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Programme for the struggle of the International Miners' Coordination

Preamble

The 1st International Miners' Conference 2013 in Arequipa, Peru with representatives from 25 countries of four continents was a very significant step towards the unification of miners in the whole world. We were guided by the principle that we miners, together with our families, must cooperate and coordinate our struggles on an international level if we want to become a superior force against the international mining monopolies and their governments. In our founding conference we resolved that: “It is less and less possible today, isolated from each other and locally restricted, to assert ourselves against the international mining monopolies. What we need is the unity of workers worldwide!”²

 

Only on the basis of precise demands and goals, achieved through common struggle against the governments and corporations, can such a coordination progress.

1. There are more than 20 million miners worldwide who convey and extract the treasures of the ground under hard and dangerous conditions, but their living conditions are in a bad state. Not only are the wages very low, not allowing for a decent life, but often they stagnate or sink. They are out of all proportion to the work performed by them. Even a nominal wage increase becomes insignificant in view of rising costs of living. For a rise of the miners' wages which will allow for a decent life corresponding to the costs of living in the respective countries!

2. The miners are exposed to extreme conditions – we demand: Reduction of working hours with the goal of a 6-hour day with full wage compensation! In many countries today people fight for a reduction to or compliance with a maximum of 8 hours per day including wage compensation. Ban the system of indirectly enforced irregular working days as well as the extension of shift times including irregular working hours! We fight for each and every job and for new jobs out of responsibility for the youth’s future.
The miners who are continuously exposed to hard working conditions which endanger their health have a lower life expectancy. We demand a special system of early retirement for these miners including the same wage as an active worker and without conditions regarding a minimum age.

3. We demand the comprehensive treatment of illnesses and accidents which were caused by the work as well as the acceptance of costs for medical treatment and health care by the enterprises.
The highest job safety for the physical and mental health of the miners must be guaranteed by the enterprises. Worldwide safety standards for the protection of health at the highest level for all mining employees. For a dignified treatment of ill miners and their families and those who suffer an accident during the course of their work. We demand that governments and corporations do not force ill and disabled staff to continue working but provide for their full wages.

4. The feature of the replacement of regular jobs by temporary work and outsourcing has become a decisive phenomenon also within the international mining industry. To maximise profits, the capitalists resort to the reduction of labour costs. This is achieved by expanding time and temporary work as well as outsourcing. They so want to put pressure on the workers by the threat of job loss to thus lower the wages and to divide the workers so they won’t make use of and fight for their rights.
Fight division – there are no first, second or third class workers! Same wages for foreign, contract and permanent workers of the mines! We fight for the transition of contract workers into permanent staff as well as against the expansion of contract labour. Our goal is to eliminate contract labour within standard mining operations and to abolish temporary contracts as well as outsourcing.

5. In many countries of the world the trade union rights of the miners are attacked in different forms. Increasingly, trade unionists are also threatened physically in their existence or murdered on behest of the industrial and financial capital. This is a dangerous development, which must be opposed by the miners` movement. Nationalistic-chauvinist, antiprogressive and antidemocratic tendencies including anti-communism lead to division and are directed against the unity of the miners` movement – as well as the workers' movement as a whole.
We demand all governments in the world to safeguard the right of assembly and the right to negotiate. We organize strikes and demand the corporations to respect these rights.
For free union and political activity! For a complete all-rounded legal right to strike! For the trade unions as militant organizations for defending and improving our living, wage and working conditions! We are against any form of class collaboration policy on the backs of the workers and their families! We struggle for the preservation and expansion of democratic rights and freedom!

6. Today, only a few corporations control the exploitation, processing and global trade with mining products. The same corporations who are responsible for the deterioration of the employment and working conditions of the miners and their families are also responsible for the destruction of the life foundations of human beings. The greed for more and more profit has led to a massive environmental destruction as well as an unrestrained exploitation of natural resources. While annihilating traditional mining regions and hundreds of thousands of jobs for good through an eradication never seen before they tap into new sources of raw materials with destructive energy but completely disregard the rural population, indigenous people as well as natural landscapes. The workers of artisanal as well as small mining are criminalised, locked up, pursued and their means of production destroyed. They are being replaced by big mining companies, opencast mining and fracking. We respect the activities of artisanal and traditional mining companies which are conducted in due consideration of the protection of natural livelihoods. We demand that they not being criminalised and that they may organize themselves and expand their production, while work safety must be increased. The struggle of the miners for adequate living conditions must go hand in hand with the fight for the protection of their livelihoods. We oppose any play off of jobs against the preservation of our livelihoods and the division that goes with it. We need both to survive. Fight the ruinous and unlimited exploration and insatiable hunt for reserves of raw materials by the capitalist production method and the waste of raw materials by international mining and energy corporations.
Ban of the extractive opencast mining at the expense of nature and the inhabitants! Worldwide ban of fracking! The emission of carbon dioxide has to be reduced drastically in order to counter the development of an impending climate catastrophe. Use of coal as raw material instead of burning it! Environmentally sound disposal of toxic waste and environmentally hazardous materials and ban of their storage in the companies! Worldwide active resistance against the impending environmental disaster.

7. We stand for the equal rights of women. Women are paid worse and discriminated by unequal payment. We take a firm stand against sexism, sexual oppression and violence against women. Against the shifting of the burdens for the care and education of their children and the reproduction of labour power onto the families. The women and families must get a suitable compensation and support in case of illness, injury or death of family members. We fight against all forms of the special exploitation and oppression of women and support the international militant women's movement for the liberation of women.

8. For a future for the youth! For a thorough vocational training and jobs after apprenticeship. Extension of the provision on the protection of minors and struggle against the special exploitation of the miners' youth.
One of the most hideous manifestations of the capitalist system's decadence and backward economies in the world is the exploitation of child labour in the mining industry. We demand the abolition of any form of child labour’s exploitation and the guarantee of free and compulsory education for children by the state.

9. In order to rule over the raw material resources, the rural proletariat and peasants including the landless are displaced by force. Also, imperialist governments wage annihilating wars which destroy the life foundations of the oppressed. People are torn away from home and hearth and forced to lead a life as refugees. In this scenario the workers get split in urban and rural populations, different nationalities, religions as well as world outlook and are instigated against each other. People from many countries are fleeing from environmental destruction, social distress and imperialist wars. We are in solidarity with the worldwide refugee movement. We advocate that peoples must have the right to decide themselves on their future, on the issue of land and livelihood and that the mining enterprises cannot usurp big areas and ignore the peoples' interests. We support the struggle of the rural proletariat and the peasants against the expropriation of their land and livelihoods.

10. We fight for the unity of the miners. We oppose and fight against imperialist wars. We are against wars of aggression of the imperialists to secure their control over natural resources and to exert influence over numerous countries and regions. Against the sell-out of national wealth to the imperialist monopolies. We fight for world peace.

11. The IMC has the vision “of a worldwide linked miners' movement, struggling for themselves and their children to put the treasures of the soil, the water and the air into the hands of those who make them accessible by their work. They shall be used for a rich, healthy life in dignity for all people in harmony with nature – without exploitation and oppression”. ³

12. We encourage and promote manifold forms of organizations and struggle which defend the life interests of the masses. Self-organized, self-financed, democratically and ueberparteilich (non-party-affiliated). We stand up for the organizations being obliged to the interests of the workers and the broad masses, the leadership being incorruptible and the control being organized from below. Whether a concrete struggle achieves its goal or not - the International Miners' Coordination will contribute to this experience becoming part of the collective consciousness of the miners' movement and everyone learning from it. We seek the cooperation with all those who support us in that and who share our goals. We lead the struggles as a school of the class struggle in order to strengthen the militant and class-militant miners' movement. To do so, we need to inform ourselves about the new phenomena and essential changes and discuss them. All of this serves the goal to advance to a liberated society. For many of us, this means to overcome imperialism through revolution with the perspective of socialism.

13. Together we conduct the international days of struggle May Day (International Day of Struggle of the Working Class), 8 March (International Women's Day) and the International Day of Struggle to Save the Natural Environment.

14. The struggle for this programme ranges from organizing solidarity, including solidarity declarations and solidarity strikes, to international solidarity campaigns and cross-border activities.

(passed by the 2nd International Miners' Conference in February 2017 in Ghodavarikani, India and issued by the International Coordination Group, 1 July 2017)

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²Founding Resolution of the International Miners' Coordination, 3rd March 2013
³Founding Resolution of the International Miners' Coordination, 3rd March 2013