Comrade Swadesh Dev Roye, Deputy General Secretary of the World Federation of Trade Unions participated and addressed the 5th National Congress of CONEP in Kathmandu, Nepal which took place between 1-2 May, 2012.
“Comrades in the Presidium,
Dignitaries, Delegates and
Fraternal Representatives from the Country and Abroad,
On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) representing 80 million workers spread over 120 countries and also on behalf of my parent organization the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) I extend warm fraternal greetings to the delegate comrades and all other participants. Today being the historic May Day, the day of the international solidarity and unity of the working class, from the platform of your congress I, on behalf of WFTU extend warm revolutionary greetings to the entire working class and the toiling people of Nepal and the world working class as a whole and re-affirm the commitment of WFTU to class struggle and the struggle for emancipation of the human society from all forms of exploitation of man by man.
WFTU the Crusader Against Imperialism
Comrades, WFTU is currently engaged in implementing the decision of the 16th World Congress of WFTU took place on 6-10 April 2011 at Athens, Greece. The congress was a land mark success. It was attended by 881 delegates and observers together representing 110 countries. The theme of the WFTU Congress was: Open, Democratic and Class Oriented Trade Union Movement. The deliberation of the congress was enriched with contributions from 115 speakers representing all the countries participated in the congress. .
Narrating the path of struggles traversed by the WFTU in its journey to the 16th congress, our re-elected General Secretary Comrade George Mavrikos, in his report to the Congress noted, “We have arrived here at the 16th World Trade Union Congress through big struggles in sectoral, regional and local levels through out the world and conducting open, democratic, militant debate within the trade union movement on issues of concern of the working class.”
The Congress reaffirmed the commitment of WFTU to the path of class struggles with the ultimate goal to overthrow the exploitative system of capitalism; conduct struggles against imperialist wars of aggression and campaign for peace and friendship among people; stand shoulder to shoulder with the on going anti-imperialist struggle of the people of Palestine, West Asia and North Africa and solidarity with the peoples of Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia and North Korea.
Post Congress Major Activities of WFTU
The most important event since the 16th congress of WFTU was the resounding success of the Presidential Council meeting of WFTU held at Johannesburg on 9-10 February 2012 jointly hosed by the WFTU affiliates of South Africa. The meeting was attended by Presidential Council Members and special invitees from 38 countries. On this occasion, the second regional office of WFTU to co-ordinate work in the English speaking countries of Africa was inaugurated.
On the previous evening of the official session of the Presidential Council a shinning inaugural session recalled the grand history of WFTU through a documentary film. On this occasion seven legendry trade union leaders of the then SACTU who played important role in the early days of WFTU were felicitated. On the concluding day a public meeting attended by more than a thousand ‘Shop Stewarts’ was addressed by Comrade Mavrikos and Comrade Dalmini the General Secretary of WFTU and President of COSATU respectively and also by the leaders of NEHAWU, NUMSA, CEPPWAWU and POPCRU.
A delegation of WFTU composed of senior leaders from different continents had very meaningful meeting with Jacob Zuma, the President of South Africa. Comrade Blade Nzimade, General Secretary of the Communist Party of South Africa also addressed the Presidential Council meeting.
The Presidential Council discussed and adopted the work report of WFTU titled ‘Report of Action’ for the year 2011 and formulated ‘Programme of Action’ for the year 2012 which included observation of ‘International Day of Action’ on 3rd October 2012 demanding Food, Housing, Clean Water, Free Public Health Care System for all and has called upon the working class all over the world to observe the day with appropriate programmes of propaganda, demonstration, mobilasation and action.
Current Crisis of Capitalism and Struggle of Working Class
Comrades, your congress is taking place at a historic moment when International Finance Capital driven neo-liberalism under the capitalist order of imperialist globalization stands completely exposed. The hall mark of the exploded neo-liberal economic order was inequality, disparity, poverty and unemployment on the one hand resulting in rapid reduction in the purchasing power of the mass of the people thereby squeezing the market; on the other, speculation priority prevailed over productive-employment-generating investment for quick and maximum profit without any hassle. This has led to explosion of worst ever crisis and financial meltdown in the world capitalist order.
It is necessary to note that the present capitalist economic crisis has originated in the United States and quickly spread over the whole of Europe. Now with the financial meltdown and consequent puncture of neo-liberal economic doctrine under imperialist globalisation, the US and the EU have lost, if not for good, at least for long, the capacity to work as engine to pull the global capitalist economy. The capitalist system cannot re-emerge from the current crisis to the pre-crisis position. It cannot recover from the crisis fully soon. Even a partial recovery process is bound to be pregnant with socio-political changes in the world.
The burden of the entire crisis, as usual, is being passed on to the toiling people through unemployment, price-rise promoted by speculation, cut on wages and social security and fast informalisation of workplaces through rapid casualisation and contractualisation and various other means while simultaneously bailing out the perpetuator of the crisis- the capitalist class under the total grip of finance capital.
Now people’s protest against the onslaught of capitalist order has erupted all over the world. The entire Europe, the United States of America and the countries of Asia and Africa are reverberating with Strikes and militant Street Demonstrations as well as different other forms of struggles participated by millions and millions of worker to protest against brazen attack on rights and livelihood of toiling masses by the Governments of the respective countries under the dictates of imperialist agencies in their pursuit to protect the profit of the crisis ridden capitalist class.
The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement originated in the USA last September has gradually spread to 75 cities in the USA itself and also to thousands of cities in almost all corners of the globe. And from this movement the slogan was raised –“Ninety Nine per cent versus One per cent” and “billions for speculators and pennies for the people” demonstrating intolerance to the system of one per cent capitalists looting ninety nine per cent of the people.
Solidarity with the People of Palestine
I would like to share with the delegates of your congress that WFTU continues to be in the forefront in organizing world-wide solidarity campaign in support of the struggles of the people of Palestine against the Zionist policy of brutal occupation, aggressions, blackmail, blockades and other criminal acts against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza that has been continuing for decades, WFTU firmly believes that all anti-imperialist, patriotic, freedom friendly, truly pro-people and pro-working class trade union movements in the world have a moral and humanitarian responsibility to extend powerful support to the struggle of the people of Palestine.
Solidarity with the Struggling People of Arab Countries
WFTU has come out vociferously against the machination of imperialist forces in defeating the uprising of the people of the Arab world against authoritarian regimes. Centering round the people’s upsurge in the countries of North Africa and Middle East the double-faced deceit of the US led imperialist powers has been totally exposed. The US and its European allies are conspiring and promoting disturbances against the Governments of Syria and Iran who are not subservient to them in the name of democracy and civil rights etc, while at the same time openly supporting the brutal suppression and atrocities on the people’s up-surge against the pro-imperialist autocratic regimes in Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia etc with money and military supplies. Under the guise of fighting terrorism, the US has built up military bases in the strategically located and oil-rich Arab countries. WFTU shall continue to support the struggles of people of the region and organize world-wide campaign against the ploy of imperialist powers.
On the Struggles of the People of Latin America
The victory of the pro-left political forces in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and some other South American countries as well and their endeavour for an alternative path to neoliberalism, have delivered a severe blow to US imperialism. The coming together of the 33 Latin American and Caribbean nations at a conference in Venezuela recently and founding a regional forum called Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) is a very significant development.
Socialist Cuba continues to be a beacon of anti-imperialist struggles in the entire Latin American continent. It has played catalytic role in motivating, uniting and mobilising the people of Latin America against US imperialism. Moreover, despite economic blockade and constant conspiratorial onslaught of the US imperialist and other counter revolutionary forces, the social progress achieved by Cuba is a matter of great inspiration to the working class of Latin America as well the whole world.
Trade Union Movement in Asia – Pacific Region
The working class struggles in the region are obviously of different degrees and characters given the different levels of political situation, correlations of forces and level of class consciousness. However, day to day struggles for better pay and better working condition are taking place in varying intensities. At the same time barbarous attack of the capitalist class abated by the ruling policy in the region are common occurrences.
Of course there is no question of undermining the day to day economic struggles of the working class. However it is very much important to perceive and pursue without any compromise the total task underlined in the observation “The trade unions and other class-mass organizations are the primary weapons of class struggle. They however are not the only weapons of class struggle, which, in fact, has three faces – economic, political and theoretical. […] “The basis is the economic struggle which is the initial form in which the class finds its feet. Together with the fighting mass organizations of other sections of the toiling people, the trade unions fight the day-to-day economic battle, to which however are added two other forms – political and theoretical. Only by mastering all the three forms of class struggle can the working class lead other sections of the toiling people in the struggle against class oppression, defeating capitalism and its allies.”
The Struggles of the Working Class of Nepal
The people of Nepal has added new chapter in the world history of people’s uprising. It was a decisive leadership of Left and the battle of people’s militia and upsurge of the people in general and support of the Democratic forces which has overthrown the despotic monarchy. The first stage of destroying the autocracy and step for the institution of a democratic republic has been achieved by the Nepalese people.
WFTU firmly believes that the people of Nepal shall exercise their sovereign right to shape the future of Nepal without any anti-people maneuvering by imperialist forces and other foreign vested interests. WFTU supports the proclamation the left political leadership of Nepal for establishment and development of a People’s democratic system of the twenty first century.
In the end I would like to put before your congress with all humility that the Nepalese working class has contributed in a big way in successfully concluding the anti-monarchy, anti-feudal and pro-people’s democratic revolution which necessarily has an element of anti-imperialism as well. Now that a sovereign exercise is going on through the Constituent Assembly for a new Constitution of the country. In this context Nepalese working class is poised to carry forward the struggle. We strongly believe that WFTU is politically and ideologically equipped to extend the best international solidarity to the class oriented struggle of the working class to build a new Nepal with institutionalized People’s Democracy.
I, on behalf of WFTU, wish your congress a reverberating success and convey our thanks for the invitation and opportunity provided to participate in your Congress. I hope your congress shall further strengthen the relations between the working class and trade union movement of Nepal and WFTU.
Long Live International solidarity of working class
Long Live the Fraternity of Nepalese Working Class and the WFTU
Up Up Socialism
Down Down Capitalism”