At its recent 11th Congress, COSATU (Congress of South African Trade Unions) heard speeches from Sharan Burrow,Â head of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and from George Mavrikos, head of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU).
COSATU decided to re-affiliate with WFTU.
The WFTU press release announcing affiliation is below their remarks.
Speech of Sharan Burrow, ITUC
One hundred years of the ANC, 27 years of COSATU – congratulations! You are an inspiration and many many union movements have been proud to stand at your side in solidarity against apartheid and through the birth and growth of your magnificent COSATU, as a union movement now at the heart and soul of the fight for a democratic and socially just Africa.
I come from a country, Australia, where the revolutionary struggle of COSATU has always been and will always be an inspiration and I know there are other international friends and comrades in the room who likewise share this deep friendship.
I congratulate the leadership on their re-election yesterday and look forward to your solidarity and wise counsel in defence of our shared values in workers struggles everywhere.
So, Comrade President and Comrade General Secretary I am proud to stand among you again…..and let me acknowledge George Mavrikos of the WFTU.
Indeed we all share a global struggle against the dominant capitalist model that imposed the greed that drove the financial crisis, now a bitter crisis of unemployment, and the subsequent attacks on workers’ rights everywhere.
But before I elaborate let me extend sympathy from all our affiliates for the senseless loss of life in the mining tragedy before, during and since the massacre. The mining companies have much to answer for with the greedy drive for profits, that leaves workers impoverished and desperate.
I commend your will to take up the fight for the restructure of the industry and your commitment to the central values of non-violent struggle. Indeed this tragedy underscores the fact that the 20th century model of capitalism has not and will not work for working people. With profits before decent work, a declining wage share, precarious work, a reduction in social protection, tax evasion, rampant speculative capital and serious growth in the desperation of the informal economy – this is not acceptable to our people and our communities as a basis for this century.
Yet those who benefit, proudly defend this capitalist model with everything they have – they defend the jungle of the financial markets and they go to war on workers, on our rights, our job security, our workplace safety, our wages and our pensions. The want to hire and fire at whim – to use the intergenerational tragedy of youth unemployment as an excuse to fire the mother or the father and hire the son or daughter on lower wages. They couldn’t care less for the impoverishment of workers they are responsible for.
And they have allies – the international organizations have joined forces, the IMF, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and sections of the OECD amongst others – champions for labour market deregulation – now conditionality in debt-torn countries Â Portugal, Spain, Greece, Latvia, Ireland and spreading like a cancer.
Not satisfied with the amage to workers’ lives with wage cuts, pension cuts, attacks on collective bargaining rights and more the latest demand of the European Commission on desperate comrades in Greece is to work a 6 hour day for five days’ pay…..kill the 40 hour week ….take both wages and family time away from workers….. Thatcher and Regan have been re-incarnated!
These atrocities must galvanize us all in opposition! We have sat with many of the workers in crisis countries and captured their stories. They break your hearts, they make you angry but most of all they make you determined to fight alongside them.
These workers and many more around the world are in the frontlines; the frontlines of a war on workers from the very forces that brought the financial system to its knees in 2008. But now having stolen tax payers money to recapitalize they are now looking for the blood of workers.
And having a taste of the blood of workers the organized employers have now taken
this fight inside the ILO, challenging governments to abandon the ILO jurisprudence, beginning with the right to strike.
Therefore our fight is now inside the ILO, with right wing employers as well as against employers and weak and exploitative governments globally. We know that this fight is in the context of a world of incredible tensions;
Â The alarming growth in inequity is pitting people against people,
Â Unemployment levels are stripping people of hope and marginalizing our children and grandchildren,
Â Increasingly, emerging economies express eep discontent with the dominant economic and trade model,
Â The banks and other financial institutions have lost all trust from the people they once served,
Â social unrest is on the rise and threatens economic and social cohesion,
Â climate change is threatening communities and livelihoods, and
Â workers rights, wages and social protection are in the sights of pure class enemies.
In this reality it is not surprising hat people are losing faith in elected leaders and indeed in emocracy. Our own global poll conducted just two months ago demonstrates the fear and insecurity of people in almost all countries and this resulting lack of trust in governments. 66% of people believe that the next generation, our children and grandchildren, will be worse off.
Wealthier countries like Belgium and Germany demonstrate much higher levels of pessimism. 71% of people believe that they lack legal protection for secure jobs. Plus 79% can`t save any money. Only 13% of people believe that as voters they have any influence on the economic decisions of democratically elected governments.
But people disagree with their governments imposing austerity – they say put jobs before debt, with only 10% backing austerity first. People know that fiscal consolidation is not possible if jobs, decent jobs, are not part of the equation. However the basis of demand in our economies is at risk when only 11% of people believe they have increased their income. The overwhelming majority say they have gone backwards. People want an alternate approach.
The majority of people have a different view to their governments. People know what they want, and governments need to deliver for voters. In addition to secure jobs and incomes, working people and their families want affordable access to health care (93%), education (94%), decent retirement incomes (91%), access to childcare (90%) and unemployment benefits (81%). Optimism is evident only where economic governance and policies support working people. Some of that is evident in Brazil and here in South Africa.
You have a good base to work with, but globally it is imperative that we fight back; to take on the fight of generations. Let’s start with social protection; unemployment benefits, pensions, child protection, maternity protection, health, education for all, housing and sanitation.
When 70% of the world’s people have no social protection, this is core union business. The dignity and survivability of these fundamentals for the poorest people is a test for us – can we make the universal social protection floor such a prime demand globally that no government will deny this responsibility. Can we pressure the wealthy governments to pool funds to implement these guarantees in the poorest of countries? If not, what do we stand for? Then let’s channel the fight for a minimum wage on which our people can live. Let`s see an end to the hideous reality of the working poor. Let`s bring workers in from the shadows including from the informal sector. Then there is collective bargaining rights and practice that delivers a fairer share of the wealth – this is our business – the tools to share the productive wealth of workers.
And when governments don`t implement labour laws and institutions to ensure that employers bargain in good faith, we should use our power at the ballot box to see them off And then serious investment in jobs, jobs and jobs.
Full employment remains our goal and he dignity of labour – of decent work
– our central ambition. But we don’t just make empty demands, we have progressive answers. As just one example ITUC research has demonstrated that you can both transition to a green economy and create jobs, quality jobs.
You are leading that demand with your green economy accord and COSATU led us in the fight with governments last year at the Durban Climate Conference. With 2% of GDP invested each year for five years in just 12 countries we studied this year governments could create 48 million new jobs; jobs in construction, in energy, in manufacturing, in agriculture, water and other sectors.
If that is the eality in 12 countries, the potential in 50 or 100 nations is worth investing in. And we have underutilised power, 25 trillion dollars of pensions funds invested in the global economy Â and more in mutuals that service working families. Just as COSATU says we must use the power of our own capital for a just future. Comrades, globally governments are weak and the dominant orthodoxy shaping our economies and our societies is still that of the failed policies of neo-liberalism. Failed policies that keep on driving more failure. We must take on the fight for just alternatives.
But do we have the heart for this fight? If we seriously do then it will take a determined focus eyond our traditional advocacy…. for the reality is that we must build the power of workers. With just 7% of workers organised globally, unions have to build more power to effect the change to the economic model we want. Even with workers in China and Vietnam with who we have close engagement and Cuba where I am working to strengthen our engagement we are a mere 15% of 2.9 billion workers.
Corporations can buy government policy – we must have the power of working people. We must organize industrially and politically to engage people to fight for our alternate future. But we must change for we need to organise in the informal sector as well as the formal sector…we must organise women and young people and create space for different structures and leadership styles. We need to listen to workers everywhere.
The ITUC is focussed on this challenge. It requires serious change in our own approach. When you took the decision with friends in Brazil, in Australia and other progressive unions to join the then ICFTU, we did so to unite workers, to strengthen the global labour movement – to make change.
Two years ago you elected me to deepen that change. Today I stand before you and tell you that we must organise, organise, organise. In Africa you are 6% organized in the formal sector.
This power imbalance must change and ITUC colleagues with me Wellington Chibebe your Zimbabwean comrade and our Deputy Secretary and Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, your African Secretary know first-hand that challenge. While our African unions have been proudly persistent and strong in fighting violations of rights throughout the region, if we don`t change this picture of low unionisation we will not lift the oppression of poverty.
So while we will always stand with the oppressed in the fight for peace and democracy, the ITUC is focussed on 3 central objectives;
Â union growth,
Â sustainable jobs, secure wages and social protection and,
Â realizing rights.
Let me paint for you a picture of just one of our fights.
Qatar runs a slave state. With 92% of the workforce as migrant workers they are building a hugely wealthy nation n 21st century model of slavery. Desperate workers from Nepal, India, the Philippines and other nations are conned into paying illegal fees or the right to work in Qatar; they arrive to find their passports confiscated; the working conditions oppressive and unsafe, pitiful ages are often withheld; loving arrangements are inhuman and their reedom is curtailed.
There is no freedom of association, workers annot form unions and yet despite these atrocities the UN has decided to hold the 2012 climate conference there
– this is shameful.
But equally shameful is that FIFA has seen fit to ward this country the 2022 World Cup – the football game so many orkers support around the world – and those
stadiums are being built ow by our brothers in these shocking conditions. More workers will die uilding the stadiums than players will play on those fields. We can`t and won`t accept this. If there is no Freedom of Association, no unions with collective bargaining rights, there will be no world cup in Qatar.
And we need your help for this fight. The Government has refused our entreaties so now we fight. We have launched a new newspaper, a digital newspaper for the world`s workers.
Called Equal Times, it has an action platform that allows you to be part of the fight. Go to equaltimes.org and take a seat in the Al Rayyan Stadium. Join the fight for rights in Qatar. Don`t let Qatar shame the game of football. And I know COSATU will join me in Qatar in December to do what we do best – stand with workers and expose injustice.
We need COSATU and your fighting spirit ith us on this job and many, many other fights.
There are no rights nd there is no decent work where workers are oppressed.
This brings me to make a couple of brief remarks about one significant difference with the WFTU.
First let me explain why you never hear me or anyone on my team criticize the WFTU. We believe in freedom of association and while it is preferable to have unity, pluralism can and does emerge from that most fundamental human right for workers.
So while it annoys me to hear he misinformation and misguided criticism of the ITUC you will not ear me respond. The last thing workers need is unions fighting – it undermines their confidence in our collective voice and is just counterproductive. George, my door is always open to dialogue and I hope there is a time when we can unite all the workers in the world.
However we do have a fundamental difference and it is not communism or socialism. You know I am a proud woman of the left.
No, rather it is our determination to fight oppression everywhere and when workers in liberation struggles, workers who want the right to elect a democratic government and form free trade unions are attacked with guns, tanks and bombs – tortured for their commitment to the ideals you, here in South Africa, have shed blood for, they must be supported.
Come with me to he Syrian refugee camps in Jordan or the Libyan camps in Tunisia, hear their stories of oppression and torture and still protect those Governments and the so-called unions that back them in.
Take a good look at the ETUF leadership who will work with any Government, irrespective of ideology, to control the destiny of workers and oppose genuine Freedom of Association in the interests of their own oppressive power.
The workers who went to the streets in Egypt, who went to Tahir Square, were not led by ETUF. On the contrary the ETUF leaders and the Minister hired thugs and camels to attack the workers.
These and others examples of oppression of liberation struggles would be good to discuss. There is the oppression of women but let me simply say I too hope there is a time beyond the dictators club when we can fight together.
And frankly dialogue never hurts. Maybe we could start with a dialogue on Palestine where we are both committed to seeing an end to the occupation, an end to the land grab of the illegal settlements and a free state.
I have been there five times in the two years I have been in the job and stand in awe of workers fighting occupation but at the same time building a strong union base and fighting for social protection, a minimum wage, gender equality and safe work.
Unity is an ultimate goal for all workers but we pledge to begin with respect for all comrades and friends committed to the shared values of democratic freedoms, fundamental rights and equity.
These goals require us to fight for our rights; to organise from Qatar to Swaziland, to Guatemala, to Egypt and Indonesia and all places within.
Workers and their unions are the Frontlines.
They are the Frontlines in building democratic freedoms, in fighting oppression, discrimination, greed and nequity and they are the frontline of defence again exploitative corporations, oppressive governments and other national and nternational bullies.
I am proud to be your General Secretary, proud o stand with COSATU, and we need you shoulder to shoulder to build the power of workers;
Â to fight for our rights;
Â to take back a sustainable planet and
Â to see our children guaranteed the dignity of labour.
Viva COSATU Viva
Viva Africa Viva
Speech of George Mavrikos, WFTU
Once more from this podium we want to express our solidarity to the struggle of the South African miners. We want to express our condolences to the South African working class.
As WFTU, as an organization of proletarian internationalism we stand firmly with all the workers in struggle. WFTU struggles against the capitalist brutality and the abolition of the exploitation of human by human.
Three years have already gone by since your last Congress. During these three years, the relations between the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) and the trade unions of COSATU have become more strong. Together with NEHAWU, three more unions have joined the ranks of the WFTU, NUMSA, POPCRU and CEPPWAWU. Currently we have started the procedure for the affiliation of NUM to the WFTU.
We met in the same struggles.
We organized common struggles in solidarity with the people of Swaziland, of Palestine, of Cuba. Trade unionists from South Africa traveled in many countries for the activities of the WFTU and exchanged experience with other comrades around the world for the difficulties and the prospects of the struggle.
We organized for example an international Conference in the Parliament of the European Union in solidarity with Swaziland. We all became more rich and more effective in our trade union struggle through this debates. In the 16th World Trade Union Congress, Congress of the WFTU in Athens with the participation of 828 delegates from 101 countries, comrade Mike Makwayiba, President of NEHAWU was elected as a member of the WFTU Presidential Council.
This historic Congress became the platform for discussions and resolutions for the class-oriented forces around the world. They discussed the contemporary acute problems of the working class and the new victorious path that the world labour movement must follow against the capitalist brutality and exploitation.
Our young comrade Lulamile Sibanda was elected in the recent Youth Conference in Cuba as a member of the WFTU Youth Secretariat. In February 2012 the WFTU Presidential Council took place in Johannesburg of South Africa. It was the first time that the Presidential Council Meeting was convened in South-African land since the foundation of the WFTU in 1945.
Our common action and the great internationalist role of the South African unions was intensified with the opening of the WFTU Africa Regional Office in South Africa under the coordination of comrade Lulamile Sotaka. This office operates now under the guidance and support of all the WFTU affiliates in South Africa.
This office operates not only for South Africa. Its main objective is to strengthen the relations between the trade unions in Africa, their common action, their mutual support. This office is working to strengthen the struggle against the plundering of the African wealth from the foreign and local monopolies. From the 10th Congress of COSATU until today, the presence of the WFTU in South Africa and the role of the South African unions in the ranks of the class-oriented movement have been enhanced.
In this 11th historic Congress of COSATU, the affiliates of WFTU are inviting their mother-body, COSATU to collectively follow a road they have already tested.
The way has been paved by them, so that COSATU can find its way back home.
To take the historic and important decision for the international trade union movement and affiliate to the World Federation of Trade Unions.
A result of a mature debate
This discussion is not a new discussion. This debate has matured. This resolution will come after a mature, rich dialogue. A dialogue where everything has been said.
At your International Policy Conference of COSATU which took place on May this year, you discussed this issue in a responsible and sober manner. Though commissions and through the plenary you proposed that COSATU must become a member of the WFTU.
Today, with this long debate as a background, with the resolution of the 10th Congress of COSATU and with the suggestion of the COSATU International Policy Conference you come to collectively and democratically take a final decision.
An important conjecture for the international working class The time when this debate takes place is not incidental. The current condition that the international trade union movement and the international working class adds extra weight to this decision. Today, more than ever, the globalized capitalism with its excessive profit, with its huge amounts of profit, is incapable to provide to the working people. It can’t provide them with work, bread, shelter, water, clothing, books.
It shows, however, great capabilities in organizing the war against the international proletariat. It takes back all the labour rights that had been gained by the class-oriented trade union movement during the past decades. It hammers the workers with dozens of anti-labour measures in the name of the capitalist crisis. It organizes new imperialist wars, unleashes fire against the people for the control of the energy resources, for the oil.
Once more the capitalists and their governments are redesigning the borders and the maps. Once more hey spill the workers’ blood for the interests of the multinationals.
The main difference today is that the international labour movement is "caught off guard". It is "disarmed". The class of the capitalists with its agents in social-democracy and in the trade unions has managed to divide the workers, to weaken the unions around the world. It has managed to impose reformist leaderships, to impose an opportunistic line and compromise with the class enemy and his governments.
The level of rottenness of some trade unions in Europe and the USA is such, that the workers see no difference between the unions and the companies of legal counselling. Those come to substitute the unions with a simple monthly subscription fee. Even cheaper than what the unions ask for.
The workers of Europe and the USA do not see the trade unions as the militant revolutionary unification of workers that will struggle with all means for their rights, for the solidarity and the collectivity amongst the workers. The workers do not see those unions as the school of the revolutionary struggle.
On the contrary they see these unions as bureaucratic mechanisms of collaboration with the bosses. As mediators between the government and the workers. As companies or as departments of the Ministries of Labour. And all these coincide with very bad conditions within the International Organizations (like the ILO, the UN), negative conditions that makes our own struggle more difficult, more complex.
Why we need powerful internationalist unions
But, today, more than ever, the working class needs to construct powerful trade unions. Unions that will unite all the workers in the industry, in every working place irrespectively of their position in the production. Today we need trade unions that will organize the struggle in every form with determination and combativeness for the conquest of labour rights. We need a consistent and constant front against reformism, against opportunism, against corruption. We need in international level a unified militant front of the proletariat against our common bosses.
Today the trade union movement has to respond to more complex issues. The simple trade union struggle for the increase of the salaries in one sole factory has to confront a series of hard arguments against the workers:
Â The bosses threaten the workers that if they don’t accept to work for peanuts they will take their factories and their investments and move to other countries. The same arguments, however, are used in every country to keep the working class in chains. The same argument is used by the bosses even in countries like Nepal of Asia were the monthly salary is about 700 Rand!
Â The imperialist wars, the poverty, the hunger, the natural disasters, the unemployment. All those, force masses of workers in labour migration.
Even in South Africa, there are many immigrants from Asian countries who come to find a job although the unemployment is very high. The immigrant workers are the most terrified workers; they are the most exploited workers.
Today, we are in conditions of deep capitalist crisis. In Greece, in Spain, in Portugal, in Italy, in France, in the whole Europe, in the capitalist world.
So can the simple trade union struggle be isolated by the internationalist struggle?
Can the struggle in one country be isolated with the essential solidarity amongst the workers of the world and their struggles?
Can the struggle against one multinational be uccessful without the coordination between the workers in various countries who work for the same bosses?
Can the struggle of the unions be successful if they don’t coordinate their action with common objectives?
Today the proletarian internationalist struggle has an increased role. The cooperation between the national and the sectoral trade union organizations around the world for the coordination and the class orientations of their struggle is vital.
Can those sell-outs, the European trade union leaders, the spineless agents of the bourgeoisie in the trade union movement, the corrupted servants of the Ministries take upon their shoulders such a heavy duty? No way!
Can an organization which works together with the IMF, which works for the salvation of capitalism and modernization of the capitalist system, express the interests of the workers?
No way! Never!
The discussion that is taking place in South Africa is not a new discussion. The arguments that are used from the WFTU opponents are not new arguments.
Actually, these arguments are so old that they have received their response since 1920 (!) when the trade union movement was taking its first steps.
Lenin himself in 1920 gave answers to the same arguments. Let’s remember some of those arguments:
Â Some comrades use the argument that reactionary unions can change. Although for example ICFTU an organization that existed from 1949-2005 id not change all those 60 years.
The opportunists around the world have always used this argument that they can transform a reactionary organization into a "left" organization. In the end, those organizations that fell for this argument, did not manage to change an inch from the central policy of the reactionary unions, on the contrary they were integrated to it. Believing that you will transform an international organization that was created by different materials into something else, is like trying to plant a tree in the ocean.
Or better, to stick you head in the mouth of a shark believing that from inside its stomach you can beat it. I have been following your discussions all this time. Allow me to try and contribute to your debate.
Â There are some comrades who are using Lenin to hide their true aims. They distort and use some parts of his writing while they hide the rest. There is an argument based on what Lenin wrote in 1920 in the known article to the German communists about leftism. Their argument is that communists must fight within reactionary unions.
Firstly: Lenin talks about the infantile period, for 1920 according to the conditions of his own era. Those who mechanically transfer the conditions of one country at a given time into another era, another country and another time for the movement, are purely dogmatists. This is a dogmatic mistake.
Secondly: Lenin also says "now we have the immediate task to guide the labour masses in a new position that secures the revolution". Are the reactionary unions struggling for the revolution? Do they have anything to do with socialism? None!
Thirdly and most importantly: It was Lenin himself invited all the unions around the world to abandon the yellow international organization of the day, the International of
Amsterdam and join in masses the Red Trade Union International (RILU), in which Lenin himself played a pioneer role in its foundation.
Today, in 2012 we must learn from our history in order to take a decisive step forward to the future that we must build for the working class today. To learn from our true history and not from distortions. The contribution of WFTU to the liberation struggle
With the equal respect, we study and learn from the great history and the great struggles that the heroic SACTU and the rest of the affiliates of WFTU organized in common. Struggles against apartheid, for the rights of the black workers, for the recognition of the first non-racial unions, for the recognition of SACTU, for the freedom of the imprisoned comrades, for the boycott of ships, communications and transactions of the inhuman apartheid regime.
The WFTU was then strong and present in this long struggle. The trade union-members around the world and its millions of workers responded to every appeal of the WFTU for solidarity to the South African workers.
Moses Mabhida our leader, Vice-President of WFTU Mark Shope, John Gaitsiwe, Moses Kotane, Leslie Massina, J. B. Marks and the living legend Eric Mtshali with their alignment with WFTU they played a great role in the organization of African trade union movement, in the creation of the first trade union in Africa and the foundation of the first All-Africa Trade Union Federation (AATUF).
What kind of trade union movement do we need today? With this great history and experience in our shoulders, comrades, we have to respond to the key question of our times.
What trade union movement we need in national and international level to
fight effectively for the interests of the working class against the monopolies, against the multinationals?
To win battles and to improve the living conditions of the workers and the poor people. To pave a new course where the wealth will belong to those who produce it.
To respond to this question, we as WFTU, study the new conditions of the capitalist development and the capitalist crisis and as WFTU we struggle to educate our members and friends to form trade unions with specific characteristics that will be able to fill the shoes of the intense tasks of the contemporary struggle
We need trade unions that will be:
Â Class oriented and revolutionary organizations of the workers struggling against the capital and against imperialism
Â Democratic in operation and worker-controlled.
Â Unions that will have leadership that comes from the ranks of the working class. Leadership that respects criticism and self-criticism. Leadership with proletarian discipline that will be dedicated to the struggle against bureaucracy and corruption.
Â We need unions that will struggle with determination against the discriminations of workers according to race, gender, religion etc.
Â Unions that will promote the alliance between workers, farmers, labour youth and working women.
Â Unions that will fulfil their internationalist duties of proletarian solidarity with the people fighting around the world.
Â Unions that will educate the generations of workers with the history and the lessons of the international and national trade union movement and the struggles of the working class.
Â Unions that will intervene in the International Organizations, that will demand solutions in favor of the workers, that will demand democratic and trade union freedoms and will defend any remaining positive international collective agreement.
Â Unions that will not be neutral or with everybody.
For example, in the Middle East we are not with Israel. We are with Palestine. We fully support the Palestinian struggle not only with words but with concrete action, day after day.
In Syria, we are not with the kings, with the emirs, with the sultans, with the imperialists. They don’t care for the democracy in Syria. The care about the resources. They target the oil. As WFTU we firmly say, the people of Syria are the only ones who must choose their present and future. The people of Syria are the only ones responsible to form their democracy and freedom. With such unions we can bring closer the strategic goal of the socialist society.
This kind of unions is what WFTU is struggling to build. Not compromised unions, not unions that are only legal consultants, not unions departments of the ministries of labour, not trade unions members of the Boards of their multinational companies. The role of COSATU in the international arena In this international arena, as WFTU, as an international class oriented organization with 82 million members in 120 countries, we don’t want a COSATU spectator.
We want a COSATU pioneer in the construction of the contemporary class-oriented
trade union movement.
We want a COSATU pioneer in the revival of the African trade union movement.
We need a COSATU in the leadership of the international trade union movement on the side of the healthy forces around the world. All of us believe that capitalism cannot solve the problems of the working class. Capitalism produces poverty, unemployment, hunger, slums, privatizations, state violence, wars, diseases, environmental disaster.
Capitalism produces profits for the few and misery for the many. Only socialism can liberate us. Lets build it now!
The working class can become the giant that will sweep away the exploiters.
This is our duty. We have to lead the struggle of the working class to conquest the wealth for the benefit of the whole society!
Our struggle will be victorious!
A world without workers is impossible,
A world without capitalists is necessary!
World Federation of Trade Unions
Class oriented – uniting – democratic – modern – independent!
Johannesburg, South Africa
COSATU Came Back to Its Family
At the 11th National Congress of COSATU that took place in Johannesburg, South Africa on 17-20th September 2012, during a robust debate for the WFTU and the ITUC, the working class and the International class-oriented trade union movement achieved a great victory that shifted the international trade union arena.
The delegates decided that COSATU shall affiliate with the WFTU. The debate was lively and substantive with ideological and trade union arguments.
Before the resolution the delegates were addressed by two speeches delivered by the General Secretary of WFTU, comrade George Mavrikos and the General Secretary of ITUC, Mrs. Sharan Burrow.
Great militant South African trade unionists, cadres of the heroic South African Communist Party (SACP) decisively supported the need for COSATU to become a member of WFTU and join its class-oriented brothers and sisters in the whole world.
The WFTU salutes this decision, thanks the delegates and all the militants that struggled these last seven years to prepare the momentum for this important resolution.
With this resolution, which is a first positive step, COSATU comes back to its family, to its big family that struggles against the capitalist exploitation and the imperialist barbarity.
From today our struggles, the struggles of the international class-oriented movement will be stronger.
The Secretariat, WFTU September 19, 2012