Adopted by the International Coordinating Committee
20 February 2015
Utrecht, the Netherlands
Transnational corporations (TNCs) are the organizational expression of concentrated and centralized capital and one of the principal means by which monopoly capitalists exploit and oppress working peoples throughout the world. Fifty-one of the largest one-hundred economies in the world are corporations. They hold ninety per cent of all technology and product patents worldwide, and are involved in 70 per cent of world trade.
TNCs’ ever increasing economic power is bolstered by their equally growing political power. They are involved in employing government officials, influencing important national economic policy making committees, financial contributions to political parties, and bribery. Historically, TNCs actively enlist the help of imperialist governments to further or protect their interests in underdeveloped nations which oftentimes involve, either support for local right-wing parties and vigilante groups or direct military intervention.
TNCs are also very active in pushing for their interest in international political negotiations and fora. They have aggressively lobbied multilateral economic agreements to promote free trade policies to continue driving down workers’ wages and pushing back working class’ hard-earned rights. Currently, TNCs are lobbying and promoting the Transpacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), examples of current mega-regional trade agreements being negotiated by US imperialism. These so-called 21st century trade agreements constitute a third wave of neoliberal globalization that threatens to erect and entrench a legal framework for global corporate rule and facilitate corporate exploitation of the working class.1 These mega regional agreements flout binding international labor rights conventions while ensuring greater incentives, rights and protections for investors. They put downward pressure on wages and labor standards, among many other government regulatory measures, perpetuating the race to the bottom.
Today corporate grabs are being carried out by Transnational Corporations (TNCs) on a global scale to further accumulate and concentrate profit and power into the hands of the monopoly capitalist class. TNCs plunder societies’ natural and human resources, markets, public goods and infrastructures, traditional knowledge and genetic material, thereby dispossessing the people and transferring wealth to the monopoly bourgeoisie.
The global scale of exploitation and injustice carried out by transnational corporations, multilateral agencies like the UN, IMF-WB, and WTO, and imperialist states has spurred the growth of peoples’ resistance and militant actions.
The working classes of impoverished nations is leading the fight against transnational corporations’ offensives. Apart from organizing strikes and local resistance against transnational capitalist exploitation in their respective workplace, they are also actively organizing mass actions against neoliberal globalization and are calling for fundamental changes to the global economy, abrogation of the WTO, FTAA and other imperialist trade pacts, redistribution of wealth, debt cancellation; reconstruction of world economic relations on the basis of fair trade, a just and environmentally sound international division of labour, and an end to militarism and imperialist war.
Therefore the ILPS calls on all members to support “resisTaNCe: people fighting TNCs”. This is an education-propaganda-action campaign against corporate grabs or the politics of accumulation by dispossession by TNCs. The overall aim is to promote and support mass struggles and direct actions against resource grabbing by TNCs (e.g. landgrabs); corporate grabs of public services and public assets (i.e. privatization); corporate takeover of commons (climate), traditional knowledge, genetic material, etc. as well as corporate grabs of the “fruits of labor” (i.e. wage suppression, denial of benefits, dismantling of social welfare, etc.). — focusing on the “3 Worst Corporate Grabbers”. This will entail:
Nominations for the “3 Worst Corporate Grabbers” will be solicited from the public as part of a public education campaign on corporate grabs or the politics of accumulation by dispossession. Nominations will be received until October 31, 2015 and the worst 3 companies will be announced in a public event in November during the Business and Human Rights Forum in Geneva. In the succeeding months, resisTaNCe, in coordination with nominating organizations and individuals, will hold coordinated mobilizations against these worst 3 Corporate Grabbers to expose their activities and express solidarity with the workers, peoples, and communities.
Identifying the country of operations where the 3 Worst TNCs commit the violations, the campaign will initiate solidarity campaigns that would mobilize people online and offline such as through coordinated actions against the offices of TNCs in various countries.
Initiate participatory or street journalism, where workers could send in documentation – either through written testimonies, video footage captured by mobile cameras, photographs, personal blogs – that exposes TNC abuse. Documentation could by any individual or organization with anonymity.
In coordination with labor centers and institutions, produce primers and info-sheets regarding top 3 TNCs
Facilitating educational discussions and seminars (if physical meet-ups prove to be a challenge) on burning issues, popular courses (ex: seminar on Neolib Globalization), and sharing of platforms for strategies and tactics
The ILPS also calls on all members to contribute to the new resisTaNCe website that will serve as an online platform for further promoting mass struggles directed against transnational corporations. The website will:
serve as an information hub for peoples and organizations on current imperialist offensives, especially by TNCs around the world;
provide updates on people’s struggles, particularly in the underdeveloped countries against TNCs;
encourage working class involvement through interactive content and article contribution
mobilize international support for specific campaigns and local struggles against TNCs;
share analyses and insights of activists and leaders on TNC-related issues and struggles;
provide multimedia resources and educational materials for organizations to enhance and increase their campaigning capacity;
tap and develop a pool of progressive and anti-imperialist contributors (including but not exclusive to ILPS members);
widen and deepen our contact with progressive opinion-makers, thought movers, institutions and organizations outside the ILPS.
1 The Structural Adjustment Programs imposed by International Financial Institutions in the 1970s-1980s constitute the first wave of neoliberal globalization while the multilateral trade regime established through the GATT-Uruguay Round and the World Trade Organization in the 1990s represent the second wave. This third wave builds on and deepens this global economic framework for monopoly capitalist rule.