Some 691 delegates from 12 countries met in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil from December 8-10, with the support of the trade union federations CUT (Brazil), COB (Bolivia), the UNT (Venezuela) and the PIT-CNT (Uruguay), to exchange experiences and explain our struggles in defence of the most valuable rights of the working class and of all the exploited and oppressed. There was a rich debate at the meetings and the experience was very memorable.
Our meeting was opened with the signing of the Collective Work Agreement between the workers of CIPLA, the CUT (Brazil) and the Confederation of Chemical Workers (CNQ/CUT), which established the 30 hour work week without wage or benefit reductions. We are committed to presenting this conquest to the workers in all the factories, workplaces as well as to all trade unions and workers organisations. What brought us together was the strong resistance of the working class throughout the world, a resistance which in the Americas has transformed into a revolutionary wind that has raised the people up and swept away reactionary governments submitted to imperialism. The oppressed and the exploited are tired of imperialist oppression and exploitation.
This is why we are so enthusiastic and stand in solidarity with the Venezuelan revolution and the heroic struggles of the miners and working people of Bolivia. The discussion at the meetings testified to the destructive fury of the actions of imperialism in all countries around the world. However, we also heard examples of the extraordinary struggle and the spirit of sacrifice of the workers in the fields and the cities in defence of their rights. We are all, in all countries, class brothers and sisters united in the struggle against the same curse, the same capitalist exploitation, which transforms the lives of millions of human beings into pain and suffering.
Imperialism and its agents, the IMF, the World Bank, the payment of foreign debt by the countries of the "Third World", free trade agreements, all conspire against the people in order to increase the exploitation of men and women. They attempt to liquidate our conquests and our rights in the most fraudulent of ways. They attempt to corrupt the organisations of the workers and transform them into their own instruments. For this rely on those who, from within the working class, are enslaved mentally and tell us that there is no escape from capitalism, that our destiny is to try to give a human face to this monstrous imperialism.
If they are unable to succeed in dividing and disorganising the working class, then they act brutally. These policies, driven and controlled by the banks, the multinationals, the landlords, and applied by different governments enslaved by capital, provokes the liquidation of companies, the concentration of the land, massive sackings and layoffs, the liquidation of education, of health and public services, and privatisations. And when this is not enough, they organise the pillage and sacking of the planet through wars and invasions.
We, who are in favour of peace and for the fraternal integration of all people, who defend human rights as well as the economic, social, environmental, and cultural rights of the people, that is to say, the self-determination and the right to liberty and peace, do not accept the invasion of Iraq, of Afghanistan, of Haiti, or of Palestine.
Our struggle against the destruction caused by capitalism assumes various forms in different countries. The free discussion of the workers on the course and the perspectives of this resistance, especially on factory occupations, is what will allow us to clarify and advance our objective which is to defend our conquests, our jobs and to liberate humanity from capitalist slavery under which millions suffer for the indecent benefit and joy of a handful of privileged elites.
One thing is certain: it was not the workers that created these crises and misery. For this reason we demand that governments assume their responsibility and develop effective policies against misery and exploitation. The workers have the right to react, to organise and to occupy the factories and the land. President Chavez was right when he declared at the First Latin American Gathering of Occupied Factories that "Factory closed, factory occupied by the workers." At that very same time he also announced the nationalisation of two other factories which had been occupied by the workers.
We assume this as a practical task to be realised (taking into consideration the different situations) in our own countries. We will seek out the support of the organisations of the workers in the fields and the cities, as well as of their representatives and deputies in order to spread our objectives. As a result we support the realisation, in revolutionary Venezuela, of the 2nd Latin American Gathering of Occupied Factories in 2007.
At this Pan-American Gathering in Defence of Jobs, Rights, Land Reform and Industry, we established an International Committee. Our objectives are to guarantee the circulation of our resolutions, the continuation of our exchange of experiences through a bulletin and other means, to explain the international defence of our movements and to support their initiatives, which will help us to continue our struggle against all oppression and exploitation and put an end to the regime of private ownership of the means of production and for the socialist transformation of society.
Joinville, December 10, 2006
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- Historic meeting of workers of Latin America – Cipla workers vote for 30-hour week (December 11, 2006)
- Conference of Occupied Factories in Latin America (December 8, 2006)
- Alan Woods addresses Brazilian workers (December 8, 2006)
- The Editor of Maxist.com speaks on the world situation in Joinville, Brazil(December 8, 2006)