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Croatia: Solidarity with shipyard workers

category balkans region | workplace struggles | other libertarian press author Thursday August 06, 2009 06:48author by Juraj Katalenac - The Network of Anarcho-Syndicalists (MASA)author email at masa-hr dot org Report this post to the editors

Call for solidarity with Croatian shipyard workers.

Since the Croatian government and the existing political elites want to see Croatia as a member of the European Union, all the shipyards are soon to be privatized. The shipyards, employing around ten thousand workers, are indebted and robbed, and they are being selled for, literally, one Croatian kuna. Apparently, every buyer must keep the majority of the employees, and in that way, our government washes its hands. But, the workers know what to expect. They are aware of the fact that we will soon see the case of Poland repeating in Croatia, and they don’t like that at all. The workers are even more sinking into apathy and despair.

Rijeka’s local group of The Network of Anarcho-Syndicalists (MASA), whose members work in one of the biggest Croatian shipyards – 3rd May - which has over 3 000 employees, is trying to “shake up the workers”, and to offer them “a saving belt” form apathy, alienation and despair into which we are sinking more and more every day because of capitalism. We can see only one possible solution for this problem and that’s the direct action of the workers, through the idea of direct democracy and through organizing the workers’ plenum!

With their rebellion and with blocking their faculties, the Croatian students have used in practice one of the main anarchist ideas – direct democracy! They have achieved the emergence of this idea to the surface and, hopefully, this idea shall be use for other battles also. As an organization, MASA promotes the idea of direct-democratic organizing of society and production, opposing to the existing system that is combined of the state and capitalism.

But, it is not easy to organize the workers’ plenum. To make this idea effective, a lot of effort, work and struggle are required. So, writing this, we are calling for your action of solidarity.

We are asking from all the organizations, especially from those akin to MASA, that are promoting the ideas of direct democracy, to write a letter of support to the shipyard workers organizing the workers’ plenum. The letter of support doesn’t have to be long; it doesn’t have to be a work of art, what’s important is an act of solidarity with the workers, so they will know that they are not alone, they will know that their comrades are with them.

Send your letter of support to the following e-mail address:[at]

So far, we have received letters of solidarity from comrades from syndicates: Priama Akcia (Slovakia), USI (Italy), Solidarity Federation (United Kingdom), CRAS (Russia), AIT (Portugal) and NSF (Norway). Thank you for your support.

We hope that workers will succeed in their attempts! We hope that together with them we will be able to organize the first workers’ plenum in Croatia.

Direct democracy and direct action!
Plenum’s to the workplaces!

Juraj Katalenac
International Secretary of MASA[at]

Few notes:
1) Plenum - Term used by Croatian students in their blockades for direct democratic general assembly.
2) Picture used here's actually MASA's sticker which say: "Shipyards to the workers! Management into the sea!"

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