This MEETING “Women and trade unions fighting discrimination” brought together women and men from all over the world to discuss the problem of discrimination in society and in the labour market.
They also debated the strategies that could unite working class people in a common struggle for a more equal society.
Speakers from the trade union movement in Spain, Italy, France and Greece spoke about the particular problems womens face as their jobs in the public and service sectors are privatised, and working condtions
Elleni Portaliou from Greece said, “We know that women— and even more migrant women—occupy the worst jobs in the labour market, and are more prone to poverty and unemployment.”
Many in the meeting agreed that the most effective way of opposing discrimination is for the trade unions across Europe to fight against the neo-liberal economic agenda that forces women into working longer hours for worse pay.
This meeting on “Challenging US imperialism” was packed. In a room that holds 3,000, there were people crammed into every available space.
The meeting started like a thunder clap, with Richard Boyd Barrett from Ireland.
He argued, “We must support the resistance in Iraq regardless of what banner they march under.”
Maria Styllou from Greece was also brilliant. She talked about the weakness of their imperialism and the growing strength of our movement.
Aleida Guevara, daughter of Che, talked of the tremendous hope for the world the new movement is creating.
Some speakers from the floor raised doubts about giving unconditional support to the Iraqi resistance. The speakers replied very well, saying the best way to stop the violence in Iraq was to support the resistance.
What future world?
There was a buzz about the meeting, a feeling that we can go beyond discussing the problems with capitalism, and imagine a fundamentally different world.
Aydin Cucukzu from Turkey pointed out that capitalism limits our imagination: “It tells us fairytales about the eternal nature of capitalism which a glimpse of history shows are wrong.”
Jonathan Neale from Globalise Resistance in Britain argued that we needed a democratic world, unlike the Stalinist dictatorships but also unlike capitalist society that maintains dictatorship at work.
Susan George pointed out that we already have the wealth as half a percent of the world’s products could provide basics for everyone.