"KIM IL SUNG and WFTU"
KIM IL SUNG AND
THE WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
(Written by Debkumar Ganguli,
Deputy General Secretary, WFTU)
It goes without saying that I was so excited to have
met the great man, the great teacher and felt so responsible with the
strategies he advised.
In the course of our subsequent activities we could
find that his valuable advises proved to be so far-sighted, correct and
It is worth noting by our friends and foes (those who
are proclaiming the "end" of the WFTU) that the 14th World
Trade Union Congress held in New Delhi (as advised by Comrade Kim Il Sung) on
23-28, March 2000, was attended by extraordinary large and broad-based 421
delegates from 65 countries representing 407 million workers of all continents,
covering all Industrial Trade Union Federation, National and Regional Trade
Unions. The participants included representatives from the ILO, World
Confederation of Labour (WCL), International Confederation of Arab Trade
Unions (ICATU), Organization of African Trade Unions unity (OATUU) and
Confederation of Latin American Unity (CPUSTAL).
The Congress was presided over by Mr. Indrajit Gupta,
M.P., President of the WFTU and was inaugurated by the Vice-President of India
Mr. Krishna Kant. Messages of greetings were received from the President of
India Mr. K.R. Narayanan, Prime Minister of India Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
President of the Syrian Arab Republic Mr. Hafez Al-Assad, Prime Minister of
Bangladesh Mrs. Sheikh Hasina and the Secretary General of the United
Nations Mr. Kofi Annan. There were many other messages of greetings from
numerous National Trade Union Centres and Industrial Federations from countries
of all continents. The Labour Minister of India Mr. S.N. Jatia himself
addressed the inaugural session.
In response to the call of the WFTU, trade unions of
many countries, under the banner of independence, rose to commit themselves to
the international cause of the working class and, in this course, a
considerable increase was noted in their trust in and expectation of the WFTU,
and the ranks were expanded and consolidated.
In Russia, Bulgaria and Poland, too, left-wing trade
unions emerged to join the WFTU as member unions.
At the same time, we pushed ahead the struggle to fix
the seat of Headquarters in Prague as taught by President Kim Il Sung.
The WFTU, while exposing and denouncing the nature and
unlawfulness of the Czech authorities' attempt to unreasonably deport the
Headquarters of the WFTU out of its country, called upon its members unions
including the General Federation of Trade Unions of Korea, the ILO, UNO, human
rights organizations, etc. to exercise their influence in this regard.
These activities produced an immediate world-wide
response. The International Labour Organization, the WFTU member unions and
outstanding international oawyers joined us in our righteous struggle.
In the face of the world public opinion, the Czech
Government responding to world democratic public opinion withdrew its decision
to deport us.
This incident made us realize how stupid it had been
of us to be so scared by the anti-WFTU campaign of the Czech authorities and
interested reactionaries as to consider the option of moving the WFTU's
Headquarters to Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, and how reasonable it had been
of President Kim Il Sung to put forward the strategies for the struggle to keep
the Headquarters in Prague.
It proved a first-hand experience to us in learning
that no matter how hard the imperialists and reactionary forces tried, they
could never check the working class struggling for justice.
As President Kim Il Sung advised us, we unfolded
far-sighted activities aimed at convention of a WFTU Congress in New Delhi,
India, an undertaking to demonstrate its strength and, through it, encourage
its member organizations.
There was a great deal of discussion over the venue of
the Congress. We finalized the venue of the Congress as New Delhi.
Recommendation of New Delhi for the Congress venue by
the President in his lifetime reflects his political faith and far-sightedness.
At the time of our meeting with him, he told us India, being a big country, was
anti-imperialist, independent and non-aligned, and that since trade unionism
was under progressive influence in this country, it was the most suitable
candidate for the venue of the Congress.
His views and judgment were right. In March, 2000, the
delegates of trade unions from various countries and international
organizations including the International Labour Organization came to New Delhi
from five continents to participate in the 14th WTUC (as
The participants stressed the need for unity and
uniformity of actions based on the principle of independence in the
international trade union movement, in the face of the imperialists' manoeuvres
of "neo-liberalism" and "globalization", and expressed full
support for the action plan of the WFTU in this regard.
The Congress approved of the application for
affiliation of twenty-one trade unions from fifteen countries and formed a
leadership of the WFTU comprising anti-imperialist and independent forces.
The course of the Congress and its results gave us
strong confidence in possibilities of developing activities of the WFTU onto a
higher plane, and enabled us to work out strategies and tactics for the
I always marvel at the greatness of President Kim Il
Sung and his love, support and fraternity with the WFTU.
The success of the Congress testifies to this. The
Congress was an effective occasion to restore and strengthen the WFTU. In this
President Kim Il Sung's guidance was indeed a pathfinder.
If you can find an enchantingly great man even at the
cost of your life that is the greatest happiness man can have in his not very
long life time.
I think that people are enchanted by a great man,
perhaps because he has great ideas and human qualities. If a politician has not
good human qualities he cannot succeed in politics nor can he become a veteran
in the world of politics no matter how good his political ideas may be. It is
because a veteran of politics is elected first in the mind of people before he
is recognized by the world of politics.
I twice met President Kim Il Sung, who had great ideas
and human qualities, saw documentaries of him, and worked for years with the
officials of the International Department of the General Federation of Trade
Unions of Korea, who had been helping the WFTU, all of which gave me a
three-dimensional understanding of his greatness. With all this in mind, I felt
more deeply that he was a political veteran of our time and a true leader of
The greatest politician of the 20th century,
he never assumed an air; he was infinitely generous, simple living and caring,
embracing us with warmth which was like rays of the sun. That is why I used to
feel the kind of warm affection that is common between a teacher and a disciple
or parents and children and above comrades whenever I met him; it was not an
official meeting between a world-famous leader and a foreigner.
(To be continued)