The First secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, coordinator for the Former Socialist Countries of the International Trade Union of Pensioners and the Retired of the World Federation of Trade Unions, Sergey Skvortsov recorded a video message to pensioners. It can be viewed at links https://sb-skvortsov.livejournal.com/114729.html and
The following is the text of this appeal:
Hello! I am Sergey Borisovich Skvortsov, the First secretary of the CPSU Central Committee and Coordinator for the former Socialist countries of the International Trade Union of Pensioners and Retired of the World Federation of Trade Unions. First of all, I appeal, of course, to activists of the movement of pensioners, but, probably, this information will also be interesting also to some more young people.
The dismantling of social conquests achieved during socialism has began after counter-revolutionary coups in our countries in the late 1980s - early 1990s. All this took place approximately according to the same scenario, so the current problems are very similar.
If we talk about the rights of pensioners, this primarily concerns the size of the pension and retirement age. As compared with the time of socialism the average pension decreased significantly and is, as a rule, at the level of the subsistence minimum or even below it. Thus, many of our pensioners live in the most real poverty.
In addition, as a result of pension "reforms" the age of retirement increased sharply. In the time of socialism in most countries it was 55 years for women and 60 for men, now it has become higher for 5-7 years and more. It is officially justified by the allegedly increased life expectancy, which, taking into account the "optimization" of the health care system, i.e. reducing the number of state medical institutions and health workers is absolutely not true. The aforementioned "optimization" of health care and its commercialization significantly worsens living conditions of our pensioners and reduces its duration, despite all manipulations with statistics.
A coronavirus pandemic caused a significant destabilization of the socio-economic situation in our countries, which led to decline in production and even to stop of it in many industries, to decline in income of workers and mass unemployment. It also poses a real threat to health and even life of pensioners, which with this disease are the most vulnerable group, seriously aggravated by the crisis state of health care system. Despite the significant diversity of socio-economic and political conditions in our nearly 30 countries, the following directions of pensioner’s struggle may be identified:
1. Abolition of increase of the age of retirement and returning it to parameters which existed under socialism.
2. Increase of minimum pension to one and half value of subsistence minimum for pensioners.
3. Increase of the average pension to the level of no less than 50 % of the average salary.
4. Indexation of pensions for all pensioners, including working pensioners, according to inflation rates.
5. Subsidy payout to pensioners for expenses for housing and public utilities in size of no less than 50 % of their sum.
6. The real, not only declared, delivery of free medical care to all pensioners.
Three decades ago the socialism in our countries suffered a defeat - as we are all confident, temporary on a historic scale. We did not surrendered without a fight, but the forces were too unequal. For many years we led the rearguard actions, sometimes reaching tactical successes. And if we did not resist, people now would live much worse.
Our conscience is clear - we did everything we could and sometimes much more. But the purpose of our struggle is not to prevent pangs of remorse. The purpose of our struggle is to restore social justice and genuine democracy in our countries, to ensure that our fellow citizens, elderly and young, will have a decent life.
In some places the bourgeois power managed to achieve a relative stabilization, but in the most part of our countries the system of government is in a permanent crisis and often cannot exist without external support. On the other hand, many of our fellow citizens from their own experience made sure of “amenities” of capitalism and realized what they had lost.
That’s enough to retreat! The time has come and Leftist forces in our countries must go on the attack. And here we, veterans, can do a lot. We have the richest political and life experience, we still have the strength. Let’s go to the work, dear Comrades!