11.9 Opening Address
President of DORO-CHIBA(National Railways Motive Power Union of Chiba)
I thank you all for joining in today's rally from all over Japan. I
am also most grateful to the colleagues of the KCTU from South Korea and
the colleagues from the US headed by the ILWU for coming a long way to
this meeting. As an opening address, let me greet you on behalf of the
sponsoring three unions.
I should like to make a proposition in the beginning of the rally in the
name of the sponsors.
The KCTU faces now an extremely severe situation under repression on labor
movement and discrimination of irregular workers by the Roh Moo-Hyun administration
even surpassing the late military dictatorship in its brutality. In protest
against this, five workers committed suicide this year. On October 31
in the emergency delegates meeting of the KCTU, a resolution has been
passed to wage a general strike on November 12. Today in Seoul a National
Rally of 100,000 workers is being held.
My proposition is: to hold this rally as solidarity meeting with the simultaneously
held National Workers Rally in Seoul and with the planned general strike.
To confirm this I should like to propose to adopt a resolution in the
name of all the participants of this rally as follows:
We demand the Roh Moo-Hyun administration to immediately stop all repressive
measures on labor movement!
Stop claim for damages and seizure of property/wage of unionists as counter-measures
Release all the detained workers for labor dispute and withdraw unlawful
Stop policy of discriminating irregular workers!
I ask you to approve this proposition with hearty applause of all the
Workers in the US headed by the ILWU are also fighting against invocation
of the Taft-Hartley Act and repression in Oakland. They are diametrically
opposed to labor-management collaborationism of the AFL-CIO officials
and are fighting back war, repression and privatization to tremble the
This is the sixth meeting organized under the slogan of "Let us make
a national network of fighting labor unions". We have not imagined,
however, until several months ago that such a wonderful rally of international
solidarity might be held. What has made us unite is above all the actual
situation around us. "September 11, 2001" and "March 20,
2003" (start of the Iraq war of aggression) have changed the whole
world. Naked imperialist policy headed by the US is prevailing and severe
attack is violently storming workers. Confronting with this situation,
we have been fighting in firm and absolute conviction that only united
power of workers can prevent war and that only united struggle of workers
can change the present world. Now our aspiration has become one.
Joint struggle of Japanese, US and Korean workers basically constitutes
an actual power to stop preparation for aggressive war on North Korea
(Democratic People's Republic of Korea) by the Bush and Koizumi administrations.
Workers of the world are now going to regain the power to create a new
age in unity. Labor unions, once driven to the edge of a cliff, have begun
a fresh struggle, reviving the fighting power everywhere in the world.
This is an evident manifestation of a dynamic beginning of a new history
of workers' struggle that nothing can prevent.
The Koizumi administration has stepped into a path of a fresh war through
the legislation of three Emergency Laws and is intending to dispatch the
Self-Defense Forces to Iraq. Bush as well as Koizumi is flaming up chauvinism
against the North Korea in preparation for the next war.
The corporate leaders are pushing on with dismantling of labor legislation
and social security system and enforcing a large-scale privatization according
their policy to "put 9 out of 10 workers into unstable employment",
propagating fisticuff law or struggle for existence. Thus a large number
of workers have been thrown into stormy restructuring, bankruptcy and
wage-cut, while militant labor movement is exposed to severe attacks.
The official labor movement with the RENGO (Japanese Trade Union Confederation)
at the head has surrendered to this capitalist offensive and has shifted
to the other side of the demarcation line between labor and management.
It supports the Emergency Legislation and agrees to the retrogressive
revision of the labor laws, wage-cut and worsening of working conditions;
it has almost completed its degradation into an "Association of Industrial
Patriots". ZENROREN (National Trade Union Council) makes no exception.
In regard to the struggle of fired 1047 workers of National Railways,
the union officials handed over to the police several of them, who insisted
on continuing the struggle. Surprisingly enough the very union leader
who worked as general secretary of the NRU headquarters on the union convention
in September and enforced these disciplinary measures, ran away from NRU
Against this background, a massive revolt of workers has been launched
overcoming the traditional division between the national centers, such
as RENGO and ZENROREN. A new trend of labor movement is emerging overcoming
the hindrance by the RENGO officials, as was illustrated in the recent
struggle against the Emergency legislation which was organized by the
land, sea, air and port 20 unions and organizations with the participation
of tens of thousands workers. Among others our struggle has sent impressive
message to the whole world and fighting friends have begun gathering around
Today I should like to appeal above all to rise up together for a fundamental
change of the miserable present situation of labor movement. The time
is ripe; the voice of anger is full.
As a result of the dissolution of SOHYO (General Council of Trade Unions
of Japan) and forming of RENGO in 1989, Japanese labor movement has been
brought to the brink of disbanding. We are now here to declare a creation
of Japanese labor movement anew from the beginning with our own hands.
Workers are the masters of the society. Workers create the history. If
each of us, participant of today's rally, organizes 10 comrades, our fighting
power will soon be several tens of thousands. Let's gather the voice of
anger at workplaces and communities and unite them nationwide and round
Today is the day of the General Election in Japan. There is no political
party in Japan to fight with workers for their interests, although all
sacrifices are shifted on the shoulder of working class and the whole
world is threatened by new wars. Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is stepping
straightforward into the way for war and revision of the Constitution.
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) as well admits the Emergency legislation
and revision of the Constitution and is competing with LDP in promoting
restructuring, deregulation and privatization. Even Japan Communist Party
(JCP) is now becoming a part of national partnership through revising
its party program. Workers are all angry at this political situation.
Today's rally represents their voice of indignation. For all this our
rally is making a new start.
Let's repel the aggression of masse unemployment through the unity of
all the workers. Let us overthrow the reactionary Koizumi administration
of war and revision of the Constitution. Let us develop joint struggle
and international solidarity of Japanese, US and Korean workers. Let us
organize nation-wide network of fighting labor movement. Stop the dispatch
of the SDF to Iraq.
This is my opening address. Thank you.