Open World Conference of Workers
In Defense of Trade Union Independence & Democratic Rights
A dossier of weekly information published
Burundi: We publish the manifesto of the first congress of the Democratic Workers Party (PTD), which was held on August 12 and 13, 2009. " Stop privatization and re-nationalize the privatized companies and utilities without compensation! Implement a comprehensive public works program to curb unemployment and increase all wages indexed to the cost of living! Cancel the external debt and spend the rebate HIPC funds to rebuild the country! "
Russia: After the rally of 2,000 workers on August 6, 2009, organized by the inter-union committee at Avtovaz, we publish this week an article by Andrei Liapin, secretary of the Interregional Union of Russian automobile industry from the Russian language newspaper "Izvestiya Raboche" (No. 8, September 2009). It explains why workers gathered to demand nationalization.
Portugal: Elections will be held on September 27. The Workers Party of Socialist Unity presents with activists of various backgrounds 190 candidates in these elections. They sent a letter to the PS, PCP, the Left Bloc.
Ivory Coast: Francis Yao, general secretary of the union of employees of water and gas, sent us a correspondence: the union headquarters was reopened!
Germany: You will find a portrait of Carla Boulboullé, former SPD member of North Rhine-Westphalia: "There is only one solution: stop all layoffs!"
Table of Contents
p. 1: Introduction.
87 rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis - 75010 Paris - France
On Sunday, September 27th the elections will take place. These elections are the most important because Portugal is a parliamentary republic. The Assembly of the Republic consists of 230 deputies.
We publish below a resolution of the POUS on these elections and the open letter to the PS, PCP and the Left Bloc
Workers' Party of Socialist Unity
Elections to the Assembly of the Republic
Make feasible what is said to be impossible!
One hundred and ninety workers, retirees and youth - some activists POUS, independent of other citizens - are our slate of candidates for election to the Assembly of the Republic in ten districts (Beja, Braga, Coimbra, Faro, Leiria, Lisbon , Portalegre, Porto, Santarém and Setúbal). We present this slate because we want to intervene in the field of elections to state:
1 - The Assembly of the Republic is the supreme organ of national sovereignty, it is necessary to defend and win back its dignity from the Treaties of the European Union, which is responsible for a policy that has led our to the current crisis. This coming Assembly should build a government that has the project of unifying the will of millions of Portuguese, eager to live in a country where we all have the right to live in dignity.
2 - This project requires, as a its basic requirements, the prohibition of layoffs and the mobilization of all national resources to save jobs and create new ones, with real contractual rights and not based on insecurity.
3 - The POUS wants to contribute to the development and implementation of this project. A project that is truly a challenge to all \ organizations that claim to defend workers and socialism.
4 - For this, the POUS has sent a letter to the leaderships of the PS, PCP and BE, before making its own lists of candidates in these elections, for these parties to work together to build this project for our country and its workers.
5 - There are some who consider this unrealistic. But the working people of Portugal has been able to impose the existence of a sovereign Constituent Assembly, where the majority of members of the PS and PCP approved a constitution that enshrined the bases again upon which to rebuild Portugal as a true democracy - despite the successive blows it has suffered from the European Union.
6 - It will be the mobilization in the unity of all workers and their organizations, which will create the conditions for achieving the objective of creating a government that revives April 25.
7 - The candidates of POUS act within the framework of democracy, to help create these conditions.
Lisbon, August 17, 2009
Sede: Rua de Santo António da Glória, n º 52 B,
cave C 1250-217 Lisboa
Our country is at a crossroads.
On June 7 - at the European Parliament elections - the workers rejected once again the destructive policy of economic and social rights, enforced by the government of Socrates and previous governments, on account of the European Union.
Although the abstentions, blank and invalid votes reached 70%, workers have continued to give the majority of votes and mandates to the parties speak on their behalf (PS, PCP and BE).
Even in terms of electoral results, the increasing mobilization of workers has managed to impose a balance of power that can stop attacks from the European Union against their rights and conquests.
The POUS - which together with other activists from the National Commission for the rupture with the European Union (UCR) has used the field of elections on June 7 to develop a political campaign to demand the government ban dismissals and expose the fraudulent nature of the European Parliament - addresses, again, the PS, PCP and BE:
"You have all the means to achieve unity in defense of demands for workers - especially the ban on layoffs, the end of privatization, the satisfaction of the requirements of teachers and other public officials - as well as to prevent the policy of destroying our country and the victory of the right in the elections of September 27.
In doing so, it will be possible to prevent the implementation of any agreement whatsoever between the parties of capital (DSP and PP) and the PS to form a government that pursues the implementation of the policy of the European Union.
For the POUS it is clear that the establishment of an agreement between parties who claim to defend the interests of the working class - to form a government with measures that are truly socialist - is the only way to express the will of the majority of workers.
Just as we have explained in the meetings we had with the Department of PCP and BE (and we expect a meeting with the PS), nothing should prevent the common fight to win the satisfaction of demands of workers and, above all, the prohibition of dismissals.
A united struggle for the defense of these demands, even in the electoral arena, will be a huge step forward for all segments of the working population.
At the same time as we invite you to participate in this common struggle, for our part we will continue organizing around perspective in the elections.
Francis Yao, secretary general of the union employees of the water and gas we sent this correspondence. The union headquarters was reopened. We will return to this story.
In accordance with Order No. 4358/2009 of August 5, 2009, a copy was forwarded to you in a previous email, after the paperwork, the seat of SYNASEG and FESEN, barricaded at night July 24, 2009 by local leaders of the French group Bouygues, was opened today September 1st, 2009 at 9:45 am.
This took place under a detachment of 18 policemen on duty at the police headquarters in Abidjan, requisitioned for the implementation of the ruling of the Court of 1st Instance Abidjan Plateau and in the presence of Master Yao Koffi Bailiff and a twenty leaders and activists FESEN.
It was simply a victory of legality over illegality, order over disorder. This is the day of the newfound freedom.
A brief inaugural meeting was held to exchange information including the holding of an important General Assembly on Saturday, September 19, 2009 at 9:00 am at the headquarters of SYNASEG.
After the meeting of August 6, 2009, organized by the inter-union committee of the company that brought together 2000 AVTOVAZ workers, we publish an article this week by Andrei Liapin, secretary of the union, drawn from Russian language newspaper "Raboche Izvestia" (No. 8, September 2009).
It explains why workers gathered demanding nationalization.
Our leaders have never felt bound by the promises they make to the people. Demagogy, largely mixed with populism, and lavishly relayed by television, has always been the hallmark of our leaders, and this memory of several generations, the 60 years that Khrushchev had promised it would be communism, and more recently, when nobody knew how Yeltsin had forged his power.
At the same time, it is significant that none of Avtovaz management team from the 90s has been made responsible for either the plight in which the plant was found because of his methods of leadership and, simply, ineffective management, or huge losses and waste of resources that should have been made in modernizing production.
Let us say it squarely: all these years, Avtovaz has simply been exploited, pillaged shamelessly to enrich the executives. And the teams that have managed the factory from 2005 are no exception. They came with promises of restructuring and investment, but they have forced the plant to the brink of collapse and bankruptcy. At the same time, spending to maintain these "teams" and pay their salaries were excessive, and people are replacing each other, business leaders became governor in granting itself a solid nest egg money on the factory and none were held accountable either to the state or to workers. This went on until the crisis has revealed the bankruptcy of this "strategy" and precipitated the inevitable collapse.
So now Avtovaz finds itself in the worst situation in history. Never had the production collapsed to 2 / 3; never was there raised the issue of bankruptcy and massive layoffs. Togliatti, a city linked to the automobile factory, and is on the edge of a humanitarian disaster. Even if it does not move the "owners" of the plant, it can not remain indifferent to the people, tens of thousands of factory workers and their families and many workers in enterprises of the branch, whose prosperity is directly linked to the plant.
Today, we must make clear to ourselves that, auto workers, with hundreds of thousands of our colleagues, our interest in saving Avtovaz. Not for owners' profit, but to safeguard our jobs; our own way of life is in danger. It is time for us to understand that without Avtovaz, which provides work and livelihood, the city of Togliatti has no future. This does not mean that it will be the former Avtovaz. The reforms are obviously needed, and it had to begin to implement them 20 years ago. That this has not been done does not mean Avtovaz and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on it have no right to exist. Avtovaz must live!
Leaving Avtovaz to die without glory, the government will transform the country permanently in stock of raw materials from developed countries and consign the people to a miserable survival, depriving them of a decent future. Backing up the factory and the jobs of workers is not the problem of its owners, or shareholders of the Samara region, it is a question of our survival, national security, the ability countries to effectively manage the economy in the interests of citizens, that is, for you and us.
These are precisely the issues presented by Avtovaz workers and residents at the meeting of Togliatti on August 6, 2009. In calling for nationalization, they show that only the State may, by themselves, solve the problems of factory and city. And this is normal because only the state can and must solve problems of this magnitude, not on the basis of owners' profits, but on that, priority of defending the interests of its citizens. And that does not mean simply a financial assistance to management or the introduction of taxes on foreign brands to oppose competition. We expect something from government: to care about the long term welfare of its citizens for generations to come. This requires a reflection to answer the following questions: Do we need our own car industry? Which? When and at what price are we willing to pay? This is called a design development of automotive production, and unfortunately it is what we lack. But otherwise, all other measures, even if they are fair, will not solve problems but only delay the descent.
The demands put forward by participants at the meeting of August 6 in Togliatti prompted mixed reactions among observers. Many were quick to characterize them as anachronistic, unrealistic or even absurd. Indeed, it seems curious at first sight, demanding the nationalization of a business that is managed by a state corporation. But only at first sight. If we look more closely behind the claims of nationalization, verification of the activity of the company managers of Moscow, workers' control, etc.. it is not difficult to see what is the main demand: a elementary reordering to stop the looting and destruction of a factory that works and that has provided work for generations of workers. This requirement - of justice - was expressed in the 12 points of the resolution of the meeting. It is indeed unfair that wages and the maintenance of numerous vice-presidents and top managers is equivalent to the salary fund of a collective of 100, 000 workers. It is unfair to leave a city built to ensure the activity of an automobile factory without work or resources, closing the plant and by providing workers in the best case, a "job" in social work.
The question of justice is not so simple, we can not reject it without the threat of global consequences. This is precisely why the economic crisis, which reached an extreme degree and poses acute questions at Avtovaz, is likely to lead to a political crisis that poses no more or less the question of the legitimacy of government. It will have to answer this question. Problems at Avtovaz and the automotive industry are old, one could predict their worsening 10, 15, 20 years ago. Anticipate and begin to act. Attract investors for efficient production with a serious reflection on the locations, undertake restructuring Avtovaz, generate employment, regulate production of spare parts, etc.. The state has the time and money for that. Obviously, the will was lacking. But of course this is not an argument for the thousands and millions of workers in the industry who may find themselves without work and without resources this fall.
In this context, the nationalization demand is to demand from a state and a socially oriented government that acts in the interests of the majority of its citizens. The people want hope and even a government response. From the tenor of this answer depends a lot, including first of all the fate of this government. Because the line between economic demands and political demands is past.
TRIBUNE FREEDOM OF WORKERS
IKINYAMAKURU C'ABAKOZI MONTHLY NEWSPAPER OF THE DEMOCRATIC WORKERS
PARTY - PTD-"TWUNGURUNANI"
EDITORIAL: THE MANIFESTO OF THE FIRST CONGRESS OF THE PTD "TWUNGURUNANI"
The PTD "TWUNGURUNANI" held its first congress on August 12 and 13, 2009 in Bujumbura. This conference was an unqualified political success given the quality of discussions and decisions that were taken. The congress, which received messages of support from the Independent Workers Party of France, the CGT, the CGT Liberte of Cameroon, and the MTRP of Togo, adopted important resolutions, including a petition against privatization, a resolution on youth and the manifesto of the Congress itself. The Tribune Libre des Travailleurs publishes this manifesto.
"We are the delegates to the first congress of the PTD. We met in Bujumbura on August 12 and 13, 2009.
We talked about the disastrous situation which confronts the workers, peasants and youth of this country; it is in fact the consequence of the structural crisis of capitalism with its imperialist war and dislocation that tears apart the world.
Wars of decomposition, in particular, have devastated the country under the guise of ethnic hatred, are the product of the policies of Capital with its structural adjustment plans and the strategic framework to fight against poverty.
In fact, these plans are for the privatization of public enterprises and services; rising prices and speculation only impoverish the people whose lives are already more than precarious.
Unemployment across the country affects both young and old alike; salaries themselves do not allow workers to live. Health care has become inaccessible. Currently epidemics such as cholera are hitting the people because of the lack of drinking water.
Trying to save the bankrupt system of the market economy, the government wants, and under the dictates of the World Bank, IMF and the European Union, to seek ways to recapitalize and bail out banks and speculators from the funds of the INSS and the Mutual of Public Service, which aims to destroy the system of social protection of workers.
We see that these terrible conditions of workers, peasants and young people are compounded by the integration-dissolution of the country in the East African Community (EAC) for the benefit of large corporations.
We know that the peoples of the sub-region have endured and endure the same difficulties.
Like us, Burundi, our brothers and sisters of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania have suffered the dislocation of war and plunder of mineral resources and energy and wealth promoted by various powers and their multinationals.
Our interests and theirs are common and are opposed to those of multinational corporations and powers that plunder and dislocate our country.
We also noted that elections are often in some countries in Africa moments of bloody clashes involving numerous victims among the civilian population.
Thus, while in Burundi, the various political parties had agreed on a draft electoral code for the 2010 elections, the government has taken the responsibility to amend the provisions including those concerning the timing and manner of elections.
We believe for us, delegates at the first congress of the DTP, the political parties, starting with institutional parties must work for peace and safeguard the independence of the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission) to satisfy the aspirations of people in eased conditions, life of dignity and democracy.
For this and through democratic debate, urgent measures must be taken to save the working people and youth:
Stop the privatization and re-nationalization of enterprises and privatized public services without compensation or possibility of redemption!
-Implement a comprehensive public works program to curb unemployment and increase all wages indexed to the cost of living!
-Cancel any external debt and use the rebate HIPC funds to rebuild the country!
The implementation of such measures, which are not exhaustive, imply national sovereignty over the natural wealth of the country and the establishment of a Constituent Assembly with the task of meeting the aspirations of workers, peasants and youth, to be part of a free and fraternal Union of Sovereign Nations of East Africa.
Finally, experience shows that workers and peoples around the world, are seeking the field of resistance to fight against the crisis of imperialism, which condemns them to poverty, deprivation, hunger and dislocation .
For this reason, we, delegates at the 1st Congress of the PTD, inscribe our struggle as part of the process of preparing the World Conference against war and exploitation to be held in Germany in 2010.
I grew up in a social democratic family and I took my nearly natural place in the ranks of the SPD. It was the party that the German working class swelled after 1945, hopes after the period of Nazi barbarism and war in which capitalism had led Germany and the world. "Socialization of all means of production" such was the demand of the SPD immediately after 1945. It then resumed the demand: "Never again war! Never again, intervention of German troops in foreign territory."
Immediately after the war, many activists did not want the restoration of capitalism or of Stalinist rule. This hope was frustrated by both the occupation of the winning coalition and the division of Germany and the working class - in the order established at Yalta and Potsdam. The Stalinist dictatorship installed in a part of Germany was a major means to reduce the revolutionary wave that swept over Germany after 1945 and then to rebuild the capitalist state in the western part of Germany.
Today, a few weeks after the 20th anniversary of reunification, I want to focus on the importance that this issue of "German unity" means for me and many activists of my generation.
The recognition of the division of Germany, two German states, soon became the official doctrine of the SPD. social rights.
With numerous comrades from the West and the East, I fought against the submission of the SPD by its leadership, headed by Oskar Lafontaine, to these policies. This finally led us, comrade Silly Grumm and myself to present an independent slate in Chemnitz in 1990 to parliament. We wanted to give people, on an electoral level as social democrats, a voice in the struggle of their lives, jobs, child care centers, and houses, a voice against the offensive of the Kohl government, which leaned on the "reformed" Stalinist bureaucrats to provoke a social catastrophe in East Germany.
My candidacy and campaign led to my expulsion from the SPD. Together with comrades from all over the country, I helped edit Letter for Social Unity in Germany, which then became Social Democratic Policies review, around which today militant workers activists regroup.
I was invited, as an MP, to participate in the Open World Conference in Barcelona in 1991. The creation of the International Liaison Committee (ILC) on the basis of a Manifesto against war and exploitation opened me to a new perspective.
Today there is only one solution: the end to all layoffs.
Today, 20 years after the fall of the wall, after a wave of destruction hit East Germany, a similar wave has hit the whole country. Under the blows of this world crisis of capitalism, massive layoffs particularly hit workers in industry. The "grand coalition" government gives billions to the banks to prop up speculation.
And people are paying, through radical cuts to the social budget and the dismantling of collective conventions. Isn't the struggle for workers' control of production on the agenda, as it was in 1989? There is only one solution: The end to all layoffs. The companies that lay off should be put under state control, to save all jobs.
And to achieve this goal, it is necessary that the base of the SPD
rise up against the current leadership and kick out the Steimeier, Müntefering
and Steinbruck trio, to be able to break with "the grand coalition"
of the SPD-CDU and open the path to a government at the services of
the workers and the unions of the DGB. The battle continues.