ICOG Information Letter

Millions around the world took to the streets again this year on May Day, the International Day of Struggle of the Working Class, for their legitimate demands - despite restricted conditions in the Corona pandemic! The call and poster of International Coordinating Group (ICOG) "Fight for Health Protection, Jobs and Democratic Rights!" was the result of our successful online ICOG meeting at the end of March 2021 and was distributed in 5 languages.

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The ICOG meeting took place successfully, all participated except the representative from Colombia.

Especially in countries with right-wing and fascist governments, the deadly corona virus is downplayed and protective measures are hindered. "President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed scientific evidence, calling the virus a "measly" cold that did not warrant the shutdown of the region's largest economy, ... In São Paulo, one of the most important and richest big cities in the country, one person dies every 3 minutes." (from the Brazil country report to the ICOG meeting) The rapid spread of an aggressive mutant of Covid-19 is causing catastrophic mass deaths in India. Our sympathy belongs to all victims of the pandemic. Our anger is directed against the inhuman policy, which denies comprehensive protective measures in favor of the profits of international corporations.

The fight for effective Corona protection measures has broken out especially in the factories. ICOG demands free and safe vaccinations, full payment for days lost, and the provision of personal protective equipment by the employers to workforce members. ICOG criticized corona deniers and vaccination opponents for lacking solidarity. ICOG expressed solidarity with the 14 NUMSA trade union representatives who were fired again at VW in South Africa in February for their strike for corona protections.

Around the world, the Corona health crisis is exacerbating the global economic and financial crisis that began even before Corona. Factories are closing and tens of thousands of jobs in the automotive and supplier industries are being destroyed. The competition among the automotive monopolies for sales markets and expansion of their spheres of influence intensifies. At the same time, this is associated with major structural changes. The switch to electromobility and digitization is being played down as a "transformation," but under capitalist conditions it actually means massive job cuts and an increase in exploitation. In many cases, the profits of the car companies increased despite Corona. They collect "billions in emergency aid" from the state treasury and pass the costs on to the workers. The International Program of Struggle of the International Automotive Workers Coordination is gaining in importance worldwide with its central demands, the fight for every job and for the 30-hour week with full wage compensation, against nationalist, social-chauvinist and anti-communist propaganda.

The ICOG decided to support the building of a workers' education center in the Philippines and to solicit donations. The resolution states: "ICOG condemns the targeted persecution and murder of trade union representatives and activists, as well as forces of the broad popular movement in the Philippines. The massive repression of trade union and political activity in the Philippines by the fascist Duterte government serves the domestic and international monopolies to limitlessly increase the exploitation of the workers and the people, as well as to plunder valuable resources of the Philippines. Against this, a broad and courageous resistance is developing. The development of anti-fascist, trade union and political education work is an important contribution to raising class consciousness and to organize the workers and the people." ICOG strongly protests the Duterte government's branding of trade unionists as terrorists, arresting them or targeting them for assassination with "red tagging." We stand in solidarity with the trade union and progressive forces in the Philippines who are victims of this aggressive anti-communist repressive policy and state terror.

ICOG adopted a detailed evaluation of the 2nd International Automotive Workers' Conference at its online meeting. The report from South Africa was particularly interesting: "From our side, the IAC was a huge success, especially in our country, there it left big signs. People saw the militant movement, it was visible. (...) the spirit of the conference and the whole solidarity was carried forward for Toyota, Daimler-Benz, but also the suppliers."

You could read the other resolutions of the ICOG, like the call for May Day and various solidarity resolutions on the homepage.

At the 2nd IAC, among other things, the following resolution was passed: "The call of ICOR and ILPS on the international anti-imperialist and anti-fascist united front was discussed intensely at the 2nd IAC. The majority of the conference welcomed this initiative, at the same time there is further need for deliberation and time was short. That is why the 2nd IAC gives back the issue on the membership in the international antiimperialist and antifascist united front back to the rank and file. "

Currently, before May 1, the foundation of this united front was decided by an alliance of almost 500 organizations from 5 continents. It was proposed to the IAC again to participate in the united front and to apply for its consultative committee. However, since at the 2nd IAC the necessary 80% majority for the cooperation did not come about, the ICOG cannot decide this retroactively. The movement of the International Automotive Workers is a broad formation with diverse forces, which is still to be expanded. However, many participants and participating organizations of the IAC have signed up to participate in the anti-imperialist united front and others are considering it. Therefore, we propose that participants with an anti-imperialist view and foundation join together to form a platform in the IAC, e.g. as "Platform anti-imperialist united front in the IAC". This can become a participant of the anti-imperialist and anti-fascist united front and apply for participation in its consultative committee. Please write us back what you think about it and who would like to join in the anti-imperialist united front and in this platform.

The ICOG decided that by the end of February 2022, it will make a decision on which country will host the 3rd International Automotive Workers Conference in 2025. Applications from countries to the ICOG are now open.

We look back on a fruitful work of the ICOG since the 2nd IAC and want to further strengthen the international cooperation and coordination of the struggles of the automotive workers. The coordination group will meet in August for its next online video conference.

We look forward to continued good cooperation, many constructive contributions, information and suggestions.

Forward with the building of the International Automotive Workers Coordination!

 

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