The Final Declaration of the 4th International Trade Union Conference

The 4th International Trade Union Conference, attended by 300 trade unionists and progressive workers from 15 different countries (Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Germany, Britain, Netherlands, Turkey, Cyprus, Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, India, Russia and Ecuador) gathered in Gonen, Turkey from May 23-25.

During the two days, our conference, as well as analysing and evaluating the problems, demands and experiences of the working class and trade union struggle, also provided the opportunity to assess certain lines of struggle and mobilisation against existing problems.

In nearly all countries similar attacks are taking place in order to enable international capital to extract the maximum possible profit. This particular reality was demonstrated via the explanations trade unions from different countries made in their presentations vis-a-vis the liquidation of public services, examples of casualisation, the fall in real wages, attacks on the right to social security, privatisation and many other attacks.

Thus the character of such attacks makes the need to develop international solidarity and a common struggle, when compared to previous periods, more of a dire need.

A collaborationist and pro-“social dialogue” line of trade unionism is a dead end. As a result of the presentations made in the conference, it has become evident that the policies that lead to the breakdown of public services, foster casualisation, fall in the level of real wage, attacks on social security, privatisation and many other attacks directed at labourers has been practiced on a worldwide scale.

The discussions in the conference brought to light the possibility of making trade unions the centre of struggle for the working class. As a result of what has been experienced in certain countries and shared in the conference, we have seen that there are concrete grounds for this. Hence when we think about the duties of fighting trade unions, there is a consensus that one of its duties is to practice this belief.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the concept of `war against terror`, which was constructed and pursued first by the USA, EU, NATO and other politico-military institutions that were in favour of such a concept, has opened the door, firstly in Europe and many other countries, to the spread of nationalist and racist ideas and practices. International capital has used this period in order to: hide the real causes of unemployment and poverty; implement anti-democratic policies; and injure the right of each state to sovereignty. We would like to note that our conference is against all forms of racist ideas and implementations, divisive politics that target the working class and enslave the people.

Imperialist forces in Asia to the Middle East from East Europe to Latin America use all necessary means, including military means, to strengthen or shore up their hegemony. Such a development leads to: the rise in the amount that is spared for Defence in the budget of each country; and the minimisation of political freedoms and democratic rights.

During the conference a special reference and note was made of the following:

As a result of the conference, it has been stipulated that the trade unionists that have attended the conference share a common sense of struggle.

Our conference has put before itself the following aims: organising the next conference, strengthening the ties that have been built during this conference and developing the necessary means of communication and practices in order for these targets to materialise.

Workers, labourers and oppressed nations are continuing to struggle and resist imperialist occupation. Our conference notes that it is in support of all anti-imperialist struggles and independence movements, to begin with in Latin America, Middle East and Asia. And further it demands the appreciation of the right to self-determination: give an immediate end to the imperialist occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan; independence to the Palestinians and the democratic resolution of the Kurdish question based on equal rights.

Our conference is in solidarity with all workers on strike all over the world, to begin with the Haft Tappeh Cane Sugar workers in Iran, Tuzla, Yorsan, Desa and TEGA workers in Turkey, Fiat and Alfa Romeo workers in Italy. Also it demands the immediate release of the workers detained as a result of Mahalla struggle in Egypt and Mansour Osanlou in Iran.

Long live the unity and international solidarity of the working class.

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