"KIM IL SUNG and WFTU"
KIM IL SUNG AND
THE WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS
(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
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
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
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
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
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)