The General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP) and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) organize the 1st International Trade Union Youth Conference, Lima, Peru - November 18-20, 200928 September 2009
The organizing committee, the General Confederation of Workers of Peru (CGTP) and the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) call upon all affiliated and frieldy organizations to participate in this 1st International Trade Union Youth Conference.
CURRENT SITUATION IN THE WORLD OF WORK
The dictatorship of the capitalist system has been intensified since the 70s. In the 80s, through the “gurus” of neoliberalism and their instruments (International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB), World Trade Organization (WTO) and other multilateral agencies) convinced, without much effort, governments and neoliberal and socialdemocratic political parties of the developed and developing countries: The State should not interfere in the economic policies, the best is the privatization of strategic sectors of nations and it is needed to implement adjustments of deregulation and reforms of the State. Fraudulent privatizations were made under these principles involving the appropriation of natural wealth and resources, as well as national strategic enterprises to give them to transnational corporations, with the complicity of corrupt neoliberal governments (both conservative and Social Democrats). To achive this objective, they developed policies to destroy the trade union movement and to abolish the workers’ rights.
In this context, the Financial crisis dragged since 2007 exploded in the heart of the imperialist beast at the end of 2008. This crisis is also economic, political and social and it is aggravated by the energetic, ecological and moral crisis; with the imperialist wars and corruption at all levels. The consequences of the crisis are still unpredictable, but, being a global crisis, the consequences will be very hard for workers and peoples excluded by neoliberalism. This capitalist crisis uncovers the failure of the neoliberal economic model and the rise of poverty and hunger, presenting a very dark vision for the future of the World.
In the field of employment, the consequences of the global crisis are manifested in the mass layoffs, the brutal loss of purchasing power of wages, as well as the collapse of the pensions of retired workers, that have come to be administered by the private sector.
Paradoxically, the neoliberals and their bankers, who generated this crisis, are now claimimg the urgent intervention of the State to save their companies. And the governments of the major capitalist powers in the World, are supporting them with the money of taxpayers in an effort to wash the face of the system. In the U.S., the government has virtually nationalized nine banks by acquiring the majority of the shares. The so-called “Rescue packages” are used for saving bankrupt banks, as other governments have done. However, these same governments do not provide any measures to rescue and assist the millions of workers who have lost their jobs and those that will to lose them.
Despite the fabulous profits obtained with the complicity of corrupt governments, the transnational corporations benefited by the neoliberal policies and covered by the bourgeois state, are forcing workers to surrender their labor and social rights with the blackmail of mass layoffs. Millions of workers able to produce, after making the big companies gain millions, are fired and become members of the army of unemployed workers. Their impoverishment helps the capital to further overexploit other workers, undecently paid and subjected to a harsh competitiveness to beg for a job under humiliating working conditions.
This global crisis of the capitalism has shown once again that the “Class Struggle” is still valid, because society is still divided into classes. In the last decades, they tried to deny this reality and this led to confusion to large sectors of the trade union movement. But every day there are more workers who are convinced that the
capitalism only brings crisis, hunger, misery and exploitation. That is why they direct their struggle against this system.
STATUS OF YOUNG WORKERS
Youth unemployment is one of the major problems in the World for both men and women. According to reports given by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the number of unemployed people in the world increased during the decade 1995-2005 from 74 million to 85 million, that is an increase of 14.8%. And from then to the present, according to unofficial figures, the number of unemployed young workers is over 100 million. The worst part of this situation is that for the millions of young people who will join the Economically Active Population (EAP) there is no clear prospects for employment generation if we consider that there are currently mass layoffs of workers in all countries.
Regarding the number of unemployed young workers in Latin America and the Caribbean, it increased from 7.7 million to 9.5 million during the same years (1995-2005). This meant an increase in the unemployment rate from 14.4 to 16.6%. Today those figures are increasing rapidly. Besides, 16.7 million young people, or 35% of those who still have jobs in Latin America and the Caribbean do not overcome the poverty threshold because of low wages, while 6.3 million of them live in extreme poverty. The ILO also says in its 2006 report that 25% of the youth population in the world, that is, over 300 million young people, live below the poverty line.
JUNK CONTRACTS - OUTSOURCING
Outsourcing is another major problem of young workers. Today “junk contracts” are used in outsourcing, that is, hiring workers for medium and large enterprises with humiliating wages, without social or labour rights, unable to affiliate or get organized in trade unions and subjected to the psychological agony of waiting for a new contract. Outsourcing is being institutionalized by laws imposed by the neoliberal governments. With these policies they want to prevent youth from participating in trade unions. If this continues, the future of the trade union movement is in danger, mainly in underdeveloped countries. It depends on the attitude that we assume today to reverse this situation.
THE RIGHTS OF YOUNG IMMIGRANTS.
This situation has forced large numbers of young men and women from Latin America, Asia, Africa and even countries that made up the socialist bloc, to migrate to developed countries like the USA, Japan and the European Union in order to seek for a job. These young people who are just looking for an opportunity of life and personal development, are facing xenophobic and marginalizing policies, that do not respect nor recognize their labor rights. They receive miserable wages and they are considered in most cases as “illegal” or “undocumented”. Lately, the European Union governments have intensified their persecution of immigrants even by passing laws of expulsion and imprisonment, under the pretext that they are stealing jobs from the European citizens.
But this is not only happening in the European Union. In recent years, thousands of young Mexicans and Latin Americans in general have been killed by the US police in the US-Mexico border. Those who managed to enter the US territory are persecuted as criminals, they are arrested and deported.
The same happens with thousands of young people, including many children, from countries in Africa and Asia. Many of them have died and are dying almost every day drowned in the ocean in their desire to reach the coast of Spain or Italy. Those who manage to arrive are arrested by the police and deported to their countries of origin. The reason is unique: the capitalist system is only concerned about the free transit of goods and speculative capital in the “free market” but it has prohibited the free transit of humans beings.
THE WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS AND YOUTH
The Second World War was marked in the consciousness of humanity as one of the most painful tragedies. Over 50 million people lost their lives, most of them young people who shed their precious blood on the battlefield, although the Nazi Fascism was finally defeated.
After the war, in 1945, the Organization of the United Nations was created in the San Francisco Conference, where it was adopted the Charter of the United Nations, welcomed by the peoples of the World. The main purpose of this letter was to ensure the peace in the world, but this document is now used by imperialism for its own benefit.
In an important step the trade union movement called upon all unions in the world to an international conference. This was held in Paris in October 1945. Trade unionists from all continents attended the Congress of Paris to
create the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), as the only international trade union organization of the planet. This was the greatest achievement of workers at the end World War II. Their feelings are somehow reflected in their slogan: “Workers of the World Unite”. Therefore, the WFTU is a child of the trade union unity and the carrier of the flags for the struggle against wars. Due to the fact that young workers were the first to give up their lives in this war, the WFTU gave priority to struggle for the young workers, supporting their political, ideological and trade union education. The WFTU promoted a generation of trade union leaders in all continents and therefore a militant and anti-imperialist trade union movement that has made huge achievements from the 50s in the twentieth century.
This concern of the WFTU for the strengthening of class consciousness in the working class and especially in young workers alarmed the great imperialist capital. They feared its unity and strength, they settled the objective of preventing the unity of the working class by using dirty maneuvers and starting the Cold War with huge budgets to buy consciences and thus divide the WFTU in 1949. This hit the trade union movement.
The WFTU, in recent decades, with the collapse of the socialist bloc and the imposition of the neoliberal dictatorship, was target of continuous demonization campaigns funded by pro-imperialist forces. This way, the WFTU was beaten again. However, it replied by reaffirming the principles of unity and class solidarity and ratifying its fight against the big capital. Today, the WFTU is recovering and strengthening new directions from its 15th Congress held in Havana, Cuba in 2005.
Under these conditions we are celebrating this International Trade Union Youth Conference. The future of the world trade union movement is in the hands of young workers today.
THE FUTURE OF THE CLASS ORIENTED TRADE UNIONISM ARE THE YOUNG WORKERS OF TODAY