4th Meeting of the ILNSS gathers activists from 39 organisations from 21 different countries and celebrates an important advance of the entity
From 21 to 14 April in Dijon, France, was held the 4th Meeting of the International Labour Network of Solidarity and Struggles. The organisation that was born in 2013, has as founding labour federation entities the Spanish CGT, the CSP-Conlutas from Brazil, and the French Solidaires.
This very important edition brought together around 200 participants from 39 organisations, from 21 different countries, coming from 4 continents. A significant representation considering the difficulties presented at this moment of retaking activities under a less severe health crisis.
Furthermore, the participation of some delegations was barred by the French government, which did not grant visas to militants from Sudan, Morocco, Pakistan, India, Mali and Western Sahara. Overall, 52 leaders were barred at the border. This situation yielded a deliberate motion by those present at the meeting to denounce this vexatious expression of xenophobia against international delegations.
Despite this loss, ILNSS considered that since the last meeting and with the strengthening of relations with several other organisations, even under social isolation, the entity has advanced more and more in the radical internationalist struggle.
The first day of the event was dedicated to a review of the work done by the ILNSS over the past years, especially since the 3rd Meeting, through the crisis of the pandemic of covid-19, up to the present.
Leaders and activists had moments to speak in the plenary session to share experiences, denunciations and reports on specific struggles and situations in different countries.
Representatives of the founding labour federations were present: Nara Cladera, from Solidaires, Sandra Iriarte, from the Spanish CGT, and Wilson Ribeiro, from CSP-Conlutas. Other leaders addressed the plenary, like Marcelo Améndola from CUB and José Manuel Muñoz Polis, general secretary of the CGT, and Rosália Fernandes from our Labour and People Federation.
The CSP-Conlutas delegation was made up of over 20 people, representing different categories from the education, health, public service, postal service, Petrobras and popular and social movements.
After the presentation, discussions were made in groups about the conjunctural issues involving the increasingly precarization of labour relations all over the world, with the sharing of new forms of exploitation that came with the pandemic.
An example of this theme was highlighted with the presence of Adriana Urrea, journalist and trade union secretary of SutNotimex, the trade union of Mexican state news agency Notimex, who reported the historic and unprecedented strike in the country, which has already completed more than two years, for labour rights, dignity and compliance with the collective agreement.
In addition to the problems strictly linked to the financial and legal conditions of the work, Adriana emphasized the fact that Mexico is one of the most violent and dangerous countries for journalists. Only this year, eight journalists have been killed or disappeared, according to Adriana.
In the panel on new forms of exploitation, from uberization. The experiences showed that the ILNSS organizations in the different countries are involved in the processes of struggle and mobilization at the rank and file level.
Irene Maestro, from the Luta Popular (Popular Struggle Movement) and Raquel Tremembé, from the indigenous struggle and from the National Executive Secretariat of CSP-Conlutas, shared their experiences on the process of struggles for territories, for native peoples and in defense of the Environment and Climate.
They detailed the main attacks of Bolsonaro against indigenous people and the environment, as well as the attacks of the governments that repress and evict workers in the struggle for land and housing.
Thematic panels were also organised on “women”, “self-management and workers’ control”, “racism and colonialism”, “immigration”, “workers’ health” and “environment”.
Check out some pictures of the sectorial groups with the participation of CSP-Conlutas delegates:
The special panel on the situation of the Ukrainian working class moved the participants with the emotional account of Svitlana Shapran, a teacher from the city of Krivoy-Rog, a city located in the south-east of Ukraine.
“We Ukrainians, like all humanity, want to live in peace and harmony. We want to give birth to children in hospitals, not in metro stations or in the basement to the sound of bombing alarm sirens. We want our children to live and study. Right now, parents are writing their names and telephone numbers on the backs of their children with pens, in case, God forbid, the mother or father is suddenly killed and it is possible to find out whose children they are and where they live,” the Ukrainian shared in a choked voice.
Svitlana also cried as she told how the Russians, the supposed “liberators”, committed serious violations such as raping women in front of their children, relatives.
“This is the powerful Russian army: cowards, murderers and looters, with the maniac Putin at their head. The same one who, while we were resolving the conflict with former president Yanukovych, quietly usurped Crimea. And most importantly: he did it with impunity! What can be said here – this is Putin’s democracy!”, Svitlana protested.
In a statement added to the ILNSS’s updated Manifesto, military alliances such as NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) and CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organisation) are criticised, under the assertion that “military blocs reinforce imperialist war threats and therefore should be eliminated.”
As a way of taking step forward in internationalist support for the Ukrainian workers’ resistance, in a closer and more practical way, it was announced at the end of the panel the sending of labour delegations of member organisations of the ILNSS in support with Ukraine.
Solidaires (France), CSP-Conlutas (Brazil) and IP Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Poland), ADL Cobas (Italy) and G1PS (Lithuania) will finance the logistics of the donations, which will be bought according to the needs of the Ukrainian working class. Inside the country, the convoy will personally meet with labour union contacts and actions will be organised accordingly.
Paweł Nowożycki, an activist responsible for the IP’s international relations, is in charge of the organisation and logistics of the Convoy. He was part of the panel and gave important statement on how they are supporting refugees arriving in Poland.
Several motions were elaborated and read in the final plenary. Among them, in defence of anti-fascist struggles and against repression, in support of the struggle for land and housing, for ‘Out Bolsonaro’, in defence of the native and indigenous peoples in Brazil, in solidarity with Cesare Battisti, with the Saharawi people, the Palestinian people, and in support of the GOSH workers from London, UK, journalists from Notimex, from Mexico, from the logistics sector in Italy among others.
The Manifesto was also updated collectively. The new document of common principles and objectives defends the strengthening of syndicalism to rupture with capitalism, to guarantee the independence of the labour movement, which mobilizes and fights effectively, as a key issue of this period. Nara Cladera stated that it is the ILNSS’s duty to continue assuming these premises, since the pandemic has proven the failure of the capitalist system.
Actions to be developed by the ILNSS throughout 2022 were also defined, such as the May Day, the international day of struggle of the working class.
It is important to mention that it was two years late for the face-to-face meeting due to the pandemic, but this was not an inactive period for the ILNSS.
To maintain relations and the organisation of the struggles of the working class that is united in this internationalist entity, virtual plenaries were held, with the presence of militants from various countries.
Among the topics discussed were the impacts of the pandemic on the working class, trade union conjuncture at a world level, a conversation on the working class and labour union organisation in the midst of the pandemic in African countries, as well as a very important discussion on women’s struggles around the world.
Sectoral meetings and other seminars were also organised with themes involving repression, self-management and workers’ control, colonialism, racism and migrations, among others.