The Results Of Our Work In The Organization Of Workers, The Unemployed, Women And Immigrants In Changing Correlations
Colleagues, despite our efforts and action with self-sacrifice, we cannot be fully satisfied. The key issue for the restructuring and regeneration of the labor union movement and the basic criterion of our work is the level of organization of the working class in factories, workplaces, in strategic sectors where it is low or entrapped in reformist illusions, it is the renewal of trade unions with the entry of new workers, women, migrants who work in the most diverse industrial relations, they are often unpaid and uninsured, underpaid, unemployed and face job wandering.
Without changes in the organization level , neither changing correlations nor restructuring of the movement can ever exist. The historically low level of organization of the working class that existed, was a big problem during the crisis. It is a big if not the biggest problem. In the food supply tourism, wholesale and retail, in large industrial units where a large number of workers work in poor conditions, the vast majority are not aware of any union or participation in union activities. These working and living conditions no longer affect a small part of workers, nor is a temporary phenomenon. Soon these working conditions will dominate.
Unemployment will remain at these high levels, even if there is recovery . This is experience we have from developments in other countries such as Spain, Portugal across the EU where the unemployed have exceeded 16 million and part-time flexible work has increased considerably. Federations, trade centers, unions established in PAME literally have to change their attitude towards this issue. We must intensify our efforts in order for the unions to acquire mass characteristics, to create new sectoral unions, forms of participation in committees for the unemployed, hangouts, clubs of trade unions in neighborhoods.
Steps are made, there are more possibilities. Decisively improving the functioning of unions, dealing with all matters relating to young people and the working family, opening a front in guild type organization and entrapment in the issues which are continuously reproduced by the onslaught of employers in every workplace. For example, even the known, established campaigns in trade unions with enlightening work, propaganda of union positions, etc. have languished or have been abandoned even by unions participating in PAME.
The previous years, new sectoral trade unions were created, particularly in sectors where the forces of PAME are the minority and reformism dominates along with the logic of social partnership, the forces that are majority in tertiary unions. We are concerned about the help we gave to tackle powerful obstacles in their massification , to make planned steps so that the new trade unions become known. Some of them do not have many members, they don’t have bond with workers.
We have gained great experience from the intervention organized to deal with acute problems generated by the crisis and the employers’ offensive in some sectors mainly in sectoral trade unions that rally in PAME. For example, the joint action, planning, with a fighting plan by the sectoral Food syndicate – Tourism of Athens with almost all business company based unions of Attica, the Union Metal Attica which pioneered in previous years in setting up the Coordinating Committee of Metal and Shipbuilding Industry, the union of lithography in joint action and the struggles with company based unions in the press and the media. There are many such examples.
This way of working has paved the way for new ways of communication, katoxurwsi and coordination. It’s a useful experience to be generalized to all sectors, in the direction of change of the correlation of forces, in order for the struggle of workers in every sector, business group to be unified.