Flag of the Union of the Albanian Workers


Trade Unions




The most important organizations of the masses are the trade-unions.

excerpt from the book: "Imperialism and Revolution"



Generally speaking, in the capitalist and revisionist countries today, these organizations serve the bourgeoisie, revisionism, to keep the proletariat and all the working masses in bondage. In his time, Engels said that the tradeunions in Britain had been transformed f rom organizations which terrified the bourgeoisie into

organizations which served capital. The tradeunion organizations have bound the worker with a thousand threads, with a thousand coils of the chain of enslavement, so that when the isolated worker revolts, he can easily be suppressed. The opportunist trade-union leaders work so that the revolts of the workers of one or more enterprises, who go on strike or hold demonstrations, are kept under control and assume only an economic character. The worker aristocracy works very hard to manipulate things in this direction. In the capitalist countries, this aristocracy plays a major role in eroding, suppressing, and misleading the revolt of the masses and has long become a fire brigade to quell the flames of the revolution.

In all the capitalist countries today, the main and revisionist parties have their own trade-unions. These trade-unions, are now acting in unity and have established close collaboration in order to hold back the revolutionary movement of the proletariat, and corrupt the working class politically and morally.

In France and Italy, for instance, the tradeunions of the revisionist parties are large and powerful unions. But what do they do? They try to keep the proletariat in bondage, to lull it to sleep and, when it grows angry and rebellious, to set it on the course of negotiations with the boss class and to shut the mouths of the workers with some very small crumbs from the capitalist suerprofits. And what they give them is then taken back by raising prices.

Therefore, to free itself from capitalism, it is essential for the proletariat of every country to shake off the yoke of the trade-unions dominated by the bourgeoisie and opportunists, as well as that of any kind of social-democratic and revisionist organization or party. All these organisms support the owning class in various ways and try to create the illusion that "they are a great force", that they are a brake., that -they can impose themselves on the big capitalists- allegedly in favour of the proletariat. This is nothing but a big fraud. The proletariat has to smash these organisms. But how? It must destroy them by fighting the leadership of these trade-unions, by rising against their treacherous connections with the bourgeoisie, by breaking up the "calm", the "social peace" which they want to establish, a "peace" which is disguised with the alleged revolts against the owning class which the unions engage in from time to time.

It is possible to work to destroy these tradeunions by getting into them in order to fight and erode them from within and oppose their unjust decisions and actions. This activity must involve the biggest and most powerful groups possible of workers in the factories. In every case the aim must be to achieve a steel unity of the proletariat in the fight not only against the employers but also against their agents, the trade-union bosses. The forceful exposure of all the traitor elements at the head of trade-unions, of the bourgeois degeneration of the trade-union leadership and the reformist trade-unions in general, frees the workers from many illusions they still have about this leadership and these trade-unions.

While infiltrating the existing trade-unions, the Marxist-Leninists never descend to the tradeunionist, reformist, anarcho-syndicalist, revisionist positions, which characterize the leadership of these trade-unions. They never become partners with the revisionists and the other bourgeois and opportunist parties in the leadership of tradeunions. Their aim is to expose the bourgeois character and reactionary role which the tradeunions, in general, have today in the capitalist and revisionist countries, to undermine these organizations in order to open the way to the setting up of genuine proletarian trade-unions.



Red International

of the Labour Unions