joi, 3 decembrie 2020









(Written by Debkumar Ganguli,

Deputy General Secretary, WFTU)


In fact, its "end" as an international democratic organization of workers which committed itself to class struggles against imperialism, with a history of over half a century and with a membership of 214,000,000 was not a matter of theory but a matter of time.

Some trade unions of the former socialist countries, once a backbone of the WFTU, unfortunately left the WFTU and joined the anti-WFTU campaign following the changes in the political situation of their respective countries and were taken in by the West and its followers: some trade unions of developing and third world countries whose faith was not strong enough were lured by the sweet promise "aid" by the imperialists and their fellow traveler trade unions, (mostly financed by imperialists' foundations) engaging themselves in a competition to form rightist "unions".

The game of organizing "new unions" (class collaboration) was going on a in east Europe as well. In former Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and other east European countries, anti-militant trade union laws were passed and open attempts to crush the class-based militant trade union movement drew public attention.

To make it worse, the former Czechoslovakia Government, in clear infringement of the law and agreement on location of the Headquarters of the WFTU, unilaterally adopted a decision to expel the Headquarters of the WFTU out of the country and employed all possible tricks to achieve its purpose, including "never-ending pressures".

After the disintegration of socialist regime in Czechoslovakia the Trade Union Council (which joined the rightist International Federation) took possession of the office building of the WFTU Headquarters, throwing the WFTU out overnight and, as a result, trade unions of many countries became confused and some of them left the WFTU.

Obviously the budget of the WFTU decreased from 10,000,000 Swiss Francs down to 2,000,000 Swiss Freancs a year, a level that could not support its activities.

Of course, all this was the part and parcel of what had been designed by the international reactionary forces to disintegrate the WFTU.

This situation made all of us in the Secretariat and staff members worry about the fate of the WFTU. "Shall we be able to overcome this offensive, hardship and difficulties" was the thought in our mind. Obviously all of us were searching for a way out and solution.

We have been trying to explore all possibilities and options to find an appropriate solution. At this time we were delighted to receive an invitation from the GFTU of Korea to visit the DPR Korea. Immediately we made up our mind to visit the DPR Korea and to avail the grand opportunity to meet President Kim Il Sung and seek his precious advice.

It may be recalled that  President Kim Il Sung had met almost all the delegations of the WFTU that visited the DPRK and each time had received them most cordially and given them a careful guidance.

In the 4th week of March, 1992 we visited the DPRK Korea and on March 22, 1992, the General Secretary of the WFTU and myself were honored to meet with  President Kim Il Sung at the Kumsusan Assembly Hall (present Kumsusan Sun’s Palace), which housed his office. We were so keen to have such opportunity of meeting him and seek his advice.

He received and embraced us who were enchanted by the charismatic personality. Relaxed by his loving smile, we gave him an informal yet detailed report of the state of affairs which the WFTU was confronted with. As an elderly towering world statesman he listened to our report patiently. Having listened to us, he looked round us with a serious look on his face and said in a decisive and convincing voice: "you must not give up hope whatever hardship you face … … You should be all means defend the existence of the WFTU".

His expectation of and trust in the WFTU was like blood flowing into our hearts, bringing strength and encouragement. Once again we could  see that his words and advises were really those of a leader of the international working class and a great man, not as a leader of a nation only, which impressed me very much.

Where else in the world could you find such a great man so much concerned about and sympathizing with the temporary setback of the WFTU, which was merely an international democratic organization, not even a government organization?

For the crisis the WFTU was in, the President trembled with hatred to the traitors of socialism, and for the miserable situation we were in, he cared about us like our own father. The most committed patron and life-long caretaker of the WFTU.

That day, he gave us as much time as 90 minutes though he was extremely busy leading the Party and the state as a whole.

We were so impressed and charmed to take note of Comrade Kim Il Sung's deep and updated knowledge about the activities of communist parties in countries all over the world. In course of his discussion with us, without consulting any written note or assistance from anybody he narrated so perfectly and elaborately the position and their shortcomings  in the communist parties' activities in general and the fallen east European countries in particular. We once again witnessed and understood Comrade Kim Il Sung as a genius world communist leader.

A leader of no other nation had ever spared such a long time for a delegation of an international democratic organization, which comes lower in level than that of party and governmental organizations.

We were feeling conscience-stricken for taking his valuable time, but could hardly withhold the urge to avail ourselves of the opportunity to listen to more of his guiding words.

As if he had read our mid, the President moved the meeting place from the office to the garden. So our meeting continued in a stroll. Walking at our side, he explained to us ways and actions for the WFTU to take one after another.

He said that for the WFTU to break through the present hardship, it should uphold a slogan of independence in its activities and strengthen its structure through a struggle to draw the "right-wing" unions to the "left-wing" while restoring the disrupted and destroyed unions of respective countries, and added in a voice full of confidence, that if the WFTU, as a living organization, became successful in its struggle, it would be possible, through it, to restore the disintegrated communist parties of many countries as well.

He continued to say with a big laughter that however complex and unfavorable the situation might be, the leaders of the WFTU should never become  pessimistic but optimistic about the future, and that the ranks should be recovered and preparations be made in a joint effort to convene a big conference in the near future in some place like New Delhi, India, so as to encourage new member unions while giving a heavy blow to the imperialists.

And then he told us to remain firm in our struggle to keep the Headquarters in Prague, offering detailed strategies for it.

The meeting with him turned out to be of historical importance so far as our future activities were concerned to uphold and further consolidate the WFTU.

That day he even posed for a picture with us at the end. We felt so sorry to part with him.


(To be continued)

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