The World Federation of Democratic Youth organized an online event on November 10th to celebrate its 75th anniversary titled “How to face the struggle against Imperialism in our days”. The WFTU Representative Petros Petrou from PEO-Cyprus took part and intervened during the event.
Below his intervention:
Dear comrades of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, Women’s International Democratic Federation and the World Peace Council,
The World Federation of Trade Unions, the oldest and only class-oriented international trade union organization is gladly participating in this online event that is taking place on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the WFDY.
As it is known our federation has also celebrated its 75th anniversary on October 3rd. The WFTU has been always, clearly, militantly, and with unshakable faith in the side of the workings class and the peoples of the globeIt has always been shoulder-to-shoulder with the peoples against colonialism, against capitalist exploitation, foreign occupations, and imperialist plans for the plundering of the peoples’ natural resources and the control of spheres of influence in the length and breadth of the world.
We are proud that, for seven and a half decades, we are paving the way of honor and dignity together with our sister organizations. Our common movement was emerged from the ashes of the second world war just after the great anti-fascist victory of the peoples and was forged by the necessity of constant struggle against the causes that create fascism. Both the WFTU and the WFDY struggled during the ’90s against the forces that declared the end of history and were quite optimistic that they got rid of the class-oriented forces and the class struggle. But the history has proven again and again that regardless of the difficulties and obstacles, despite the inevitable failures and setbacks of our movement, as long as exploitation exists the exploited people will be fighting to abolish it.
We are aware that the WDFY is getting stronger and stronger at all levels with active member-organizations in 100 counties. This has been also reflected in the 20th assembly of WFDY that took place in Cyprus one year ago and was the most massive WFDY assembly of the last debates. Of, course the WFTU was there, as it was present in the World Festival of Youth and Students and in all major events and activities of your federations.
The young generation is always the first victim of the crisis, whether is an economic crisis or any other crisis such as the current pandemic, especially in the countries and regions which are facing the obvious and open attack of imperialism. It is a fact that the unemployment and poverty rate of youth is steadily higher, while the youth is often deprived of even the most elementary rights, such as the right to healthcare, education, and decent living. Simultaneously the working youth is exploited as a cheap workforce, with lower salaries, frequently by law, with informal work, part-time jobs, and other forms of flexible work. In addition, capitalists are taking advantage of the so-called teleworking, using it as the contemporary form of flexible work. The way that the employers exploit the new technologies, re-proves that even the most admirable technological, scientific and intellectual achievements of humanity are utilized for the sake of profit instead of the improvement of peoples’ lives. On the other rank of the river, we can see the heroic effort of Cuban doctors who during the pandemic are supporting with self-denial many countries, and therefore the WFTU on behalf of its million workers support the fair demand: The Nobel prize to be given to the International Health Brigade Henry reeves of Cuba.
Of course, the specific challenges that are faced by young workers request specific addressing. However, it is vital to clarify, as a fundamental understanding, that all these issues can be effectively addressed by the working class as a whole. The WFTU utilizes this dialectic perception through its special committees, such as the working youth committee, working women committees, the committee for migrants and refugees, and others. These committees have a double role. On the one hand, they have to spot and analyze the problems and challenges that are faced by the respective parts of the working class, developing proper and achievable positions, and proposing realistic solutions. On the other hand, the committees have the heavy-duty to be the link of these parts of the working class with the WFTU, its class analysis, and struggles.
We learn and became more experienced through our defeats and we are inspired by our victories. We trust our ideology and we are proud of our common history. We are intensifying our struggles, continuing the WFTU up-going curse of the last 15 years. Today the WFTU is present in every region of the world, representing 105 million workers in 130 countries of the 5 continents. We call upon the workers and youth, the members and friends of the WFTU as well as the members and friends of WFDY to celebrate the 75th anniversary of our class-oriented and anti-imperialist organizations under the slogan: Workers and Peoples united, for a world with social justice. Against monopolies and Imperialism.
Concluding, allow me to underline that we acknowledge the power of our enemies, we know the strength of imperialism. But moreover, we know our power and we have faith in our capabilities. It is historically proven that the class-oriented struggles are the only weapon we have, but at the same time, it is a powerful weapon which was proved invincible during the centuries.
Dear comrades, we assure you, and we assure the workers all over the world that can always rely on the support and solidarity of the WFTY.
We will continue until the final victory.
Long live WFDY and the international anti-imperialist struggle.
Long live our sister organizations and our common efforts.
Long live WFTU and the international class-oriented trade union movement.