ROLE OF WFTU IN SOVIET DRIVE IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Created: 12/14/1949

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

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SUBJECT: Hole of ft'FTU In Soviet Drive: in Southeast Asia

In tha Southeast:Asian campaign, through its:Asian labor Bureau established at tho'JI.

Peiping. The Buroau willegional'center plannifyj-and-direction of ViFTU operations throughout

addition to seeking to establish new unions in areas nherehe Bureau will operate through existing Coocninist^controlled unions-in

Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines, and tiirough oversssi Chinese labor unions.

The well-disciplined Coanninist all-China Pederaticn of Labor will . avo the dominant role in the new Asian Aabor Bureau, ahich la located* in Peiping. Ifcscow-trained Li Li-san, the leading Chinese labor organizer, currently in charge of the Chinese Communist trade union training program, is expected to have on important part in directing tlie Bureau. The Bureau sill consequently beood position to harness the resources of the Chineae Co muni at labor federation to tho task of penetrating the labor move-aente of Southoaat Asia.

A major pert of the Asian Labor Bureau's activities will

devoted to gaining control over such national labor federations as tlie Burmese Trade Union Congress, the Thai Central Labor Union, the Union of Indonesian Workers Organizations, and the Philippine Congress of Labor. The Bureau will almost certainly instruct theunions in these countries to bring inoroacing prcnuure upon the national organizations to affiliate with the nFTU. As part of this campaign, and in an atter.pt to create further opportunities for Cocnonisthese Comcunlst elements will probably0 resort increasingly to local strikes, coordinated boycottsstern

Icnal. labor federations or to' enioy

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Chinese workers are to be found in smaller.numbers

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i the; large, number of Chinese workers' throughout' theori Jessie, inj; Thailand and Ualaya, the labor force is heavilyChinese ho are organized in'

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Philippines. These Chinese unions willatural tenancy to .'turn; for guidance and leadership to the Chinese Comnuhlst national' labor federation and hence will be loore susceptible to direction by the Asian Labor Bureau, koreover, Chinese Communist labor agitators will probably have greater latitude to operate throughout the area after' the SoutheastAsian governments recognize the Chinese Communist regiae.

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3* Probable Results of aTTU Drive.,

Although tho hlTU drive nlll be less effective in areas still occupied! by troops of the colonial powersaya and French-occupiedt say achieve considerable auccess in the independent countries, especially Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines. Factors favoring the suajjess of the SFTH drivehe unfamiliar ity of nAtlve governments and non-Communist labor with WFTU tactics andhe continued failure of the Weatern national labor organizations to eatablish close soiling liaison with native labor leaders;he comparative weakness and immaturity of the Nehru-oriented, anti-Communist Asian Labor Federation. To the extent" that the native governments and other non-Communist forces in Southeast Asia fail tothese weaknesses and to take decisive action against Communist-led labor union, open cooperation between the KFTD and the national lcbor federations in Burma, Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines ^UlW-esult.

If the Communists succeed in establishing effective control over the Southeast Asian labor movements, the IBS ft will have made considerable progress toward political/ domination of the area. Control of the labor force would increase the Communist potential for undermining economic stability in these countries, and would provide the basis of support for "united front* movements and paramilitary units, aa well as for the extension of.Chinese Coraiuhist influence throughoutjSoutheast Asia.

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