By IWU-FI Correspondent
27 April 2022. Dijon, France. With the participation of 32 organisations from 21 different countries, the 4th meeting of the International Trade Union Network of Solidarity and Struggles was held in Dijon (France) from 21 to 24 April. Over 150 participants came together and 52 others could not attend due to visa problems. CSP- Conlutas (Brazil), Solidaires (France), and CGT (Spain) were the largest delegations and the driving forces of the network. The International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International (IWU-FI) and its Spanish State section, Internationalist Struggle (LI) joined in as observers. The collaboration with the trade union comrades of STTC (call centres) and STOP (teachers) as well as militants of MAS (Portugal) was of great importance in the meeting.
Sectoral discussions were held to establish common strategies and better coordinate solidarity activities in the trade union struggles. Among the struggles, the intervention of Adriana Urrea, general secretary of the Subnotimex union (Mexico), which has been on strike for over two years at the public news agency, was highlighted. A campaign to support their struggle was approved. Thematic debates such as women, racism, migration, and workers’ control were also discussed.
The central points of discussion were Ukraine and Palestine. The first was presented by a comrade representing the Independent Union of Miners of Kryvyi Rih, presenting the struggle of the union and the clear determination of the Ukrainian people to confront Putin’s invasion. Very important at this point was the report presented by the delegate of the Polish trade union Inicjatywa Pracownicza (Workers’ Initiative), who plays a very important role in the coordination of solidarity, both in the reception of refugees and in the convoys that are being made to Ukrainian trade unions or in the Operation Solidarity campaign.
The meeting was marked by the convoy leaving France a few days later, with 21 trade unionists from Solidaires, CSP Conlutas, and SICOBAS (Italy), to deliver humanitarian aid to the Kryvyi Rih miners’ union in Lviv (Ukraine) on 1 May. In the debate, Diego Vitello, delegate of the Sao Paulo Metro, member of Conlutas, and a leader of CST (IWU-FI) reaffirmed the support for the Ukrainian resistance and the internationalist class solidarity to support trade unionism and sectors of the Ukrainian left, such as Operation Solidarity, from a position opposed to NATO and US and European imperialism. The meeting allowed us to establish links with the Ukrainian miners’ union and the Polish union IP, with a view of sending medical material that we will take with us in Operation Solidarity in early May.
Palestine also had a specific point, with a delegate from the Hebron postal union. He denounced the Zionist policy, the serious conditions they have been living in this period of pandemic under the apartheid applied by Israel against the Palestinians, and the aggravation of the repression of the last weeks. Finally, he called for continued solidarity with the Palestinian people and the continuation of BDS campaigns against Zionism. A resolution of support was voted. Another resolution expressed solidarity with the Saharawi people, reaffirming their right to self-determination. Another resolution demanded an end to repression and freedom for the repressed people in Cuba.
Two other round tables, one on precariousness and ecology, completed the debates at the meeting. We adopted many resolutions, including an update of the International Trade Union Network of Solidarity and Struggles manifesto. The 5th meeting was scheduled to take place in Brazil in two years’ time.