Fellow workers: greetings!
To mark the 1st anniversary of the foundation of the International Confederation of Labor, we are presenting this report to all of the sections about everything that we have accomplished up to this point, so that each worker will be able to make assessments in their respective unions.
The ICL was founded in June of 2018 during a congress held in Parma, Italy by organizations from Germany (FAU), Argentina (FORA), Canada and the US (IWW), Spain (CNT), Greece (ESE), Italy (USI) and Poland (IP), during a process of friendly debates and agreements reached between these organizations.
Our confederation upholds the spirit of the first international, just as each of the affiliated organizations were already doing in their respective regions. The ideal which we promote and which we want to spread to the rest of the planet is an internationalism which is horizontal, anti-authoritarian, feminist, federalist, and based on direct action, solidarity, and class struggle.
We recognize that each affiliated organization has their own histories and particularities, and we understand the diversity of realities that there are in each country. This is why it is fundamental that each section should focus first of all on deepening their local roots, with the support of the rest. We know that developing a union organization with social aims is an arduous task, but each section has the assurance and confidence that should come from knowing that there are allied organizations around the world with the same goals and principles who have each other’s backs.
That’s all. We hope this report will be useful.
Long live workers internationalism.
Long live the ICL.
For the social emancipation of the working class.
We have divided this report into three parts: “International Campaigns”, “Expansion”, and “Organizational Development.” In each part we have put at the end any outstanding tasks which still need to be carried or developed according to the “Work Areas” document which was approved at the Parma Congress.
1st Part: International Campaigns
A fundamental aspect of our work is solidarity and coordination between sections, on specific days as well as in particular conflicts or campaigns. In this sense we were able to coordinate for March 8, May 1, the prison strike in the US, and the education strike in Poland.
Each section collaborates according to their possibilities, in promotion as well as in actions or with economic support. We may still need to fine tune some mechanisms within the organization to allow the solidarity within the Liaison Committee to be more agile and dynamic, but this will happen through a step by step process of overcoming the difficulties that arise.
For March 8 and May 1, we participated in diverse and massive mobilizations. Different sections carried out various activities, including work stoppages by the CNT and USI on both days. Articles from each section as well as from groups close to the ICL were shared on the web page, and we are finishing a dossier about March 8 which can serve as a precedent.
There were also sections which coordinated joint actions, such as CNT and FAU, and conferences which some sections participated in with other unions, in order to address common problems and develop strategies to overcome them.
Additionally, at the beginning of May the ICL approved by referendum a decision to support a campaign in Rojava under the title “Make Rojava Green Again”. We will still need to see how we will carry this forward.
Outstanding tasks: We still have yet to launch international campaigns with our own demands about specific problems, such as denouncing restrictive union models, gender discrimination at work, etc.
2nd Part: Expansion
We can divide expansion of the ICL into three parts, based on different regions:
- Americas: We currently have formal contacts with two organizations in Brazil (FOB and ATB). We’ve had communication with FOB for longer, and they have proposed a congress in the Americas, which the sections in that continent (IWW and FORA) will continue discussing with them. At the same time, ATB requested to affiliate with the ICL, but without any additional details. We have asked several follow-up questions, and are still waiting for a response.
- Asia, Middle East, and Africa: There was a meeting in South Korea, which we published on the web page, and we have been in contact with workers in Turkey and Rojava.
Outstanding tasks: These tasks are being carried out. There are always trips and conferences coming up, but this process is being carried out.
3rd Part: Organizational Development
Just as working-class solidarity and mutual aid give us the basis for coming together, our internal structure allows us to consolidate our ways of relating to each other as sections.
Ironing out our internal federalist mechanisms gives us a concrete mark to put the ideas which we share into practice. It’s fundamental for developing the tasks which we propose. This is a slow, constant and difficult process, perhaps not a very interesting one, but we believe that each section should also understand these advances in order to have a base which other fellow workers can continue or correct. This is the “invisible” militancy which sometimes is difficult to recognize, but which is very necessary to expand working class federalism into other countries with certainty and transparency:
- The “liaison committee” which brings together the international secretaries from each section.
- The committee communicates via email, as well as on the app “Telegram” for everyday or operational issues.
- Since January of 2019, the committee has been holding electronic meetings every month in order to keep communication fluid and to be able to share agreements, proposals, arguments, and any other news from each section.
- Each organizational document is sent with its corresponding letterhead.
- The ‘statutes’ and ‘areas of work’ documents that were finalized in the Parma Congress have been published online.
- The website is active and each section can send any communications that seem relevant.
- After holding the 1st referendum, we have resolved the primary logo of the ICL, as well as a secondary logo which sections can use when it suits them. This same referendum decided on the Rojava solidarity campaign which we previously mentioned.
- Various email addresses have been made available, for organic communication as well as for different forms of information (treasury, website, secretary)
- Treasury: The balance is being sent with this so that the sections can analyze it. We will highlight that there is a separate account for the ICL, which is currently being managed by USI.
- Creating our social media presence (currently there is a working group for this with members from the IWW, CNT, and FORA)
- Creating an account on Eliseo or another platform to archive all organizational documents.
- Move towards the incorporation of the ICL.
- With nothing else to add, we send liberatory greetings to each all of the workers in the International Confederation of Labor.
Also available in: Español (Spanish)