As a summary of meeting on March 27th, I sent a systematization of some points, so that it can even be used as a story for the unions to discuss in their addresses or with their base. To give you an idea of the representativeness of this meeting, union activists from Congo, Togo, Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, Brazil, USA, Portugal, the Spanish State, Italy and France were attended.
1. The pandemic opened a major crisis, with great impact on the health of the working class, but also on labor rights and the situation in factories. From the beginning of this crisis the bourgeoisie put its profits and production first, leaving the lives of the workers exposed to the virus. Where there were stoppages in production so that there were measures to defend health in the companies, it has often been the workers who imposed them with their struggles. Throughout the world, the lack of health of the working class continues, either due to lack of protection measures, or due to the absence of government policies that guarantee the health and rights of workers, so vaccines and massive tests continue to be lacking at the same time. that the attacks on the rights of the class are advancing. Also due to the pandemic and the changes it has caused in world markets, production stoppages are occurring in supply chains with the issue of semiconductors (chips) with consequent attacks on workers’ rights and employment.
2. In the industrial sector, there was already a situation of instability since the crisis of 2008. For example, in the growing sector, very important changes continue to occur with mergers of large groups, restructuring of others, factory closures and relocation of production. At the same time, there is an advance in the restructuring of production, with an increase in automation and digitization (Industry 4.0) with consequences in job cuts. Subcontracting, temporary work and other forms of job insecurity are also advancing. In this context, there are processes of criminalization of unions and reduction of their space for action.
3. The energy change in the industry is also a fundamental point to understand what is happening in this sector around the world. Supposedly to reduce the impact of the industry on the environment, with the issue of electric mobility the bourgeoisie is implementing plans for productive restructuring with job cuts and the advancement of Industry 4.0. We say supposedly, because the electric car is being a way of opening new markets for large groups, increasing their profits and making the lives of workers worse with cuts in rights and employment. The impact of this energy change in countries such as Congo for example, where the extraction of essential mineral for the production of batteries for electric mobility is done without the slightest respect for the health of workers and the environment, using child labor and with miserable working conditions, showing that there is no real ecological concern and that the only objective is to increase profits for companies.
4. Thus there is a need to build campaigns against the precariousness of work, for the reduction of the working day without reduction of wages (such as the fight for the 30h per week without reduction of wage of the CGT colleagues), for the right to life and against governments that apply anti-worker plans. We must also fight for respect for the trade union movement and against the persecution and criminalization of trade unions. The way out is the struggle for the needs and life of the working class, always with class independence from the bourgeoisie and governments and with workers’ internationalism. The days of April 28, International Day of Safety and Health at Work, and May 1, International Workers’ Day, could be reference days for these campaigns.
5. From September 23 to 26, the meeting of the International Network will be held in Dijon, we will take advantage of the face-to-face meeting to discuss the international campaigns of the sector and during the next months share the struggles and campaigns through the WhatsApp group and through the mailing list of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles.