As a member of the maximum collective leadership of the World Federation of Trade Unions, I send my greetings to the participants of the 18th Festival Of Youth and Students. I salute you on behalf of the 230 trade unions, located in 120 countries of the World, uniting almost 90 million workers at the 5 continents. The majority of those workers are exploited by capitalism, except, of course the countries that build socialism.
The youth today is submitted to one of the biggest attacks in the history of workers’ rights. They attack the right to a job with dignity, stable, to a salary high enough to ensure living, with social and labor guarantees (including accident prevention), to paid vacation, to a public and sufficient enough pension of quality, etc. that are conquests of the working class, that the multinationals and the capitalist governments are eliminating, when and where the collective struggle doesn’t prevent it.
There is wealth in the World, more than enough to secure a life with dignity to the more than 7 billion people who live in it. Only the 10% of what’s spent in wars and ammunition is enough to end the plague of hunger on the planet. With the abolition of the offshore paradises, there could be enough money for decent pensions for all people over 60, no matter whether they paid dues or not. With the socialization of the means of production, like they did in Cuba more than 50 years ago, food, decent housing for all, potable water, quality healthcare and free education would be guaranteed all over the world. These are the 5 main demands of the WFTU for its International Action Day, October 3rd, that also commemorates the birth of our organization.
With the disappearance of private property of the means of production, in other words with socialism, the big fortunes that today permit that the 3 wealthier people in the world accumulate the same wealth as the 47 poorest countries of the world, wouldn’t exist. With the socialization of the economy, the multinationals wouldn’t be the ones to dictate the laws of the capitalist society, playing the bourgeois parliaments of the European Union like puppets.
This Festival shows that the youth of all the countries represented is fighting for a world without exploitation of man by man, without unemployed without ecologic imbalance that only benefits the multinationals, without in equalities of gender, with the end of patriarchy as a form of social and family relations.
The World Federation of trade Unions has a Youth Secretariat that struggles, along with the other working people organized in class oriented unions, to end with this situation I described earlier and that is a consequence of capitalism. A capitalism that gets from crisis to crisis, structural and system crises, until it gets to what will be its final and auto-destructive crisis, like Marx and Engels have already announced to us in the Communist Manifesto (a brief text that stays modern and describes the reality, although its over 150 years old).
As WFTU we clearly identifying as the enemy of Humanity, capitalism and its instruments of control and oppression: the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the World Trade Organization, the G20, the NATO, just to mention the main ones. NATO invades countries to plunder their wealth. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Syria are among the most recent examples.
This exploitation is the continuation of the colonial era that the peoples of Africa, Asia and America got threw away with great struggles and sacrifices. Therefore the WFTU was born on 3 October 1945, in Paris, condemning colonialism. The unions of central and northern European countries voted against this condemn, these countries still had large colonies in 1945. Those who voted against the condemnation of colonialism were unions of Social Democrat or Christian influence that the year 1949 divided the WFTU, failing to destroy it as they desired, and created the International Confederation of so called Free Trade Unions, but they had nothing to do with freedom, for they supported ( following the orders of the big capital) Pinochet, Apartheid in South Africa and the Zionists against Palestine. This organization, now, with its new name : the ITUC ( International Trade Union Confederation ), still supports modern colonialism, eg supported actions NATO in Libya and other countries, and invited to its second Congress (Vancouver, Canada, June 2010 ) the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, the direct enemies of the working class who were presiding over a trade union congress, of course a conference of business and social partnership unions, of unions that support existence of capitalism.
So this yellow unionism receives subsidies of all kinds of governments in capitalist countries and is managed by big business foundations. With that money appear to be in solidarity with unions in Africa, Asia or America, but in reality they only give money to unions that (according to their thinking) CSI are likely to accept the recommendations of international capitalism. Some recent examples ( just before I left Spain) of this is the betrayal by the leaders of the CCOO and UGT to workers PANRICO ( food company Barcelona ) carrying a month of fighting on indefinite strike, where the yellow union leaders signed agreements with the company against the decision of the assemblies and of the secret ballot where 90% of the workers participated in.
It is sad to see this division of unionism when you need the working class unity in struggle. But unity is only useful if it is used to fight against the exploiters. If the unit is used for social pacts that only benefit the bourgeoisie is a negative unity of the working class.
The FSM works for the maximum unity of struggle of the working people but with slogans and demands in favor of the workers, not of big businesses. Thus, the WFTU is not subsidized and is financed solely by membership fees.
We call for young workers to intervene in trade union activities, to organize, even without a steady job, to join the struggle of workers affiliated to the WFTU, to reinforce the class unions that form the WFTU, in other words, the trade unions that identify the capitalists as enemies of human and labor rights.
Only by adding the strength and fighting ability of youth with the fighting experience of the older we will be able to gain the demands useful to the working class and the youth, such as public, free and quality education, the reduction of war and army spending, money that should be directed to create jobs that can be used to secure food, water, health and housing, quality culture for all the people.
I salute the progress on many of these issues that are occurring in Latin America, thanks to the electoral victory of progressive candidates. While at the same time I wish to state that in the opinion of the FSM, it is not enough to have progressive rulers, they must be anti-capitalist rulers that will be able to overcome the many pressures and attacks of the imperialism. Thus the working class, with young people in a prominent position, must be able to perform clearly their criticism, as well as joining forces and fighting ability to contrast it with the pressure of big business against the progressive measures taken by governments of many Latin American countries.
End capitalism as intended by the WFTU, will be a revolutionary task that class oriented unions will continue to contribute to, and the world youth have a great role in that. I call you, in collaboration with the organizations of your country, to become important players in the revolutionary processes that must occur in every country still governed by a capitalist economy.
I want to conclude by recalling that the WFTU was born in 1945, when also the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Democratic Federation of Women were established. 3 Federations were born as a result and consequence of the unity of the anti-capitalist after beating European fascism . So as the WFTU will maintain our public commitment to keep fighting at your side to defend all the just demands of the world's youth.
We will fight until the victory!
A world without workers is impossible!
A world without exploiters and businessmen and without capitalism is possible and necessary!
We will build it with your help!
We will build it with our collective action!
Long live the working class!
Long live internationalism!
Long line the WFTU!
Long live the WFDY!
Long Live the World Festival of Youth and Students
Quito, Ecuador, December 11th 2013.
Quim Boix, Member of WFTU Presidential Council.