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(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie (OCL) - Indefinite strike workers cleaning and public gardens in Madrid -- The point on the 10th day (fr) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 16 Nov 2013 18:11:11 +0200

The 10th day of the indefinite strike of 6500 sweepers, gardeners and other workers cleaning the streets and public gardens of Madrid, the international press began to make the echo. Yeah, "Madrid is dirty" , she became the "capital of filth" , rubbish are piled on the sidewalks, containers overflowing and were burned and shrubs begin to dry ... and all that terribly tarnished his image, threat to drop in tourism already down this year. Traders and hoteliers begin to scream. The Mayor of Madrid threat to break the strike. ---- A strike against layoffs and wage cuts ---- The strike began on Nov. 5 and began the day in the evening with a demonstration of several thousand people from the Atocha station and Puerta del Sol, called by all the unions in the sector, CGT, Solidaridad Obrera, FSP-UGT, CCOO, USO, CSI-F and AST.

The strike on the four companies (all subsidiaries of construction companies) who share subcontracting since the signing of a new contract with the city last summer: they want to lay around 20% of the workforce and lower wages up to 43% of those who remain. In previous months, the non-renewal of contracts of outsourcing had already caused the downsizing of 350 people and their immediate dismissal.

A question was also quickly asked: how do the same job with 20% of the workforce and less? Several answers were given: the lengthening of working time (35 to 40 hours per week), the removal of certain "benefits" as the payment of sick leave, the end of the garbage on weekends and days public, the reorganization of teams and the "redeployment" enrollments by a new division of the city, obviously favoring the "uptown" and the tourist center ...
This has already begun and residents' associations begin to monitor the frequency of the transition teams scans by district and prepare a record on the information on reducing the number of rounds.
But on this point, on how to manage the conflict and the implementation of the concession agreement, interest may diverge. Because the new contract includes penalty clauses if companies do not fulfill their obligations, which has the effect of lowering the monthly bill paid by the city. This has been the case in September and October, before the strike. To what extent, dealers companies are ready to go, both vis-Ã-vis the municipality as workers? And the construction companies are overly powerful, it is they who, for example, are the main beneficiaries of the privatization of health services in the Autonomous Community of Madrid owners of five hospitals built by them, they hire them according to the region PPP contracts that we have here.


The stakes in this conflict are double and include both workers in this sector and the 3.2 million inhabitants of this great community.

The mayor of this city, Ana Botella (PP, right), after the conflict officially disinterested saying that it was not about the city but the subcontractors and their employees, is now at the center of the game, because of trash that washes the city but also because the main reason for the strike is in the cuts made (16.2% in 2013) in the municipal budget to the origin of renewals of contracts subcontracting month July. The public debt of the city exceed 7 billion.

From the beginning of the second week of the strike, the Mayor of Madrid was quick to declare that the strike was "wild" , threaten strikers sanctions and denounced "acts of vandalism and sabotage" committed by some strikers to prevent the minimum service. It is true that the strike is both active (stakes) and actively supported by people who are eager to put new bins in few places, the tourist areas of the center, as they are removed.

Threats to break the strike

Wednesday, November 13, the elected official has threatened to call a cleaning service company (Tragsa), if there was an agreement to end the strike "within 48 hours" , to replace the strikers and hire judicial proceedings for "non-compliance with minimum service", set at 40% of the total garbage from the public highway.

Except that things are not so simple.
Firstly, the public company mobilized to break the strike, and its subsidiary Tragsa Trasatec, part of the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (including 16 autonomous communities, and among them that of Madrid, are shareholders) are themselves engaged in a process of collective redundancies of 1,369 workers in 9848 of the total. November 7, these workers have also made ââa clutch 24 hours.
Moreover, the company - which generally occurs at the request of the administration in cases of emergency and serious health risks (ie they who cleaned the tanker Prestige in Galicia) - does not count more than 940 employees all over Madrid, nothing to replace strikers 6000 ... The unions in this business that they have refused to be mobilized to break the strike, they declare their solidarity.

After one week of the strike, the subcontractors would have reduced their claims: they lay off more than 625 workers, would put others in technical unemployment temporarily decrease wages "only" 12%. Unions have indicated Monday, November 11 they refused these proposals.

A meeting of strikers


Solidarity with the strikers began in the first week, with several initiatives, including a demonstration in the working class district of Carabanchel Thursday, Nov. 7 and another in the evening of Monday, November 11 in the center of Madrid with a thousand participants the call of some unions (control), but not all.

Also increasing calls to support the strikers, for example by laying waste to the banks or the headquarters of the People's Party, or by setting up crates of resistance (including a combination of living in the neighborhood of the PAU Vallecas through the Red de Solidaridad Popular), organizing concerts in support areas. An online petition has collected that day (14/11) more than 81 000 signatures.

Other point and diffuse interventions emerge here and there, like a group of graffiti artists ("Ana Botella Crew"), themselves exposed to municipal law enforcement (a rain of fines since they are created in 2009) for their graphics operations on the walls of the city, which has installed dozens of portraits clearly visible from the Mayor of Madrid printed trash bags in one of the dirtiest places in the city.

Other rallies are planned in different districts and neighborhoods of the city in the coming days.

The crackdown began to be felt in the early days: the arrests of strikers reached 18 since the beginning of the conflict and identity checks officially exceed 250. Many of these police actions are a result of fires containers (over a hundred, including 14 last night), one of them having landed on fire in front doors of a bank branch in the district of Vallecas. Some vehicles of various outsourcing companies have also been taken out of service (and other small fires sabotage).

For now, the garbage collectors and truck drivers are not in motion, because they depend on other businesses not directly affected by the outsourcing contract. But they could be mobilized from November 17 according to a union source.

The legal deadline for the negotiation of the collective redundancy procedure (ERE, Expediente of RegulaciÃn de Empleo) ends on November 15. According to the legislation, without agreement with the unions, businesses can make the layoffs from that date.

The strike continues

The "labor front" will he? Already, the Workers' Commissions (CCOO) dragged their feet at the start of the conflict, delaying its release a week supposedly to try to get something through negotiation. Already, UGT organized boycott of all initiatives of solidarity and street protests that escape him, saying the striking workers (and others) not to go because they are illegal and therefore prohibited and dangerous ...

Workers lose an average of 60 euros per day of strike. Long will they? This is the challenge fund strength and the financial support that is taking place. They say they are committed because they have no choice but to fight. It is also an area that has a tradition of struggle and that has been the scene of several major conflicts in the last decade. Evidence that, despite the divisions in several boxes of subcontracting supposed neutralize the conflict, it is possible to override, to organize to fight. They and they can also count on true solidarity because many people are with them, despite the inconvenience.

Solidarity that unfolds on a territorial basis, organized by neighborhoods, with local and mobilization of a whole network initiatives, collectives, movements and unions struggle for historical neighborhood associations to the most recent groupings emerged from the crisis and the challenge of political power as the meeting of indignant and it remains in the struggles for housing, against cuts, against the privatization of health care, etc..

To be continued ...

On November 14, 2013

An example call to solidarity, Lavapies

Proclamation of the Assembly of Lavapies in support of the strike by workers cleaning the streets and public gardens in Madrid

As an Assembly of Popular Lavapies [popular area of ââMadrid], we felt it very important to show our clear support to all those working in the street cleaning and public gardens that are on strike in Madrid. They are the ones who take care of our streets, our streets and our parks, and thus ourselves. We need to be together. Their struggle is ours.

This is why we have posted in the streets the following proclamation, and we encourage collective and assemblies from other neighborhoods to reappropriate and to sign and modify as they wish to express their support in their own streets. For assemblies interested, please write to: asamblea.popular.lavapies @ gmail.com or: lavapiesconlahuelga@gmail.com


Faced with the strike of cleaning streets and gardens of Madrid,
the Popular Assembly of Lavapies

1 â What major companies stink - OHL-Scan, FCC, Sacyr-Valoriza and EUB-Ferrovial - have embraced the city. They are the lords and masters of concrete, construction, infrastructure, industry, to the point of reaching absorb our cleanliness and our gardens.

2 â What these big stink companies, despite their considerable profits, after refusing to renew contracts for 350 workers and have been unemployed, want to dismiss 1,144 workers cleaning the streets and parks of Madrid, and reduce 43% of the salary of those who will not be sent to unemployment.

3 â What's all done with the complicity of the Mayor and the Municipality responsible ultimate service and brawlers "savings" that always come at the expense of working families.

4 â What workers in STRIKE UNLIMITED are an example to us all. No sane person can not remain unresponsive to their movement.

5 â What with the strike, we can see how the makeup falls and appears before our eyes all the crap that produces industrial society, capitalist and consumerist, we've created.

6 â What we see today is only a taste of Madrid dirty and dry will befall our neighborhoods, if we lose the strike and they reach there has fewer workers / Artists and that in the worst conditions.

And that is why the Popular Assembly of Lavapies

1 â If workers who take care of our streets and in our gardens (and us) are on strike, we will support them to the ultimate consequences, we will be with them and them in the pickets and demonstrations and we will do everything that comes to mind to not to abandon them.

2 â If resources are not allocated, then we will allocate the filth, we will bring them to the feet of Lords, all the way to their banks, their palaces and offices.

3 â If the strikers continue to be arrested, we will be growing daily in the street. The reason and the anger of workers should not be silenced by the police, judges, employers, the media, politicians and union leaders.

4 â If the strike ends, it will be because we have won, not by the agreements signed in the backs of workers / Artists. We will support now and always assemblies of workers and union bases.


à Lavapies, the 9th day of November in the Year 2013.

Union strength : information here

Information collected and translations: XYZ OCLibertaire

(Free and encouraged reproduction)

Photo: http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1438
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