Trade Union International of Pensioners and Retirees, member of the WFTU at the 104º Conference of the ILO
Today is an historical date for Pensioners and Retirees from all over the world organized in class conscious trade unions and coordinated in the five continents, as for the first time here we are in front of the ILO claiming our rights. This has become possible due to the decision taken by the WFTU - an organization next to its 70ª anniversary - to create a Trade Union International of class unions that binds together Pensioners and Retirees from more than a hundred countries. I talk to you as General Secretary of this unique class union organization of Pensioners. As a whole, Pensioners and Retirees account to hundreds of millions, approximately 20% of the world population and 30% of the world´s citizens entitled to vote.
A very great part of this part of the population still has not its right recognized by the capitalist’s governments for a pension after they reach 60 years old. Due to its age, these important masses of former workers have acquired an impressive amount of collective wideness’ (used through the centuries by all civilizations) and a long lasting experience in the struggle for their rights. Our generation of trade unionist has achieved, from the mid twentieth century, important levels of betterment connected to the labour rights; an outstanding achievement in the history of the class struggle.
We reached this point through great mass struggles with lots of assassinations, tortures, imprisonments and fired out workers on its path, but also with great advantages that right now are in danger of being taken away by the capitalism - especially when dealing with Pensioners and Retirees - under the fake pretext of the actual crisis. The, we are going to use our number strength and our experience as trade unionists and fighters to get new rights for the Pensioners and Retirees as well as to the whole of the working class.
We are not to accept the fact that wage earners, after a long life of work, will become dependants from their families as was proposed in Senegal by the leader of the International Trade Union Confederation and ILO´s representative in Africa. We are going to fight, in close alliance with the rest of the working class and together with those exploited by the capitalists system that oppresses all of us as Capitalism is today the new Slavery. In any case, and as our ancestors finally defeated slavery, we are going to advance in our aim to finally abolish capitalism.
Entrepreneurs and rulers of the capitalist countries you may know that capitalism has its days or years of existence limited. Capitalism itself currently goes from structural to systemic crisis, and from there to its final crisis as rightly announced by Karl Marx. Our planet is a land of plenty, and we are going to fight to share it with fairness.
This will be impossible inside the framework of capitalism, as it steals basic and natural resources through genocides and imperialist wars following the old pattern of the colonialist whose main tool were its military interventions in the colonized countries.
With all this wealth fairly distributed, attached to the needs of each person, we are going to get a decent life for everyone in the planet. That is to say, Socialism.
We are especially fighting for a minimum and public pension equal to the minimum salary similar to what they have in Luxembourg (approx. 1.800€ per month), as the citizens of the whole world must have the same rights as the citizens of this country.
Didn´t they spend so much in weapons only useful to those transnational companies that make them in order to wage war and carry death and destruction (following NATO´s orders) to those countries whose resources they want to exploit, it would be money enough as to guarantee decent salaries and pensions.
We are going to achieve this aim by means of the struggle, as those recently waged by Greek Pensioners (thousands of them collapsing the streets of Athens to force the new government headed by Syriza to comply with its false electoral promises) or those that took place in Australia, in Africa, In France, in Pakistan, in Nepal, in India and in Cyprus, along with the historical struggle of the Argentinians pensioners who at this present stage accumulate 1.210 Wednesday stand-ups in front of the Parliament claiming for their rights.
We ask the Universal Declaration of Rights should be enhanced as to include Pensioners´ rights; those rights whose differences based upon sex discrimination, as is the case today, we are no to accept .
We, Pensioners, are no more under the influence of the entrepreneurs (with the exception of some countries), so we must claim our rights mainly from the governments, and we may change them, little by little, through our votes. In the meantime we can see that while the socialist countries have granted for decades a dignified pension to those who had worked during 25 years or more (along with the right to a decent house, health care, transportation and culture almost for free, as well as collective measures to resolve the problems of those disable due to their old age), the governments that rule the capitalists countries are cutting and denying us those basic rights. Headed those governments are the ones of the wealthy EEC.
We clearly denounce the private funds for pensions interesting only for the bank system and for the leaders of collaborationist trade unions, those linked to the capitalist´s exploitation, those trade unions coordinated by the CSI, that as part of the ILO, and as a payment for its submissive attitude to capitalism, holds in a monopolistic and anti-democratic and unfair way all the places that should be occupied by trade unions.
As I told at the beginning, today is a historical date for Pensioners, as you have just listened, for the first time at this UN´s hall used by the ILO, the voice of veteran class conscious trade unionists that as anti-fascists, anti-imperialists and anti-capitalist have fought and will continue fighting for changing the world. Socialism is the future of human kind and you know it, although you try to delay its arrival, which therefore will be our definite victory.
General Secretary of the Trade Union International of Pensioners and Retirees, meber of the WFTU.
UN and ILO´s headquartes, Geneve.