George Mavrikos, General Secretary of the WFTU had the opportunity to address the 27th AIBEA Conference that took place on February 11, 2013, in Cochin India. Read below his speech:
On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the 82 million workers it represents in 120 countries of the world, I convey to you comradely greetings and wish to you congress of AIBEA a great success.
You deliberations and your resolutions will add significantly to the enhancement of the international class-oriented trade union movement in a period particularly crucial for the working class.
The dynamic and very successful strikes that are organizes by the members of the WFTU in India are a very important part of the struggles of the international class-oriented movement for the fair demands of the workers. We stand on your side, in solidarity and wish every success to the All-India General Strike that you are organizing on February 20-21st, 2013.
The global capitalism with the European Union and the USA in particular, is getting deeper into the international capitalist crisis facing its own contradictions. The competition of life and death of the large monopoly groups is intensifying. The imperialist aggressiveness is become more intense and more ruthless for the control and the exploitation of the wealth-producing resources (miners, oil etc.). Simultaneously, the anti-people’s policy and the oppressive and suppressive policy are becoming more painful for the people. Important struggles are unfolding around the world.
During the international capitalist crisis, the banks in Europe and the USA are being presented as victims that need special care and support. Millions of dollars from the state budgets which are being concentrated with the exorbitant taxations of the popular strata are generously offered for the recapitalizations of the banks. At the same time, the crisis has become an opportunity for the “big” to become stronger in the game by devouring the weaker of the competition with the further accumulation of capital. The bankers themselves were confessing in 2009 that: “the largest commercial banks of the planet have come out more powerful, making it more difficult for the states where they operate to provide solutions to the current problems”.
The former director of the IMF said in 2009: “A dollar for the banks today is more useful instead of hospitals or bridges”.
However, even the most profitable banks are firing dozens of thousands of workers. The bankers are swimming in their profits while the bank employees are living in poverty. The big industry owners are getting richer from the sweat of the workers and the workers cannot even buy the products they produce themselves.
On behalf of the WFTU I want to express once more the solidarity in the struggles of your sector. The workers in the sector of finance capital have the ability to witness everyday with your own eyes the huge wealth that is accumulated in a few hands while the workers that created this wealth are surviving with less that the basics living in improper housing, with improper nutrition, with lack of access to clean water, without free public education for their children, without proper medical care, in an environment where the price hike is unbearable, were the labour migration is a huge wound for the working family.
In this period of the capitalist barbarity, the WFTU is making steps. It is becoming stronger. It develops action for all the big problems of the international working class. It gains more members. The WFTU has presence and action in all continents. To analyze and act in more concrete way for the international developments in the sector of Banks and Insurance, the WFTU has created a Trade Union International, a sectoral organizations for the unions of the branch in worldwide level, the TUI BIFU.
The contribution of the AITUC in this necessary struggle is very important. With its participation in the leadership of the WFTU, in the Secretariat, with its contribution in the functioning and the leadership of the Regional Office of the WFTU in the Asian-Pacific Region it fulfills greatly its internationalist solidarity and duty.
Comrade C.H. Venkatachalam is a great militant and internationalist who continues to offer a lot so that the voice of the WFTU reaches every worker and every militant trade unionist. Being a member of the Presidential Council of the WFTU, General Secretary of the TUI of Banks and Insurance (BIFU) and Head of the Financial Control Committee of the WFTU, he has contributed greatly to the upward course of the WFTU over the last years.
Only the organized class struggle can provide solutions to the fair demands of the class-oriented trade union movement.
Long live the working class of India!
Long live the international working class!
Long live the WFTU!