Laughing and dancing South African children on stage inspire the delegates

The 2nd day of the 2nd International Automobile Workers' Conference, Feb. 20/2020


The first day of the conference ended with inspiring stage performances by a young South African acting troupe and a sketch from life and a radiant, laughing, colourful and dancing crowd of children between 5 and 8 years old with their mothers.
The evening radiated a commitment to the participants of the conference to focus on the future of children and youth in their work.

This morning 42 delegates from 19 countries gathered for the first part of the delegates meeting (the second part will take place on Saturday morning). It could be felt that they were inspired by the previous evening to discuss, sometimes controversially, sometimes unanimously, but always in comradeship, collegiality and solidarity.

All delegations welcomed the draft submitted as a whole, which already included suggestions for improvement. A number of issues were discussed in greater detail:
The struggle against the environmental crisis, which is turning into a catastrophe, was seen as a strategic task of the working class, which must be emphasized on even more strongly in the programme of struggle.
The situation and the role of the working women, their particular oppression and exploitation, including their family situation, must be taken more into account, was demanded very emphatically by one delegate.
Several delegates dealt with the precarious, inhuman living and working conditions with overwork up to slave-like conditions, especially among temporary and contract workers, but also among migrants, whose interests the IAC must also take care of in order to include them in the struggles.
With regard to youth, it was stressed that young and old must fight together, that the elderly have a responsibility to educate young people to become conscious workers.
The programme of struggle should also include the need to educate the workers, a delegate said: "The workers must learn to think and act strategically.
Depending on the country and their own experiences, the role of the trade unions is seen quite differently: on the one hand, the need for large non-partisan unitary trade unions, which have to turn their members into fighting organisations; then political directional trade unions with their special problems and ideas; how the workers should deal with trade union leaders, for whom cooperation with the employers is more important than the interests of the members; up to open corruption.
Despite all the differences, the delegates agreed that the workers must organise and fight together as much as possible.
There was also agreement that the incitement by the ruling classes to fight against all those who are working for a liberated society must be fought together.

After today's first part of the delegates' meeting, everyone strengthened themselves over a lunch of noodles, vegetables and pumpkin.

In the afternoon there will be forums on the following topics, in which the themes of the struggle programme will be further deepened:
Struggle against the global environmental catastrophe; electric mobility and digitalization; workers in the struggle against legal development and fascization; for trade union unity; new imperialist countries; women power; social perspectives; xenophobia and migration.

The program and the being together at the conference offer many opportunities to make new contacts and deepen old ones.
Many solidary greetings from South Africa, tomorrow we will report further.


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