On the second day of the Meeting, with the aim of discussing the international situation and the struggles of workers amid the attacks of capitalism, deepened by the crisis since 2008 and exacerbated during the pandemic, participants highlighted that capitalist governments, for the most part, have been working to reduce workers' rights, make employment precarious, expand informal work, privatize sectors such as water and repress union organization and demonstrations against neoliberal policies.
A moment of interventions was opened with the contribution of activists and trade unionists from different countries:
Chile - The 1973 military coup and the need for resistance against capitalist policies under the current government were remembered. Camilla Ruz Sepúlveda, a chemical sector worker, also highlighted foreign exploitation in the country, explaining a law that gives power to the police and the looting of lithium in the country. “Exploring lithium in Chile is opening the doors to foreign multinationals, taking away the sovereignty of the people and authorizing multinational companies so they can explore the country.”
Angola - There were reports of repression and lack of fundamental, organizational and trade union freedoms. José Gomes Hata, a militant who has already been arrested and kidnapped by the Angolan regime, stated that "whoever fights in Angola must be prepared to lose their lives”, and asked for international support to those present and to the ILNSS.
Argentina - The actions of broad-based governments were discussed which, despite the support of union leadership, have applied policies that impoverish workers. As he reported, plans are instituted that leave our workers poorer. “This is achieved with the express collaboration and support of the trade unions. In Buenos Aires, 70% of children are poor”, he denounced.
Botswana - Public servant Martin Onalenna Gabobake pointed out that despite not being able to conquer all the demands of the labor movement, they are doing as much as possible. “We have tried national dialogue, but we are very limited by the policies of the Ministry of Labor and the Interior.”
Brazil - Participants highlighted the deepening of the crisis, the lack of short and medium-term perspectives and the importance of class independence. Joaninha Oliveira, from education, highlighted the global crisis worsened by the pandemic, criticized Bolsonaro, highlighted the support for the critical vote for Lula and the class independence policy of CSP-Conlutas. Suzete Chaffin, from public servants, defended the unification of the class in the face of the government that prioritizes debt to the detriment of public services. Diego Vitello, a subway worker, addressed privatization in Brazil, planning a unified strike and a plebiscite against water privatization in São Paulo, with the support of CSP-Conlutas.
United Kingdom - The economic crisis following the pandemic and Brexit led to worker mobilizations against Boris Johnson's policies. “The working class could not buy bread, milk, butter and 20% could not support their families. I can say that the working class is back, it is fighting,” he said, highlighting that mobilizations like this had not happened in the country for around 40 years.
Costa Rica - Police repression against workers and the search for a union confederation independent of the union bureaucracy were denounced. “They don't allow us to organize, we don't have union time to serve the workers, we do this outside of work hours, because otherwise we can't organize the class. We are unable to hold assemblies on work days due to repression. The experience we saw here, we will try to do there”, highlighted Obeth Morales Barquero, leader of the agribusiness workers union in the country.
In this sense, the same occurs in Ecuador, where unionization is low, especially among young people and women, and there are efforts to strengthen union organization in the countryside. Juan Fernandez Rodrigues Escobar, director of the public servants category, began his speech by identifying the profile of the entity. “We are anti-capitalists, strengthening basic proletarian democracy.” According to Escobar, the situation of trade unionism in Ecuador is very precarious. “Only 3% of union members and only 1% are women union members, and the vast majority of workers are in the informal sector,” he highlighted.
With a low rate of young people and women in unions, representing more than 50% of the working population, the group seeks to strengthen union organization in the country. “We want to strengthen unionization in the countryside, as these are the worst conditions, on the verge of slavery,” he said.
Spain - Alert was made to the increase in feminicide and the need to fight for decent wages. Davi Blanco, leader of the CGT, founder of the ILNSS, warned of the increase in feminicide in the country as part of the expression of the extreme right that has been growing in Spain and worries the union movement. “We, at the CGT, know about the problems that affect the working class, but we have to face the extreme right,” he said.
USA - The resistance of indigenous peoples, the movement against police violence and the fight against mineral extraction were mentioned. Cooper Bard, from the Philadelphia Operating Engineers Union, stated that “There is a willingness among the working class to fight bosses, governments and combat the climate crisis.”
France - The mobilizations against raising the retirement age were remembered, as was the need to confront the extreme right and defend the rights of undocumented migrants.
Vila Ramon warned that the pension reform in France is not just a question of working longer, but rather a way of forcing workers to pay contributions to private funds. Education professional Cybele David, also from Solidaires, discussed the importance of popular struggles in France, especially against racism, as the flow of immigrants across French borders increases. “We must remember that there are always deaths due to police violence in popular neighborhoods, especially in Paris.”
Philipe Degrave, from Emancipación, reported the process the country went through with the great struggles against the two-year increase in public retirement.
Palestine - Independent trade unions face challenges due to new laws and procedures, and the economic situation is difficult due to punitive measures imposed by the Zionist occupation. Nabel Abdallah, leader of the Palestinian Postal Workers Union, stated that "Many labor organizations have disintegrated, no longer able to defend their members in light of the arbitrary dismissals and penalties they faced from employers."
Poland - The repression of unions, the precariousness of work and attacks on women's rights stood out. Pawel Nowozycki, Polish trade unionist at IP, also spoke about the organization of an annual women's congress in which associations and unions participate to create a common platform for struggles both in the market and in everyday life.
In Togo, the precarious situation of the population was highlighted, and international solidarity was requested. Boukari Issa addressed the precarious situation in which the people of his country live, where workers' children are not even able to go to school because their parents are unemployed and in a completely precarious.
Issa states that he comes in search of solidarity with his people so that they can survive. “It is a regrettable situation in Togo. We need solidarity,” he said.
In Ukraine, unionization is in decline, with bureaucratized unions, and the fight is over basic issues, such as access to water. Yuri Petrovich highlighted that they have class consciousness at the front, and that “they will not allow these rich people who, after the victories want to enslave us again, we will defeat Putin and our oligarchs.”
Nurse Oksana Slobodyana reported that in Ukraine hospitals are becoming private businesses and that there is little transfer of resources to the sector.
Italy - The need for resistance from workers in the face of increasing precarious work was emphasized. Marcelo Amendola, director of CUB Italy and the ILNSS, reinforced the need to expand the organization to extend the work to other organizations that do not know the organization, but have an affinity. “We need to have access to young people, they have to know that by fighting they can achieve their goals. Workers need to be sure that there is a direction that will lead them to victory,” he stressed.
The meeting was marked by international solidarity and the commitment to strengthen the struggle of the working class around the world.