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Founding Resolution of the International Miners' Coordination

Arequipa/Peru, 3 March 2013

Miners worldwide –together for a future worth living for!

We miners are standing up worldwide for our interests and those of our families. In 2011/2012 alone there were a number of powerful strikes and struggles of hundreds of thousands of miners in South Africa, the Congo, Chile, Peru, Colombia, Australia, Indonesia, Poland, Spain, Italy, the Philippines, etc. for higher wages, for political and trade union rights, for the defense of the natural foundations of life or against the plundering of the country by the international mining enterprises. The struggles within the past months express how the miners are less and less willing to accept the increasing exploitation. They demand a considerable improvement of their living standard, rights and liberties for doing trade-union work and conducting strikes. They are less and less letting themselves be intimidated by state violence, as the platinum miners in South Africa vehemently showed. There and in struggles like in Spain, Peru or Colombia, miners have become an important point of orientation for the struggle of the broad masses.

We miners and our families are challenged more than ever before. The reorganization of international capitalist production since the end of the 1980s has led to drastic changes in our living and working conditions. Since the beginning of the world economic and financial crisis in 2008, the international mining enterprises, together with major banks and governments, accelerated the re-structuring of the mining and energy sector. That led to deep cuts in the living conditions of many millions of people. An unimaginable over-exploitation of raw material and our nature is being conducted – only for maximum profit. Thousands of miners die every year or are severely injured due to disregard of safety standards. Entire areas are being devastated, rivers contaminated and people displaced. We will not allow that to happen anymore!

The foundation of our lives and that of all mankind are being threatened by the change of the world climate. Nature must no longer be utilized for ruthless plundering of raw materials and irresponsible energy production for the benefit of the monopoly capital. Wasting valuable raw material undermines the livelihood of the succeeding generations, too. We will no longer tolerate that the preservation of the natural environment and our jobs are being played off against each other by the mining monopolies and governments subordinated to them! Instead of relying on regenerative energies and the sheer inexhaustible power of the sun, the energy enterprises are starting internationally with gas-fracking**)) for instance, also from coal seams. The intention is to cease shaft mining in many countries in favor of this insanity. This would

lead to millions of jobs all over the world being rationalized away, the ground water and the living environment in entire regions being contaminated and the global warming being accelerated. The adventurous destruction of the earth crust furthermore causes earthquakes, contaminates the vital deep water resources and has a number of further negative consequences for the vital biosphere of the earth crust.

For the sake of maximum profits and power, energy and raw material are being wasted, wars are being led and the working and living conditions are being worsened with the privatization of the national wealth and its sellout to the international enterprises. All this has also become the subject of speculation at the expense of the broad masses.

What we want instead is a future worth living for, for the people, for us and our children!

The "International Miners' Coordination" 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. We want to struggle for this together and internationally.

Those in power know about their weakness. Therefore, they try to play us off against each other. Today, in the entire world, they divide the working class in nationalities. Hate-mongering against other people and our class brothers and sisters in other countries serves this purpose. Work forces are more and more being divided into permanent workers, agency workers, contract workers or temporary workers. The miners working in craft mining are played off against those in the large industry, etc. They try to disarm us with the method of class collaboration! We have experienced thousands of times that their talking about "coming out of the crisis together" only aims at our giving up the struggle and subordinating ourselves to the interests of the mining monopolies in their struggle for a share of the world market, and our carrying all the burdens.

Today, it is less and less possible to assert your interests against the international mining monopolies if you are isolated from each other and locally restricted. What we need is the unity of workers worldwide!

130303 IMC demoThe hundreds of millions of industrial workers all over the world are facing a few ruling international monopolies and the governments submissive to them. The miners alone internationally constitute a mighty army of 22 million. They can become a superior force if they overcome their fragmentation and struggle together, internationally united.

The miners, the peasants, the environmentalists and the other social and peoples' movements must unite and cooperate worldwide. In doing so, we can successfully coordinate our struggles and develop them further.

In order to do so, we unite in the International Miners' Coordination. It is an international form of organization of the militant and class-militant miners' movement of the world, to better struggle and achieve our common aims.

The International Miners' Coordination wants to strengthen the unity and struggling power of the miners' movement worldwide as well as its support in the mining regions and the respective countries.

We do not regard ourselves as being in competition to existing trade unions. We want strong, militant trade unions and stand up for that. We need diverse forms of organization to struggle for our vital interests. We seek the cooperation with all those supporting us or sharing our goals.

The International Miners' Coordination is conscious of the dimensions of this task, but also about the necessity to take it on. Time and patience, mutual understanding and trust are needed. We gain this by exchanging and learning from diverse experience, traditions and cultures on eye level and on equal footing.

Trust needs to grow step by step in the democratic debate, in the common preparation and implementation of internationally coordinated activities of solidarity, joint struggle and its development to a higher state.

Hence, all important questions of work, life, of demands and slogans, forms of struggle and organization, the environment, youth and families, etc. were issue of the deliberations and decisions of the 1st International Miners' Conference in Arequipa/Peru.

The 1st International Miners' Conference was closely linked with the rank-and-file and integrated it on a broad level in the preparations and the holding of the conference. Relying on them, all difficulties were overcome.

This success was based on an international process, which was

- prepared and conducted by all participants on equal footing and democratically,

- financially independent and

- organized by all together and independently

This must be abided by in future.

130303GeneralversammlungThe International Miners' Conference remains the fundamental method of the International Miners' Coordination and rests on 3 pillars:

  • The General Assembly of the delegates from countries with mining or with a mining tradition. It takes decisions on tasks, intentions etc. of the International Miners' Coordination. Every participating country has 5 votes and a maximum of 5 delegates. The miners' movement in each country needs to find ways to agree on its delegates. The General Assembly elects an exclusively coordinative group to coordinate the work between the conferences. It further decides on country and date of the next conference.

  • Open discussion forums and plenaries, which allow and promote a broad participation of individuals, initiatives and organizations of the miners' movement and their friends. Issues of the worldwide situation and struggles of the miners and their families are to be intensively deliberated there. They will be suggested and prepared by the various participants.

  • Cultural events to fraternize, allowing the broad participation of the population and integrating them.

Our principles for the cooperation in the International Miners' Coordination are:

  • Mutual support and solidarity in the struggle for a future worth living for, for the miners and their families.

  • Equal rights for all participants.

  • Autonomous decision of all participating forces on their positions and activities.

  • Commitment of all forces to contribute to the coordination of the worldwide miners' movement and to responsibly take over tasks, corresponding to their different capabilities.

  • Non-interference in the organization and matters of other participants.

  • A democratic culture of debate on eye level, mutual respect.

  • Ueberparteilichkeit (above party lines) and openness on questions of world outlook, simultaneously exclusion of organizations hostile to workers.

  • Financial independence and obligation of all participants to contribute to finance common activities, corresponding to their possibilities and based on the people.

The General Assembly elects an International Coordinating Group (ICG)and an auditor. It gives account of its work at every following conference. Its task is the coordination of the cooperation on equal footing, information and mutual support in the worldwide miners' movement between the conferences:

  • It moderates the international website www.minersconference.org, which publishes contributions from all participants.

  • It can call for international solidarity campaigns and activities of the miners' movement across country borders.

  • It determines a cashier from its ranks.

Los mineros unidos, jamás serán vencidos!

(Unanimously adopted by the miners' delegates from 19 countries;
edited by the elected International Coordinating Group [ICG])

*) In gas-fracking, chemicals and water are pressed with high pressure into deeply-lying strata of rock containing gases, in order to break them up and extract the gas contained. Fracking is also utilized to extract oil today.