April 4 2016
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FIGHT
The economic and financial crisis not only does not appear to be over, but it assumes worrying aspects of an open and general warfare. The manipulation of the data on GDP, creation of jobs, collides with the daily reality of the labour world, both of the employed and unemployed workers.
The centralization and concentration of capital and wealth; the financialization of the economy; the systematic attack on the social functions of the State, the mercantilization of all spheres of social life, in a logic of privatizing anything that can generate greater income to capital; the attacks on international law and on the sovereignty of States; the centralization of political power and its submission to the economic power and to the militarization strategies of international relations, are components of capitalist policies that dominate most countries all over the world.
The exploitation of male and female workers worsens and intensifies throughout the world and is clearly marked by denial of rights and the abusive use of their workforce in return for increasingly lower wages.
The main points of this offensive are:
A cut in real wages; The deregulation and increase in work time; The deregulation of labour relations; The spreading of precarious labour; The appropriation of public funds and investments by private economic groups; The increase of the retirement age; The cut in retirement and pension benefits; The destruction of public sector jobs; The regression of social and labour rights; The denial of the right to negotiation and collective bargaining and other collective rights of the workers.
An offensive that is expressed in the attack on class-oriented trade unionism and on collective bargaining, which seeks to create divisions between public and private workers, which deepens discrimination and division of professions and fosters individual labour relations, to break the solidarity among the working class, and to weaken the trade unions.
An offensive that can only be stopped by the practice of a class-oriented and mass trade unionism and, by unity in action around what is common: the defence of the rights, interests and aspirations of the workers, for their emancipation and a society free from exploitation of man by man.
The reconfiguration of the State, placing it increasingly at the service of big business, is clearly one of the major goals of capitalist governments. The so-called “welfare state” is a target to be dismantled.
The social functions of the State – most importantly education, health and social security – and the principles of universality, solidarity and gratuitousness that are at their root result from the will, demands and struggle of workers and populations and are therefore their inalienable right. These principles enabled the access of workers and their children to Education, Health, Social Protection, in unprecedented levels. The social functions of the State extended to responsibility in the dissemination and democratization of culture, art, improved mobility, support for housing, child care, old age and disability.
The privatization packages have cut across countries in regression. Initially, the attack was unleashed on the strategic sectors of the economy and development, such as energy and communications, where privatization represented the transfer of state monopolies to big business monopolies, with the accumulation of colossal profits for their shareholders, mostly foreign. At the same time, populations were subjected to free increase in rates, reduced coverage of services and the deterioration of their quality.
In the latest phase, Capital set its eyes on the social functions of the State, obtaining from governments at their service the privatization of Healthcare, Education and Social Security, the target of a deliberate debasement, through progressive and substantial cuts in their budgets; the closing of schools, hospitals, healthcare centres and other community-based services; the drastic cuts in social benefits provided to employed or unemployed workers, pensioners, children, youth and aged.
The shrinking of public services can also be witnessed by the attack on the rights of the Public Administration workers, starting with the right to employment and continuing with cuts in wages, freezing of careers, blocking of negotiation and collective bargaining; and limitations on the exercise of other collective rights, namely the right to strike; increase in working hours; the proliferation of precarious labour.
In many countries are changing the labour legislation to worsen the guaranties and rights of workers.
The deterioration of the social functions of the State has the sole purpose of privatization. Governments that squeeze financial, human and material resources in health and in education, that compress benefits, are the same who say that public services are not sustainable and unable to respond to the needs of the people. They then hand them to private capital. The State becomes minimal, of charity and aid.
The class-oriented trade union movement, deeply committed to the struggle of the workers to defend their rights and public services, plays a vital role against the advance of capital. Employers, using all the instruments at their disposal, will try their best to deepen the exploitation of workers, trampling upon the achievements and freedoms of the people, to remain dominant and fatten their pockets.
Strengthening the unity and cohesion of workers around their mass and class-oriented trade unions in the workplace, as well as regional and international structures of the WFTU is crucial to the development of demands, actions of struggle and class awareness of the workers, and in particular of the workers in Public Administration and State-owned companies. This strengthening also means the unity in action of all workers and the fight against reformism and bourgeois ideology.
The claiming action of trade unions affiliated to the TUI – Public Services, should be guided, respecting the specificities of each country:
- To demand modern, efficient, , quality, universal and free public services, to answer the real needs of the workers and people, against their outsourcing or privatization, refusing its use for the accumulation of profits by the oligarchy;
- To demand the repeal of all rules affecting the rights of Public Administration workers in the countries where they were imposed;
- To demand improvements in the working and living conditions of the Public Administration workers, namely better wages and work times compatible with their personal and family life;
- To end precariousness of employment contracts and have guarantees of stability in public employment to ensure the independence from capitalist governments, either in the central, regional and local administration, and in the State-owned business sectors;
- To exercise the right to trade union freedom (association, meetings, demonstration, participation, etc.) in all workplaces and the right to negotiation and collective bargaining;
- To implement social policies that answer the interests of the people and workers for a fairer distribution of wealth, with the rejection of charitable social policies;
- For the rejection of all neoliberal policies and austerity that in various parts of the world seek to destroy the labour and social rights of workers and peoples;
- To struggle for Peace and internationalist solidarity against war, militarism, aggression, interference and blockades that undermine the interests of the workers and peoples – in defence of national sovereignty, for the people to freely decide their destiny.
- The massive participation and mobilization of Trade Unions in the International Action Day of TUI PS Against Privatizations on April 4, each organization in their own countries
- Each Trade Union spread this document to be discussed and signed into every union, so that they also adopt this decision and work with it by developing actions and initiatives. Specially to try to open discussion with unions who have different perspective from us.
- To decide dates of action in 3-4 branches (such as public administration, Education, transport, Healthcare etc.) against the privatizations, where they will be part of the preparation and steps of escalating towards the International Action Day
- To put all our efforts for the success of the 17th Congress of WFTU and massive participation to it