The World Federation of Trade Unions representing 90 million workers in 126 countries around the world condemns the recent acts of violence against foreign nationals in South Africa.
Suffering under the chronic results of colonialism, imperialism, the plundering of natural resources by the monopolies and capitalist exploitation, local and foreign workers, no matter which country they end up living in, are powerful only in joint fraternal struggles in social alliance with self-employed and poor farmers against their common enemies. Racism, xenophobia and all other acts of discrimination are an instrument of division and tactics to scapegoat the vulnerable sections of the working class in order to hide the real culprits for the people’s suffering.
The WFTU at the same time distinguishes itself from the cosmopolitanism promoted by various Organizations towards migration using phrases such as “global village”, “migration must be seen as economic growth factor” and “cultural mixing” which put workers in the shoes and mindset of their exploiters. This perception aims to justify the inhumane consequence of imperialism which is economic and labour migration. This is a phenomenon which greatly assists the capitalists to double exploit the desperate migrant workers while pushing further down the rights of all working class in each country. Many times, when foreign workers are not needed any more in the specific profit-making endeavors of the monopolies, they are dealt with as a problematic factor for the economy. The WFTU and the class-oriented trade union movement struggle so that no worker is forced to abandon their homes and families for survival or employment.
Local and migrant workers in each country have no other way but to fraternally come together inside the trade unions and in the same struggles demanding equal rights, better working and living conditions, increased wages, social and labour rights and ultimately the abolition of capitalist exploitation and imperialism which are to blame for their suffering.
The WFTU, noting the experiences, the traditions and the values of the South African people and especially the black population who have suffered greatly under the colonialism and apartheid, feels optimistic that the South African working class will confront such acts and those who instigate them, will utilize its internationalist and proletarian solidarity to further infuse unity amongst workers inside and outside of the country and will find the causes of the problems in the political level and capitalist mode of production which is to blame for the continuing existence of poverty, unemployment and inequality.