The Voice of Coloured Labour. George Padmore (editor) 1945

8. Conference Decisions.

The Conference, before it broke up, issued Resolutions on the subjects which had been discussed at its sessions. Its Resolutions on the Peace Settlement contained 33 paragraphs, three of which have particular bearing on the Colonies and are of specific importance to the subject peoples. These read as follows:

18. This World Conference rejoices in the declared purpose of the Allied Governments to give effect to the principles of the Atlantic Charter, by recognising and defending the right of all peoples to choose the form of Government under which they will live. The resolve of the Allied Governments to secure the restoration of sovereign rights and self-government to the peoples who have seen their democratic institutions ruthlessly uprooted, and jointly to assist the people in every liberated country to create the conditions in which stable and representative Governments, resting upon the free consent of the people, can come into existence, will have the support of the Trade Union Movement.

20. The Trade Union Movement will look to the San Francisco Conference to set the seal of final agreement upon the policy which the leaders of the three Great Powers have consistently pursued since they framed the Atlantic Charter, and reaffirmed and amplified at the Moscow and Teheran Conferences, in which their unity of purpose was strengthened. In those historic meetings, the desire of the peoples of alt countries, great or small, for collaboration and active participation on the part of their Governments in the sacred task of ridding the world of tyranny, slavery, oppression, and racial and religious intolerance, found expression; and this World Conference is profoundly convinced that with the coming of peace the freedom-loving peoples over all the earth will give their support and countenance only to those Governments that will co-operate in framing and maintaining the Charter.

25. In the view of this World Conference, it is likewise necessary to bring to an end the system of colonies, dependencies and subject countries as spheres of economic exploitation, and to facilitate immediately the development of free Trade Unions in those countries. In the coming peace, the foundations must be laid with all possible speed, and in accordance with Article 3 of the Atlantic Charter, of a world order in which non-self-governing communities and nations can attain the status of free nations that will enable them to govern themselves and to develop their own institutions of free citizenship.

Post-war reconstruction and immediate trade union demands included in the resolution on this subject have wide implications, and there is no doubt that they can be applied to Colonial territories with resultant great advantages. They are more or less summed up in the final paragraph:

19. In conclusion this World Trade Union Conference which demonstrates so effectively the unity of organised Labour throughout the world proclaims the following charter of basic Trade Union and workers’ rights, the recognition of which it is determined to secure’ in all countries and their dependencies.

(a) Workpeople shall be free to organise themselves in Trade Unions and to engage freely in all normal Trade Union activities, including that of collective bargaining.

(b) Workpeople shall be free to establish co-operatives and any other mutual aid organisations.

(c) There shall be freedom of speech, press, assembly, religion and political association.

(d) Every form of political, economic or social discrimination based on race, creed, colour or sex shall be eliminated, and in this sense equal pay for equal work shall be established. In cases where young people are doing adult work they shall receive the adult rate of pay.

(e) There shall be equality of educational and vocational opportunities for all people.

(f) There shall be suitable employment available at adequate rates of pay for all requiring work.

(g) There shall be adequate protection in all the circumstances of life where this is required to guarantee social and economic security to every citizen.