Working women, working men and all of you who are out-of-work,
You are a manual worker, an office employee, a technician, laborer, medical worker, railway worker, home-care worker, teacher, engineer; you have a part-time or a temporary job, or you are out-of-work; you are disabled, retired, or you set up your own business to make a living; you are like me a member of the working class.
All of society's wealth is produced by us, including profits and luxury goods that only a small minority can afford. Progress in transports, techology or medicine depends on us. We are the ones who get things done. Therefore our jobs, wages, pensions, working and living conditions are more important than the dividends allocated to shareholders or the golden handshakes paid to departing CEOs.
I am calling on you to defend your interests as workers and to fight back against lay-offs, job cuts, low wages, longer working hours and higher production rates.
I invite you to put forward the following basic demand: a decent job and salary for everyone.
The other candidates tell you that, if they win the election, nothing will ever be the same.
That is a lie. On the Monday after the election, what will have changed? Many of us will be standing in a line at the unemployment office or in a temporary employment agency; others will be forced to accept on-call contracts. Those who have a job will be pressured by the same corporate managers and the same all-powerful but invisible shareholders.
Workers will be served the same "competitiveness" blackmailing and will be asked to be more flexible for lower wages.
To accumulate more wealth and profits, big industrial corporations and finance companies need increased exploitation. Corporate managers will see to that.
Workers will also be confronted by bankers; by landlords who won't accept a delay in rent-payment; by state officials who give redcarpet treatment to the rich but are ruthless with ordinary folks. This is how wage-earners and jobless people are treated.
But it is also the way farmers, skilled workers or small shop-owners are treated. They will continue to be choked to death by bank managers, chain store owners, big contractors or tax authorities.
Those people whose income is in direct relation with the amount of work they do will be the indirect victims of plant shutdowns and people's plummeting purchasing power.
The purpose of the upcoming presidential election is not to change the overall social order. Only the political personnel will change—to a certain extent.
Whoever becomes the next president will carry out the policy needed by capital-owners.
The candidates who have a chance of winning the election have been carefully selected throughout their entire career on the basis of their commitment to bourgeois interests.
It is useless for us to try to figure out who is the "best" candidate. But we can use the opportunity we are offered to say that we refuse to put any hope in this rigged game.
Let us say loud and clear that we reject politicians who purportedly represent all sections of the population while they are only preoccupied with defending the privileges of the wealthy. Let us expose a system in which capital-owners enjoy each and every right while workers have nothing but obligations.
I'm asking all those who make up the working class to organize to put their demands forward.
I'm calling on workers to cast a vote upholding workers' dignity and class consciousnesss.
Together, let's make the workers' voice heard!