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(en) Brazil, Anarchist People's Union - UNIPA - Cycles of strikes in DF for new times, we need new directions (pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 11 Aug 2014 11:41:22 +0300


The most important strikes occurred in the Federal District (DF) in the first half of 2014, the CEBS and Subway, showed two striking faces of Brazilian reality: 1 The workers rallied in several categories in our country, albeit hidden and fought by the media against the tide of repression and ideology of social collaboration, going to fight for their rights; They put 2 and to clear the straitjacket that imprisons unionism and worker organizing today in Brazil and particularly in Brasilia. ---- Such an analysis is fundamental for treating the DF is categorical and independent trade unions of the CUT, while significant portions of the class as the workers of the CEBS (Society of Environmental Sanitation DF), mixed economy company that hires about 5 thousand workers in its outsourced half and serving 2.59 million people with water services and 2.45 million with sewage services. The strategic role of the Company was made explicit in interventions by the army in 2013 and 2014 for training "anti-disturbance" and open occupation, aiming mainly to intimidate protests and walkout.

Already the Metro-DF is the picture of exclusion of our city, having low amplitude (extension and times) and very high real rates of 3.00. Has only 24 operational stations in a metropolis such as DF and handles about 140 000 people "atochadas" per day. Nevertheless achieves the objectives of bringing employers and Fern mainly Ceilândia our workforce to be exploited in the Pilot Plan. The Metro currently employs about a thousand workers, and has the ability to paralyze a flow area of important work in DF.

Thus, this year's World Cup, at which the ruling class seeks at all costs to reissue the myth of the land of sneakers under the iron heel of repression, these major categories were the fighting and suffered heavy weight of bourgeois justice, having kicking in part its motion. The two strikes, both the Metro as the CEBS, were harshly persecuted by the Government Agnelo (PT), and the companies that decided TRT absurd fines. But it was not just the action of the State responsible for this situation but the current model of unionism and the ability of the boards and the labor movement of alternative solutions.

The reality imposes on us the boldness crisis and radicalization of the class struggle

The workers' strike at CEBS pulled its important union, Sindagua (Union of Workers in Water Purification and Distribution Industry and Services Sewage DF), is the faithful reflection of the times in which we live. After many years of important achievements for the category, through mobilization and militant action in this year 2014 the union reached a dramatic standoff with the company. In 44 days of strike, which began in 19/05 from the date base and finished in 03/07, important topics like Social Rate of Water were claimed, fighting outsourcing and commissioned positions, actual gain, among others. In return the company responded with cuts of rights (such as reduction of PPR), and the only guaranteed deal so far is no persecution and the continuation of negotiations. The strike movement returned last week (28.07) June.

The strike of the Metro, started and ended earlier, had similar end. On April 4 the subway companions organized in SindMetrô (Union of Workers of Subway Transportation) decreed an indefinite strike for opening of its date-based negotiations, with a series of claims: a) correction of wage distortions Plan Career; b) Reduction of journey to six hours; c) Wage increase 10%; among others. The movement suffered two interventions TRT's 10th region, one on April 10 and another on May 2, which decreed the closure of this last strike, which actually occurred on 03/05, under penalty of a fine of 20 000 dollars per day. The movement unfortunately not budge getting just what the company had ever offered before: a) increase of 6.5%; b) pension in 2015; having to compensate for half the days of the strike.

Given this framework, it is not simply assert that there is a crisis of leadership, accusing the boards of the unions in question is a mistake, because we know that the problem is much more complex. Brazil is taking the last gasps of exhaustion of its expansion cycle, entering the brink of an economic recession. This fact plus the Days of June and its impacts in the labor movement radicalized class conflict in Brazil, bringing the main strategy of the Bourgeoisie hardening of employers, harassment in the workplace and study and police repression. Thus besides the police and private security guards assault occurred in the two strikes, CEBS also presents a plan for cutting rights as freezing and limiting anuênios and gratification.

The ruling and the World Cup of speech were worn incontrovertibly by Journeys June, at least for a considerable portion of workers. And now Dilma / Agnelo government can no longer rely on a favorable economic situation to the cooptation of union leadership and the improvement of integrated workers installments, though it may remunerate bankers and businesses well. This does not mean that the PT and union bureaucracies are defeated, but are in crisis with their bases and the higher one encastelam greater will be the fall. Thus, when sales begin to fall from the eyes of Brazilian workers and inflation squeezes no return, against popular uprising we see the deepening of the true legacy of the World Cup: the State of Exception.

Keeping this in view the problem is not just the strike Sindagua or subway strike, but the reorganization of the working class against the political and economic landscape. Nevertheless, we must understand how they work and how these subjects constitute the collective forces of class, a fundamental element of reality, strengthening or weakening a particular project. The current model of Brazilian unionism followed to the letter clearly benefits the conservative or social-democratic tendency of trade unionism, which worldwide has led the masses to defeats and setbacks in their rights. Thus the action of these and future union strikes boards must be analyzed in its ability to break away from this model and the construction of an alternative.

Unionism Revolutionary Unionism state x


Police repress picket you work the CEBS (June 2014)

Currently the main and the real contradiction that develops in the movement of the Brazilian masses is between the design of state unionism and the project of revolutionary syndicalism. The first is an old acquaintance of Brazilian workers expressed in legal artifices: uniqueness, endowments and union letter, marked by clientelism and electioneering promiscuity. This model, the majority in Brazil, represents the conservative trend of trade unionism which sees the state as a tutor. Already revolutionary syndicalism, historical expression of independent strand of the working class, is only a germ in our country, trampled into a loose confederation model as opposed to the state, your project germinates in strikes and street demonstrations radicalized since Jirau the strike of teachers and street cleaners in rio de janeiro.

And this is the main contradiction? For this is a project and at the same time a necessity. The conflict between the directions and the bases in strikes from north to south explain the crisis of unionism state, that within its limited legalistic framework is sinking workers in subsequent defeats. Thus, the economic crisis and political persecution, these possibilities will be even tighter, with more crunch and attack on the rights of the people. Ie, to overcome, becomes ever more necessary to break the game with marked cards legalism.

In this sense what showed in the strike of garbage collectors? An opposition movement that can undermine not only the union board, but the bosses and the government. And so an independent movement, since the illegality, won 40% increase, among other benefits. A teachers' strike in Rio de Janeiro to become one with the black bloc, took mass proportions, with the occupation of the legislative assembly and great impact on society, unlike the supposed prophesied by PSTU ridiculously isolation and SoL.

This just shows us that unionism goes far beyond union elections and behaved wage campaigns and strikes coorporativas by companies. This is actually a model that has at its core the protection of the State. And every proposal that has the center of its national organization taking official and legal apparatus of unionism as "fundamental to the representation of the working class condition," does not represent an alternative to this model. CSP-Conlutas? Is not because the support and control the registration of trade union centers in the Ministry of Labour. Inter? Is not because it has no independence from the CUT, comprising a series of directions and plates with this repeats the methods taken from official appliances as the main policy.

The forces of the reformist left did not capitalize the Popular Uprising in 2013, only marginally, very often reacted against the radicalization of this, because of the uprising questioning its own bureaucratic and its erroneous theoretical understanding of an "ideal" working class structure (the formalized portion) and their "ideal" methods (Loyalists). Thus not seeing the revolt of the marginalized, the explosions in the suburbs and slums, who transferred to the workplace, the authentic proletarian revolt, still formless, but with powerful transformative potential.

Because of that goes to workers and revolutionaries, with further intelligence, the days of June and the gap class, preparing a counteroffensive that advances in winning rights and real improvements for the working class and the periphery, and this can only be done the construction of an alternative revolutionary syndicalist in our country, with a central trade union movement, popular student and oppositions, but also acting within legal unions and their boards through a cohesive group and a clear policy: undermine inside and outside this structure, put class service that is needed and strengthen the independent workers' movement.

The construction of the collective strength of workers in DF


Occupation Rector of the University of Brasília (June 2014)

As in the rest of Brazil had a cooling and quantitative reduction of street demonstrations and the increasing radicalization in places of work and study. In DF unfortunately the cooling of street fighting was brutal, in inverse proportion to the increase in repression. We on the other hand struggles in places of work and study which deserve our attention.


In addition to the strikes, had major mobilization at the University of Brasilia, which from an occupation of the rectory polarized public opinion throughout the DF on policies at the behest of the Rector Ivan Camargo persecution. Importantly, the polarized movement organizationally to the official structure of the DCE, calling representative assemblies and building an independent command, which overlapped this period of struggle the liberal direction of the DCE and the reformist left, which came together in defense of spaces "officially constituted "emptied and abandoning the occupation. The main agenda of the movement "end the investigations and persecutions", was paralyzed, but not defeated, because the fight ensues. Still, this was the first move to hold a face weight of the current rectory authoritarian and neoliberal policy, which since late 2012 have been managing with an iron hand the university, and offer an alternative to fight for students.

Today in DF face several barriers to get the Government Agnelo / PT, elected by the contractors (including the Northwest Sector) and the trade union bureaucracy and neighborhood associations. This points to the government as Sindagua follows the similar policy Cristóvam Burque, who in the years of his government from 1995 to 1998 at the time the PT, as was a continuation of the neoliberal policy of cutting rights (such as the end of the license award and advancement of outsourcing ) in CEBS, besides the historical repression of the working poor Structural occupation. Beyond governments shift, structural impasses that have divided the categories of Metro and CEBS base. The unicity defended as "unity" by some sectors of the reformist left is actually the division of labor imposed by law, in which the same workplace are organized separately in different unions, the contractors, the metalworkers, of the effective , such as the Metro.

Thus the actions of the unit with the contractor who performed the Sindagua are fundamental and become increasingly necessary for the victory of the strikes. And most of it is paramount to have a project that point to this unification on a macro level, a Class Central, and micro plan at work, with the action of the oppositions by branch or extrapolation of the official structure for directors and change of statutes and union practices. That these practices should encourage the testing of independent spaces, commands and autonomous fronts of workers and students. Foster unity in opposition to legal requirements or urbanitários among transport workers in the District. Larger collectivist agendas that go beyond the salary increase, building links with the militant movements channels so that coorporativas strikes turn into mass strikes.

Today the embryo of this alternative proposal and revolutionary syndicalism is the forum for Opposition Base (FOB), articulated nationally from the First National Meeting of Popular Opposition, and Student Unions (ENOPES) held in November 2013 Continue with the practices and the current indecision is to strengthen the conservative tendency of trade unionism, willy nilly, is continuing hostage of TRT's attacks and for enterprises to workers. Therefore, today more than ever it is necessary to build new directions for the new times, risking break with the old structures and bureaucracies of state and capital, just so win!

Daring to Struggle, Dare to Win!
Every support for fair workers' strike CEBS!
Build revolutionary syndicalism from below!
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