The leadership of CC.OO in Navantia-Ferrol (state-owned shipbuilding company) has embark on a witch hunt against Ganemos CCOO
We publish below an article protesting against the beginning of a witch hunt against Marxist Trade unionists in Navantia-Ferrol, in Galicia in the Spanish state. We will be waging an international campaign against this witch hunt in the coming weeks and months. Follow socialistworld.net to stay posted.
A few days ago, the leadership of the CC.OO (Comisiones Obreras, the Spanish state’s biggest union) section of Navantia-Ferrol passed a motion to take ‘Ganemos CCOO’ (a rank and file campaign for fighting democratic trade unionism within CCOO) to a tribunal. This threat to sanction or to expel is no coincidence, especially at this moment in time. The threats are being made as the negotiations begin over a new industrial plan. This looks likely to end up being more like a restructuring and it is increasingly clear that it will be used to try to sneak through the cuts proposed in the IV Convenio (wage agreement proposal).
Who will benefit from these attacks on workers and trade unionists who have always defended democratic and combative trade unionism? The answer is clear. The company and those union leaders who, adhering to a model of trade unionism based on reconciliation, demobilisation, and an acceptance of cuts, outsourcing and precariousness are increasingly detached from the appalling conditions that workers live and suffer through on a daily basis.
The comrades from Ganemos CCOO have a clear and coherent orientation. As well as being active in CCOO for decades we have strived, though organisation and the wider struggle, to stop the attacks from the company and the right wing, both inside and outside Navantia.
In June 2013, the police arrested a comrade on his way in to work. We played an active role in the initiative of his immediate colleagues to call a general assembly, when the ‘works committee’ (joint trade union committee) would not take any action. Was that the best course of action? We believe it was, because to defend a worker who is unjustly repressed is more important than the interests of a committee who were unwilling to take any action.
In the autumn of that same year we played an important part in our factory’s resistance against the ‘IV Convenio’ informing the workforce of what was being planned and collecting signatures to force the CCOO committee to call a general assembly in order to have a democratic debate about everything that was happening and to let the workers have their say.
The committee was forced to do so and the strength shown by the workers in that assembly, voting massively against the cuts of the IV Convenio, undermined the anti-worker tactics of the company and the trade union bureaucracy. Was that the right course of action? We’re sure the workers would say it was. We couldn’t say the same about those who voted in favour of starting this witch hunt because among them are many notable defenders of the IV Convenio, starting with the previous president of the works committee.
At the end of 2014, we took the initiative in mobilising support for a comrade who was sacked as a direct result of the IV Convenio and the passivity shown by the works committee. Was that the correct course of action? We believe so because to defend a sacked worker is more important than anything else.
A few months ago, we actively supported the Navantia auxiliary workers’ strike. We did so because we are aware that the exploitation that the auxiliary workers experience is brutal and their grievances are justified. Was that the right course of action? We believe so, because solidarity is paramount if we are to stand up against unscrupulous and exploitative bosses, and has also always been a core principal of CCOO.
These events have triggered a witch hunt which could lead to the expulsion of various well known comrades from CCOO. You can agree or disagree with us, but, will a witch hunt against Ganemos CCOO benefit the interests of the working class? Does the activity of Ganemos CCOO jeopardize the interests of the working class? Does opposing the cuts of the IV Convenio jeopardize the workers in any way? What about defending a sacked or arrested comrade? Or standing in solidarity with comrades who have legitimate grievances? Or demanding more assemblies? Or suggesting that the agreement should be negotiated by the works committee and not the bureaucracy and that, in any case, the decision should be ratified at a general assembly. Or rejecting secret negotiations with the company? Or criticising the total passivity of the national executive of CCOO in the face of brutal attacks on the working class? We believe not, in fact, it is the complete opposite.
We want to make this public because a witch hunt can only have one objective: to try to silence those who challenge the politics of a race to the bottom which is commonplace in the type of trade unionism that the current leadership defend. This model doesn’t benefit the working class, which under the government of the PP is suffering grave deteriorations to living conditions, working conditions and pensions, while at the same time the national executive of CCOO remain completely passive.
“They could not dominate us, nor did they bend us nor are they going to domesticate us”. Ganemos CCOO follows this motto from Marcelino Camacho (historic CCOO leader) and we continue to show it in practice. We demand that the leadership of CCOO Navantia-Ferrol put a stop to the witch hunt, that they stop attacking those of who practice combative trade unionism and that they accept the responsibility of defending the interests of the working class in the face of the attacks from the company, from SEPI (state-owned holding company) and the PP government.