The World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) general secretary, George Mavrikos, has called for unions to support unemployed workers so that they can survive.
This call was made when Mavrikos was delivering his speech at the WFTU gala dinner at the Parktonian Hotel in Braamfontein on February 8 2012.
He expressed respect and appreciation for South Africa and its people saying, that it is a country with a rich history of struggles and the WFTU is proud to meet here.
He also thanked the leadership of Numsa, Nehawu, Ceppwawu and Popcru for organising such a big and successful event.
Mavrikos said there is a deepening capitalist crisis, together with an effort by the bourgeoisie to make the smallest possible sacrifices by transferring a big burden to the working class and the people. In the United States and Europe, the crisis is used to cut salaries, pensions and social rights while privatisation is widespread.
The situation is also difficult for ordinary people in most African countries; Africa is very rich in resources but has very poor workers.
Throughout the world the great problem for the working class, youth and women is unemployment. Capitalists, in these conditions of deep economic crisis, are trying to divide jobs among a number of part-time employees.
Mavrikos also said that according to ILO data, there are already a billion unemployed poor workers in the world. 900-million workers live on less than two Euros a day.
‘’The majority of the unemployed are women and young workers, so the immediate task for the unions is to support unemployed workers to survive, to make sure that they have food, electricity, medicines and clean water, and that they have economic and social support from the government and public institutions,”
Mavrikos said. “At the same time, we need to uncover the causes of unemployment, to make the working class understand that a final solution within capitalism cannot be found, and to understand that the struggle against unemployment is a main basic front for the WFTU.’’
Numsa News No 1, April 2012