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(en) anarkismo.net: 2,095 days (and counting) of the strike of SINTRADIT-Buga against Cristar SAS by José Antonio Gutiérrez D. (ca, fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Fri, 22 Sep 2017 23:11:26 +0300


Although it may seem incredible, for six years a group of local workers, specifically from the city of Buga, the city of Madagascar, have held a strike outside the glass company Cristar SAS (subsidiary of the US multinational Owens Illinois Inc. , which controls 85% of the company). There they are in tents, surrounded by posters that testify to the solidarity they have received from several unions in the department. 35 workers from the 60 who initiated it have remained firm in this strike: desertions occurred only in the first few months, a sign of the will of these workers[1]. Since then this group of 35 workers has remained unshakable claiming their rights. The class consciousness and the solidary sense of these workers is admirable.

The origin of this conflict starts from the conditions in which the workers of this factory worked - many for several decades - through the figure of cooperatives of associated work and companies subcontractors of facade. Of the 750 workers in the factory, only 120 were hired directly by the company, almost all administrative workers, area managers and engineers. Tired of the conditions of work in which they were violated all the rights, with a very low salary, without benefits and with hours of work well above the legal, while being aware of the measures against the associated work that were advanced in the Colombian legislature thanks to the debate provoked by the strike of the cane cutters in 2008, decided to unionize, forming the "Union of Available and Temporary Workers" (SINTRADIT). This is how on October 24, 2011, they present a list of requests to the company. This not only refused to negotiate and did not know the right to unionize workers, but since November 22 of the same year denied the entry of almost all members of the union to the company. Then the company hired most of the workers directly, to avoid penalties for bad practices: but according to the workers on strike, almost all these workers have been dismissed over time, with a very high turnover. The striking workers denounce a true apartheid against them, pointing out that if any of the factory workers comes to talk to them, they are immediately dismissed. present a list of requests to the company. This not only refused to negotiate and did not know the right to unionize workers, but since November 22 of the same year denied the entry of almost all members of the union to the company. Then the company hired most of the workers directly, to avoid penalties for bad practices: but according to the workers on strike, almost all these workers have been dismissed over time, with a very high turnover.

The striking workers denounce a true apartheid against them, pointing out that if any of the factory workers comes to talk to them, they are immediately dismissed. present a list of requests to the company. This not only refused to negotiate and did not know the right to unionize workers, but since November 22 of the same year denied the entry of almost all members of the union to the company. Then the company hired most of the workers directly, to avoid penalties for bad practices: but according to the workers on strike, almost all these workers have been dismissed over time, with a very high turnover. The striking workers denounce a true apartheid against them, pointing out that if any of the factory workers comes to talk to them, they are immediately dismissed. but since November 22 of the same year denied entry to almost all members of the union to the company. Then the company hired most of the workers directly, to avoid penalties for bad practices: but according to the workers on strike, almost all these workers have been dismissed over time, with a very high turnover. The striking workers denounce a true apartheid against them, pointing out that if any of the factory workers comes to talk to them, they are immediately dismissed. but since November 22 of the same year denied entry to almost all members of the union to the company. Then the company hired most of the workers directly, to avoid penalties for bad practices: but according to the workers on strike, almost all these workers have been dismissed over time, with a very high turnover. The striking workers denounce a true apartheid against them, pointing out that if any of the factory workers comes to talk to them, they are immediately dismissed. having a very high turnover. The striking workers denounce a true apartheid against them, pointing out that if any of the factory workers comes to talk to them, they are immediately dismissed. having a very high turnover. The striking workers denounce a true apartheid against them, pointing out that if any of the factory workers comes to talk to them, they are immediately dismissed.

The striking workers are not asking for anything extravagant. They are calling for three basic and constitutional requirements to be fulfilled: direct contracting, freedom of association and freedom to negotiate. Nothing more, but nothing less. All three doors to Colombian institutions, including labor courts and labor inspection, have been struck, asking for these three things, for which they have not received any response. That is why they have chosen to seek international bodies such as the ILO. They have been visited not only by multiple national and international trade union delegations, but also by human rights missions such as the Caravan of Jurists. All this has helped them to maintain morale,

Within the framework of actions in solidarity with this strike, a talk was organized on August 8 (day 2084 of the strike), in which we discussed what the peace process means for the workers of the afflicted Colombian industry, as well as for the precarious workers that today swarm, in the context of systematic destruction of the unions and the annihilation of its leaders that has been lived in the last 30 years. The guarantees that the people can make politics without fear of their physical integrity also include the respect to the unions, according to several assistants they expressed. As is well known, the systematic attacks on trade unionism in Colombia continue to make this country a true world record.

Today, that Colombia is witnessing an immense social explosivity, it is important that all struggles unite and seek basic points of convergence. A worker said to us, " we will continue here, my friend, so that we may have 2,000 more days, because our struggle is just. If we abandon it, we will fail all workers in this country ." Surrounding the workers of SINTRADIT and accompanying them in their titanic struggle is a duty for all those whose souls are wrinkled by so much injustice. They have not spent a day of this strike alone, but we need more, many more, to accompany them. If they do not abandon us, we do not abandon them.

José Antonio Gutiérrez D.
August 17, 2017

[1]On this strike, see also a previous article http://www.rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=182980

https://www.anarkismo.net/article/30516
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