IWW centenary : CNT-F message


Monday 7 November 2005, by CNT-f

Dear comrades,

This year that is the centenary of the IWW seems to be the right time to send you our wishes, our solidarity and our support. For many years IWW has grown and is actually involved in many struggles for workers dignity, better wages, improvement of life conditions. IWW is back on the class struggle scene. We remember the Wobblies coming in Paris for the meeting in May 2000, organized by CNT, meeting which gathered many different unions practicing revolutionary syndicalism.

9/11 has struck all workers throughout the world and beyond the symbol we have mostly been touched by the pain of the families of the victims, these latter were, mostly working people and basic employees exploited in the towers that had been attacked.

The way the American government had used the pain and terror of American people is a terrible example of cynicism. After thousands workers had died in the first attack, it sent many other dying on the other side of the ocean for some oil fields, that was the good occasion to conquer new territories for the pipe line and push the Patriot Act through the congress to reduce public liberties in the US. The results are more money and oil fields for the bosses and a cemetary for young workers killed defending the interest of the wealthiest people. Capitalism needs not only our sweat, but our blood too. It’s quite interesting to notice that Bin Laden is always showing his face when George W. Bush has an election to win and a war to launch... Their families are managing the same world company!

As you know, Europe is involved in the ratification of its constitutional treaty. The European economic process has already broken many social systems in the nations where the workers had gained better rights, like France. Wages haven’t followed the rising cost of living. Our health system is breaking down as is our pension system, unemployment benefits, transportation services, education; all public services are sold at low price. Job insecurity is expanding, and therefore the submission of the workers to the will of the bosses is more and more intense.

We confront the same situation as yours : how to set up a union in a company when the boss can fire every one of us when he wants? Workers’ union activity is sometimes stuck underground. Institutional unionism has proved to be unable to halt the deterioration in the standards of living despite the agreements they’ve signed : the reality has demonstrated that no common interests can be found between the workers’class and the capitalist class. The mask is about to fall and the real situation is popping up; the political class feels more and more uncomfortable in front of a protestation that shows more and more accurately the class opposition throughout the country. The "no" at the referendum is very embarrassing for many of them, they speak as if it was a problem for Europe etc, but in fact, last night they could scarcely avoid talking about "a class vote", these words have been used several times with an obvious embarrassment.

Many signs are exposing a return of workers’fighting spirit, hard strikes in public services, in the oil industry, in education, health, postal services and transportation, for wages rises, against job insecurity. Also there are strikes to defend public services and against the progressive disappearing of the laws that protect the workers. It shows a regeneration of direct action.

Despite its quite small size for a union, the CNT takes its part in this rebirth and is strengthening itself by building new unions, organizing more workers and increasing its influence in the working class. Without illusions, we know that the way is going to be full of difficulties. That’s why this time is also for reflection about our way to organize.

Capitalism’s globalization around the world is increasing and we expect to exchange with other comrades fighting the same enemy, living the same exploitation of wages system in the others countries. We hope we will be able to work together on the two sides of the ocean against our exploiters who are more and more the same (...), let’s show them that the workers’ solidarity makes us strong!

" Workers emancipation belongs to workers themselves! "

Yours in solidarity,
Secrétariat international de la Confédération Nationale du Travail (secteur Nord Amériques).