Speech by Paulo Raimundo, Membro of the Secretariat of the Central Committee, XXI Congress of the PCP

The working Class and Trade Union Movement

The working Class and Trade Union Movement

The working class and working people, organized in their class Trade Unions have, in [the Trade Union Central] CGTP-IN, a steadfast organization, conherent and which can be trusted. An organization which, at every moment of its history, has fulfilled its role and shouldered its responsibilities in the defense of the workers and the country.

An organization which, implementing in practice its declaration of principles and programmatic goals, carries out the workers’ struggle for their short-term interests, interconnecting it with the more general struggle for social transformation, for a society without exploiters nor exploited people.

An organization whose strength is rooted in its class nature and the respect for its principles and characteristics: a mass, broad-based, democratic, independent and solidarious organization.

Its influence results from the regular and daily presence and activity of the Trade Unions in the workplace, together with the workers, and from the struggle for their rights.

This role, principles and characteristics were reaffirmed in the 14th Congress held in February of this year, which confirmed CGTP-IN and the United Trade Union Movement as a decisive and irreplaceable social force for the battles of today and of tomorrow.

A force with which the workers count, a force which the class enemy is well aware of.

Capitalism, with its exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature, in confronting its structural crisis seeks to appropriate scientific and technical progress in order to enhance exploitation and concentrate wealth. With the pretext of the epidemic, it does everything to attack rights, at the same time as it carries out a brutal ideological offensive.

There is a blatant strategy by Capital to foment, maintain and create divisionist organizations at their service, based on international centers and reactionary sectors, counting with large-scale support and a broad media promotion and taking advantage of real problems and instatisfaction.

This includes supporting the discredited UGT, but also corporatism and operations to proliferate trade unions. Everything has been, and continues to be, done to weaken CGTP-IN, to stop the resistance and criminalize the struggle.

The United Trade Union Movement has countered and counters this offensive by strengthening its class nature, its organization, its unity and a coherent struggle. It countered and counters this offensive with 115 thousand new unionizations and 13 thousand new shop stewards. It countered and counters this offensive with its rejuvenation in numerous trade union elections.

The United Trade Union Movement has countered and counters the strategy of Capital with the strategy of Labour: with its links with the workers and by mobilizing the fight for demands and the organized struggle. A struggle which is carried out in these especially demanding times with boldness, courage and the determination that was on display on May 1st.

Links with the workplaces and workers and the encouragement of the struggle: this is the correct and secure course, this is the path to which the Communist are committed and which the enemy does everything to halt.

We are seeing once again the old lines of attack against the Communists’ influence in the Trade Union movement, with worn-out accusations of ‘impositions’ or ‘interference’.

The new and old problems which the workers face are not the result of the Communists’ influence within the United Trade Union Movement. They are the result of capitalist exploitation and of the option for right-wing policies by successive PS, PSD and CDS Governments.

Unlike what we are accused of, Communists are, together with the involvement of all other trade union activists, the guarantee of the class nature, of the broad-based character, of the autonomy, independence and militancy of the United Trade Union Movement.

This is our role, and this is our attitude. And it is for this reason that the workers trust the Communists and elect us, in broad-based slates, to their representative structures.

Unlike what the enemy pretends, the workers count on the Communists to strengthen unionization and the Trade Union organization and to carry on the struggle for demands; to carry out an integrated action, based on the workplaces, resolutely fighting against attempts to curtail or prevent the right to Trade Union action and organization, the right to strike or demonstrate.

Unlike what the enemy pretends, the workers count on the Communists for their resistance and struggle. They know that Communists do not lower their arms, do not feed fear and do not contribute to help Capital take away their rights.

Unlike what the enemy pretends, the workers count on the Communists to, as we are doing here in this 21st Congress and in hundreds of companies and workplaces throughout the country, fight for the general increase in wages and the national minimum wage and to value professions and carreers; to defend jobs with rights and oppose precariousness; to ensure permanent contracts of all workers who have a permanent job; for the 35-hour working week and against the deregulation of working hours; for conditions of protection, safety and health; for collective bargaining and the repeal of harmful norms in the labour legislation; to defend and strengthen public services and the State’s social functions.

They would like to see us paralyzed while they steal our wages and rights.

They would like to see the Communists ceasing to influence the United Trade Union Movement and organizing the resistance and struggle, in order to have a free road to more and new attacks.

We have been, are and will be in the struggle, which is one of resistance, of advances and retreats, a struggle in which the united Trade Union movement will always have, in the Communists among their ranks, those who at all times will be in the frontline of the struggle.

We end with a special greeting to all workers, to all trade union leaders and activists, to all the Trade Unions in the united Trade Union Movement, to all those who, 50 years ago, founded InterSindical, to all those who built CGTP-IN, the great Trade Union Central of the workers of Portugal.

To all of them, a word of thanks and warm greetings.

The struggle continues!
Long live The United Trade Union Movement!
Long live the 21st Congress!
Long live the PCP!

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  • XXI Congresso
XXI Congresso