First of all, I would like to thank for the invitation and the possibility to attend yours historic 42nd National Congress.
I especially thank the General Secretary of AITUC, Comrade Amarjgeet Kaur a prominent leadership figure of the Indian but also the international class labor movement, who we have the honor of being a vice-president of our World Federation.
On behalf of more than 105 million members of the World Federation of Trade Unions from 133 countries from all corners of the earth, I convey to you and through you to the workers of India, militant class greetings.
AITUC has been and remains, one of the foundation blocks upon which the strong edifice of our World Federation is built. Since the establishment of the WFTU in 1945, it has steadily and continuously participated actively, occupying a leading and irreplaceable role in the development of the World class-oriented trade union movement.
That is why it rightfully leads our regional office for Asia and the Pacific and the regional coordinator Comrade Sri Kumar is a member of the Secretariat and one of the deputy G.S. of our Federation.
In the historical records of WFTU are recorded many names of important trade unionist leaders of the AITUC, who served the World Trade Union Movement through important posts. I mention only a few of them, like S. A. Dange founding leader, member of the executive committee, Debkumar Ganguli, founding member, Secretary for Asia Pacific and Deputy General Secretary, Sukomal Sen, General Secretary of TUI Public Servants, Indrajit Gupta and KL Mahendra, WFTU Presidents and of course com. Mahatevan who served for many years as coordinator of the regional office and one of the deputy secretaries of WFTU.
To those fighters and so many others I haven’t named to whom we owe, honor and glory.
Dear comrades, delegates of the 42nd National Congress of AITUC.
The world is going through a phase of extreme intensification of political, economic, and military antagonisms, aiming at controlling and exploiting the economic resources of our planet.
The peoples pay the price of the imperialist wars and interventions.
After the Russian invasion in Ukraine the USA, the NATO and the EU they attempt to present the situation as a war between liberalism and authoritarianism. Thinking that this way, their own criminal role in the developments can be hushed up. But so many bloody wars and interventions to promote their own selfish imperialistic interests are clearly visible. Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yugoslavia, Cyprus and so many other places. The world peace is not being protected by even more militarism or patronage of all kinds of far-right nationalists and fascists. It cannot be based on blockades, sanctions and economic wars.
WFTU is fighting for peace, for an end to this war and to imperialist wars and interventions in generally, for the dissolution of NATO and all military coalitions and for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
The crisis of capitalism it deepens and strengthens, resulting the open violation of democratic and trade union rights, the deterioration of working and living conditions and the dramatic widening of social inequalities, poverty, and exploitation. The results of the war of NATO and Russia in Ukraine, attempted to be loaded to the shoulders of the working class.
The sharp and uncontrollable increase in prices of all basic necessities, dissipates the living standard of the working people families at the same time that multinationals and monopolies are reaching new records in profits.
For WFTU it is clear that there is only one path to follow and this is the path of dignity, the path of the struggles.
The workers refuse to pay for the capitalist crisis and the imperialist wars, through remarkable struggles, strikes and mobilizations, all over the world. WFTU affiliates are at the forefront of these struggles for the satisfaction of the contemporary needs of the workers at all levels: salary, employment, security, culture, and mental. To defend the democratic and trade union freedoms, the collective bargaining and the stable, permanent, and agreements-regulated labor. The sharpening of state repression and authoritarianism, is the response of the bourgeois governments to the just popular demands. Unfortunately with the cooperation or intolerance of surrendered trade union leaders together with yellow unions.
The arrest of the recently elected Secretary General of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), Luca Visentini brings to the surface one more time the issue of corruption within the Trade Unions and the necessity to intensify the struggles to protect their autonomy and their class orientation, away from bureaucracy, corruption, and manipulation by the capital and employers. In this particular case the arrest linked with the cover-up of terrible crimes committed against thousands of workers, many of whom lost their lives during their daily work.
The incorporation of the leadership of ITUC and ETUC to the neoliberal, anti-labor policies, the absence of a substantial reaction on its part, clearly coexists with the corruption and use of Trade Union positions for purposes foreign to the class interests of the workers.
Dear comrades, brothers and sisters
Concluding my intervention, I would like to wish you every success in the works, of your congress. I am sure that with your pure class orientation and the militant guidelines of the WFTU 18th Congress, your future initiatives and struggles will meet the demands and the expectations of the working class of India.
I assure you that we watch your daily militant action and you can always rely on the support and solidarity of the WFTU. For the defense of the political, social and Trade Union rights of Indian workers, against capitalist barbarity, for a world free of wars and interventions, without any kind of discrimination and man by man exploitation.
- Long live the working class straggles for peace and social justice
- Long live AITUC and the working class of India
- Long live the WFTU