Report from Brazil

A CSP-Conlutas delegation from Brazil took part in a Trade Union congress held in Paris June 8, as part of the French Federation of Trade Unions “Union Syndical Solidaires” Congress. It was a significant meeting that brought together trade unions and popular organizations from different countries including leaders of trade unions and popular organizations from Spain, Catalonia, Italy, Germany, Poland, Argentina, Brazil, Senegal, Tunisia, Algeria, Iran, Egypt and France.

The meeting achieved two goals: first, to exchange information and experiences between different organizations and second, to deepen coordination between the participants of these organisations. The discussions also provided us information on the achievements of the Arab revolution.

In order to continue the exchange between these organizations and develop joint actions, it was agreed to hold a workshop during a meeting of the European trade unions alternative in September. Unions of other continents can participate and a joint call has been published (see international joint call below).

ISL comment

We think all trade unionists should consider this report. Not one British trade union was represented at the conference and yet only by building international links and common actions can the British movement advance in its own country. It is a strong warning that the main union leaderships are not interested in building such links but those unions taking strike action and moving to the left have to take this step.

It means that union organizations such as shop stewards committees should start making their own links and pushing their leaderships to call for European days of action.

Joint call for an international co-ordination of union struggle

The crisis of the capitalist system has consequences all over the world. The economic, financial, ecological and social crises have become interlocked and sustain each other. This global crisis of capitalism has reached a dead-end that is based on an increasingly uneven division of the wealth produce because of financial deregulation and disregard for ecological issues.

To save the profits of the shareholders and bosses, to assure the future of the banks, the world institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund, World Trade Organization, etc.) and governments are increasingly attacking workers rights.

The current economic and political system organises the plunder of numerous countries, forcing millions of people to leave their region of origin to survive and then denies them their rights because they are immigrants.

The destruction of public services, the attacks on labour-union rights, the undermining of labour-union liberties, the development of precariousness and unemployment to oppress populations … the same methods are being used in all countries!

The trade unionism of which we are a part refuses to negotiate pacts with the existing powers to agree such antisocial measures. Trade unionism has the responsibility to organize resistance on an international scale to build, through fights, the necessary social transformation of society.

International labour unions exist. Labour-union networks have been created in work related or geographical areas. It is necessary to make progress with the coordination of trade union struggles on an international basis. We make a commitment to work together to support:

·  the development of independent trade unionism in every country, in particular where this has been denied until now.

·  the revolts of the populations in the Maghreb and the Middle East, the struggle of the Palestinian people and the fierce demonstrations in Spain.

·  And, of course labour union activists who are victims of repression.

We have decided to work together by exchanging information, in particular on social struggles in various countries, because this will contribute to the construction of international social mobilisations. We will develop our labour-union activities of work related sectors, meetings are already planned for health, education, call centres and rail sectors. Inter-work questions, such as the rights of migrants and the rights of women are also included in our common immediate objectives.

Our initiative is open to labour unions who are for the struggle and independent trade unionism and for social transformation.

An international conference about these commitments and to develop new actions will be held in Spring 2012 at the Conlutas congress in Brazil. In September 2011, we will hold a working meeting that will be open to delegations from all continents, at the same time as the meeting in Switzerland of the European network of alternative and base unions.

Unions that attended the conference.

Union Syndicale Solidaires – France.

Confederacion General Del Trabajo CGT – Etat Spain.

Confederacion Intersindical – Etat Spain.

Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya IAC – Catalonia.

Unione Sindicale di Base USB – Italy .

Transnationale Information Exchange TIE – Germany.

WZZ Sierpien 80 – Poland.

Syndicat national des infirmières et sages-femmes OZZ PiP – Poland.

Frente Popular Dario Santillan FPDS – Argentina.

Central Sindical e Popular Conlutas – Brazil.

Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Sénégal CN TS – Sénégal.

Confédération des Syndicats Autonomes CSA – Sénégal.

Union Générale des Travailleurs Tunisiens UGTT – Tunisia.

Syndicat national autonome des personnels de l’administration publique SNAPAP – Algéria.

Solidarité Socialiste avec lês Travailleurs d’Iran SSTI – Iran.

Union nationale des syndicats indépendants – Egypt