The WFTU Headoffice General Coordinator Anda Anastasaki is taking part in the AIBEA 28th National Conference in Chennai, India representing the WFTU. Today January 8th she addressed the following speech:
Brothers and sisters,
On behalf of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the 92 million workers it represents in 126 countries of the world, I would like to greet the 28th Conference of AIBEA and express my best wishes of success to your Confderence. We cordially wish to thank the AIBEA India for the invitation addressed to the WFTU General Secretary comrade George Mavrikos, who has tried very hard to change his schedule and to be with you today but he couldn’t do so due to other important commitments.
Before I proceed with my greeting speech, I especially wish to thank here, in front of all of you, comrade C.H Venkatachalam, General Secretary of AIBEA, who is re-elected among the members of the WFTU Presidential Council and as President of the WFTU Finance Control Commission and he is also the GS of the TUI BIFU – Trade Union International of Banking, Insurance and Finance Sector unions. In the face of comrade C.H Venkatachalam we salute every one of you, we thank you for your militant internationalism, your vivid support to the WFTU; Comrade Venkatachalam you have always been present at the WFTU call, wherever the fire of the class struggle was burning, always ready, always in the front line of struggle. We thank you for this. WFTU is proud about the contributions of AIBEA for the cause of international working class solidarity under the inspiring banner of WFTU.
In those days, Com. Prabhat Kar your very senior leader of AIBEA was actively associated with the activities of WFTU. Later to him, your another great leader Com. Tarakeswar Chakraborti was also actively involved in the activities of WFTU, and he was the Vice President of TUI – Public and Allied Service Employees. Thus, AIBEA was always in the frontal position of WFTU activities.
The deliberations and decisions of this Conference are sure to contribute a lot to the international class-oriented trade union movement in a period of a prolonged economic crisis, when the working class suffers even more due to anti-people measures, that are taken as a counterpart of the underdevelopment of global economy.
The continuation and intensification of the organization of the class-oriented movement, becomes even more important in the framework of the global financial crisis, where the attack against all workers is sharpening. Millions of dollars from the state budgets which are being concentrated with the huge taxations of the popular strata are generously offered for the recapitalizations of the banks which are failing due to their greedy policies. At the same time, the attack against the employees of Banks and Finance is increasing too.
Here in India, as well as all over the world, the Government wants to merge public sector banks, and create a few big banks, in the name of competition. Of course these mergers are always connected with redundancies of the bank employees and general deterioration of their working conditions. What is more, the banks give loans to big industrialists and businesses people from public money and allow them not to repay these loans, while at the same time the poor borrowers are harassed by state or private banks. All the above are important issues of concern.
Over the course of 70 years of struggle of AIBEA, you saw a lot of things changing for the benefit of workers in the sector of Banks and Finance, you achieved the fulfillment of your rightful claims, rise in wages and improved working conditions, as well as the defense of public sector banking. Last year you also struggled for full reimbursement in medical expenses and last September you organized the massive and dynamic participation of your sector to the All India General Strike of September 2nd, when tens of millions of Indian public sector workers demanded better wages and social security for all the Indian people.
What is more, your struggles always had the very important aspect of internationalism, through the affiliation of AIBEA and AITUC with the World Federation of Trade Unions and through the creation of the Trade Union International of Banks, Insurance and Financial Unions (TUI BIFU) of the WFTU.
I come from Greece, where as you may know, we fight day and night, through the lines of PAME and the class oriented trade union movement against the austerity measures imposed to the Greek people by the IMF, the EU and the World Bank. We thank you for your solidarity expressed to us through many forms during all those years. We will continue our counterattack, it is the only way.
Coming here as WFTU representative, I would like to convey to you the militant, encouraging and enthusiastic message of the successful WFTU 17th World Trade Union Congress that was held last October in Durban, South Africa, with the participation of 1313 delegates from 108 countries of the World.
The 17th World Trade Union Congress reaffirmed the necessity of class orientation within the international trade union movement and its organizations, as well as the necessity of the participation of new members in the movement, the creation of new sectors in the Trade Union Internationals, the strengthening of the movement in the base, inside the workplaces, in the multinationals, in the sectors, in the regions, in each country in every corner of the planet.
The recent WFTU Congress also adopted the “Platform of Action 2016 – 2020”, that includes the principal directions of the action of the Federation, for the next four years. We should all study these documents and find ways to better contribute to the strengthening of the co-ordination of unions from the sector of Banks and Finance from all over the world, with activities and initiatives like Regional Conferences in all continents that can be organized.
We are convinced that through this Conference, AIBEA will be even more stronger and more effective in the effort to build a class oriented and militant global union for workers in Financial Sector, to develop international fraternity and solidarity among trade unions in Financial Sector and to further develop struggles in defense of workers in Financial Sector.
Dear Comrades, accept once more my best wishes for the success of your Conference. The WFTU always stands in solidarity with your struggles.
Long live the AIBEA !
Long live the working class of India !
Long live the international working class!
Long live the WFTU !