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As Rete dei Comunisti we had translated in full a lengthy interview with George Mavrikos, former Secretary General of the WFTU/FSM from 2005 to 2022, conducted by Luis Miguel Busto Mauleón for the Iberian online magazine rebelion.org.
The interview had been published this summer in three different parts in the Iberian magazine, and so we published it “in installments” on our website of the same name. It was later in turn translated into English by Maria Barouti and published in the online journal theoryandpraxis.eu.
This 21-question interview briefly traces the life of the world trade union leader, who was born in Scyros — a small island in the Aegean — and later moved to Athens, assuming a key role in the history of the trade union and revolutionary movement in his country, and in the “rebirth” of the World Trade Union Federation (WFTU).
In addition to the historical reconstruction of the events of which he was a protagonist, the interview ranges over various political and trade union issues with respect to today, the analysis of the present world and the tasks incumbent on the trade union and revolutionary movement.
In the pamphlet we decided to print, we kept the three-part division, taking up the different titles derived from Mavrikos’ statements, and the chronological and thematic division into five parts, respectively, “From Scyros to Athens”; “From Athens to the WFTU”; “From Havana to Rome”; “Rome, the End”; and “The WFTU of the 21st Century.”
Particularly noteworthy is the “reconstruction” work carried out in very difficult years that began with the 13th Congress of the FSM/WFTU in Damascus in 1994 and the overall revival of this experience with the 15th Congress in Havana in 2005, where the USB was “welcomed” as an observer and Mavrikos was elected Secretary General after having served as deputy secretary since the 14th Congress in New Delhi in 2000.
We preceded the interview with a contribution by Cinzia della Porta, of the National Executive of the Unione Sindacale di Base, who was unanimously elected to the Secretariat of the FSM/WFTU at the 18th Congress of the world trade union organization held this year in Rome, and followed it up with a speech by Guido Lutrario of the National Executive of USB – Federation of Social Workers.
Cinzia della Porta’s paper frames USB’s internationalist activity and its relationship with the FSM/WFTU, while Guido Lutrario’s paper reflects “in the round” on the relationship between communists and union organizing.
We think this pamphlet, which can be downloaded free of charge as an e-book version from the Communist Network website, is an indispensable tool for historical education and political debate on the function of class, combative and internationalist trade unionism and the guidelines for the reconstruction of the workers’ movement globally.
This publishing initiative is in continuity with the work of inquiry, theoretical reflection and political debate that have been carried out on the “trade union question” in recent decades by the Communist Network, an activity that can be traced in the collection of materials contained in a special section of the RdC website, that of the trade union front.
An activity that has accompanied the concrete commitment in the first person of the whole organization in the construction of a confederal trade union organization organic to the FSM/WFTU which is the Unione Sindacale di Base.