Those who are living on their own or renting under this system are doing it hard, the pension is made up of the average male wage in Australia, those that don’t have any income from union supers are living near the poverty line.

The States supplement concessions which differ in each state will no doubt come under attack, for the conservative governments are proceeding with this process right now with a Committee of Audit to advise the government where cuts can be made.

Workers and Pensioners have been under attack by both political parties with both in favor raising the pension age to 67 yrs. They both quote the ageing population as the excuse for the rise in eligibility for the pension in Australia blaming the cost, never the miss management of the people assets and the sell off all profit making assets, as late as just three weeks ago the disability pension was stopped to people under forty. The medical system is also under attack with some of the cost to be paid by the community, we pay already pay one and a half per cent in tax for the medical but nothing is said about the 5.4 billion that the peoples taxes subsidize the private health companies, its call public private partnership I call it public money for private profit, and this is only on a national level, we than have the states attacking the concessions which help make up the pensions, so we are battling on three fronts with the local government wanting to increase the rate cost and the developers sitting in the back ground directing what they want.

Comrades Australia has been under attack by mining companies, developers, political parties from both side of politics, the financial crash, plus the cost of the U.S. Bases in Australia without the people having the right to say no. Our manufacturing industries have gone off shore and unemployment, youth unemployment in some areas is 12% and our young people not developing skills, we have a lot to do.

Comrades the world is going through a change which leaves no corner of the world unturned, with a system of individualism as opposed to collectivism to the detriment of the Australian people, rather than the collective approach to life.

We see our young people influenced by this ideological onslaught through the American alliances with its emphasis on individuality, not understanding that greed cannot sustain itself it dies by its own making. Our Island nation is captured by the American corporates myth which is dangerous, within that their agenda is the move to do away with the union movement which is then an attack on the aged for there is no guiding position in place for the wage structure other than the push by the union movement for increase of wages, which the aged pension is made up of 27.5% of the average male wage, the cry by the conservatives is that wages are to high but never a word about their obscene salaries and share options not to mention the record profits, big business and the multi nationals are guaranteed less tax more profit at the expense of the workers pensioners and the underpliveraged.

Comrades as you all can see since the collapse of the financial system the attacks on workers and the communities has been in the fore front of both side of the political parties in most of our countries. Australia is no different, an international united front is needed to send the message to our communities, we are in the process of starting the campaign with leaflets at shopping centers around the country, talk back radio and whatever means we have to address to get to the public, it is a big ask but we have done it before, we must try for our children’s sake . We are of the opinion that it is imperative that we build up a mass movement for progressive change.

February 2014

Intervention of comrade Janni Milsted from the Danish Communist Party.

Feb. 2014.

Contribution from the Danish Communist Party to the
Founding congress of the WFTU TUI of Trade Unions of Pensioners and Retired Persons

by Janni Milsted, retiree member of  the Danish Union of Children and Youth Educators (BUPL), member of the Residents' Association board in Mjølnerparken, Copenhagen, and chairman of Mjølnerparken’s  Senior housing Community Midgården.
Former shop steward, and national chairman of the BUPL 1976-1983.


Dear friends and comrades.
Firstly, on behalf of the Danish Communist Party I want to thank the WFTU for initiating and invoking this congress.
We support the stance - which has fostered this congress - that pensioners and other retirees - who all over the world suffer greatly due to the crisis of Capitalism - should act guided by the proletarian internationalism, and fight for basic labor rights and for a decent retirement pension as a global reality.
We must fight for free medication, public and free social welfare and decent public pensions.

Together with the other Scandinavian and Nordic countries, Denmark is known to be a rich country that offers a highly developed and relatively fair social security and welfare system.

To this, you used to add a completely free health care system with free hospitals, free general practitioners (doctors), and public sickness benefits. All this is state - meaning tax financed.
Other parts of the public health and social security system – for instance medication outside the hospital, dental treatment, and unemployment benefits – has elements of a public insurance: granted by the state, but with a strong element of individual payment and fees.

From the late 1950’es and on, our old age social pension was developed as a social welfare benefit, as a right for everybody - called the “people’s pension”. According to what is called a “universal welfare principle”, the law granted every residence in Denmark a pension, regardless of occupational status - currently from the age of 67.

In 1973, Denmark entered the EU (then the EEC) which caused an amendment to the law. Instead of simply “residence” as a condition, a residency of 40 years was – and still is - acquired.

This is due to the fact that no other country in the EEC had such a system, and that the EU-principle of free movement was feared to tempt EEC-citizens to spend their old age in Denmark. 
More often, the pension systems in these countries are based on insurance principles, linked to occupational activities, combined with the individual’s own savings.

And exactly this is a point that gives women a special reason to fight for the maintenance of the universal principle as opposed to the insurance principle.
The reason is that benefit systems linked to the labor market, to occupational activities and wages, are bound to cause gender un-equality!
Women as an average are not as many years in the labor market as men, and also as an average their wages are lower.

I want to stress the following: We are fully aware that our social welfare and social security system was a result of two elements in the class struggle:
After World War II, the position of the working class in the class struggle was strengthened. The mere existence of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries was a threat to Capital. Denmark even had the GDR as a neighbor country.

The Socialist example - concerning social security and labor rights - enabled a strong and struggling trade union movement to push for improvements of the social security and welfare system.
In Denmark, it certainly belongs in the picture that during those decades, the cadres of the Communist Party of Denmark were a force in the trade union movement, and the influence of the party was notable.

During the 1960’es and 1970’es the people’s pension law was changed several times - and never for the better. Today, the amount of the social pension is low, and the principle of the “universal welfare benefit” has been violated.

Firstly, the amount of the pension has not followed the-cost-of-living adjustment for wages, and it has now reached a level that makes it very difficult for many pensioners to make ends meet.

Secondly, a return to self-insurance as a supplement to the social pension has been harmful. This system is maintained by the trade unions. As part of the collective bargaining a percentage of the worker’s wage, supplied with a percentage from the employer is deposited in a collective pension fund. According to the size of the amount paid out to the individual pensioner from the fund, her or his social pension is reduced.

A special “early retirement” benefit is financed by workers fees to their trade unions’ unemployment insurance fund, and by the state. It helped workers who were worn out, to retire at 60 years. Now it is being phased out. Considering the unemployment problem of this period, and cuts in the general unemployment benefit, this is another hard blow.

Today, under the austerity of the deep capitalist crisis, and the budget dictates of the EU, our whole social security and public welfare system is suffering serious cuts, and is deteriorating.

During later years, cuts in local government budgets have caused a yearly loss of 10.000 public jobs. Among these belong jobs in the social service and care for the elderly and old. Especially pensioners who need special treatment and assistance are gravely hit - and in a way that is violating their dignity as human beings.
The trade unions of workers and professionals in health care and social welfare are warning the public about the situation, and sometimes risking a fight.

However, by the trade union movement as such no step has been taken to organize a joint fight for the pensioners and retirees. In that respect we look forward to the inspiration that must arise from this congress.
Thank you!


Intervention of comrade Mohan Bahadur K.C. *ENSAN* - Nepal

PHOTOS founding congress


DOCUMENT approved in the 1st. World Congress of Trade Unions International (TUI) of Pensioners and Retired (P & R) of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).





We greet you and honor you on establishing the first WFTU - TUI for Pensioners and Retirees.   This Trade Union International is a perfect fit with the other WFTU TUIs on Energy, Education, Transport, etc.   The many trade union comrades who worked their whole lives devoted to their work and trade unions will also
greet this TUI as they continue their struggles to keep and improve their pensions;  health benefits; and also fighting for a world free from imperialism and barbarism.

Very often these same trade unionists who helped establish their class oriented trade unions; are in the middle  and leadership of the struggle to keep those same trade unions in a class oriented way;  this time as leaders of their union's retiree organizations.

The "New Norm" that the neo liberal International Monetary Fund;  World Bank and World Trade Organization is trying to establish where defined benefit pensions are being handed off to Wall Street and other profit making stock organizations is and must be stopped.   Also, that pensioners should pay more for their medical and health benefits in retirement when they are living on fixed incomes is also being struggled against.

And, of course, class oriented trade unionists, when working, and now in retirement, are fighting against imperial wars and all forms of xenophobia and barbarism.

Good Luck

And we look  forward to seeing the Final Documents from the Congress

WFTU North and WFTU Canada

Salutation from CONEP - Kathmandu (Nepal)

Dear Comrades, Brothers and Sisters of WFTU and CSU (P&R)

Warm Greetings to you all !

The historical founding congress of TUI (P&R) that taking place in the beautiful city Barcelona, Spain is a great message, not only to entire retired and pensioners  of the world but to all working class people of the world including Nepal. On this great historical moment, we on behalf of the Confederation of Nepalese Professionals (CONEP) and entire workers from Himalayan Country Nepal express strong solidarity to all delegate comrades participating in the Congress.
Despite the strong wish to participate in the congress, one of our delegate Comrade Prabha Bajracharya, Vice President/Head of Women Dept., CONEP, who is also recently elected in the member of parliament could not come to participate in the congress. She has expressed sorry for not being able to attend the congress. The first reason of her absence is preparation tasks for the 1st women national conference which is going to be held on 8 March, 2014. Secondly, Comrade Prabha is so busy in the ongoing current parliament business at the moment. However, Com. Prabha has wished to be conveyed her message of wishing grand success and solidarity to the congress of the TUI-P&R.

In solidarity

Lalbahadur Pakhrin
Head, International Dept.
CONEP, Kathmandu  

Salutation from COS - Coordinadora Obrera Sindical (Catalan Countries)

Salutation from LO - The Swedish Trade Union Confederation

Thank you for having sent us invitation to participate in the founding Congress of the WFTU TUI of Trade Unions of Pensioners and Retired Persons which is to take place in Barcelona on February 5 and 6, 2014.

Sorry to say but LO-Sweden has no possibility to participate in this Congress owing to other commitments at that very same time.

We wish you all the best with the new union of pensioners and retired persons.

With regards,
Gunilla Persson
International Department

STATUTES approved in Congress

Statutes approved in the 1st. Congress of Trade Union International (TUI) of Pensioners and Retired (P & R), the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU)



GENERAL RESOLUTIONS OF THE First World Congress (constituent congress) of the TUI of retired workers

Veteran trade unionist from around the World, all of them members of class struggle orientated organizations belonging to the TUI of P&R of WFTU, have gathered at the town of Barcelona (Catalonia / Spain) in order to celebrate the First World Congress (constituent congress) of the TUI of retired workers and seniors from the WFTU, in order to celebrate the First World Congress of the mentioned TUI. 

The congressional discussions and debates held during the meetings of February 5th and 6th, 2014, have made possible the constituent congress and the approval of the following RESOLUTION:

I.- The first Congress of the TUI, member of the WFTU, takes place in a crucial historical period in which millions of former activists and retired workers from all over the world are expecting for the rising of new ways of struggle in its aim to defend their rights currently under pressure from the attacks launched by the oligarchy of the central and peripherals capitalism as well as by despotic regimes clearly opposed in its social and economic policies to a minimum observance of the most elemental human rights.

II.- The United States, that were the economic winners of the Second World War that had a balance of 60 million dead, launched the Marshall Plan and imposed their economic system helped by the yellow unions and social democrats, in order to stop the advance of socialism in Europe. Europe was now liberated of capitalism and Nazism on the East end, thanks to the USSR. These measurements undoubtedly were an obstacle for the advancement of socialism. There was a rapid reconstruction of the western and an unprecedented industrial development, apart from the creation of the so-called welfare state with the aim of curbing the revolutionary movements of the communist parties. The intention was to convince workers of the benefits of the capitalist system and its economic efficiency on both blocks.

With the disappearance of the former USSR, world citizen’s conditions, especially the so-called middle class and workers have got worse. Capitalism, that does not have the contention of socialism these days, has no problem in ending with the welfare state while giving more power to multinational corporations and financial speculation implementing the economic neoliberalism of Milton Friedman's Chicago Boys. The media, that is all in finance capital hands, make us to believe that there is no other possible system than the one they are imposing, even putting down the political power so that almost no government dares to contradict them as most of them are funded through their banks and receive donations for their electoral campaigns.

Nowadays, the 85 richest families of the planet have more wealth than 3.5 billion citizens, inequalities between rich and poor countries are increasing, but also among all citizens in general. The major economic powers continue sacking the poorest countries of raw materials having no problem in generating ethnic or border wars with the aim of arming both sides and sell them weapons that are paid by raw materials as oil, gas, diamonds, coltan or other.

Even though the capital feels stronger and safer than ever these days, something is moving and this situation is reversible. Examples as the Arab spring, social movements in Western countries such as the 15M in Spain or Occupy Wall Street in the USA, and the advance of the real left in Greece are examples that it is possible. However, in order to avoid these movements ending up being just riots we have to let the youth know the way through our experience. We are millions of elderly people around the world whose rights are being attacked, but also the rights of our children and grandchildren are being decreased and might end up living under worse conditions than the ones of the 19th century. There are just a few that pretend to own the whole planted while the rest of us keep silent. However, we have the power of being the majority, we produce everything and, as money cannot be eaten, we are going to demonstrate them that everything can change and the story can turn the other way round. This founding Congress of pensioners and retired workers demonstrates that no only the youth can struggle for a better and fairer world where there are no classes and no exploitation of man by man, where women and men are equal and there is peace and solidarity between peoples.

III.- Although (depending of past and present different processes) the daily reality of retired workers and seniors is varied in many of its cultural, political and historical aspects,  the common problems are being increased as a consequence of the current crisis of global capitalism. The violence which the capitalist system tends to solve its problems is reaching higher levels when dealing with the retired and pensioner workers. By means of this structural violence the system …. (capitalism) tries to increase its earnings rate by taking away social benefits as well as by undoing social progress, particularly those achieved in the past by retired workers. A common trace of this policy comes defined by constant and deeper cuts in health care systems and in the monthly amounts perceived by seniors. In some countries, crucial and major facilities as the supply of fresh water have seen a severe increase in prices paid by workers of all ages.

IV.- Due to systemic crisis of global capitalism started in 2008 we are now seeing the sharpening process of the difficulties arisen as a result of previous crisis in recent History.

Nowadays, the governments of the economically powerful countries send million dollars to be placed on the economic system of less developed countries. In exchange  to this massive investment, western economies obtain from these countries a net profit near to two trillion dollars through financial speculation, high rates of interest and uncountable devices based on the inequality of international commercial relationship. Other collateral elements make possible this situation, mainly the slave labour of more than 500 million children also condemned to serve as cannon fodder in several armed conflicts all over the Third World.

At the beginning of the present century, in 2011, the external debt of the less developed countries has reached the four trillion dollars mark, more than four times their debt in 1980. In 2000, more than 2.800 million people (almost one third of the global population) lived on a disposable income of less two USD a day, and among them other 1.200 million people was forced to survive with less than a USD a day. In 2014, this figures have become even worst.

V.- At the same time, the populations of the countries belonging to the so called “first World” are suffering an alarming worsening of their living standards. The average unemployment rate in Europe has risen to 12,22 %, with Greece and Spain on top of the list with averages of 27,6% and 26,6%. Supported by the reformist trade unions, the Troika imposes to the working class new and unbearable measures while as part of the same process spreads its military force placing its occupation armies in other continents in tight collaboration with the American imperialism, all this in order to keep the interests of the European bourgeoisie.

At this stage, we claim for the urgent cancellation of the public debt (national debt) of all European countries with the European Central Bank, for the exit from the European Union, the economic and monetary union represented by the common currency, the Euro, and the NATO.

In the United States of America 39% of households are currently suffering several problems related to the unemployment, and almost 50 millions of US ‘citizens depend from the government subsides and social funds for their daily lives. Almost 15% of the US youngster neither work or study… And also in Europe this statistic data are growing.

As a result of situations caused by unemployment, we are witnessing the gradual impoverishing of working class households counted in their tens of thousands, along with rising rates of suicide and other mental diseases and disorders as constant fear and stress directly caused by the lack of jobs.

VI.- From its origins as an offspring from the Old Regime and during its historical development, bourgeois capitalism has been unable to abolish (to end with) the social privileges of the ruling classes over the majority of the populations under their sphere of power (influence). From the Holy Alliance set in Paris (1815) bourgeois capitalism, along with the old monarchies, led the struggle against the working class in a long process in which repression played a basic role; this process was partially halted at the middle of the twentieth Century, but nowadays, and especially from 1991 onwards, has recovered its previous momentum.

VII.- In any case we all now that the world doesn´t remains on a permanent and standing position. From the point of view of the class struggle, the current situation on a global basis comes defined (or conditioned) by great and constant changes that could not have been imagined only six or seven years ago. The bankruptcy of the main capitalist economies of the Western World, especially the crack-down of the Bretton Woods Agreements after the conversion of the US dollar the rising of the Shanghai Organization (OCS), strengthened by the coming of age (growing consolidation) of the countries named / considered as BRICS; the defeat of the plans designed by the US in order to cope with the armed conflict in South Osetia; the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, probably the main investment bank of the United States and it´s wide area of influence; the various interventions in armed conflicts, as the shooting down by the Russian army of the missiles launched against Damascus by the Americans from its bases settled on Spanish territory… confirm the internal rivalries of a new World order  (MULTIPOLAR) as well as the slow decline of the United States of America´s hegemony (also SUPREMACY). Meanwhile, and along with all these facts, there are clear sings of a shifting of economic power from West to East.  ,,

VIII.- A worldwide multi-polar process is currently underway, and this process is driven by the arms race in which different governments dedicate their biggest budgetary efforts in order to achieve the supremacy over weapons of mass destruction as part of their offensive strategies of domination, while other countries are forced to take part in the arms race to defend themselves from external threats from their neighbouring countries. This waste of billion of dollars from public funds is paid by the workers and the less privileged classes while at the same time presents an important risk to the survival of life on Earth.

The TUI and WFTU ´struggle is (currently) aimed to make reality its goal of social welfare. This organizations strongly appeal (demand) to end with the arms race and with the aggressive policies of imperialism as the only way to establish peace and co-operation among countries (peoples), supressing capitalist´s tyranny through the path of real democracy made possible by the socialist model of society. 

IX.- The exit (way out) from the capitalism´s structural and systemic crisis born from the exhaustion of its production capacity could (be only attained in) found two different and opposed ways: the socialist´ society as it was rehearsed in the former Soviet Union during most of the twentieth century – a model still operating in Cuba and in the People´s Democratic Republic of North Korea, or the impose of a capitalist economic model based on exploitation and modern slavery.

Only the gathering of forces (the accumulation of forces) of the working class and popular movements could pave the way to an exit focused on the interests of the working class. This must be the key to put an end to the exploitation of man by man; the socialist way to end with suffering of the oppressed peoples through the liberation of the working class. At this crucial stage we must face a powerful element that blocks the massive class-consciousness: the role played by reformists organizations with its denial of class struggle.
Our urgent task is the recovery of a class-conscious trade unionism through the constant development of platforms for demands useful in the struggle for emancipation and able to bring to the working class a strengthened self-confidence based on anti-capitalist and ideological principles as well as the compromise to become a member of the WFTU, stronghold in the fight against the huge power of the employers all over the world.

X.- The first congress of TUI, P&R and WFTU appeals for mass affiliation of retired workers and seniors to fight for the following common objectives:

1) Organize seniors and retired workers who agree with giving themselves an instrument for the class defence as part of the trade unionism´s model represented by the WFTU in the struggle against inequalities and for the ensuring of a dignified life to all workers – male and female – who have dedicated their entire labour lives to the well being of society.
2) Join our forces and experiences to give further strength to the working and popular movements, to those employed workers whose aim is to create, through mass actions,  the conditions needed to socialize the capitalist´s means of production and for the collectivization of the wealth taken from earth as to ensure workers the enjoyment of the product derived from their´s work force in equal terms for all, so nobody would be the victim of the exploitation planned by the privileged elements of society.
3) We must fight in order to attain our aim to get to every worker in the world a decent retirement income from 60 years old onwards (the retirement age should be improved in the course of the struggle) along with public health care services, proper and decent housing, culture, leisure, the access to public, high quality, transportation system, healthy environment and special care for the disabled.

XI.- This first Congress has approved the launching of TUI of pensioners and retired workers, as member of the WFTU; it has also approved its articles of association and its political and trade union document (available  in ten different languages at the web / The Congress has appointed the world leaders of this TUI (formed by veteran trade unionist and internationalist organizers from all over the world). It has also settled its headquarters at Barcelona under the Management of the Spanish branch of CSU / P&R (till the celebration of its second congress), has prepared the necessary meetings in order to complete the Executive Board.

XII.- Hundreds of millions of pensioners and retired workers have now at their disposal a new tool in their struggle for their rights.


Barcelona, Spain, on Feb. 6, 2014.




Five Cubans are detained in the United States since 15 years ago; four of them are still imprisonment in separate prisons: Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Ramón Labañino Salazar, Antonio Guerrero Rodríguez y Fernando González and one of them René González Sehwerert who is already in his motherland.

Well known as The Five case, they are facing hard long unfair sentences, accused by the North American government with the unconditional support of the Miami Cuban-American mafia.

The Five were detained in September 12, 1998 and sentenced to long and live sentences in 2011 for the only “crime” of monitoring anti Cuban terrorist groups based in Miami that planned and carried out violent attacks against Cuban people security and its territory.

During the trial, the fundamental and humans rights of the prisoners were violated, and even are still being violated not allowing some of them to be visited by their wives and parents, meanwhile they are imprisonment.

The attorneys of the case and the Cuban government have presented all the necessary arguments to prove the injustice and the innocence of the Five. The Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the Commission of Experts of the United Nation Human Rights Commission declared the arrest, the trial and the imprisonment of the Five as an arbitrary process in its opinion 18/2005.

According to all expressed above, since the very beginning of their detentions the Cuban people, the authorities, political and mass organizations and their families raised a protest against this brutal action, and led the world all over to know the situation of those heroes of the Cuban people.

The battle for their freedom is part of the struggle against the terrorist state policy sustained by the US governments for more than 5 decades against the independence and fundamental freedom of the Cuban people which has been focused to destabilize and to try to defeat the Cuban revolutionary government that, among other inhuman actions and measures that violate all vital rights,  makes the US policy a permanent aggression against the Cuban revolution,  the Cuban workers and people since 1959.

The US injustice and government have insisted in maintain the case in a secret way to the world, and specially to the American people, but we must continue the struggle, we must destroy the silence curtain, inside and outside of the United States, this is the most important thing.

The Word Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) has supported the Cuban Workers’ Central Union and the Cuban people in this permanent struggle, making solidarity actions and denounces. In its last XVI World Trade Union Congress held in Athens, 2011 a Resolution was approved claiming the freedom of the Five and in the Presidential Council held in Peru the approved Action Plan 2013 says, as a priority action, to develop actions in support and solidarity with the Cuban compatriots.

The participants in this Constitutive Congress of the TUI of P&J, get together in this International Campaign and demand to the American government their urgent liberation, that their human rights must be respected and that justice will be done. We will start with new actions to reinforce the efforts for this fair cause when we return back to our countries.

Don’t let this US government criminal act without punishment!

The only way to get the
Freedom of the Cuban Five is trough solidarity!

We must be united in this struggle!


Elected direction:

  • President:  Dimos Koumpouris of PAME (Greece).
  • Secretary-General:  Quim Boix, CSU H & Js (Spain).
  • Deputy Secretary-General:  Jean Marie N'Guema, CGT (Gabon).
  • Vice President for Africa:  Lazare Kimankata, TCC (Dem. Rep. Congo).
  • Vice President for America:  Martha Hervas, the CTE (Ecuador).
  • Vice President for Asia:  Mohan Bahadur, ENSA (Nepal).
  • Vice President for Europe:  Vladimir Kapuralin, Pensioners (Croatia)
  • Vice President for the Middle East:  Abdul Abbas, the Alba Labour Union (Bahrain).
  • Secr. Organization:  D. Gopalakrishnan, All India BSNL (India).
  • Secr. Finance:  José María Lucas, CSU H & Js (Spain).
  • Secr. Health and Social Security:  Frank Goldsmith, of WFTU North (USA).
  • Secr. Propaganda:  Alain Rodriguez, the Front Synd. Classe (France).
  • Secr. Genre:  Emiddia Papi, USB (Italy).
  • Secr. Union Training:  Fred Krausert, Maritime Union (Australia).

Technical and Research Commission:

  • Mark Wolman, CTA (Argentina).
  • Narayanan Namboodiri, CITU (India).
  • Lázara Santiago, CTC (Cuba).
  • Panagiotis Palmos, PAME (Greece).
  • Roger Perret, the UIS Food (France).
  • Miguel Guerrero, CSU H & Js (Spain).
  • A union leader from Senegal.
  • Other union leaders which are eventually proposed and approved.

Financial Control Commission:

  • President:   Costas Skarparis of PEO (Cyprus)
  • Secretary:  a union leader from Asia.
  • Secretary:  a union leader from Africa.

Newsletters and mass media

Bulletin from All India BSNL Welfare Ass. in Tamil language

News from MUA Veterans (Australia)

REVIEWS received

Report from comrade Fred Krausert National Secretary MUA Veterans (Australia)

Comrades and Friends

The meeting took place in Barcelona which has a proud history of opposition to the fascist Franco forces in the Spanish Civil war and was extensively bombed as a onsequence with loss of life. Some of the delegates had been jailed and tortured during the following years when working underground against the fascist regime. Delegates from Latin America had similar stories to relate of the struggles and persecution in their own countries due to repressive governments and the struggle against imperialism.

With 21 countries and a hundred and ten delegates attending this historical meeting to address the attacks on the Pensioners and Retired communities of these countries to sought the assistance of the Trade Union movement and communities to work hand in hand to counter the attacks on the hard won social conditions that require for the aged to live their lives in dignity.

Firstly I would like to thank the organizers for the tremendously hard great job that was done, it is never an easy task but the support of every delegate was great.

With the opening address by the president of the Barcelona retired trade unionist and addressing the attacks that are facing all of us, we understood the need for this historic conference to be held.

Delegate after delegate reported the attacks on their social conditions, and expressing the need for solidarity on a global base to combat the attacks, for the hunger of greed is never satisfied, with the trade union being under attack in most countries, we see urgent need for action to combat the attacks.

I also took the opportunity to go to London to meet with the UK pensioners I had a four and a hour meeting with the National Secretary Dot Gibson which was very interesting as she outlined the many campaigns they are waging against the attacks by the Conservative Government against the pensions concessions. I also was able to meet with the RMT veterans at their union offices and to learn about their problems and acivity.

Here in Australia the aged have never been under attack as with this conservative government.

There is a concerning trend emerging in Australia economic policy debate that seniors should cough up for the good of the nation. Calls to increase the pension age, tighten pension the assets test, review superannuation and the older people to draw down equity from their homes to fund aged care are all being bandied about as solution to current and future budget challenges.

The intent with Medicare been under attack forgetting that we all contribute through our tax levy ,but no word on the 5.4 billion that is given to private enterprise by medical rebates, with an increase in the population and the high prices of doctors’ visits, then of course .the attack that we are living to long, what a statement to make, nothing regarding the contribution that is made still by the aged in the voluntary capacity that is done saving the government approximately 5 plus billion dollars each year.

Now the employment minister Eric Abetz want to trade penalty rates for flexibility not forgetting that our aged pension is made up of the average male wage and all is incorporated into that structure to evaluate the outcome.

What needs to be done? We would suggest that a mass movement should be built up of all those effected by the Abbotts Governments agenda of the “end of the era of entitlements” while we agree that we need to re-elect a Labor Government the immediate issue is building up a mass movement.

Comrades the time has come to counter all these attacks we cannot allow this to continue for we will lose everything and our children will have nothing.

United we stand divided we beg

Yours in Solidarity

Fred Krausert
National Secretary
MUA Veterans

VIDEO "Can Fulló"

working sessions - "Can Fulló" - 5 & 6 february 2014.