The struggle of the workers of Terrabusi (Kraft-Foods) and Subway trains must win!
This is the same struggle as that of all workers for a living wage, against the layoffs and against the betrayals of the labor bureaucracy that sell out the workers’ fight to save the capitalists’ business!
Reinstate all sacked workers!
Recognise the delegates committee of the Subway as the only representative of the workers!
Workers organizations break with the Labor Ministry and its compulsory conciliation!
Kick out the armed thugs of the UTA and STIA bureaucracy paid by the bosses!
Stop the repression against workers! Freedom for all political prisoners and drop the charges against all worker and popular militants!
Long liver the fight of the Terrabusi and Subway workers!
For a National Coordinating Committee of all sectors in struggle now!
The Terrabusi workers must win!
Fighting to get the the jobs of 160 fired workers back the Terrabusi workers are up againstthe giant US imperialist monopoly. Kraft-Food has 120 branches around the world. It reports profits of $37 billion a year and aims to monopolise the key sectors of the food industry on a worldwide basis. Kraft is negotiating to buy the British monopoly Cadbury for $17 billion. Its plans require the ruthless restructuring of its global production putting many thousands of workers into the street and forcing the remaining workers to produce more than all those who have been sacked.
This plan isn’t just that of the food monopolies, since all monopolies must to the same to meet the crisis. They bankrupt their competitors, concentrate their market share, and attack their workers to increase their exploitation and make them pay for the crisis, backed their states and governments. To defend their property and that if the imperialist monopolies they pay for the services of the union bureaucrats of the CGT and CTA as their armed thugs to control the factories as virtual concentration camps to overexploit the working class. At the same time, millions of workers are forced into the industrial reserve army and used by the bosses to drive down wages.
The Subway workers must win!
At the same time the Terrabusi workers bock the road without support of other workers, the Subway workers are on strike to defend their wages and to defend their delegates against the treacherous “sell-out” bureaucracy of the UTA. This action of the rank and file workers and their delegates is to defend the victory of the 6 hour day won by the workers struggle. The Subway workers have proved that only rank and file militancy can win and defend the gains of the working class. They cannot win anything by appealing to the judge Zafaroni, or the bosses’ justice with its “union freedom” law, or to that agent of the imperialist monopolies, Tomada, and his Ministry of wage-slavery. These agents of the bosses keep a lid on the workers struggles. Victory only comes from the power of the workers.
The Subway and Terrabusi struggles, by confronting the betrayals of the union bureaucracy, prove to all workers that only by trusting their own forces and defeating the union bureaucracy that sell out the workers wages and jobs, can the workers defend their wages and other conquests.
To win a living wage, to defend our jobs, and stop the bosses’ attacks, we must coordinate the struggle, unify the workers ranks and defeat the union bureaucracy!
Long live the Terrabusi and Subway workers struggles!
The bosses, Kirchner government and the agrarian bourgeoisie attack the working class.
The Kirchner government with its infamous “social pact” regime, supported by the CGT and CTA union bureaucracy, leads the attacks of the monopolies to save them from their own economic crisis. The agrarian bourgeoisie, while it may fight over who gets what share of the profits from exports, agrees on attacking the workers. Cristina Kirchner, Carrio, Macri, Reuteman, the government and the Liaison Board (Mesa de Enlace), the church, the bankers, and all the bosses’ parties emboldened by the victory of the regime in the last elections, have a common policy: to unite as one fist to smash the workers movement with layoffs, suspensions, wage cuts, inflation, high cost of living, high prices, hunger, misery and repression to boost the profits of the capitalist parasites.
This is clear in the Terrabusi and Subway struggles where the bosses justice system, the repressive police, the armed thugs of the union bureaucracy and all the bosses organisations including the ARI and Agrarian Federation (FA) i.e. are united behind the Labor Ministry to smash every single action of the working class against the attack.
In Metcom, GM, Acindar and the Córdoba car industry, the bureaucracy and the reformist left stopped a workers counteroffensive against the bosses’ intensifying attack.
The heart of the industrial proletariat in Metcom, GM, and Cordoba auto-industry has been fighting against the plan of the “sliding scale of suspensions, layoffs and lower salaries” imposed by the bosses for months. In all these factories, the workers dug in their heels to stop the sacking of contract workers, because they knew that next would be the workers on the payroll. This showed the bosses that they would have to destroy this unity to impose their plans. For that, the boss used the union bureaucracy and the reformist left parties. So the union bureaucracy told they payroll workers that if they would keep their jobs if they allowed the contract workers to be sacked. The left reformist parties went to every workers struggle to tell them have faith in the bureaucracy and that it was not necessary to “open 2 fronts”, i.e. it was not necessary to face the sell-out bureaucracy because this would weaken the struggle against the boss. Thus they brought this wave of struggles against the capitalists attacks to defeat. They prevented any attempt to set up organs of direct democracy and even closed down those that had been formed. They told the workers that out of these “tactical defeats” the bureaucracy would prepared the ground for victory. This treachery enabled the bosses to advance their common plan to isolate the struggles of the workers movement and smash them sector-by-sector.
However, the attack and betrayals did not stop there. In March this year, the CTA – this yellow union, guard dog of the interests of the state budget – betrayed the fight of the teachers of 14 provinces for higher wages. Again the reformist left parties, that lead and influence hundreds of unions and branches of CTERA and CTA all around the country, prevented the coordination of the fighting forces.
In July, the government, UIA, the agrarian Liaison Board (Mesa de enlace), and the CGT and CTA bureaucracy meet with the Salary Council to sign a wage-slave agreement which will put a ceiling of $1500 to the minimum wage driving down workers wages in this way.
All these betrayals disarm the workers so the treacherous leaders divert the workers into the electoral trap
Thus, we reach at the point –only a month ago- where the UOM bureaucracy despite 50% inflation went for a 25% increase in wages only to then settle for an 18% rise. This agreed beforehand in the Labour Ministry, be paid in instalments, provided they workers agreed to mass layoffs in exchange! And the only reason that they made this concession was that they were afraid that the fight of the metalworkers in Cordoba would set off an explosion in the working class. The metalworkers physically confronted the Varas bureaucracy (the UOM in this province), marched to the union headquarters shouting “Everybody out, nobody left”. Again, the left reformist raised the policy of putting pressure on the bureaucracy through collective bargaining to stop any unified struggle in the working class for a living wage, jobs, and against the repressive regime.
We have to be clear: the union bureaucracy and left reformist parties were responsible for stopping the workers organised fightback against the bosses’ brutal attack. The reformists refused to unite the workers movement leaving it to fight in the worst conditions that demoralised the most advanced and combatant sectors of the working class, subordinating them to state collective bargaining and the Labour Ministry.
That explains how the workers ended up in the present conditions. It was not any lack of willingness or capacity to struggle on the part of the working class. It was the treacherous stabs in the back of the workers’ movement that allowed the bosses and their servants to have the launch a decisive attack.
Terrabusi and Subway: The bosses and their government unites their forces to break the back of the working class.
As we can see, we are not facing just another struggle. In the subway as in Terrabusi, the imperialist monopolies, the government and the agrarian bourgeoisie with their bosses’ parties, their opposition politicians and bureaucrats, have decided to launch an attack to smash the vanguard to terrorise the masses. They are very conscious that if they win on these two fronts, they can advance to defeat the entire workers’ movement. They are telling the working class that the coming attack on them will be even bigger. They want to drive down working conditions to the same slave like level, or even worse, than those of the half million of farm workers oppressed under the agrarian bourgeoisie and its agents Bussi and De Angeli.
The bourgeoisie is trying to break the back of the proletariat in Subway and Terrabusi with the clear aim of using their armed thugs to defeat the internal commissions and drive back that victory of the revolutionary struggles of December 2001. This is why the bureaucracy of Yaski-Maldonado wants to contain the workers of Suteba La Plata and smash the rank and file rebellion of the teachers against the bureaucracy. The bosses want to take back all concessions. If they succeed in this plan, the bosses will be able to the smash the resistance of the activists, starve and terrorise the masses and impose much greater levels of exploitation. This is what the bosses are trying to do in Terrabusi and Subway where the workers resistance threatens to unite the demands of the entire worker movement. Thus, the bosses attack but with carefully calculated methods. The bosses know that if they press too hard they can unify the workers resistance and undo the work of the bureaucracy and the reformist parties in dividing the workers ranks. They can lose everything under the current conditions if their attacks unite the rank and file around the fights in the Subway and Terrabusi.
Terrabusi and Subway: A decisive battle of the entire working class to defeat the bosses and government’s attack
The fight of the workers of Terrabusi and Subway is the most advanced expression of mood of revolt in the depths of the worker’s ranks. It is the most advanced expression of hundreds of factory revolts against the bosses’ attacks and overexploitation rates and miserable salaries. It is the direct expression of the hate of millions of workers against the privileged union bureaucracy. Thus, if these two conflicts are immediately coordinated, they will inspire the enthusiasm for fight among thousands of workers who want to fight the bosses’ attacks but are currently kept in isolation by the treacherous union bureaucracy. Thousands of workers are now realising through their own experience of struggle there that is no possibility of winning decent wages and stop the layoffs without a common action against the bosses and their government.
In the subway, in the middle of the stoppage, the workers were heard singing “Subway and Terrabusi, one heart”. This is the feeling unity of the rank and file workers and is echoed in the blockage by the workers of Emfer and Tatsa of the General Paz highway in solidarity with Terrabusi. The bosses are afraid of such solidarity! They know that even isolated and divided the working class is not yet defeated. The workers have far from exhausted their fighting capacity and when they unite and break from the bureaucracy the will be able to launch a workers counteroffensive against the bosses to make them pay the crisis.
Stop isolating the fights! From Subway and Terrabusi, let’s regroup all those who are fighting against the bureaucracy and untie the hands of the working class!
The Subway workers in struggle have adopted the slogan! “Subway and Terrabusi a single heart”!!
They know that workers united can defeat the bureaucracy and reinstate the Terrabusi workers and stop the layoffs. They know they can defend the delegates committee of the Subway and win decent wages for all the workers. The lesson of the defeats of isolated struggles at the hands of Labor Ministry conciliation and at the hands of the hired gunmen of the bureaucracy, are being learned. To fight and win, we must relay exclusively on our own forces, our own methods of struggle. We will not win jobs, decent wages, housing, education and health for workers via the laws of the bourgeois parliament, compulsory conciliations, or with the bosses’ justice and its “union freedom”. We will only win our demands by defeating the scab union bureaucracy and its gunmen, free the hands of the workers, and confront the bosses and government in a decisive combat.
Down with the CGT and CTA union bureaucracy! Down with compulsory conciliation !
Down with the social pact! Down with the Wages Council!
It has been clear in the last 20 days of the Terrabusi workers struggle and in the Subway fight that the internationalist Trotskyists of Democracia Obrera are correct: when the working class is staking everything on their struggle, the reformist parties refuse to fight for the unity and solidarity called for by the workers, thus demoralizing our class in one defeat after another. Enough! It is not possible to fight with these leaderships let alone fight.
Each minute we continue fighting and resisting alone, sector by sector, divided from each other, the bosses gain time and the power to defeat us one by one. Enough!
These attacks must be stopped!
For that reason, the leaderships of Terrabusi and Subway have the duty to call for immediate coordination of the Terrabusi and Subway ranks under a single demand to unite all the workers who want to fight but are currently isolated and condemned to defeat, to send their delegates of all the factories and workplaces to a national committee of struggle.
A program to unify the rank and file workers: National Coordinating Committee of Struggle NOW!
We need to set up a program that unites rank and file workers. The suffering, the high cost of living, and the oppression and exploitation of our class is unbearable. The workers struggles have proven that under these crisis conditions is it impossible to defend existing gains let alone win new economic demands in isolated sectors. It is time for the working class to rise up in a mass political struggle as one fist against the bosses and their government. The demand for ofSliding Scale of wages and working hours is on the order of the day to unite the Terrabusi workers fight against layoffs with those of Subway who are fighting for a wage increase, with the unemployed workers of the piquetero movement who want to get a decent, secure job.
For the non-recognition of the fake collective bargaining signed by the bureaucracy that sells out the workers wages! For a Sliding scale of wages, 4500$ of basic salary for all!
No more dismissals or suspensions!
Jobs for all! For an additional shift in all the factories and workplaces!
For all the factories to vote this program and call to unite the piquetero movement with the employed workers! Nationalization without payment and under workers control of all factories or companies that close or suspend or dismiss workers!
For cheap food for people: Expropriate without compensation the agrarian oligarchy, owner of the 80% of land! Smash the profiteers in the food chain! Cancel the VAT!
Down with the skyrocketing taxes! Re-nationalization without compensation under workers control of Telefónica, Repsol and all the privatized companies! Kick out the transnationals that plunder the nation!
Repudiate the external debt that this Bolivarian Kirchner government pays with the muscles and bones of the working class!
Expropriate the banks and monopolies under workers control to pay for the jobs, wages, education and health for the exploited masses!
Set up Self defence Committees against the repression by the guard dogs of the bosses and the gunmen of the union bureaucracy! Stop the repression against fighters!
Immediate freedom for political prisoners and throw out the charges against popular and worker fighters!
A motion of unity for the entire workers movement: Either them or us!
We must raise an emergency motion right now in all the workers movement in all the assemblies of rank and file workers, in all the factory committees, in every mobilization and road block, in each stoppage and every militant action.
The Terrabussi and Subway workers must take the lead to make an appeal to all workers in struggle!
First, the Internal Commission of Terrabusi and the Delegates Committee of the Subway have the responsibility and duty to immediately call for a Coordination Committee of struggle to regroup the thousands of workers who despite and against their leaderships want to stop the bosses’ attack.
Such a motion from the Subway and Terrabusi is necessary to unite with the Emfer and Tatsa workers that blocked the General Paz; the employed and unemployed workers that blocked streets in La Plata supporting the Terrabussi struggle, and the 400 fired workers of Mercedes Benz; the workers of Mahle who are resisting in isolation in Rosaria; to unite with the workers of Zanon who under terrible isolated conditions have been forced to accept a law of the Neuquén legislature to buy the firm to keep their jobs. This law is to make workers pay the crisis.
This is the motion to unite the teachers of Suteba La Plata defending themselves against the intervention of the Celeste bureaucracy of Ctera/CTA; the health workers that have led a struggle for rank and file control in Tucuman that confronts the bureaucracy.
This appeal would give moral support for thousands of workers to re-open their fights, such as the Port, Fate, Firestone, and Pirelli workers, that hate the sell-out union leaders of UOM, SUTNA and other treacherous bureaucracies. Such a motion would coordinate with the militants of the metal and municipal workers struggles of Cordoba who have led huge combats in the factories and the streets.
Without doubt, an appeal like this would have the support and energy of the combatant students, and the youth killed in the workers neighbourhoods by the repressive forces of the Federal and Buenos Aires police, Naval Prefecture and gendarmerie.
The militant piquetero movement must take in their hands this appeal for a Coordinating Committee of struggle because we cannot longer allow the bosses a free hand in firing thousands of workers and creating a massive reserve army of labor. Without uniting employed and unemployed we will face more savage repression like that against the picketers of Caleta Olivia by the oil police.
The piquetero movement must stand up again marching to the factories to ally with their employed brothers and sisters to fight for work for all!
Down with the piquetero bureaucracy, those administers of the unemployed workers’ misery!
We must re-launch the struggle and the 21 point-program of the picketers of the North of Salta!
By winning a National Committee of Struggle now, we will be able to centralize a call for setting up a National Workers Congress of employed and unemployed workers, that is, set up the Third Piquetera National Assembly to vote for a National Plan of Struggle and build for a general strike so that everybody goes out, nobody stays on the job, because the Kirchners and all the bosses’ sectors-like the agrarian bourgeoisie- and their corrupted politicians disguised as “opposition”, want the workers to pay once again for their crisis.
There is no time to lose! Either them or us! Make the capitalists pay for their own crisis!
Editorial Board, Democracia obrera. 11/09/09
Voice of the LOI-CI Argentina (Workers International League- Quarter International)