Message to the Symposium on Militant Trade Unionism in Istanbul, Turkey
By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
23 April 2006
We, in the International Coordinating Committee of the ILPS, extend our warmest militant greetings of solidarity to the Turkish workers
and to Turkish national chapter of ILPS for organizing today this symposium on militant and anti-imperialist trade unionism with the theme:
"Unity- Struggle-Victory against the Attacks of Imperialism on the Working Class".
We congratulate the ILPS-Turkey and the Study Commission on Concern No. 5 for holding this symposium. This comes at an auspicious
time when workers all over the world are under rapidly worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation and are waging resistance.
They are seething with outrage in their workplaces and are pouring into the streets to demand better wages and better working
conditions and defend the workers rights that have been won through years of militant struggle and at great sacrifice. Their relatives
and friends in eagerly join them in the struggle.
The crisis of the world capitalist system is manifest in the great numbers of unemployed and underemployed both in the developed
and underdeveloped countries. It has pushed the workers and their families further into abject poverty. It has brought about
repression of workers worldwide. The reign of greed and terror is being effected through the enactment of pro-imperialist and
pro-capitalist laws that deprive workers of their basic rights and freedoms. The deteriorating conditions of wage slavery are intolerable.
Union busting, brutal dispersals of picket lines, suppression of strikes, killings of union leaders and members, and branding militant trade
unionists as economic terrorists are commonplace reaction of imperialists, capitalists and the reactionary states to workers fighting for
their survival and human dignity.
But the workers persevere in their just struggle. In Europe, North America, Asia and elsewhere, they are fighting against job insecurity,
mass layoffs, discrimination against immigrants and the youth, the wage freeze, erosion of rights and the further loss of social benefits.
In recent months, the immigrants and youth in France and the United States have stood up so vigorously against discrimination and criminalization.
The working class is at the forefront of the struggle not only for economic demands. But more importantly, they are in the forefront
of the political struggle for national and social liberation, for genuine democracy, for world peace against wars of aggression like those
in Iraq and Afghanistan and for the advancement of world anti-imperialist and socialist movement.
We commend the workers for carrying out their struggles in the workplaces, in the picket lines and on the streets against the
intensifying conditions of exploitation and oppression. We salute them for linking up with the peasant masses in agrarian countries
in order to wage democratic revolution. We celebrate all the heroic struggles, all the worthwhile sacrifices and every measure of
success against the plague that is the so-called neoliberal globalization and the scourge that is so-called war on terror.
We must always strive to unite the workers along the anti-imperialist and democratic line. We must expand, consolidate and
intensify the workers' trade union and strike movements. We must encourage a far greater number of workers to join the
struggle. We must exert all efforts to combine the workers with the rest of the people in fighting against imperialism and all reaction.
We hope that you can draw inspiration and strength from this symposium by exchanging experiences and ideas about militant
trade unionism, learning from each other and agreeing on the common tasks for raising the level of the working class struggle
to a new and higher one in Turkey. We hope that you will achieve greater successes and contribute further to the advance
of the anti-imperialist and democratic cause on a global scale.
Long live the workers of Turkey and the rest of the people!
Long live ILPS-Turkey and the trade unionists in this symposium!
Long live the international working class movement!