Women, Workers, Trade Unionists, Mothers of the working class, Teachers.
On behalf of FISE the World Federation of Teachers’ Unions, affiliate member of WFTU, I convey warm militant greetings to all teachers’ women.
FISE put special emphasis on the organization, participation of women in trade unions and on the defense of the women’s rights of all the working class and the popular strata.
We cannot forget that the previous century was the century when the working women’s movement achieved great victories especially in the former Socialist Countries which inspired the women internationally to strengthen their struggles. These achievements positively impacted the developments worldwide.
Today in all corners of the world we find women with upgraded role in the formation of the social developments, in all fields of social life. The women workers play an important role in the labour struggles that take place.
However, the International Capitalist Crisis, the Antipeoples and Antilabour policy being implemented and the imperialist aggressiveness, create conditions of a barbaric attack imposing a huge setback to the labour and popular achievements.
In this framework, the role of the class-oriented trade union movement and the role of the class-oriented working women trade union movement are crucial.
It is our duty to analyze the developments. To analyze their causes with scientific method and for the interest of our class and form our demands based on our contemporary needs. It is our duty to enhance the internationalist solidarity within our unions and our movement, to coordinate our action and to strengthen our common struggle against inequality, dual exploitation and imperialism.
We raise our voices and our flags of struggle, the flags of our unions, of FISE and of the WFTU and we demand our rights:
Against the scourge of unemployment which harms mainly women and youth. We are fully aware that the unemployment is a problem generated by the capitalist mode of production. Unemployment is an absurd contradiction. While the needs of the people increase and the needs for Education, Healthcare, Social Services, Food, Infrastructure etc increase, this should mean that more people should be needed to work for the satisfaction of these needs. On the contrary, unemployment rises because the production and the investments are decided based on the profits and not the needs.
At the same time, unpaid work, job rotation, part-time employment, in general flexible forms of employment are trending in the “labour market” and are aimed to suppress the rights of all workers to the bottom.
It is characteristic that mainly women are working in such special forms of employment with lower salaries than men. While in general the salaries are decreasing in many countries in Europe. In Asia, in Latin America and in Africa the salaries are dramatically low.
FISE and World Federation of Trade Unions struggles for and demands:
– Equality in the Labour and Social Rights of Men and Women workers
– Collective Bargaining Agreements
– Stable work, 8 hours a day. Elimination of forms of flexible employment. Elimination of contractualization.
– Better wages that offer quality standard of living and satisfaction of the basic contemporary needs.
– Measures of protection for the unemployed. Measures of protection for the unemployed mothers. Freezing of bank depts.
A huge burden for the working women and for the mothers is also the degradation and the privatization of the social security system. The social security and the medical care are services vital for the functioning of a modern society but they are being completely degraded and offered for exploitation to the multinationals. At the same time, great difficulties are faced by new families and new mothers who are facing the fear of losing their jobs because they choose to have a baby.
– Public Social Security and Medical Care covering all population.
– Low limits of age of retirement. No to their increase.
– Withdrawal of all pension cuts. Better pensions.
– Low taxes.
– Maternity protection measures. Sufficient maternity leave and allowance to cover the contemporary needs of the young mothers and their families.
We must underline also that even in their own house women are suffering from exploitation. Women are offering free and hard work to cover the lack of public services for the maintenance and reproduction of the labour power of the working class. This means that women work hard and free so that workers of their families and the society in total can go to work next day, with clean cloths, rested and fed. Further, the biggest part of the raising and edification of the new members of the society as well as the elderly falls into the hands of the women of the family. Free time, time for cultural entertainment, time for participation in the trade unions and the workers movement is drastically reduced.
The class-oriented trade unions, the trade unionists, the women committees in the unions but also the members of the unions, the male colleagues, our comrades and brothers in the struggle should take into consideration these dual exploitation faced by women, as well as their consequences. We must all together assist the working women to participate in the labour movement and enroll in the trade unions. Besides, it must be clear to our male comrades that you cannot be a real and complete class-oriented trade unionist and fighter and at the same time at your own house you allow your wife, your mother, your sister to lift all the weight of the house workload and the care for the family members. Men and women workers side by side in the workplace, in the society, at home we support each other in our common struggle against social inequality and discrimination, against the monopolies, against imperialism.
– Public and Free Pre-School Institutions, Kindergartens
– Public and Free Social Services for the Elderly
– Right to affordable and safe housing for all. Measures against floods and earthquakes.
The achievement of emancipation of women and equality however must be accomplished even from younger ages, from the first school years. Inequality and discrimination in burden of young girls cause them to face a huge obstacle in accessing education. Many young girls do not go to school in large sections of the world. Child labour, forced labour in some cases, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, violence against women, child molesting are still wounds of our society that are based in poverty, lack of education, racism and exploitation. Despite of the social, technological, scientific and cultural progress such phenomena still exist.
– Public and free Education for all. School Infrastructure, Books and Personnel to cover the needs of all children
– Compulsory education up to 18 years for all children, boys and girls.
It very important, the achievement of democratic, trade union and social rights for women is a very pivotal objective of ours. Women and men workers, we struggle jointly inside our trade unions so that women have equal voice, democratic and trade union freedom. At the same time, we are not fooled by those who want us to believe that a woman Director of the IMF or a woman Chancellor in Germany, or Hilary Clinton or Contoliza Rais in USA, or women Presidents of Countries or CEO’s of Multinationals are symbols of equality. These women, women of the bourgeoisie, fight against the women of the working class, implement policies that are antilabor and antipeoples and crush the women’s’ rights.
Women like this along with men in the same positions take decisions and implement imperialist wars with the responsibility of USA, the European Union, the NATO and their allies and destroy countries, houses, livelihoods and families in the Middle East, in Libya, in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Palestine. Women like them are forcing out of their houses other poor women and cause huge waves of refugees who are drowning in the Mediterranean or are being undemocratically brutally assaulted in the boarders of the European Union.
– Democratic and Trade Union Freedom for all. Elimination of the discriminations against women.
– The end to the imperialist wars and the imperialist interventions. Abolishment of NATO. Stop the war against the Syrian people. The people to decide freely for their present and future.
– Immediate measures of protection and hospitality of the refugees. Fast and safe transfer to their countries of destination. Asylum and employment with respect to labour rights for the refugees.
In the current framework of the international capitalist crisis, the onslaught against labour achievements, of excessive unemployment we need strong trade unions to continue the struggle for all the problems of women and men.
Thus, we continue today because workers and working women’s salaries are decreasing contrary to the tremendous wealth being produced by us. We continue today because still in the 21st century the right to employment, education, healthcare, social security, maternity protection, proper social services, freedom of association, collective bargaining and to real equality are yet not fulfilled. We will continue to struggle until the complete abolition of child labour.
We continue because the right to peaceful, prosperous and secure life for our families and our children is continuously under threat by imperialist mechanisms and monopolies.
We continue side by side, working women and working men, in the same struggle for all we deserve. We fight for the lives we deserve not the lives the IMF, the World Bank, the imperialists, the monopolies and the employers want to form for us. We fight on the side of women and men farmers and self-employed to build the social alliance against exploitation and capitalist barbarity.
Forward with FISE! Forward with the class-oriented trade unions for equality of right in the society and in life against exploitation and capitalist barbarity!
Long live Internationalist Solidarity!
Long live March 8, International Women’s Day!