Saturday, August 11, 2018

Trade Unions and the Challenges of the 1980s, 10th World Trade Union Congress, WFTU Havana, 1982

Vintage Leftist Leaflet Project

See the end of this post for details on the project.

Leaflet: Trade Unions and the Challenges of the 1980s, 10th World Trade Union Congress, WFTU Havana, 1982

This leaflet consists of the main document adopted by the 10th World Trade Union Congress of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU) in Havana, February 1982. The WFTU was founded in 1945 and exists to this day. It is now headquartered in Athens and its website can be found at

The WFTU consisted of trade unions that were often affiliated with or sympathetic to communist parties, the Socialist Bloc and non-aligned, anti-imperialist movements during the Cold War. 

The document deals with the various threats and dangers confronting workers and their movements globally at the time. Despite the at times mitigating influence of the Socialist Bloc and a stronger anti-imperialist movement, many of these issues are very familiar, such as the concentration of corporate wealth and power, attacks on the gains of workers and the terrible disparities between the developed and underdeveloped world. 

Notable quotes include:
Half the world's population suffers from malnutrition and many people suffer from hunger. But capitalism regularly destroys millions of tons of foodstuffs, closes down or restricts the activity of factories just to maintain high profits; capitalism also sterilises productive forces, and mutilates, twists or diverts material or human resources for the profit of national or international monopolies. 
Nowadays it is possible to use the resources of our planet rationally, economically and with the future generations in mind.But this cannot be solved by imperialism and its transnational corporations, which have provided wealth for a minority but misfortune for workers and people. This can be solved only by a working class alliance with all anti-imperialist forces. 
(click on scans to enlarge)

When The Left Chapter began part of what I wanted to do on the blog was to show and highlight vintage public leftist election/political leaflets and booklets. While many of these have been offered with commentary to date, a very large collection of hundreds of them from several different sources remains and to preserve these often quite rare documents we will be posting them on a regular (almost daily) basis now often without or with minimal commentary so that people may have access to them as quickly as possible as an historical resource.

While these will all be leaflets from a variety of different leftist viewpoints and countries, they are being posted as an historical/study resource and the views or opinions expressed in them do not necessarily reflect the views of this blog or blogger.

All of these posts (as well as posts made to date) will be listed on the page: Vintage Communist/Socialist Leaflets (which is still being updated with past posts).

If you have any public, vintage leaflets or booklets you would like to contribute to this project please contact us via

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