Saturday, 17 December 2016

Pensioners International Conference at Kathmandu!

“Let us unite all the Pensioners and Retired
TUI - International Conference of Pensioners & Retired

“Let us unite all the Pensioners and Retired” – was the slogan of the TUI P&R international conference at Kathmandu! The WFTU (World Federation of Trade Unions) is a Federation of trade unions functioning at international level for unifying the working class. It is a class oriented trade union organization. There are different Trade Union International wings under WFTU for different sectoral employees. In the year 2014 the WFTU had founded a new TUI body for Pensioners and Retired in an international conference at Barcelona (Spain).  Since then this TUI Pensioners and Retired international organization is organising the pensioners and retired employees of various countries.

The TUI Conference at Barcelona had decided to organise continent wise conferences of pensioners organisations. Accordingly the international conferences of American Continent, African Continent and for Europe Continent were organised recently. Pensioners organizations from 25 countries participated in the Regional Conference of America held at Ecuador in September 2016. 42 countries participated in the Regional Conference for Europe held at Denmark. The African Regional Conference also was a huge success. In the same manner the Regional Conference of TUI Pensioners & Retired has been organised for Asia Pacific Region in Nepal. The Conference was organised in the capital city of Nepal the “Kathmandu” on 3rd December 2016. AIPRPA participated in this international conference as an affiliate of TUI P&R. Comrade K.Ragavendran the General Secretary of AIPRPA had attended and took part in the debate also. NCCPA (National Coordination Committee of Pensioners Associations) was represented by its Secretary General Comrade KKN.Kutty. Comrade VAN.Namboodiri the Patron of AIBDPA as well as the Technical Committee Member of TUI P&R was part of the presidium of the Conference. Delegates and visitors from SAIL (Steel Authority of India, West Bengal) also participated.

Delegates from Nepal, India, China and Bangladesh attended the Conference. TUI P&R President Comrade Dimos Koumporis from Greece guided the Conference on behalf of the headquarters organization. The inaugural and open session of the Conference was attended by plethora of leaders from various organizations and political leaders. Comrade Bamdev Gautam former Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal addressed as the Chief Guest. The Deputy Director of International Labour Research Division of All China Federation of Trade Unions Comrade Zheng Haixin was one of the distinguished guests. Comrade K.C.Mohan Bahadur the Vice President of TUI P&R and many Parliament Members and leaders of Pensioners as well leaders of Confederation of Nepalese Professionals (CONEP) attended and addressed. Comrade VAN.Namboodiri from the presidium also addressed the open session and explained the attacks on pensioners and the resistance developing against the attacks in India.

The Open Session began with the initial presentation of the TUI P&R President Comrade Dimos. Delegates of participating countries addressed on various issues concerning pensioners and retired. NCCPA Secretary General explained the conditions of Civil Pensioners in India and the attack on pension in the shape of NPS. Comrade K.Ragavendran General Secretary AIPRPA explained the need to strengthen the unity and united action of pensioners and retired and suggested various organizational steps to be taken in that direction by the TUI P&R. Comrade VAN.Namboodiri also pointed out the main issues faced by the Pensioners in India. Delegates from SAIL spoke about the condition of retired in the Steel Authority of India, who are not covered under any pension schemes. The summing up speech was again made by the TUI President Comrade Dimos.

The TUI Conference took many important decisions. It was observed that the problems of pensioners and retired are common all over the world. It was decided that a strong organization is a prerequisite to wage a strong fight against the capital, which is attacking the social security under liberalization. As the Capital does not want any rights for the Pensioners and Retired, it has begun to confiscate pension also. The TUI Conference came to the conclusion that the lost rights of pensioners and workers are to be won back through our strong organizations and united movement.

The TUI Conference at Kathmandu elected a Committee including the representatives from India for concentrating the task of strengthening the TUI Pensioners & Retired. There are three members from India in the Committee. Comrade D.Gopalakrishnan the TUI Organising Secretary for Asia; Comrade VAN.Namboodiri Member of the Technical Committee of TUI P&R; and Comrade Swapan Mazumdar (SAIL) are elected as the representatives from India.

The TUI Kathmandu Conference adopted a ‘Kathmandu Declaration” unanimously on the conditions prevailing and the tasks before us. The main speech of the TUI President Comrade Dimos as well as the “Kathmandu Declaration” is printed elsewhere in this issue. The Regional Conference of TUI P&R is an important step in building the organization in the Asian Continent, which is the most populous continent in the world. 

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