27 of October of 2015
Resolution of the International Conference of Trade Unions Of Telecommunications, IT and Call Centers
We Will Not Become Slaves Of The 21st Century
The trade union organizations that participated in the International Conference of Workers in Telecommunications, IT and Call Centers on October 19th in Brussels in order to discuss the situation workers are facing in this sector and to organize a joint response against the multinationals, the monopolies and the imperialist organizations, resolve that:
The need is highlighted for rallying the trade unions to organize the struggle against the domination of the multinationals, to strengthen it towards the promotion of its basic goal, which is the production of wealth and the development of technology and science to serve the people’s needs and not the profits of the multinationals.
Judging from the worldwide interest of the sector’s unions for today’s conference, there is an imperative need for the militant trade union forces of our branches to coordinate our steps: to take up new initiatives for the organization and rallying of the militant trade unions of the branch against the multinationals; to develop ties, communication, information sharing; to take steps in coordination, in expression of internationalist solidarity and the development of common action among workers of an industry where the onslaught of the multinationals, and the monopolies against the workers is escalating, an attack that takes advantage of the domination of the forces of class collaboration and their attempt to undermine the fighting tendencies and the struggles that are developing.
Another important issue that concerns workers throughout the world today is how the antagonisms of the monopolies, the imperialist organizations and the states leads to imperialist interventions, wars, poverty – turning people into refugees. It is an issue that we should take into account as Telecommunications (social networks, information transfer, etc.) are currently being utilized for the propaganda needs of the imperialist organizations with the victims being the peoples, as well as for the guidance and control of the political developments and interventions. Especially now that the refugee issue has touched every corner of the world, the expression of internationalist solidarity is of utmost importance, as are the actions of the trade union forces against imperialist interventions, against imperialist organizations.
It is a fact that the situation experienced today by workers in Europe, in the Telecommunications sector and generally, would not be the same if the trade union movement was not dominated by the forces of class collaboration, employer-led, governmental trade unionism. Faced with the onslaught of employers, not only did they not coordinate the action of the European trade unions against all these anti-worker policies, but they promoted the European Unions’ and monopolies’ ideology towards the working class. In this direction, the European Trade Union Confederation and its forces in each country argue about the ‘competitiveness of the economy’, ‘business growth’ etc. calling upon the workers to support demands against their own interests.
The daily unending onslaught of the multinationals proves that the logic of retreating, of waiting, of the ‘lesser evil’, of compromise, leads employers to formulate new demands. It proves that on the one hand, this direction leads to the defusing of any militant tendencies and on the other, it expands the appetites of the multinationals, which continually demand more and more. That is because preserving and increasing the profitability of the multinationals runs right through the attack against workers’ rights at all levels. The legal arsenal that abolishes the gains and rights of the workers is provided by the EU and the Governments of the Member States. At the same time it creates all the preconditions for positive technological advancements in infrastructure that also become open domains for the profitability of the multinationals. That is why our struggle to have positive results must be in the direction of conflict with the multinationals and the EU.
The workers in our sector today need mass unions, open and democratic; to constitute the center of multifaceted activities and simultaneously to militantly educate the new generation of the working class. The mission of every trade union is to rally within its ranks all the workers of the sector, irrespective of color, race, nationality and political or religious beliefs; to defend the interests of its members against the employers and their class, in conflict with the European Union, imperialist organizations and business groups. Today we need a class-oriented movement, organized and directed against the employers, their laws and state; organized in depth and with its basis the workplaces and the sector; a movement that not only fights for individual enhancements but fights for all the needs of the popular and working family so as to overthrow and abolish exploitative relations. To educate the workers in the spirit of the class-oriented struggle and lead them in class-oriented struggles against the capitalists until the final victory; to educate them in the spirit of internationalist workers’ solidarity.
Today we need a movement in the telecommunications sector where the struggle and the workers’ demands will be part of the more general interest to have telecommunications under the criterion to satisfy widened people’s needs for low cost, safe, qualitative Telecommunications and not for the profits of the business groups, something that demands telecommunications not be a commodity. This course to overturn the policy of commercialization of Telecommunications and the policies of the EU for liberalization of the sector is contained within the struggle for the overturning privatizations, for the complete safeguarding of the wage and labour rights of the workers in the sector.
The duty of every militant trade union in this sector is to utilize the experience and the decisions of the Conference, conveying the conclusions we reached and the problems we discussed to the workers of our sector in every country, and mainly to convey in which direction the militant trade unions of the sector must move. To direct an open call to join ranks with us and to engage in joint actions, with the priority being action against the large monopolies and multinationals that will mobilize and engage broader forces and new unions in action. That will constitute a response to the attack of the multinationals, governments, political parties of capitalism and employer-led unionism. To struggle for the slogans of the conference to predominate among the workers of our sector.
We are proceeding to the formation of a Coordinating Committee for the struggle of workers in our sector that will have the responsibility to systematically inform the unions in the sector in every country. It will monitor developments in the sector internationally and especially in the multinationals.
It will oversee the possibility of a publication or website of our unions to assist and support updating and information exchange, to strengthen our activities in each country.
It will determine and organize international campaigns of the workers in the sector around specific issues, such as:
The right to strike and defending it against the new forms of strike breaking mechanisms (eg “Digital Strikebreaking”, transferring of operations of call centers and services to other countries, like from Spain to Latin America, or from the UK to Pakistan, etc.)
Protection of Trade Union Rights and Freedoms, of the Right to Strike against the anti workers legislation of the states and the directives of the EU, who undermine trade union rights and try to turn the work places into ghettos, where trade union activity will be in reality, illegal.
Young and women workers, workers under outsourcing, zero hour contracts, mini jobs, etc are those who suffer the greatest exploitation and are in more need of trade union organization. The committee has to take up specific initiatives for their organization and their protection, the abolishment of flexible working relations, to strengthen the struggle for full time, steady jobs, for all.
The issue of Health and Safety for the workers in the sector, where we have to research and take measures against the new forms of illnesses and health problems caused to the workers in new technologies
The struggle for Collective Contracts in each country based on the contemporary needs of the working class. The struggle of every militant trade union for collective contracts must aim to cover all workers of the sector, with equal rights, in salary and working relations, irrespective of types of employment, age, etc of the workers, against the undermining and dividing tactics of the forces of employers’ trade unionism.
The committee will support the development of Solidarity for the struggles of the workers in the sector and generally, support for persecuted trade unionists. One special duty will be to expose the role of the forces of class collaboration, exposing their role as representatives of the interests of the multinationals. As militant trade unions of the sector we fight for the support of the International fighting trade union movement, which is expressed and fights from within the ranks of the World Federation of Trade Unions, which this year celebrated 70 years of Struggles and Internationalist Action for the workers of the world.
Naturally in order for this work to have results it will be supported by the contribution of every organization in each country that will be fueled with materials, statistics, news on their own actions and positions.
Finally, a basic duty of the International Coordinating Committee of the Unions of Telecommunications, IT and Call Centers is the preparation for carrying out a global conference of the militant trade unions in the sectors of Telecommunications, IT and Call Centers, of Communications and Mass Media, Postal Services, etc. This congress will have to discuss the formation of an International Branch Trade Union Organization as a step towards the reconstruction of the international militant trade union movement and the counterattack of the workers for the abolition of the exploitation of science, of technology, and the working class by the monopolies.