The event will take place on
27 and 28 February 2019 in the city of Bogota, Colombia.
It is a great pleasure to appeal for your attendance to the forthcoming Second Congress – we are sure it will be a successful event – of the tenth TUI (the most recently created) of the WFTU, that of the most veteran trade unionists.
Pensioners and Retirees´ TUI was born by agreement of the 16th Congress of the WFTU held in Athens on April of 2011, by incorporating Comrade George Mavrikos, as Secretary General, to the congressional conclusions, the proposal made by the Spanish state delegation concerning this matter. Before this, between the proposal and its collective acceptance, Comrade Mavrikos proposed a gathering of all Pensioners and Retirees actually attending the 16th Congress of the WFTU. The attending Pensioners and Retirees considered the initiative correct and we became the promoter group of the First Congress that was finally held in Barcelona in February 2014.
In any case we must admit that there were doubts, in the 16th Congress of the WFTU, among some congressmen, as to whether the decision was correct, for never before in the history of unionism had there been an TUI of Pensioners and Retirees.
Today we appeal to the celebration of the Second Congress convinced that the proposal was not only correct, but also necessary (for the good defense of the rights of the working class) and made at the right time. Today, Pensioners and Retirees still need to be better organized in order to prevent the deterioration of their living conditions while making real the slogan of our TUI: “LONG AND DIGNIFIED LIFE FOR PENSIONERS AND RETIREES!!!”
In the Second Congress we will complete the content of this slogan on the basis that five minimum items for a decent life must be reached all around the world: 1) Drinking water in the house; 2) Sufficient and healthy food; 3) Proper housing; 4) Free Health, Culture and Transportation means of quality; and 5) Retirement at age 60, with a public pension that allows workers to enjoy the aforementioned minimums.
Capitalism in the current stage, eager to keep its growing imbalances and to cover the increasingly huge expenses of the imperialist wars that it promotes and wages, goes from crisis to crisis (because they are systemic and structural as a natural part of the whole system), that its leaders are trying to overcome. For this aim they need to increase the exploitation of man by man, and seek new financial capital to support their decisions, patches or temporary remedies to prolong the life of the decaying, and, sooner than later, deceased, capitalist society.
In this current process they have discovered the existence of large, immense amounts of money, which were accumulated in the Public Pension Funds established by the states from the mid 1950´s (when the working class, with its struggle, took away the right to retirement, extending to the capitalist world what had been a reality for decades in the countries that built socialism).
They began this new project by testing in Chile, with the logical support of Pinochet´s government and the gang of fascists who, helped and financed by the US CIA, violently overthrew the elected and socialist president Salvador Allende. In this test they had the collaboration and help provided by the yellow unionism (which received a few supplementary subsidies). The ICFTU (today ITUC) supported the proposal by helping to deceive Chilean wage earners: they promised that with the passage of Public Funds to Private Funds their first pension would be 100% of the last salary as active workers, instead of being 70% that was the amount charged at that time (1970s decade).
Today, 40 years later, the big lie and its consequences have been proven, Chileans are retiring, charging, on average, 35% of their last salary as active workers. But the members of the Boards of Directors of the Private Funds (including many leaders of the ITUC) have enriched themselves by robbing the working class again.
Similar examples are available today in all the capitalist countries, and in all of them the yellow unionism has played the same role of puppets handled and at the service of those behind the capitalist governments. During the Second Congress we will collect and update this data.
From the previous data it will be understood that yellow unions, those which practice the conciliation of classes, have not been interested in creating a world structure that coordinates the struggle of Pensioners and Retirees. Only in Europe there is a bureaucratic platform, linked to the CES, which, pretending to discuss the problems of former workers, only serves as a luxury travel agency for ETUC leaders. As organization, it has never called any action against exploitative capitalism.
Up to this day, during its four years existence, our TUI, the only global organization of Pensioners and Retirees, has already called three global actions (on October 1, 2016, 2,017 and 2,018) each year more successful, and several regional actions, in addition to its everlasting support of the constant and fair struggles of Pensioners and Retirees country by country. We are defending the rights of 20% of the world’s population and 30% of the world’s voters.
The Second Congress will also serve to evaluate these actions and the necessary struggle of Pensioners and Retirees on a whole world basis, against the common enemy, against the capitalism lead by the IMF and its collaborators.
It will also serve to check the daily realities of those structures of our TUI set in motion in the already realized and successful 5 Regional or Continental Conferences.
Finally, the Congress should bring an election of the new management team of our TUI that will work on the high levels during the forthcoming five years between the Second and the Third Congress, ensuring that we will choose the best union leaders who are in a position to fully dedicate themselves to making it work as an important organization inside the WFTU.
We will hold this Second Congress in compliance with the decisions of the successful 17th Congress of the WFTU held in Durban (South Africa) in October 2016, a Congress in which 1,300 delegates from 112 countries around the world made it clear how needed is to improve the coordination and spread of experiences, the strengthening of solidarity among trade unions, the increase of militant initiatives, the organization and the increase of militancy of all the organizations that belong to the great fighting and internationalist family of the WFTU . One of these organizations is the TUI of Pensioners and Retirees.
In order for all of the above to be a reality we convened the Second Congress of the TUI of Pensioners and Retirees of the WFTU, that will be held on days 27 and 28, of month February of the next year 2,019, in city Bogota of country Colombia, of America.
It will be a militant and democratic Congress that will elect the new leadership, will discuss the serious problems that affect Pensioners and Retirees all over, the plan of action and the strengthening of our TUI over the next five years.
We invite trade unions and class organizations of Pensioners and Retirees no matter their political and ideological position (within the broad spectrum of class unionism, which adheres to the anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist and internationalist agenda), to join us and to the militant movement of the Pensioners and Retirees of the whole world to fight for a better future for the current and future Pensioners and Retirees. For a better tomorrow far away from wars and capitalist barbarism, to open the road to socialism, the only future that can ensure the well-being of Humanity.
The comrades of H sign this appeal letter along with the leadership of the TUI and along with George Mavrikos, from WFTU´s leadership.
Subsequently a letter will be sent with the guidelines for the election of the delegates (normally one for each class organization of the Pensioners and Retirees, country to country) and several other details that will help the success of the appeal.
The TUI of Pensioners and Retirees and the central leadership of the WFTU reiterate the invitation on 27 and 28, of month February of the next year 2,019, in city Bogota of country Colombia, of America, a country rich in the history of trade union struggles.
We will try to be worthy of the hope of the current and future Pensioners and Retirees, and of the needs of the working class in today’s world.
With internationalist greetings for all comrades,
Athens, Mars 20th 2.018.