The deep and synchronized capitalist crisis that is already underway throughout the world in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is going to trigger a brutal and barbaric offensive by employers and capitalists against labor rights and the achievements of our class across the world.
This means that the future must find the workers movement more strengthened and better prepared before the capitalist attack; In other words, it is necessary to defend our rights and at the same time organize our counterattack in order to meet contemporary workers’ needs.
And the best way for class unions to resist is to project class demands, that is, those claims that can contribute substantially to improving the living and working conditions of the working class throughout the world. So, we must add to any big or small claim the contemporary and current demand for 35 hours work week with wage increases and improvement of the security and social rights of workers.
Today, this demand corresponds to the growth of productivity and technological development, being at the same time a necessary condition for the reproduction of the labor power and the satisfaction of contemporary needs of the peoples and today’s working-class families.
Workers are the ones who produce the wealth and have the right to a permanent and full job, with a reduced working day and with essential labor, salary and social security rights that correspond to their needs. Those who refuse this just and contemporary demand deliberately hide that the working class of today, although it produces more than in the past, lives even worse. Those people are the same ones that speak of “labor flexibility in the market” or even of “social dialogues” so that workers may only haggle over what they are going to lose.
In this sense, the WFTU calls on its affiliates, friends, class-oriented unions around the world to incorporate in their demands the current demand for 35 hours work week. In this way, the world working class will raise a demand that its enemies, the international bourgeoisie, do not even want to hear about. This is the way that our movement may get stronger, more resistant against the offensive that the employers are going to unleash.
The WFTU Secretariat