21 November 2016
Delegates at the 4th National Congress of PAME,
comrades representatives of the WFTU, trade union representatives from 16 countries, our dear invited guests, we shake your hand and we welcome you. With collective decisions of their bodies 530 decisions of unions’ boards, 300 decisions of general meetings , we are here today 13 National Federations 14 Labour Centres 451 trade unions 52 Workers’ Committees of representing hundreds thousands of workers. This is the great force that constitutes the front of organizations of the working class, Federations, Labour Centres, trade unions, workers’ committees and unionists who for 17 years now, with hard struggles, became in the minds of the workers the class militant pole of rallying in the trade union movement, the All-Workers Militant Front, PAME.
4 Congresso da PAME (Novembro de 2016): “…hoje somos 13 Federações Nacionais, 14 Uniões Regionais, 451 Sindicatos e 52 Comissões de Trabalhadores representado centenas de milhares de trabalhadores… que com duras lutas se tornou na mente dos trabalhadores o pólo militante classista da mobilização do movimento sindical, a Frente Militante de Todos os Trabalhadores, PAME.”
Also, take part dozens of unions who decided to participate in our work as observers and dozens of elected trade unionists of federations and trade unions, who were invited to participate in the Congress.
With many unions we met for the first time in the great demonstrations, organized after the initiatives of PAME on unemployment, social security, the Collective Contracts, for the elimination of the anti-labour laws, the losses of wages and social benefits, for stable work with rights. In the large strikes that went down in history, like the heroic struggle of the steelworkers and other factories and sectors, in the general strikes, in the struggles of the previous years that were not few. These struggles have left their own legacy. More unions rallied with the class front breaking the inactivity, the defeatism, the line of compromise and class collaboration imposed by trade unionism controlled by the employers and the government in major unions, in the sectors and the organizations GSEE and ADEDY (ETUC members). On October 17 with over 530 unions we signed and submitted our demands demanding rights in work and life based on our times, the 21st century and our contemporary needs. Throughout the period of the outbreak of the capitalist crisis and the frontal attack unleashed against us the SEV (Hellenic Federation of Industrialists)and other employers’ organizations, the governments that serve them and their international organizations such as the EU and the IMF, is a period of rich lessons, whose study will give us valuable knowledge for the future, on the big issue of the reconstruction of the peoples-trade union movement about which many speak today, with different purposes and origins.
PAME Is Getting Stronger And Is Planning New, Bigger And More Militant Struggles
PAME, since the first day it was founded, in April 1999, faces the attack of the capital and its people. At the beginning it was the trade union forces of the social-democrats, the liberals, of SYN, what today is SYRIZA in the unions, among others, who used to talk about divisive activity. Later they changed that and they presented PAME as a political fraction in order to undermine PAME and its role. We need to clarify this confusion which is sometimes fuelled by our own reduced vigilance. We need constant struggle to make the sycophants and everybody distorting the truth shush. Their problem is the line of struggle, the orientation in which hundreds of unions are rallied and try to make this line dominate the trade union movement. Orientation and line of struggle against the wishes of the monopolies, business groups and companies, the political parties representing them, the EU. With demands formed according to how today workers are worth living and working based on the enormous potentials of science, the development of means of production, the wealth they produce and not according to the criteria of our exploiters, the entrepreneurship and competitiveness, the maximum profit. According to the prosperity of the many people who work and suffer and not the prosperity of the profits of a few ones. The innovation that PAME brought is the distinctive rally and action of the working class organizations that reject the damaging to the interests of the workers theory of social partnership, of the alleged common workers and employers’ interests who, around a table, fairly share the wealth produced, of “social dialogues”, of the unconditional surrender of the union movement. PAME became the true defender of workers in the trade union movement. Only during the period 2010 – 2015 it was at the forefront of dozens of general strikes, hundreds sectoral strikes in workplaces, demonstrations, rallies and occupations. It kept on its feet, against the wave of integration, subordination and decomposition, a significant force of unions and trade unionists who struggle militantly with a class line. Its slogans adopted by the wider working class and popular forces. PAME has been strengthened with new unions, of sectors and businesses, Labour Centres, it strengthened its influence and hundreds of young elected unionists work under its guideline, struggling to change the correlations in all sectors, to reconstruct the movement.
(to be continued…)