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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL September - Venezuela: Trade unionism autonomous or domesticated by the State ? (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Wed, 11 Oct 2017 11:15:44 +0300

Chavism has suppressed the autonomous expression of social movements, forced to align their agenda with that of the government. If social protest now overflows from these frameworks, a true culture of independence remains to be built. ---- In 2003, in order to compete with the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela (CTV), which was subservient to employers, the State helped launch the National Union of Workers (UNT) ... creating a new bureaucracy under its command. Pockets of dissent, however, exist within the UNT, like the classical, unitary, revolutionary and autonomous current (C-CURA). He is active in the powerful Petroleum Workers' Federation (FUTPV), which has 67,000 union members out of the 108,000 employees of PDVSA, the country's big oil company. In a recent interview with Quintodia.net, José Bodas, secretary of the FUTPV, said that " the trade union bureaucracy and technocracy of PDVSA defend each other in order to maintain their respective privileges.[...]Having union leaders who are also members of the management of PDVSA does not help.[...]Our current C-CURA calls for setting up basic committees and demanding collective bargaining as well as the organization of elections within the FUTPV and the basic unions. "

Beyond C-CURA, several grass-roots unions maintain a class practice ; they called for a general strike on 26 and 27 August for a decent minimum wage for free health and education rights and for the oil to become " 100% Venezuelan " . While it is clear that some work stoppages are in fact remotely controlled by the employers' and reactionary forces, it would be absurd to generalize as Maduro did when, in May 2013, he treated the struggling trade unionists of the nationalized Sidor steelworks of " thugs " and " anarcho-syndicalists " !

One can only adhere to what the Uruguayan sociologist Raúl Zibechi explained in the autumn 2016 in the review of the Spanish CGT Libre Pensamiento : " Those who like us think that it is the basic social movements that transform the realities, and not governments, must bet on the end of the hegemony of bolivarism for the simple reason that it prevents the emergence of different political identities than those dictated by the Chavismo-Antichavism polarization. " Zibechi called, more generally, to " complete restoration of the autonomy and belligerency of social movements ... by functioning in a self-managed way, rejecting mediations and placing our struggles on the electoral path, refusing to be the footsteps of a political party ".

Abobora (AL 31)

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