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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL #287 - International: Thinking and acting concretely across borders (fr, it, pt)[machine translation]

Date Mon, 8 Oct 2018 08:12:23 +0300

Last month, we made an inventory of international trade unionism. It is only interesting if it is coupled with militant activity. So what to do, in international matters, in our trade union organizations ? ---- Internationalism is one of the values traditionally put forward in the congresses of the workers' movement, especially the trade unions. But what is it really ? In the last century, we know the catastrophic example of the war in 1914 with the massive - but not unanimous, fortunately - rallying to the Sacred Union [1]. The anti-colonial struggles also found a syndical movement with different attitudes ; the majority did not provide full and frank support to the struggling peoples. We still see it today, vis-à-vis the situation in Kanaky, Guadeloupe or Corsica, for example.

Although capitalism has been largely globalized for decades, trade union resistance and offensives have not followed the same path: too few strikes and international events, because of too little coordination on this scale ; both professionally and professionally. Yet, many things can be done.

For this, the international must not concern only militant groups furthest from the field, (federations, union, confederations). Each and every one of them, within their union section, has the opportunity to contribute and instill a dynamic that can then be extended to the entire organization.

Common leaflets and tours abroad
Contacts can be made with foreign unions in the same professional sector, through the international networks mentioned last month.

It is within the reach of all to make leaflets common to unions in several countries, talking about the concrete problems of employees by resituating them in the international business logic. The same goes for posters or for tours abroad, like the one organized by the American unions in 2002 with the winning strikers of McDo France, to learn from their struggle. Contacts and implementations are easier when working in a multinational company and / or network, or a public service, because correspondents and correspondents are easily identifiable.

Around unions which are clearly in the field of the class struggle, there are co-ordinations of this kind, with various contours, in the rail, education, call centers, automotive, health, logistics ... This can lead to " Eurogroves ", such as those organized in the European railways, in October 1992, by the European Transport Federation (linked to the European Trade Union Confederation), or in March 2003 via what will then become the Rail Network Without Borders [2]. But we can also mention the attempt of Eurogrève at Renault against the closure of the site of Vilvoorde in 1997. Sailors and dockers have a long habit of solidarity without borders, punctuated by some active strikes where direct action takes its place.

Get to know each other upstream to act at the right time
Like the interprofessional, the international dimension is often rediscovered only during a conflict: " Against the closure of our factory or job cuts, let us contact colleagues from other countries ." But, as for the interprofessional, it is often too late. The links must be woven before, the common work makes it possible to anticipate, to create confidence.

When union sections, unions or local unions are twinned with similar structures in other countries, the point is not to stick to the symbol, but to exchange publications, organize militant exchanges, and support each other. struggles. On this last point, numerous testimonies of comrades attest to this: in many countries, the messages of protest to the institutions and the employers weigh in the resolution of certain strikes and against the repression. It's far from negligible !

In addition to ad hoc reactions, several French trade union organizations are conducting long-term unitary campaigns: support for trade unionists in Iran (CGT, CFDT, Unsa, Solidaires, FSU) ; release of Koltckenko and Sentsov in Russia (Solidaires, CNT-SO, CNT) ; Boycott Divestment Sanctions against the Israeli state (Solidaires, CNT, some CGT structures) ; etc. There were things of the same type at the World Cup in Brazil, others start (collective Nicaragua).

From supporting independent unions persecuted in the Soviet bloc countries or South American dictatorships to assisting Maghreb trade unionists facing repression by their states, the trade union movement in which we find ourselves has a long tradition behind him. It's up to us to perpetuate it and renew it. This is done through the European assembly of bicycle deliverers (which meets at the end of October in Brussels), the coordination of the workers of Amazon (a meeting with delegations from Germany, Poland, France, Spain, United States ... was held at the end of September). One can thus give a resonance to certain struggles for which collectives act with abnegation, persistence and ... too little echo.

International trade union action makes it possible to act on issues as important as women's rights, which can not be dealt with in the national context alone ; likewise for the respect of migrants. It is also the opportunity to exchange and learn about workers' control, self-management ... Information plays an important role for international trade union training. The CGT publishes a newsletter ; Solidarity likewise with also a magazine whose each issue is devoted to countries (the last ones on Tunisia, Mexico, Algeria, Brazil, Kurdistan , the next on China) ; the CNT-SO also has a more irregular international bulletin; the CNT, a dedicated website. Extracts from these publications can be found in section or union newsletters.

Christian (AL Southeast Suburbs)

[1] Guillaume Davranche, Too young to die. Workers and revolutionaries facing the war (1909-1914), The Insomniac / Libertalia, 2014.

[2] The Rail without Borders network is composed of British (RMT), French (SUD-Rail, Solidarity-RATP, Solidarity-Transport), Spanish (CGT, Intersyndical), Moroccan, Senegalese, Malian, Tunisian, American, Canadian, Brazilian and Swiss ...

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