Conference of workers' Organizations in Geneva
Against the slave labor code in Russia.

Translated by sabocat, 18 February 2001

The seventh international conference, organized by the International Liason Committee of Workers and Peoples and the Union des Cercles pour une Politique Ouvriere), was held on 11 June 2000 in Geneva, with the theme: "Defense of the Independence of the Unions and the International Labor Organization (ILO)".

This conference was held in parallel to the annual session of the ILO and was dedicated to the defense of Convention No. 103, concerning the protection of the work of women, which is under threat of revision and denunciation by the governments of a number of states.

The representative of the Multi-regional Alliance of Workers Unions Defense of Labor, and co-chair of the Samara Alliance of Workers Unions Defense, Svetlana Baiborodova took part in the conference at the invitation of The French comrades. She gave a report on the theme: The Russian Government Plans to Abolish Fundamental Labor Rights.

It's necessary to express great gratitude to the organizing committee of the conference, and especially to Max Robert, for the help received in preparing the materials from Russia for distribution among the participants of the conference, and for the attention paid to the problems of the Russian Workers' Movement.

The complete set of documents, distributed to participants of the conference, included: the report of the Representative of the Alliance Defense of Labor, a press release concerning the general Russian campaign against the adoption of the government draft of the Labor Code Down With The New Labor Code, The Code of Slavery!, a leaflet about the Defense union, as well as an appeal of the Committee of Russian-Kazakhstan Solidarity Stop the New Wave of Repressions in Kazakhstan!.

At the end of the report on the government draft of the Labor Code, Svetlana Baiborodova spoke about the struggle of the Kazakhstan comrades, the repressions of the Hazarbaevsky regime against them, and the need to organize solidarity with them.

Both of these problems gained the attention and the enthusiastic response of those attending the conference. Two short declarations were made in the name of the conference to the Russian authorities with a protest against the government's draft Labor Code and to the Kazakhstan authorities with demands to end the repressions against worker activists. The participants at the conference signed the petitions.

Svetlana Baiborodova also delivered copies of telegrams and faxes of protest against the government draft Labor Code, directed to President Putin and to the State Duma by workers organizations of France, Spain, Portugal and Switzerland.

The declaration concerning the Labor Code and the repressions in Kazakhstan were also distributed to the personal mailboxes of the representatives of workers' delegations of each country taking part in the work of the ILO session. The French comrades provided a set of documents for the 88th session of the ILO to the Alliance "Defense of Labor".

Contacts were established with the representatives of workers' organizations of Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Egypt, Portugal, Pakistan and a few other countries.

The participants at the conference spoke about the social-economic position of their countries, about the situation of ratification and implementation of conventions of the ILO and about the union activists' struggle to uphold labor rights. Comrades from Pakistan reported arrests of union leaders who were driving back a few weeks after visiting strikes, and called for extension of the protest campaign.

Declarations of support for the Pakistan comrades were adopted by the conference, as well as a resolution on the inadmissabililty of denunciations of ILO convention No. 103 on the protection of women's labor, and continuation of the international campaign of protest against revision of the ILO conventions.


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