The International Liaison Committee for a Workers' International (ILC) is a multi-tendency international regroupment of trade unionists and political activists in 92 countries around Party of the Workers in France. It includes, among other groups, the Workers' Party (Algeria), O Trabalho in Brazil, Social Politics and Democracy in Germany, Workers' Information in Spain, International Workers Network in Sweden and Socialist Organizer in the United States. Many of these groups, especially the larger ones, are associated with Lambert's Fourth International (ICR). Additionally dozens of unions from around the world have also participated and joined the ILC.
The ILC was founded in Barcelona, Spain, in January 1991 at the First Open World Conference by delegates from 63 countries representing various working-class organizations and political currents "in order to help unite the working class, youth and oppressed peoples of the world to fight back against the onslaught by global capitalism". The ILC program that came out of the Barcelona Conference was based on opposition to privatisation, deregulation and war, and a "Manifesto Against War and Exploitation" was adopted on this basis.
Another central point of the ILC's platform was the defense of the independent organizations of workers throughout the world, particularly the trade unions.
The International Liaison Committee firmly believes that the emancipation of the working class from the yoke of oppression imposed by global capitalism will be achieved only by the workers themselves. In its opinion, the history of class struggle has shown that every gain has been won through the fight of independent working-class organizations. Since that first meeting, the ILC has grown into an international grouping with a presence in 94 countries.
The International Liaison Committee held three Open World Conferences—in 1991, 1993 and 1996. In February 2000, it held an Open World Conference organized jointly with the San Francisco Labor Council (AFL-CIO). Six-hundred unionists and activists, representing unions and democratic organizations from 56 countries, convened as the Open World Conference in Defense of Trade Union Independence and Democratic Rights. The delegates' final declaration stated: "Our aim is to improve living and working conditions and to defend the rights and guarantees codified in collective-bargaining agreements, labor codes and Conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO). These are the conditions for genuine peace in the world. These are the conditions for a real democracy in all countries, which can only be based upon the right of peoples to self-determination and equality between races."
In February 2002, in Berlin (Germany), the ILC, together with the Continuations Committee of the San Francisco Open World Conference and a broad Hosting Committee of German trade unionists, convened the International Conference Against Deregulation and For Labor Rights for All. For the first time in decades, an International Conference in Defense of Working Women's Rights took place on the eve of the conference against deregulation.
Since its foundation, the ILC has been involved in a permanent campaign in defense of ILO Conventions. That's why every year in Geneva, on the occasion of the ILO yearly assembly, the ILC holds a Conference for the Defense of ILO Conventions. The ILC is also involved in a campaign against Child Labor, and it participated in the various sessions of the International Tribunal Against Child Labor and Slavery.
At the same time, the ILC has organized various regional campaigns and initiatives. It supported actively the International Tribunal to Judge Those Responsible for the Murderous Course Imposed on the Peoples of Africa. The first session of this Tribunal was held in Los Angeles in February 2000 at the initiative of numerous Black organizations in the United States. A permanent campaign has been organized around the verdict pronounced by that Tribunal.
In the same way, it has organized multiple campaigns against "Free Trade" agreements—for example against NAFTA and the FTAA in the Americas, and against the Maastricht Treaty in Europe. The ILC has also organized many workers' defense campaigns, demanding the release of activists jailed for their trade unionist activity in China, Romania, Korea, Togo, and countless other countries.
The International Liaison Committee does not intend to substitute itself for the existing international workers' organizations, nor does it enter into competition with them. The ILC takes as its historical model the International Workingmen's Association -- the First International, founded in 1864 in London. The goal was then as now to organize all the currents genuinely fighting for the defense of workers, on the basis of workers' democracy, respecting their diversity, to promote united action.
On January 23 -24, 2003, the ILC organised an Emergency Conference Against War and decided to build the International Labour Movement Against War.
This is a short summary of ILC campaigns and goals. Every week, an eight-page electronic bulletin is published in three languages with international information concerning the ILC's activities.
The ILC is committed to the fight to build mass workers' parties and a Workers' International independent of all currents committed to the preservation of the status quo.
- Official site
- Open World Conference of Workers in Defense of Trade Union Independence & Democratic Rights
- The Struggle for the Independence of the Trade Unions in Latin America Today; Julio Turra
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