Long live the

16th anniversary of

re- foundation

of the Red International of the Labour Unions !

(1st May, 2003)

 

1st May, 2003

1st May 2019

 

16 Years !!

Re-Foundation of the

Red International of the Labour Unions

R I L U

 

 

Long live the

16th anniversary of

the re-foundation

of the Red International of the Labour Unions !

May 1, 2003 - May 1, 2019

 

On May Day we are greeting all Sections of the Red International of Labour Unions, all revolutionary unionists, and all militant workers of the world who struggle against the global tripple alliance of capitalists' exploitation, yellow unions' betrayal, and oppression of bourgeois states!

Sixteen years have passed since the refounding of the RILU on May Day, 2003.

In context with the 100th founding day of the Comintern we take the opportunity to draw historical lessons of the founding of the Red International of Labour Unions.

 

 

How did the

Red International of Labour Unions

come about?

 

The role and tasks of today's RILU under the changing conditions of globalization.

 

written by Wolfgang Eggers

 

With the collapse of the Second International, the international relations of the unions, which existed since the beginning of the 20th century, collapsed, too. During the war, most unions as social patriots ("Fatherland Defenders") almost invariably sided with their belligerent imperialist country. The international solidarity of the unions in the common struggle against capitalism thus ended in the trenches where unionists shot at unionists. The workers followed the battle call of the trade union leaders of the Second International and killed each other for the profit of the capitalists.

In January 1918, the first union congress of Soviet Russia decided to rebuild an international trade union federation after the First World War. That was already one and a half years before (!) the yellow Amsterdam International was founded.

The civil war, however, tied the forces of the red unions in Russia, so that this decision could not be implemented immediately. During the Civil War, any links with the foreign unions had been blocked by the imperialists. The world capitalist encirclement of the Soviet Union was also carried out in the field of trade unions. The world was divided into two camps - the capitalist and socialist world camp. And that inevitably also meant the division of the world trade union movement, in particular the encirclement and international isolation of the Soviet unions, which provoked not only the protest against the yellow unions, but also the solidarity with the Soviet unions. As the workers in the unions of the capitalist countries became aware that the October Revolution was serving the interests of the entire world proletariat, sympathy for Soviet Russia, and for the Soviet unions, quickly grew.

At first, the left wing forces in the trade unions were still too weakened by the First World War to become dangerous to the yellow union leaders. But after the war, the world trade union movement quickly gained momentum.

There was a call to found a joint World Trade Union International, uniting all world trade unionists, regardless of ideology, parties, race, religion, etc.

A world trade union that represents the trade union interests of the workers of all countries against the interests of the capitalists of all countries - that was what the Soviet unions had been up to from the beginning.

This failed because of the yellow union leaders, who had been from the beginning in the service of world imperialism - not class struggle, but class reconciliation, not revolution, but class peace, not socialism, but capitalism.

These representatives of the bribed labor aristocracy did their utmost to isolate the revolutionary proletariat of Soviet Russia from the workers of Europe and America.

To date, the bourgeois trade union leaders have never given up their social-imperialist, social-chauvinist and social-fascist behaviour. One does not need to look at the USA, where the unions follow blindly Trump's slogan "America first!" . This is different in no country. The betrayal of the yellow trade unions is international. Instead of organizing international solidarity against global wage slavery, they care for splitting of the world trade union movement, and stir up rivalry and even hatred of workers of the one country against workers of the other countries, and between the low paid and the higher earners, male and femal workers etc.

That what the yellow trade union leaders all agreed from the outset was and still is not their fight against the capitalists, but their fight against the communists.

From the outset, they excluded Communist trade unionists from the capitalist and colonial countries, or even handed them over to fascist executioners. The social-fascist unions have blood of the revolutionary proletariat on their hands. Today the yellow unions are firmly integrated into the world imperialist exploiting and suppressing state system. Any attempt by revolutionary trade unionists to gain a foothold in the world trade union movement is by all means prevented and, if possible, nipped in the bud by the alliance between capitalists, capitalist states and yellow union leaders.

The anticommunist trade union federations that rule today have so far rejected any united front in the fight against world capitalism. They are the bourgeois agencies in the world trade union movement so that no one rattles at the doors of world capitalism.

Any request for the affiliation of the then largest union in the world, the Soviet unions, was rejected by the bourgeois unions. To this day, the anti-communist unions have turned out to be the biggest splitter of the international trade union movement.

All this did not help the yellow unions. The revolutionary world trade union movement is alive and the yellow unions never succeeded to eradicate it, as the RILU activity shows. For the 100th anniversary of the Comintern, we will not forget the founding of the Red Trade Union International.

 

How did the formation of the Red International of Trade Unions take place at that time?

Representatives of the All-Russian Central Council of Trade Union Federations were not invited to the Amsterdam Congress, held in June 1919, where the yellow Western union leaders founded the Amsterdam Trade Union International.

The leading role in the yellow Amsterdam International was played by the wartime profiteers, especially the British imperialists. All the old leaders of the Second International, which had been restored after the war in February 1919, were there present, again sitting together.

And all the union representatives in Eastern Europe? Or those in the colonial countries? All of them were excluded (!) from the founding of the Amsterdam International.

So most of the world's unions were not represented by the Amsterdam International, with only some unions from the West represented.

Some trade union federations that had joined the Amsterdam International were excluded right back. Apart from the reactionary objective, the Amsterdam International does not deserve the name of an International because, in fact, it did not represent all the trade unions in the world. And that's not all. The Amsterdam International fought against all unions that were not taken up by it. And you can not call that anything else but a splitter organization in the world trade union movement. And the international solidarity with the strikes in the individual countries? Nothing has done the Amsterdam International for it.

A trade union international that does not organize international solidarity in a more severe fighting situation, such as a strike, is not an International.

This caused outrage and resistance.
Not only were opposition groups formed against the Amsterdam International, but even new class unions were formed. These were unions that did not want to "reform" capitalism but to overthrow it. This included many new unions in the colonial countries. With the October Revolution, the revolutionary trade union movement began in the colonial lands. Until the liquidation of the RILU in 1937, there was no country in the world in which the RILU had no influence.

 

* * *

It was planned to convene an International Trade Union Conference in Petrograd in February 1918. This was prevented by foreign intervention and civil war.

Only after the victorious civil war did the friendly relations of the Soviet trade unions with foreign trade union representatives begin. That was the time when foreign trade union delegations came to the Soviet Union, despite all entry difficulties, to get an idea of the country of the victorious October Revolution. Among them were also those delegates who were excluded from their unions because of their revolutionary struggle.

The Soviet Union made renewed attempts to establish a trade union international. In September 1920, a delegation headed by Losowsky took part in a meeting with the ADGB in Berlin. Losowsky conveyed the greetings of the Soviet trade unions to the German works councils. Losowsky also attended the USPD Party Congress to convince participants of the creation of a new union international. For similar visits to France, England and Italy, the bourgeois governments did not authorize an entry visa, so there were only written greetings possible. Also later, at the Hague Peace Conference, the proposals of the Soviet unions were rejected.

In 1920, the founding of the RILU was prepared.

The RILU was not founded before, but after the Comintern, although this idea was already on the III All-Russian Trade Union Conference formulated in June 1917.

In 1917, Lenin included the founding of the Comintern in his April theses, but not the RILU.

The RILU was the child of the October Revolution.

The resolution of the First All-Russian Trade Union Congress of January 1918 stated:

"Congress sees it as its task to do its utmost to rebuild the world trade union movement and puts the convening of an International General Trade Union Congress and a number of international symposia for each branch of production on the agenda."

Between 1919 and 1920, foreign trade union delegations consulted about the establishment of a World Trade Union.

In 1920, conferences were held in Moscow with participants from England, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, Germany, USA, Yugoslavia and Australia. The various ideas about a world trade union represented there differed widely (anarcho-syndicalists). The disagreements did not lead to an agreement. Lenin had then turned on and proposed to at least agree on the foundation of a revolutionary world trade union. Following the advice of Lenin, the representatives of the unions of Soviet Russia, Italy, Spain, France, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Grusinia signed the Declaration on the formation of a Provisional International Council of Trade Unions in preparation for the establishment of the RILU.

The Manifesto of this Provisional Council, addressed to the unions of all countries for association in the class struggle, called in April 1920 to ...

"... to break with those who carry out the criminal policy of co-operation with the bourgeoisie, and instead stand under the flag of the relentless class struggle for the liberation of enslaved humanity."

"The old union leaders will try again to push the unions on the bourgeois way ...
What led to the old unions capitulating to the bourgeoisie? Her narrow-minded guild spirit to gain advantages over the mass of workers. An exaggerated respect for bourgeois legality. Restriction to the advocacy of labor aristocracy and
Disregard for the mass of unskilled workers outside the union. High membership fees that an ordinary worker could not afford.
A bureaucratic apparatus emerged that manipulated trade union democracy. The endorsement of a supposedly 'neutral' attitude to political issues that actually nly supported bourgeois politics. "

At the first World Congress of the RILU, this theory was rejected by the "neutrality" and "independence" of unions from political parties. There is no neutral class standpoint in a class society. One can not make world socialist revolution with an independent union, but only with unions that support the communist world party. The purely economic struggle of the world proletariat will always reach the limits of the political world domination of the bourgeoisie. Politics is a concentrated expression of the economy.

* * *

Some delegates suggested simply incorporating the revolutionary unions directly into the Comintern. But that would make an RILU superfluous. Lenin was therefore against these "left-wing" proposals and advocated an independent trade union organization, which joins the Comintern, but is composed not only of communists, but also from non-party members, who are in favor of the class struggle. Of directional importance was Lenin's book: "The 'Left Radicalism' - Infantile Disease in Communism," which was published exactly at this time in June 1920. As far as the unions are concerned, Lenin had strictly rejected the 'leftist' slogan of leaving the reactionary unions and urged the Communists to fight there where the masses are. We cannot leave the workers helplessly to the influence of the yellow union leaders.

Any distance from the masses is synonymous with the distance from the world socialist revolution.

It was not about founding a second International Trade Union Organization in competition with the existing one. The aim was to bring together and unite the revolutionary forces in the trade unions in order to have communist influence in the reformist trade unions on the mass of trade union members.

Lenin's tactical guideline on the trade union question was:

"Do not leave the unions, but conquer the union masses by participating in their action and leading them in their revolutionary struggle to get rid of wage slavery!"

So before the RILU was founded, Lenin had already worked out, with the Comintern, all the important theoretical and strategic principles of the revolutionary trade union movement, with the aim of gaining the victory of communism in the unions.

Thus, the RILU was founded on July 3, 1921 in Moscow on the solid foundations of Marxism-Leninism. Lenin's welcoming letter to the RILU stated:

"Please convey to the delegates my greetings and heartfelt wishes for the success of the Congress. It is hard to find words to express the full importance of the International Congress of Trade Unions. The winning of trade unionists to the ideas of communism is making irresistible headway everywhere, in all countries, throughout the world. The process is sporadic, overcoming a thousand obstacles, but it is making irresistible progress. The International Congress of Trade Unions will quicken this movement. Communism will triumph in the trade unions. No power on earth can avert the collapse of capitalism and the victory of the working class over the bourgeoisie.

Warm greetings and confidence in the inevitable victory of communism."

 

What role does the RILU play before, during and after the world socialist revolution?

 

First, the RILU is defender of the world proletariat against exploitation by the world bourgeoisie.

Then the RILU is a fighting instrument of the Comintern (SH) to overthrow the world bourgeoisie.

And finally, the RILU is an instrument of the Comintern (SH) to organize socialist world production and for building world socialism.

At the first World Congress in 1921, the RILU was founded, program and tactical line were established, as well as fixed the main slogans of the revolutionary trade union movement.

The recognition of the Comintern as the proletarian world party was the basic condition for the membership of the RILU.

The founding congress of the RILU set itself the international goal of overthrowing the bourgeoisie, establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat and abolishing wage slavery.

In order to establish the dictatorship of the proletariat, the working class not only needs the leading role of the Bolshevik Party in the socialist revolution, its Revolutionary Guards, Red Army and other executive bodies to defeat and disarm the counterrevolution, smash the bourgeois state, and suppress the bourgeoisie - that is, political and military tasks. And that also applies to the establishment of the world dictatorship of the proletariat. The task of the working class in the socialist revolution is not just to conquer its political power.

 

The task of the world proletariat of taking over economic power globally

Without the dictatorship of the proletariat, conquered in the socialist revolution, neither the capitalist relations of production nor the productive forces can be socialized.

The working class must take economic power, that is, expropriate the capitalists, occupy their factories, take control of production, and socialize the means of production. The conquest of economic power is a global task of the proletariat.

As far as the socialization of the means of production is concerned, this is not identical with the workers' control. Workers' control is only a first step towards socialization. The socialization of the means of production requires the workers' control. Without workers' control the slogan of "socialization of the means of production" remains revisionist. Before one can socialize the productive forces for socialist production, the factories must be occupied and expropriated. Otherwise it comes out that, what in the November Revolution in Germany 1918/19 came out, namely nothing. Workers' control comes first, and only through the overthrow of the bourgeoisie and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat - everything else ends up sooner or later in capitalism.

On November 27, 1917 (!), a decree on workers' control was passed for the first time in history, with the following text:

"The organs of workers' control have the right to supervise the production, to ensure the minimum of the production output and to take measures to determine the production costs.
The organs of workers' control have the right to control the entire business correspondence of the company; the obfuscation of the books is punishable. Trade secrets are abolished. The owners are obliged to hand over their books and accounts for the current year and for the previous years to the supervisory bodies. The decisions of the workers 'control organs are binding on the owners and can only be changed by an order of the higher organs of workers' control. "

This was only the first and, of course, not the last step in the complete realization of workers' control. What was decisive, however, was that this decree was a decree of the October revolution, of the dictatorship of the proletariat. The fact must not be ignored that in the whole period of the NEP the workers already had the power and not the capitalists any more.
This shows that in the course of the world socialist revolution, workers' control, socialization of means of production and Socialist world production can not yet run at full speed on the first day after the victory of the world revolution.

As for the decree, it was a decree of armed workers' power. The confiscation of the enterprises was not carried out by a contract with the capitalist, thus not by transfer of his factory to the workers voluntarily, out of pure charity. The confiscation of the means of production is a violent act of the dictatorship of the proletariat. To this end, the revolutionary proletariat employs armed organs of socialist revolution, which are used for the occupation and for the external protection of the factories.

In the expropriation of companies, the workers play the decisive role in their 0wn companies.

For the victory of the world socialist revolution, the works council system is indispensable in the transformation of capitalist into socialist world production. Without red works councils no socialization of the means of production. The workers' council system must be instrumentalized by us for the victory of the economical power of the world proletariat, must serve the world socialist revolution. The bourgeois works councils, especially when trying to resist, must be replaced by revolutionary works councils.

The conquest of enterprises by the revolution is followed by the control of production by the workers, the transformation of private capitalist enterprises into socialist state enterprises, the integration of enterprises into the political economy of the socialist state, and so on.

The Red Trade Unions and their factory committees (representatives of the industrial proletariat) organized their own armed units as organs of the October Revolution. They protected the factories. They also had to struggle against such unions as the office and bank employees, which were albeit only a trade union minority, however which put up resistance, siding with the capitalists and the counterrevolution. The only industrial union that opposed the October Revolution was the Union of the Printers. She wanted to "defend" the "press freedom" against the October Revolution.

At the height of the October Revolution, when the proletariat was just conquering its economic power, the counter-revolution in the factories responded by means of boycott. The capitalists called for a strike, but they could not stop the October Revolution with this. The red unions stood behind Lenin and the Bolshevik party:

Strike against capitalists - yes.

Strike against the own workers government - no.

Class struggle against capitalism - yes.

Class struggle against socialism - no.

Any Strike against the dictatorship of the proletariat is reactionary and serves the bourgeoisie.

The production stop ordered by the capitalists was a weapon against the October Revolution. But the machines in the factories were turned on again by the unions. The workers in the companies who were locked out by the capitalists restarted production under the Red Union leadership and theirfactory committees. Workers' control - this was one of the most important demands of the October Revolution, which was achieved only with the most violent class struggle about the factories.

From this we draw the important lesson that we will immediately after the world socialist revolution reactivate the machines for the construction of world socialism in order to secure the supply of the world population uninterruptedly.

The factories of the whole world will belong to the world proletariat as a whole and thus also to the workers of every single factory, for the workers of all the world's production sites together constitute the world proletariat. The workers of the world share their factories according to the creation of the new world-socialist relations of production.

The capitalists, who refused to accept their lost predicament, either went to jail or were forced to serve the workers.

However, most of the former factory owners fled abroad to take their factories back into private ownership, supported by world capital. In the socialist world revolution, however, there will be no more any land on earth where the capitalists can hide to restore capitalism from there. That's the decisive difference between the economical victory of the World Revolution and October Revolution.

The trade unions, which were hitherto only organs of the fight against the rule of the capitalists, for the first time in history, turned into organs of the dictatorship of the proletariat, thus organs for the suppression of the capitalists
[Resolutions of the Ninth Party Congress of the Bolshevik party].

The first Russian Trade Union Congress of January 1918 took the view that the October victory of the workers and the poor peasants
simultaneously means the beginning of the International Socialist Revolution, the victory over the capitalist system of world production.

All that had happened to the Russian unions in the October Revolution, all the problems that they had to cope with, will inevitably be repeated in one way or another within the world trade union movement of the world socialist revolution. That will be one of the most important lessons for the world socialist revolution. We will prepare for that. The problems that the workers in the October Revolution were forced to solve spontaneously, will be henceforth systematically prepared and carried out in the socialist world revolution from the outset - a workers' control of the globalized world proletariat under the leadership of the Comintern (SH) by means of her RILU.

And all that had happened with the trade unions in Russia at that time influenced the whole world trade union movement, in which the contradictions between the reformist and revolutionary path of the trade unions also had to find their organizational expression. The RILU emerged only after the founding of the Bolshevik trade union organizations in the Soviet Union (January 1918), which served as an example for the founding of the RILU. At this first congress of Russian trade unions, a resolution mentioned the creation of a leftist international union as a counterweight to the Amsterdam International. In April 1920, Russian trade union representatives were admitted to the Comintern.

The October Revolution had put the solution of "reform or revolution?" onto the agenda. And thus this question appeared also unavoidably onto the agenda of the World Trade Union movement. With the founding of the RILU the revolutionary world trade union movement came into being. From now on the bourgeois and proletarian trade union movement struggled against each other, split into two antagonostic world camps.

The founding of the RILU was first and foremost supported by the Comintern. From the beginning, the Comintern considered the conquest of the trade union masses for the world revolution as one of its most important tasks. The RILU was te prolonged arm of the Comintern within the world trade union movement. The RILU became the most important and important transmission belt of the Comintern.

 

* * *

The dissolution of the RILU in 1937 was the greates betrayal in the world history of the revolutionary trade union movement

If all of this is historical fact, and if the indispensability of an RILU remains undeniable until today, why then was it possible for the RILU to be dissolved in 1937? In answering this question, we have always referred to the revisionist course of Dimitrov, the VII World Congress, with which began the liquidation of the international fighting organs of world communism, including the RILU. But is that sufficient as justification? No, not at all. The world proletariat can not be content with that. The workers will rightfully ask us Communists: why did you allow the dissolution at all? Why did you do nothing about it? Did you loose your conviction about the necessity to continue the RILU?

We would not be genuine communists if we blamed our own mistakes and weaknesses on the opportunists. That would not only be self-deception, but also fraud on the world proletariat, fraud on the world revolution. Such bourgeois-revisionist deceptions were used by the Khrushchevites when they blamed their own betrayal of communism on a Beria or the "anti-party" group of Molotov, Kaganovich, and so on.

Revolutionary self-criticism differs from any other self-criticism in that one has the courage to question his previous views of the RILU in order to truly verify their correctness from the ground up. It is not about the question of whether the RILU is necessary or not. No true communist or revolutionary unionist doubts that. Instead, the question is how far the RILU actually fulfilled or could not fulfill its task. If we do not answer these questions correctly, how then can we protect and preserve our new RILU, re-established in 2003, against possible old mistakes and weaknesses of the past?

 

Red trade unions - yes or no ?

The question we are most concerned with is why an RILU was founded without building red unions in each country, as was self-evidently the case with the Comintern and its Sections.

Deciding not to set up national red unions, was because the RILU opposed the then strong "leftist" trend by which all trade unionists were falsly called to leave the yellow union and instead to found "squeaky clean" revolutionary unions. It is true, the workers would have taken that as an attack on "their" union. That's why, of course, that was a right decision of the RILU, which is also conform with the Bolshevik mass line, to anchor oneself in the masses there, where they are, in the yellow unions, and not outside of them.

So far so good. But we continue to ask:

Can this be an argument for renouncing the creation of our own communist trade union organizations?

After all, the RILU as a communist trade union, never refused to do communist oppositional work in the Amsterdam International.

Incidentally, the RILU has worked much more successfully illegally within the Amsterdam International than, conversely, the Ansterdam International in the RILU. In other words, the RILU had more red union members in the Amsterdam International than the other way round ...

Why should not successful work by red unions be done at national level as well? If the RILU has successfully fought internationally against the Amsterdam International, why would the red unions of the RILU against the yellow unions at national level not have been equally successful in fighting?

So if every trade unionist could opt for either the RILU or the Amsterdam International, why not between the yellow and the red union at the national level?

In our opinion, with the help of red unions (no matter legal or illegal), it is much more effective to do illegal work in the yellow unions than without them. That sounds logical and convincing.

We think, that, if we would refrain from founding red unions at national level, this would ease the opportunists to realize their opportunist united front tactics on a national scale, in which an RILU would only be an obstacle that is to be removed. And that's exactly how it happened in 1937. To prevent this from happening, firmly anchored red unions at national level would have been in those times more beneficial than none.

Next:

Can the question of red unions be off the table by the question of illegality and legality ?

We think, no. After all, most Sections of the Comintern had to fight under illegal conditions, too. Illegality is no reason to refuse the founding of red trade unions or to dissolve red trade unions. On the contrary. It is in line with the basic principle of Bolshevik party building that the legal struggle must be combined with the illegal struggle. Also the founding of the Comintern was not made dependent on illegal conditions. This Bolshevik principle of the necessity of illegal party building applies to all communist organizations, including red unions. The only exceptions are the unions under the dictatorship of the proletariat and the activities of the RILU in Moscow, although their activity in the countries governed by capitalism was of course only possible illegally.

Finally, the argument of the so called "smashing the unions".

One thing is clear:

Without the help of the unions, humanity will not reach world communism. So there is no reason for us communists to want to smash the unions. We are even of the opinion that certain (modified) forms of the trade unions of world socialism, will also remain indispensible in world communism.

However, one has to ask differentiated which kind of unions are meant. Which unions of which class should be smashed? Those who serve the interests of the workers or those who betray their interests? The bourgeois or proletarian unions? That is how to put this question. From 1921 to the present, it is not about smashing the unions themselves, but about smashing the prevailing civic influence of the yellow unions on the workers.

From 1921 to the present, it is not about smashing the unions as such, but about smashing the prevailing civic influence of the yellow unions on the workers. Smashing the unions is therefore a question of the class standpoint.

We ask: Is it not the bourgeoisie that created its yellow unions to exploit and discipline the working class undisturbed? Yellow unions keep workers in chains of wage slavery. Does anyone want to doubt that the yellow unions are fundamentally opposed to smashing the chains of wage slavery? Since when have slaves ever been able to free themselves from their chains in a "peaceful way"? This has not happened in history and can not happen. So if the workers want to break their chains of wage slavery, they must ask themselves: Is this possible together with or against the yellow unions? Either ... or.

If anything, it must be smashed the terror of socialfascist trade union leaders which is waged against the working class, including smashing all those means by which the social-fascist trade union leaders betray the workers.
The argument that "the Communists want to smash the union" comes ultimately only from the yellow union leaders, these bourgeois agents within the world trade union movement. That's part of their arsenal of anti-communism. They paint the specter of Communism on the wall, with which the Communist Manifesto of Marx and Engels is introduced in the first sentence.

Everything that gets in the way of the world socialist revolution will be swept away. It will certainly make no exception for the yellow unions.

It is clear to every Communist that one can not build world socialism with yellow unions. You can only do that with red unions. But should one wait with the building of red unions until after the victory of the socialist world revolution? Of course not. That would contradict all the experiences of the October Revolution, whose victory would have been completely impossible without the red unions. So we undoubtedly need red unions for preparing the world socialist revolution in every country in the world, the sooner the better.

But what should happen to the yellow unions? It is well known that the yellow unions sided with the counterrevolution in the October Revolution. On which side of the barricade would the yellow unions stand in the socialist world revolution - would they, for example, join the world socialist revolution or fight it? The answer should be clear. They would, of course, try to do everything to bring their union members on the side of the counterrevolution in order to fulfill their anti-communist mission of maintaining capitalism. The question must be "Who - whom?"

Either yellow or red unions. The world socialist revolution can not put this question differently if it wants to triumph. Everything else is opportunistic chatter.

* * *

 

What kind of trade unions are needed under condition of globalization ?

Just as the Comintern founded the RILU, the Comintern (SH) also reestablished the RILU. Nothing has changed for the necessity of organizing the revolutionary trade union movement both on a national and global scale.

The reestablishment of the RILU in 2003 was about the reorganization of the revolutionary world trade union movement that had been smashed by Dimotrov and the modern revisionists. We must never leave the field to the yellow unions without a fight. If we are to prepare the world proletariat for the world socialist revolution, then we must do so above all with revolutionary work in the yellow unions. And for this task our own fighting organs are indispensable, our own red unions.

In principle, we regard the RILU policy as correct, follow it and rebuild the newly founded RILU on its old political-ideological foundations namely in every country of the world. This is not only a heavy blow to the yellow unions, but also to the anarchist, syndicalist, Trotskyist and neo-revisionist trade union organizations, all fighting together in a front against the red unions of the Comintern (SH).
Basically, the Comintern (SH) did nothing but declare the dissolution of the RILU of 1937 wrong and invalid and continue where the RILU stopped fighting.

It was clear from the beginning that we could not continue the RILU of 1937 unmodified, that the old RILU policy had necessarily to be adapted to today's conditions.

The correctness of the reestablishment of the RILU is only justified by the fact that its policy must be adapted to the changed objective conditions of the global class struggle, the globalized conditions in the world trade union movement.

After 100 years, the conditions for an RILU have changed just as much as the conditions of the world revolution itself. After 100 years, it is not only allowed, but also imperative to fundamentally question the theory and practice of the RGI with the help of the historical and dialectical Materialism. And we have to start from scratch, thus with the founding history of the RILU.

This includes the correct assessment of the changes that have taken place in the yellow unions since globalization.
The current organizational structure of the yellow unions is precisely adapted to the needs of the globalization of world capital. The world bourgeoisie prefers such organizational structure of its unions, which she is forced to use most effectively against the increasing danger of globalization of the class struggle of the world proletariat.

We note that, in this respect, we lagged far behind the new organizational structures of the trade union movement in the world. This is a compelling reason to think basically about new globalized organizational structures, fighting methods and forms of struggle of our revolutionary trade union work.

We need a new trade union organizational structure that most effectively serves the world socialist revolution today. Just as this was the case with the red trade unions in Russia which served the October Revolution:

In order to overthrow the world bourgeoisie, it is necessary for our revolutionary industrial unions to unite globally to carry out global combat operations. Our red unions must become schools for the transformation of capitalist world production into world socialist production.

We communists are the better economists than the capitalists. We will better organize world production in world socialism than they did in world capitalism, namely in the service of the people instead of exploitation and oppression. We want to create a better world, and that's why we need unions that represent not the interests of the capitalists, but the workers.

So, if we want to create new globalized forms of organization of industrial unions, what will happen to the construction of red unions at the national level? Should one renounce them in favor of globalized forms of organization? The question is put wrongly.

The question must instead be: Can we better create the new globalized forms of organization of the RILU with or without national red unions?

This question can only be answered correctly if we consider the role of national production in the system of globalized world production.

What we can say with certainty already now, the national production in world socialism will be closely integrated into a global system of world socialist production (globalized division of labour). For this we also need a globalized system of socialist trade union organizations, in which the national unions will play an indispensable role.

In world communism, the nations merge and wither away. The same thing will happen to the national trade union - but not before the beginning of world communism.

As we know, Marxism teaches us that the world socialist productive forces and their corresponding relations of production do not emerge detached from the old world capitalist social order. They do not come into being only after the disappearance of the old world order, but already in the womb of the old capitalist world society. That's why the globalized forms of the red unions come already into being in the womb of the old yellow trade unions.

At first, we need the red unions at the national level to defend the interests of the workers against the capitalists, secondly to mobilize the masses for the socialist revolution, thirdly to abolish the capitalist relations of production, to socialize the means of production, and finally to build the Socialism in every country with the common aim of creating the globalized socialism.

We need the red unions in every country in the world to build globalized industrial trade unions (global union of mineworkers, mechanical engineering industry, electrical industry, chemical industry, car industry, computer industry, transportation [aerospace, rail services, road transport], food industries, textile, social services, health services, educational institutions, information services, environment services, forest- and agriculture etc). Without the red unions at national level, we can not build red unions at the international level.

Forming globalized trade unions in every industrial branch - this is the main organizational task of reestablishment of the RILU according to the changing conditions of globalization.

For this future globalized organizational principle of the RILU, we need to connect the horizontal structure with the vertical structure of the red union. What does that mean ?

First. From each country we must strengthen the globalized fighting power of the industrial proletariat in each and every industry with the support of the national red unions. The task of the red trade unions is therefore not limited to its own national framework, but is integrated into an international task, namely, to give one's own national forces to the world army of the industrial proletariat. Only by means of this vertical recruitment will we be able to set this world army against world capitalism in motion.

Secondly, we need to unite the entire proletariat of industry for joint, overarching global actions of all branches of industry in order to train the entire industrial proletariat of the world for the decisive battle. Uniting all global industrial unions to overthrow world capitalism is the horizontal organizational structure of the RILU - the globalized organizational structure.

We start with the unionist propaganda work first, and then later, at the ripe time, to be able to do our organizational unionist work and finally our unionist actions. The period of propaganda does not exclude participation in unionist action, but presupposes it, because propaganda implemented in a conrete action is the best propaganda. The RILU will start to create International Propaganda Committees for each and every branch of industry. Main efforts must be made for the recruitment of workers' correspondents, preferable from inside the yellow unions and the factories which operate multi-nationally.

 

Who are the first forces with which the RILU will be built up today?

1. Red unions in individual countries affiliated to the RGI but working illegally.

2. Trade unionists or groups excluded from the yellow unions.

3. revolutionary trade union opposition within the yellow unions (communist factions)

4. Left-leaning action committees (Solidarity Committees), in which different directions join forces in supporting the struggles of trade unionists against the strikebreaking of the reformist trade unions.

5. Organizations of the unemployed and temporary workers.

These and other forces will support the RILU according to the current objective conditions of the class struggle, which is conducted within and outside the factories and the unions and which must be linked together.
Especially it is a collection movement of all revolutionary trade unionists who, in one way or another, have come into conflict with the yellow unions, who distance from the yellow unions but not from the revolutionary unionist struggle.

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The RILU can currently work legally only under the most difficult conditions. Everything that is organized in the individual countries around the RILU is exposed to the police terror and the social-fascist trade union leaders who work into the hands of the police.

That is why the creation of International Antifascist Action Committees, creation of self-defense organizations, anti-fascist agitation and propaganda in the workplace and in trade union are indispensable for the RILU.

We can not win the world proletariat to fight war and fascism if we give factories and unions a wide berth.

The united front of all companies and unions against capitalism, war and fascism means for the RILU united front not with, but against the world bourgeoisie, whereby the main instrument against capitalism, war and fascism must always be the world socialist revolution.

International united front in the world trade union movement presupposes the united front in all national trade union movements.

If the thousands of unions around the world today would not be reformist but revolutionary, the overthrow of the world bourgeoisie would not be a matter of years and decades, but of weeks, days, hours.

With the collapse of world imperialism, the yellow unions will also disappear. Then there will remain only one trade union international - the RILU. We are not for the peacful coexistence of red and yellow unions but for the revolutionary replacement of the bourgeois unions by the proletarian unions.

So we have no reason for pessimism. Our stubborn and self-sacrificing communist work and union work will one day be rewarded with victory.

In conclusion we state, that all forms of working-class movement that will evolve in the course of the world revolution, will in turn, revolutionize the masses.

With every strengthening of the revolutionary trade union and factory struggle of the world proletariat against world imperialism, we approach communist world society.

Long live the 16th anniversary of the Red International of the Trade Unions!

Wolfgang Eggers
May 1, 2019


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red International

of the Labour Unions