WFTU Presidential Council Havana 3-4 May 2017
We publish speech of Pierpaolo Leonardi (USB secretariat - General Secretary TUI PS&A ) at the Presidential Council of the World Trade Union Federation held in Havana CUBA last 3 May.
Dear comrade Ulisses
Dear comrade Mavrikos
Dear comrades of the Presidential Council
On behalf of the USB Italy and of the TUI PS&A I would like to thank the CTC for the kind hospitality and I would also like to say that I’m very happy to participate to the great May 1st, the workers day, with the people and with the workers of Cuba. Its history and its revolution are an example and a sign of hope for all the people and of the workers around the world. The teaching of the comrade Fidel has been important for us, and I think they will be important for all the revolutionary people, today and tomorrow.
The crisis of the capital is still producing its effect. In Italy we are facing another hard attack to the living conditions of working people. Lots of companies are in crisis and firing workers or reducing their salary. Only last week, the yellow trade unions have signed an agreement in Alitalia for the reduction of the employers and for the reduction of the 30% of their salary. Indeed the workers have rejected that agreement and they are now crying for the nationalization of Alitalia and all the strategic companies in crisis.
The Italian government in the meanwhile have planned other repressive measures in order to prevent the mobilizations against the effect of the crisis. Some days ago, 9 of our comrades has been condemned to some months of jail or to the payment of 25000 Euro each one, because they participated to a protest of USB in Bologna for the murdered of an USB delegate, Abd El Salam, which was own Egyptian delegate in a logistic transportation companies and which has been overcome by a camion during a strike.
In March USB promoted a mobilization against the EU, the Euro and the NATO, for the 60th anniversary of the Rome agreement, which are one of the basic agreement for the foundation of the EU. In that occasion, the government uses a huge amount of soldiers and police.
Gentiloni, the new Italian prime minister, has accepted the Trump proposal of enhancing 2% of the PNL the Italian contribution to NATO, thus accepting to share the USA aggressions in Syria, in Afghanistan, North Chorea etc etc, waiting for the constitution of the EU army, as it was decided last March 25th.
The USB is always in the first line for the defense of the people independence and self determination. In particular it support Venezuela in its resistance against the internal and external attacks, it supports Cuba for the ending of the embargo. It supports the hunger strike of the Palestinian prisoners. In these days a delegation of the USB is in Donbas, to support the people that are fighting against the fascism in Europe and for their independence.
I have analyzed and I keep on analyzing the proposal of the Secretariat of the WFTU and of the comrade Mavrikos. Now we have to realize the proposal of the 17th congress in Durban and this is our real duty now.
Particularly, I agree to the call of the TUI to properly organize and develop the WFTU in the different categories. Only through the TUI and their regional offices it is possible to acknowledge our trade union, which is unite, class-oriented, democratic and independent. Only through the TUI that we can manage the struggles internationally. I think that it is very important that today we decide to formally built the TUI in the textile sector.
The effect of the systemic crisis of the capital has no resolution since 2008 and its effect is really heavy also in the public sectors. Capital has chosen the path of decreasing welfare for the populations and reducing labor costs for public workers as tools to get out of the crisis. In Europe, in particular, public workers have been undergoing heavy reorganization, with a sharp reduction in wages, employment and guarantees, including through the ban on the renewal of national contracts. Capitalist governments seek to rush resources across the globe through a strong impetus to privatizations that have now invested in all the major public assets with devastating consequences for people and workers. For this reason, as a TUI PS & A for two years, we have been vigorously launching the slogan of the struggle against privatizations, and in this battle that unequivocally affects all the capitalist countries we have promoted struggle days both in 2016 and 2017. However, especially this year, the mobilization has been realized in few countries and with few conviction. At the same time we have incessantly pushed for regional TUI meetings to take place. In 2016 only the European regional conference hosted by the PAME in Bruxelles was met. Only these days we have been able to summon Latin America and Caribbean Conference in Ecuador, which has been successful with the participation of over 50 delegates from 7 countries of the 'Area. We have summoned French speaking Africa conference, which will take place on June 22 and 23 in Libreville, Gabon, and at last in September, Asia Pacific conference, which will take place in Kerala, India. In this occasion we expect to hold the annual meeting of the TUI Secretariat.
Through these regional meetings we intend to build a stronger and wider organization, engage new local trade unions that share our classroom, and then strengthen and extend the presence of the WFTU. It is also necessary that regional offices also contribute to the spread of WFTU affiliated organizations to the need to formally join the TUIs of the various sectors and to support the activity also by paying the quotas. Today, all the running costs of the web site, the Face book page, the staff, the TUI PS & A travels are almost entirely borne by the USB or CGTP -In.
USB has gladly accepted the proposal to host the WFTU Young Workers' Congress in Rome, Italy on 2 and 3 November 2017. Our financial situation does not allow us to accommodate more than 100 young workers from all over the world, but we believe that this will be an important number that will guarantee the quality of the discussion and the opportunity to best represent all continents. Cooperation between the Regional Offices is required to ensure participation by as many countries as possible.
In the coming days, USB will hold its own sectors congresses and in June the congress of the entire confederation, with over 500 delegates elected in more than 5,000 work plays, regional, and sectoral conferences. On occasion of the Congress we will be set up a new Union which will mainly deal with self-employed, unemployed and precarious workers. The slogan of the congress is very simple but significant:
Let's resume everything!
Long live the WFTU!
Long live the CTC!
Long live the CUBA!