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Message to the Symposium on Militant Trade Unionism in Istanbul, Turkey

By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples' Struggle
23 April 2006

We, in the International Coordinating Committee of the ILPS, extend our warmest militant greetings of solidarity to the Turkish workers and to Turkish national chapter of ILPS for organizing today this symposium on militant and anti-imperialist trade unionism with the theme: "Unity- Struggle-Victory against the Attacks of Imperialism on the Working Class".

We congratulate the ILPS-Turkey and the Study Commission on Concern No. 5 for holding this symposium. This comes at an auspicious time when workers all over the world are under rapidly worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation and are waging resistance. They are seething with outrage in their workplaces and are pouring into the streets to demand better wages and better working conditions and defend the workers rights that have been won through years of militant struggle and at great sacrifice. Their relatives and friends in eagerly join them in the struggle.

The crisis of the world capitalist system is manifest in the great numbers of unemployed and underemployed both in the developed and underdeveloped countries. It has pushed the workers and their families further into abject poverty. It has brought about repression of workers worldwide. The reign of greed and terror is being effected through the enactment of pro-imperialist and pro-capitalist laws that deprive workers of their basic rights and freedoms. The deteriorating conditions of wage slavery are intolerable.

Union busting, brutal dispersals of picket lines, suppression of strikes, killings of union leaders and members, and branding militant trade unionists as economic terrorists are commonplace reaction of imperialists, capitalists and the reactionary states to workers fighting for their survival and human dignity.

But the workers persevere in their just struggle. In Europe, North America, Asia and elsewhere, they are fighting against job insecurity, mass layoffs, discrimination against immigrants and the youth, the wage freeze, erosion of rights and the further loss of social benefits. In recent months, the immigrants and youth in France and the United States have stood up so vigorously against discrimination and criminalization.

The working class is at the forefront of the struggle not only for economic demands. But more importantly, they are in the forefront of the political struggle for national and social liberation, for genuine democracy, for world peace against wars of aggression like those in Iraq and Afghanistan and for the advancement of world anti-imperialist and socialist movement.

We commend the workers for carrying out their struggles in the workplaces, in the picket lines and on the streets against the intensifying conditions of exploitation and oppression. We salute them for linking up with the peasant masses in agrarian countries in order to wage democratic revolution. We celebrate all the heroic struggles, all the worthwhile sacrifices and every measure of success against the plague that is the so-called neoliberal globalization and the scourge that is so-called war on terror.

We must always strive to unite the workers along the anti-imperialist and democratic line. We must expand, consolidate and intensify the workers' trade union and strike movements. We must encourage a far greater number of workers to join the struggle. We must exert all efforts to combine the workers with the rest of the people in fighting against imperialism and all reaction.

We hope that you can draw inspiration and strength from this symposium by exchanging experiences and ideas about militant trade unionism, learning from each other and agreeing on the common tasks for raising the level of the working class struggle to a new and higher one in Turkey. We hope that you will achieve greater successes and contribute further to the advance of the anti-imperialist and democratic cause on a global scale.

Long live the workers of Turkey and the rest of the people!
Long live ILPS-Turkey and the trade unionists in this symposium!
Long live the international working class movement!

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