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[Spanish State] Towards the General Strike

category iberia | workplace struggles | press release author Friday July 01, 2011 21:35author by CGT - CNT - SO - CSC Report this post to the editors

The trade-union organizations CGT, CNT, SO and CSC are moving for mobilization for shared demands, debated and adopted by the workers with a view towards a general strike. [Castellano] [Italiano]

Towards the General Strike

The Confederación General del Trabajo (CGT), Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT), Solidaridad Obrera (SO) and Coordinadora Sindical de Clase (CSC) trade unions met on 24 June 2011 in Madrid to evaluate a response to the unprecedented attack on the workers suffering as a result of cuts and the loss of political rights imposed on them by the government and the European institutions at the behest of the bosses and the markets, and against which we must respond with a coordinated campaign based on class unity and action.

The various participating unions are agreed in their complete rejection of policies which - with successive labour reforms, pension cuts, the reform of collective and social bargaining and public service cuts - once again expect the workers and the weaker layers of society to pay for the capitalist crisis.

We also agree on the need to give a common response, above our differences, so that we can move towards workers' unity through mobilization and struggle, with the participation of all those unions, workers' collectives and social movements who are opposed to the policy of demobilization and social partnership promoted by the institutionalized trade unions, the CCOO and UGT.

We believe it is necessary to break with a model of trade-union practices that over the past 30 years have led to a continual loss of rights and that at this time of acute capitalist crisis has demonstrated its complicity and the absence of any will or ability to respond to the attacks on the working class. It is a model that has promoted an institutionalized form of trade-unionism, at the service of the State, aimed at impeding mobilization and the effective participation of the working class in autonomous trade-union organizations that are prepared to struggle.

The reform of collective bargaining, that is currently going through parliament and that will lead to further serious loss of rights, is just another turn of the screw in the search to control labour unrest and social struggle, consolidating this institutional 2-union syndicalism and further diminishing the ability of other union organizations to act and the freedom of the workers.

The 24 June meeting is the first step in a process of united mobilization that over the coming months will produce common demands, debated and approved by the workers, whose objective is a General Strike with the capacity to stand up to the current onslaught and move towards the conquest of new social rights.

Events since the demonstration on 15 May have broken the climate of passivity and have moved us into a phase of mobilization that is unprecedented since the beginning of the crisis, which must now move into the workplaces and place the workers' social and economic demands at the centre of public debate, by contributing to this movement with the tools necessary for confrontation and struggle in the economic and labour fields, and complementing the social and political demands with concrete action against capitalism.

The situation demands that we respond proportionally with a force that is equal to that of the measures imposed on the workers. We thus believe it is essential not only to continue with the labour struggles we are carrying on at the moment, but also to move ahead, break once and for all with the model of institutionalized trade-unionism and create a precendent in which it is the class-struggle trade unions who set the pace through offensive action to achieve our goals.

Translation by FdCA-International Relations Office

author by Lucien van der Waltpublication date Tue Jul 12, 2011 17:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just curious: what is the political / ideological position of the Coordinadora Sindical de Clase (CSC), and does it have links with the historic anarchist/ syndicalist tradition in Spain, like the CGT, CNT and SO?

author by Manu Garcíapublication date Wed Jul 13, 2011 07:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

CSC is a syndical front promoted by the PCPE, a party linked with the Greel KKE or the Portuguese PCP.

The organisations that signed that statement are pushing for the class unity against the social cuts and the capitalist offensive, trying to convoke all the forces that share that perspective.

We are not trying to arrange the unity of action of those who reclaim themselves from the libertarian tradition, but of all the people and organisations disposed to fortify the class struggle and that reject the so called "social pact" (between expoliters and exploited).

The contacts are not between CNT, CGT, SO and CSC, but with other class-struggle forces too, like the Andalusian SAT or the COBAS (with militants that left from CCOO).

author by Lucien van der Waltpublication date Wed Jul 13, 2011 21:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks - it sounds like a good initiative and a good class front. Can you tell me more about the politics of the Andalusian SAT and COBAS?

author by Manu Garcíapublication date Thu Jul 14, 2011 02:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The SAT (Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores, Andalusian Workers Union) is the new name of the SOC (Sindicato de Obreros del Campo, Landworkers Union). The landlordism is still a heavy reality in the rural areas of Andalusia, the SOC was born in the 70s, after the dead of Franco, for organising the casual laborers (that in some towns are the 90% of the population) and fighting for a land reform (giving the land to the peasants). Politically, in first instance they were under the influence of a Maoist Party so strong in the first years after Franco, the PT (Partido del Trabajo, Labour Party), but some years after they broke with it, the party disappeared and the union created a political instrument, the CUT (Candidatura Unitaria de Trabajadores, Workers Unity Candidacy), that now is inside the political front IU (Izquierda Unida, Left United) hegemonized by the Communist Party and that is the third parlamentarian force in number of votes in the Spanish State. The CUT mantain a radical position inside the political debate inside that front, for example they sustain the right of self-determination of the Basque Country and are close to its independendist left. The CUT controls several town councils in the rural areas of Cadis, Seville, Cordoba and Jaen and in some of them, like Marinaleda, develops a very advanced social politics. His mayor, Juan Manuel Sánchez Gordillo (Andalusian deputy too), although he comes from that Maoist Party, reclaims himself from a strong libertarian communist influence. The same with some local sections, like Morón de la Frontera, that has a solid class struggle and mass organisation line.

COBAS is a recent organisation, formed some years ago. It was born at iniciative of collectives of militants of CCOO (one of the two biggest unions in Spain, tradicionally linked to the Communist Party) opposed to the line of class colaboration of that organisation. First, they formed a "critical area" inside the union, but then one part of that area split and formed COBAS. Their main force is in the Communication sector (Telefónica Movistar) but they are still small.

We are trying to create a broad front formed by all the people determined to fight, and that entail coordinating the class organisations at the left of the CCOO-UGT (and the few sectors inside them we can convoke) tandem and the social space of the independentist/nationalist left-wing forces of Basque Country, Catalonia and Galicia for a common action.

My personal point of view (shared by many comrades of the above-mentioned organisations and currents and growing more and more) is that we have a strong need of putting together all the real class vanguards (the people who is leading processes of organisation and creating popular power in its territories, companies and sections) and learning one of each other, for building a real and solid revolutionarian movement in the Spanish State, capable of being an important force in the whole Spanish political life, not only in some places or moments.

author by Lucien van der Waltpublication date Thu Jul 14, 2011 03:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thank you for this information, and inspiring news.

Red and black regards

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