The World Federation of Trade Unions, representing 100 million members across the five continents, expresses its deepest concern at the latest developments in the research sector on treatment and vaccination against the new coronavirus. The antagonisms between business groups, pharmaceutical industries and imperialist states in the field of virus treatment and the development of a vaccine, can only cause concern to the peoples of the world.
To this day, there are hundreds of scientific groups working to develop a vaccine and antiviral drugs through “partnerships” between states and business groups. That is, through a form of publicly funded research, which will benefit the pharmaceutical industries that are going to sell the vaccine and drugs (such is the case of “collaboration” between “Johnson & Johnson” and “Sanofi” groups with the US Department of Health). At the same time, the imperialists, the same imperialists who are bathing peoples in blood around the world in order to serve their own interests, organize telethons to raise funds for the new vaccine.
The fact that mass production and sale by large pharmaceutical companies is necessary for a vaccine to be put into circulation in the capitalist states, only creates suffering for the workers and the poor popular strata throughout the world. People cannot forget the negative consequences of the pursuit of profit in the pharmaceutical sector, as have shown the examples of the USA and EU countries, in which large business groups refused to sell millions of doses of vaccines produced by them to governments, requesting that the states fully assume responsibility in cases of adverse effects and at the same time blackmailing in order to get high sale prices.
At the same time, there are many examples of pharmaceutical industries that refused to put similar coronavirus vaccines into circulation in the past, because the profitability of such an investment would be…low! In fact, as scientists have mentioned, precious time which would enable us to deal with the new coronavirus was lost.
Furthermore, in these circumstances, militant trade unions around the world should not underestimate the aggressiveness of the USA, whose president, Trump, attacks China, the WHO and all those who do not align with their geo-strategic games. But this aggressiveness is not a mere one-person tactic, but the aggressiveness of the US imperialism as a whole. Especially now, at a time when the United States was exposed, they lost their shine and the social injustice that reigns in the United States was unmasked; now, at a time when the US ruling class is going to sharpen its aggressiveness and its threats against peaceful coexistence among peoples.
Faced with the barbarism of a system that treats the worker as expendable, the international class-oriented trade union movement must rise up; We must inform the world working class that it has nothing to expect from the games and business tricks of transnational corporations. What we do need to do is step up the fight for a patent-free coronavirus vaccine that is free, safe, free for all. That any business activity in the health sector must cease and that the struggle for a universal, free, public healthcare system with high-quality health services for all must be intensified! We must fight globally for a health system that will not only not slow progress, but will also put this progress at the service of the people and the working class. The WFTU is committed to being on the side of every trade union that is going to fight in that direction across the globe.