October 3rd 2014. Why for Unemployment?
The Secretariat of the WFTU chose as central target of the International Action Day 2014 the struggle against UNEMPLOYMENT. This choice was not random. Unemployment is today, the biggest, most dangerous problem for the international working class in the whole capitalist world.
Millions and millions are unemployed, those condemned to poverty who are deprived from even the basics, millions are working slaves in the unregistered labour, in part-time work, in subcontracted work under squalid working and paying conditions. Every family has unemployed members. This makes it a general problem.
The bourgeoisie and their governments take advantage of this problem in favor of their interests. They reduce the salaries, they cut down the social subsidies. They propose a development in favor of monopolies where workers have no rights, bad salaries, no stable working hours, no social security, no specialization.
The Secretariat of the WFTU insists that the struggle against unemployment is a central task for the working class and all the trade union Organizations. Only the class-oriented struggle can create a way out from the current situation in favor of the unemployed, the working people, in favor of the popular strata.
The working class in alliance with the poor peasantry, the self-employed, the indigenous populations and the progressive intelligentsia must demand peoples’ friendly solutions. For today and for tomorrow.
Unemployed and Working People,
In Asia, in South and North America, in Europe, in Africa, in Middle East, in Australia,
Unemployment is an inherent characteristic of capitalism; it is part of its DNA.
Today, as a result of the international capitalist crisis, the percentage of unemployment increases in all countries.
The World Federation of Trade Unions appeals to all the Trade Union Organization to participate in the International Action Day for the defense of the right to work, the right to dignified work and to demand immediate measures of protection for the unemployed.
The WFTU and its members call in October 3, 2014 millions of workers all around the world to participate in activities, initiatives, picket-lines, protests, demonstrations and strikes in countries around the world.
HOW MANY ARE THE UNEMPLOYED?
Even though unemployment is a great wound for the working class all over the world, we cannot define in specific numbers the problem. The methods of statistical monitoring of unemployment are untrustworthy as they remain a tool of political and governmental ploys for the manipulation of the public opinion. The numbers are adjusted based on the demand of the governments and the employers.
The official statistical data are selected based on the definition of the International Labour Organization. According to this definition “the unemployment rate represents unemployed persons as a percentage of the labour force. The labour force is the total number of people employed and unemployed. Unemployed persons comprise persons aged 15 to 74 who:
– are without work during the reference week (!!!)
– are available to start work within the next two weeks (!!!)
– and have been actively seeking work in the past four weeks or had already found a job to start within the next three months (!!!).”
According to the ILO in 2012 more than 197 million people were unemployed worldwide, i.e the 6% of the total global workforce.
It is clear however, that the definition of the ILO excludes a large number of unemployed or people who are deprived of a living wage. For example those who have worked even one hour the week of the data collection, the seasonal workers, the workers in family businesses who are not getting paid, those who stated that they would not be able to start work the next two weeks (e.g for health reasons), those who participate in vocational training programs or are working in internship and are not receiving a living income, those who have stopped registering as work-seekers since they have lost hope because of longtime unemployment, former peasants who have recently lost their land and are seeking for employment.
WHY DOES UNEMPLOYMENT EXIST?
Unemployment is an inherent characteristic of the capitalist mode of production. The capitalist production is organized with profits as its only and exclusive goal and not for the needs of the people.
Unemployment is useful to the capital. It is utilized to preserve the fear of dismissal and to blackmail the working class into lowering its standards and demands in the negotiation for the selling price of its labour force.
Also in the name of unemployment, labour and trade union rights are being violated and abolished, the 8-hour working day is violated, flexible working conditions are promoted, contract work is implemented per month, per week, per day, sub-contractual work is legalized as a modern-day slavery system, businesses are offered state funding to hire workforce, huge tax-exemptions are provided to corporations.
Furthermore, unemployment is necessary in capitalism as the unemployed reserves are an inexhaustible source of labour force available for all possible choices of capitalist investment.
WHY DOES UNEMPLOYMENT INCREASE RAPIDLY?
In conditions of international capitalist crisis, the percentage of profit capitalists expect from their investments is less than in period of development or not as high as desired. This is one of the basic reasons why companies are being merged or acquired, investments are stopped or moved, there is a general rearrangement, concentration and centralization of the production in the framework of the competition e.g. transfer of investments in other countries with cheaper labour force or change of field of investment. Many middle-size or larger companies close down.
In general, a destruction of the productive forces takes place heavily affecting the greatest productive force: the working class. Millions of wage-earners are pushed to unemployment by the closing down of companies or the application of reforms in public sector. More are affected by anti-labour policies, salary-cuts and pension-cuts, by the attack in labour and social rights.
Moreover, the imperialist attacks, the wars of the imperialists intensify the problem and aggravate the situation.
CAN UNEMPLOYMENT BE ELIMINATED?
Definitely! This must be the goal of the world working class struggle: the eradication of unemployment and the abolition of exploitation of man by man. For a society where the people will have a job and dignified living and healthcare conditions and human development on all levels. For a human society.
In the course of this struggle, every day we fight everywhere for the protection of the unemployed.
Nowadays, the contemporary social needs of the popular masses are expanding. At the same time millions of worthy and experienced labour hands remain unused in unemployment. The satisfaction of all the contemporary needs of the people would provide substantial employment places. The stopping of privatization also would generate employment positions and would stop dismissals and persecutions.
At the same time, the technological and scientific progress and the development of new means of production can immensely improve the working and living conditions and the reduction of necessary working hours to 7 or 6-hours per day for all employees with improvement of their salaries. In contrary to what is happening today where the capitalist choose to exploit one worker for 10-13 hours or divide the one salary and employment into 2 workers as a part-time work.
Moreover, the elimination of hunger, of diseases, the protection of the environment, the improvement of Healthcare, Education, Social Services as public entities, the creation of public bodies for the protection against natural disasters, the satisfaction of the housing needs of the population, the implementation of policies for peoples’ sports and culture, the proper use of natural resources, the further technological and scientific progress require millions of workers.
These policies are blocked by the anarchy in the capitalist mode of production were the investments are not based in the social needs but are decided according to the percentage of profit. They are blocked by the plundering of the wealth-producing resources by the cartels and the multinationals in the countries of Africa, Latin America, Asia. They are blocked because the power is in the hands of the bourgeoisie and its political representatives.
This is why, along with the daily struggle for the survival of the unemployed, along with the struggle against the policies that generate and increase unemployment, it is necessary that we help the International Working Class realize that only if it takes matters into its own hands, real and complete solutions can be found.
With this perception, the World Federation of Trade Unions acknowledges and protects the right to work and struggles for the elimination of unemployment. It struggles for all the small and larger problems of the working people.
At the same time, the WFTU underlines that with the abolition of the capitalist barbarity and the exploitation of human by human, with the formation of a society where the people’s needs and not the profit will be the central objective of the policymaking process, the unemployment will be a distant memory.
WHAT DO WE DO TODAY – Immediate demands
The working people and their families have no responsibility for the phenomenon of unemployment and are affected heavily by it. Hence, the WFTU demands the following measures of protection for the unemployed:
– in the form of unemployment subsidies from the state budget that would secure dignified living standards for the unemployed and their families for as long as they remain unemployed.
– free healthcare for the unemployed and their families.
– generous discounts in the prices of power, water and heating supply as well as affordable access to mass means of transport.
– housing subsidies (rents)
– free access to education facilities for the children of the unemployed
– freezing of loan payments and interests.
– The period of unemployment to counts as pensionable time.
During the international capitalist crisis, in particular, the trade unions have a special duty to maintain contact with the unemployed workers, to find ways to organize their struggles and to unite them in struggle with the working people to address the problems of the unemployed.
3 OCTOBER 2014: INTERNATIONAL ACTION DAY
In October 3, at the International Action Day, we expose the real causes of unemployment, we inform the workers and unemployed, we organize actions in every country, we unite our voices, we coordinate our action!
The central event of the World Federation of Trade Unions will be held on October 3-4 in Palmela of Portual under the title: “Fighting Unemployment, For Dignified Work”.