Arab and Foreign Trade Unions Meet in Damascus to Voice Solidarity with Syrian Workers against Economic Siege

DAMASCUS, (ST)- More than 100 Arab and foreign trade unions plus tens of intellectuals, journalists as well as political and social activists are taking part in the 3rd International Trade Unions Forum on Solidarity with the Syrian Workers and People against terrorism, economic siege and imperialist intervention which  kicked off today in Damascus under the patronage of President Bashar Al-Assad.

Prime Minister Imad Khamis, who represented President Al-Assad in the two-day event, said in the opening speech that "terrorism is a danger that faces all countries, including those supporting, funding and investing it to serve their political purposes". He pointed out that Syria has always warned of such schemes.

Among the topics to be discussed during the conference are the illegality of the unilateral coercive economic measures imposed on the Syrian people from the international law's perspective and the negative impacts of sanctions and blockade policies on the Syrian workers and people; policies that go in harmony with terrorism.

The role that can be played by trade unions, civil society organizations and media outlets in uncovering the takfiri mentality and the political hypocrisy of the countries supporting terrorism will also be discussed besides the importance of solidarity among the peoples of the world in the fight against terrorism.

A special session will be dedicated to voice solidarity with the Syrian people and workers , during which conferees will discuss a role by trade unions and civil society parties in pressuring the governments which support terrorism and in uncovering these government's involvement in the unfair economic siege imposed on the Syrian people.

The prime minister highly appreciated the role played by the Syrian workers in the battle against terrorism through supporting the Syrian Arab army and through insisting to continue working in their factories, offices, establishments , schools, universities, hospitals and laboratories despite terrorist attacks.

"More than 9000 state workers have sacrificed their lives so that their institutions continue working. The number of the wounded workers increased to 14,000 while the number of the kidnapped workers reached 3000," he said, pointing out that the terrorists committed unprecedented massacres in Adra al-Omalyea area in Damascus countryside; massacres that are matchless except in the history of Nazism and Zionism.

He affirmed that the forum is an important hub in the struggle of trade unions and workers organizations in the international arena. It is an opportunity for all participants to exchange viewpoints aiming to unify stances and decisions on the schemes that target peoples' legitimate rights and aspirations in order to make the hoped-for change in the international official and popular stances.

On his part, Jamal al-Qaderi, Chairman of the General Federation of Trade Unions, explained the economic war that has been targeting the Syrian people represented in the economic blockade and the unilateral coercive economic measures imposed on Syria. He stressed that this economic war in itself is a kind of terrorism that went in harmony with the terrorist attacks which targeted factories as well as other production and service sites inside the country and sought stealing the resources of the Syrian economy.

He asserted that despite the terrorist danger, the Syrian workers have been keen on keeping the production wheel in their factories and facilities operating to help their country withstand and surpass the crisis.  

George Mavrikos, the General Secretary of the World Federation of Trade Unions, stressed the federation's support for the struggle of the Syrian people against foreign intervention and terrorism.

He said that he is proud of supporting Syria's workers since the beginning of the terrorist war on Syria.

Hamda Mustafa