Yesterday afternoon, the congress was preceded by an International Conference on the subject ‘’Migration in the era of globalization and the role of the trade union movement’’.
At the Congress, comrade Mavrikos will read the following speech:
Dear Colleagues and Comrades
On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions, we convey to your Congress warm comradely greetings. We greet our brothers in Cyprus, we greet all of you who, through your struggles, you trace a new path for the people and your country.
The relations between the Pancyprian Federation of Labor and the WFTU are solid ones. They have a rich history, a creative present and a promising future. The WFTU after the 15th Congress, held three years ago, follows a new course. An important course of reconstruction and important action in the international trade union arena. To pave the way to this new course, the role of PEO was a very important one.
It has pioneered for the change of course, on the strengthening of the militant and class-oriented characteristics, for the change of WFTU leadership. To overcome the delays, difficulties and mistakes of the recent past.
We thank the Pancyprian Federation of Labor, its supporters, its friends, its members and its cadres for this internationalist offer which is an expression of active solidarity in the class-oriented international trade union movement.
On our common path, I want to express here in front of all of you, in public, our appreciation for the General Secretary of PEO comrade Pampi Kyritsi. Pampis Kyritsis is a leader with recognition and respect from everyone in the big international family of the WFTU. The WFTU today has 180 affiliated trade unions from 95 countries in all continents, with over 60 million members.
We live in a time when the world community lives the consequences of the capitalist economic crisis that hit the United States, that hits the countries of the European Union and the entire capitalist world. The figures are frightening and they speak for themselves. Three hundred eighty thousand American workers and unemployed lost their homes, just in a month, because they could not pay the loans taken from the banks. In 2009, we estimate that seven hundred fifty banks and insurance companies will close in the U.S. The automotive industry, and the metal industry collapse. Towards this situation, the U.S. and the European Union have decided to allocate the amount of 3 trillion euros for the “salvation” as they say of the banks and the system.
Where did the governments really found those enormous amounts of money? From whom have they taken it? Why are they giving it now to the banks and car manufacturers? It is clear that many governments use the crisis to strengthen the multinationals and the capital. There are international upheavals, new international alliances are established, the rivalries between the monopolies for the new markets exacerbate the contradictions inside the capital. Eveyone now agrees that because of this crisis the U.S. will be the losers in the international scene.
For the international trade union movement all that matters is:
To organize the struggles for the world working class and to coordinate these necessary struggles.
To unite the workers in Europe and around the world, the struggles for a full and stable employment with full social security, with salaries to meet the contemporary needs of ordinary people, with public social benefits in education, health, protection of environment and of culture. By securing the social security, salaries and employment rights for the economic migrants and refugees. With particular attention to new generations and working women. That is now the central objective of the WFTU throughout the world.
Comrades and friends,
Another key factor of the times we live in, is the intensity of war conflicts, the threats, blackmails and defamation. The last war in Caucasus, the continuing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by foreign troops, the occupation of Arab territories by Israel, the war in Somalia, in Lebanon, the attack by American helicopters against Syria, the continuation of 46 years of embargo against Cuba, are unacceptable policies. The suffering of the Palestinian people continues for the last 60 years. The continued occupation in Cyprus for 34 years.
Towards all these dramatic events the WFTU since its establishment in 1945 was never indifferent. We never closed our ears. This is what we also do today and we demand to stop all the imperialist interventions of the United States and their allies. All foreign troops to leave from the foreign countries and territories.
All political prisoners throughout the world to be released now. The U.S. plans for the so-called new Middle East to be stopped now and to recognize the right of the Palestinian people to have their own independent state.
The basic principle that leads the WFTU is that we must all respect the peoples’decision for their own country. The peoples to have the right to decide themselves democratically and freely about who will govern them. This is the solution and not the wars and the threats.
Sisters and brothers,
Allow me to conclude my speech by expressing once again the steady, firm and internationalist stance towards Cyprus issue. The WFTU as in the past, also today supports that all foreign troops should immediate withdraw from the island and the decisions of the UN Security Council to be respected. These two conditions are the basis to re-unite the island into a single state, a state entity. A joint homeland of Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites and Latins.
We consider that Cypriot people and Cyprus are fortunate to have Dimitris Christofias as your President, who works with struggling plans for the solution of the Cyprus problem. A fair solution, sustainable and stable. We are on the side of Dimitris Christofias, we are on your side.
We wish you success in your Congress.
Long live PEO!
Long live the people of Cyprus!