Fw: Strikers in Argentina ask for Solidarity
- Subject: Fw: Strikers in Argentina ask for Solidarity
- From: "Nello Margiotta" <animarg at tin.it>
- Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2001 08:53:17 +0100
From: "Earl Gilman" <giltapia at igc.org>
To: eorkersdemocracy at yahoogroups.com
Subject: Strikers in Argentina ask for Solidarity
Date: Tue, Nov 20, 2001, 9:07 PM
To Trade Union Organizations, Student Organizations, and Solidarity groups
The ceramic workers of Neuquen (Republic of Argentina) appeal to your
solidarity due to the intense struggle we of Ceramics Zanon are carrying
out to defend our jobs and the payment of our wages.
Ceramics Zanon is the largest private company in our province, the second
largest company of ceramic coatings in our country and the largest and most
modern producer of percelain in South America.
We have been on strike for more than a month. We have carried out
mobilizations and picket lines to prevent stock from leaving the plant. We
have blockaded bridges and roads to prevent the closing of the plant and
layoff of almost 400 workers in a province where unemployment is 20%,
In the beginning we took over the plant and began to manufacture with the
raw materials in the plant. We were showing society that the only ones
interested in maintaining the factory are the workers.
Threatened with violent eviction, we received support from students, human
rights groups, y leading cultural figures such as Osvaldo
Bayer, who devoted a column to our struggle in the newspaper "Pagina 12".
The reply of the bosses was soon in coming...With police and justice
officials, they cut off supplies of gas to the plant showing that they
wanted to stop production and prevent the workers from exposing the
profits derived from our work. In just two days of work we covered the
salaries for the whole month. Then the bosses won on an appeal which had
been favorable to the workers...and ordered the embargo of the stock which
would have paid the wages owed.
Faced by the intransigence of the employers, in the last few days we are
intensifying our struggle in alliance with the movement of the unemployed
("los piqueteros") Together with student, political, and human rights
groups we decided on blocking the bridge that connects the province of
Neuquen with Rio Negro, two of the most important provinces in the
The Movement of Unemployed Workers of Neuquen brought out hundreds of
companeros, forging the unity that has begun between our trade union and
brothers without work. The leadership of FOCRA (Fedration of Ceraminc
Workers of Argentina) which is affiliated with the CGT of Hugo Moyano, has
not given us any support.
Zanon workers, led by our democratic union, have decided to resist and we
will defend our jobs until the final consequences against the bosses that
for several months did not pay on time and then told us they would only
reopen the plant if we accepted massive layoffs and cuts in pay. We demand
the immediate reopening of the Zanon plant under workers control, without
layoffs and paycuts and payment of all the back pay.
If the employers refuse, we propose that the State expropiate or
it and that the plant be directly adminstered by its workers. This should
part of plan for public works to build homes, schools and hospitals that
needed by the Neuquino people. This would respond to the problem of
unemployment with genuine work.
We know the triumph of our struggle will not be easy. As you probably
Argentina is going through a serious economic and financial crisis
and a recession with few precedents in its history. But we are part of a
working class in the last two years has led six General Strikes. And we
decided to interconnect ourselves with the "piquetero" unemployed movement
who with their picket likes and blockades of roads have become the
against the anti-working class plans of the IMF which are being applied by
the government of De La Rua and Cavallo with the support of the governors
the PJ (peronist). Thus our struggle is a "casewitness" in confronting
closures, massive suspensions and unemployment that are taking place
throughout the factories of Argentina.
The bosses with the complicity of the government want to break up our
struggle and our fighting ceramics union. They want us to capitulate
hunger. That is why we are organizing a strike fund that will allow us to
continue the struggle until the end, that is why we are appealing to
socially concerned and political organizations in Argentina and througout
the world. To send money, we have opened up an account:
Banco Nacion, sucursla Neuquen
Caja de Ahorro (in dollars) No. 376807605/8
In the name of: Angel Velasquez
Thsi bank has branches in London, New york, Miami, Montivideo, Santiago,
Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Asuncion. In cities or countries where there are
branches, transfers can be made to this account...If you have decided to
help financially, we ask you to call us via telephone: (54-299)15-581-6123
or via e mail at:
ceramistasneuquen at hotmjail.com
From the South of Argentina, we send you greetings, thanking you for your
solidarity in this struggle.
Sindicato de Obreros y Empleados Ceramistas de Neuquen