Workers occupied Frape Behr factory in Barcelona, solidarity actions needed

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rata
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Dec 24 2007 13:49
Workers occupied Frape Behr factory in Barcelona, solidarity actions needed

Urgent subject: Solidarity request with the workers in Frape Behr

From CNT-AIT Barcelona we are supporting to the workers of the Frape Behr factory (sister company of the german Behr) in Barcelona. Behr has reported a labour force adjustment plan (LFAP) to 50 workers and profit limits. For three months the workers have rejected this offer.

Up to now these workers, CNT, FTC-IAC, UGT, CCOO, are squatting in the factory to put pressure on the Government to reject this labour force adjustment plan. CNT-Barcelona is supporting to the workers with demonstrations and announcing to people this dispute by means of the press.

CNT ask you to support this fight with demonstration against the Behr factories in the countries with AIT representation. Besides it is important to send support messages by emails or faxes to the Government asking it to not support this LFAP. The Catalonian Government must declare in favour of / against this proposal and we hope the workers pressure, the social mobilization and your support make the Government declare oneself against.

The next week (24th – 31st) we ask you to do demonstrations or gatherings in Spanish Consulates or
Embassies.

Mark.
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Dec 24 2007 14:15

Links in Spanish
CNT-FRAPE blog
alasbarricadas thread

Mark.
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Dec 24 2007 21:52

Frape worker addressing the striking TMB bus workers - picture from kaosenlared

According to the alasbarricadas thread FAU have announced protest actions in Germany in support of the Frape workers. There's a report in German here.

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syndicalistcat
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Dec 24 2007 22:48

apparently a Labor Adjustment Plan refers to a closing or layoff. The alasbarricadas thread says nearly 300 workers are affected.

FTC-IAC is an independent union, affiliated to the Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (Alternative Interunion of Catalonia).

rata
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Dec 25 2007 01:58

The workers in Frape Behr are fighting for our jobs and the future of 295 families.

The management of the company and the Catalonian Government have deceived us into believing they would carry out the agreement in 2004, which means the future of the factory in Barcelona. For a long time with negotiations, the Behr management and the left-wing Catalonian Government will wish a merry Christmas with a labour force adjustment plan, firing 295 workers. The Frape Behr workers go on in the struggle for the continuity of the factory and for our jobs. We ask your solidarity with the squatting that our colleagues are having.

We need your public demonstration in favour of our fight which is the same like yours.

No to the sackings

Long live international solidarity labour!!

Miguel Perera González
Secretario de Acción Sindical, Jurídica y Pro-presos del SP del CN

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Bubbles
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Dec 26 2007 06:57
syndicalistcat wrote:

FTC-IAC is an independent union, affiliated to the Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (Alternative Interunion of Catalonia).

got any more info?

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Tacks
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Dec 26 2007 12:51
rata wrote:
Urgent subject: Solidarity request with the workers in Frape Behr
The next week (24th – 31st) we ask you to do demonstrations or gatherings in Spanish Consulates or
Embassies.

anyone?

syndicalist
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Dec 26 2007 12:57

BTW, here's some additional info:

You Tube vids can be seen at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn_NZXSzIUw

See also: http://64.233.179.104/translate_c?hl=de&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&langpair=de%7Cen&u=http://www.fau.org/artikel/art_071224-091522/print.html&prev=/language_tools

Currently contacting WSA auto contacts to see if they can, at least, send solidarity emails.

Mark.
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Dec 26 2007 13:37
guydebordisdead wrote:
rata wrote:
CNT ask you to support this fight with demonstration against the Behr factories in the countries with AIT representation.

According to alasbarricadas the countries with IWA sections that have Behr factories are Germany, Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Brazil. Still I don't see why this should stop other people giving some kind of support. The Frape-Behr workers are trying to put pressure on the Catalan government to reject the company's proposals - there's a demonstration outside the Conselleria de Treball in Barcelona tomorrow morning at 10am. Actions outside Spanish consulates and embassies might add a bit of weight to this.

syndicalist
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Dec 26 2007 13:53

I think the IWA is encouraging their Section's to prioritize this matter. Aparently Rata was sharing an internal IWA call to action with the rest of us.

That said, WSA is not in the IWA but will try and give some support. I would encourage other comrades throughout the globe --- and the US in particular ---
to lend whatever support they can.

I wouldn't get hung up on the symantics of the email. I would, however, suggest that in the future it be made clear that all are welcome to participate.

For folks in the US, there are Behr-America locations in the following citieis. Each have fax numbers (not emails) so fax protest/solidarity letters can be sent.

Behr America, Charleston SC [43 KB, PDF]
Behr America, Dayton OH [41 KB, PDF]
Behr America, Troy MI [41 KB, PDF]
Behr America, Fort Worth TX [54 KB, PDF]
http://behr.de/Internet/behrcms_eng.nsf/$all/0B0211D884857DB0C12571E0002931E2?open&qm=topnav,12,1,0

rata
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Dec 26 2007 14:39
guydebordisdead wrote:
rata wrote:
CNT ask you to support this fight with demonstration against the Behr factories in the countries with AIT representation.

That text is from the call sent by the CNT comrades to IWA Secretariat. We have spread our call for solidarity actions to all of the Sections and Friends organizations, but also to other organizations with whom IWA maintain relations. So, anyone interested in countries without IWA representation, be free to jump in the solidarity work. And remember to send reports on that to IWA Secretariat's email, so that we could create comprehensive list of the solidarity activities that could be forwarded to the workers in struggle.

Mark.
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Dec 26 2007 14:45
x357997 wrote:
syndicalistcat wrote:

FTC-IAC is an independent union, affiliated to the Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (Alternative Interunion of Catalonia).

got any more info?

I don't know much about them but they seem to be an independent leftist union. There are quite a few of these apart from the anarcho-syndicalist unions - partly as a result of dissatisfaction with and splits from the mainstream CCOO and UGT. According to a report from the Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya on la haine (in Spanish) the FTC-IAC has a majority on the Frape-Behr comité de empresa.

Links in Catalan:
FTC-IAC
Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya

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Bubbles
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Dec 26 2007 23:55

what kind of leftists? what relations do they have to political organizations and the various unions/groups in spain that are are(or claim to be) anarcho-syndicalist.? Sorry for all the questions but i cant read spanish or catalan.

Mark.
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Dec 27 2007 00:41
x357997 wrote:
what kind of leftists? what relations do they have to political organizations and the various unions/groups in spain that are are(or claim to be) anarcho-syndicalist.? Sorry for all the questions but i cant read spanish or catalan.

I'll try and find out some more when I've got time - I struggle to read Catalan so the websites don't help me very much. I'd guess they're into some kind of mix of left-wing Catalan nationalism, third-worldism and Communism - I've no idea whether they're linked to any particular group or party. I'm not sure about the FTC-IAC but in general the CNT and CGT seem to have fairly good relations with the smaller leftist unions such as SAT, CSI and Co.bas. All these unions participate in the state sanctioned comités de empresa so this would be a fundamental point of difference with the CNT but not the CGT. It's an interesting subject and probably deserves a separate thread.

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syndicalistcat
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Dec 27 2007 04:39

all i know is that IAC participates, as does COBAS (an assemblyist left split from CCOO), in demos called by CNT and CGT over various labor struggles such as the layoffs at SEAT. These are demos that are usually not supported by the UGT/CCOO bloc. i can't really tell much about IAC from their website. IAC also participates in the comite de empresa elections, but all the unions do in Spain other than the CNT.

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Bubbles
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Dec 27 2007 04:52
syndicalistcat wrote:
IAC also participates in the comite de empresa elections.

under what conditions(if any)?

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OliverTwister
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Dec 27 2007 20:18
syndicalistcat wrote:
all i know is that IAC participates, as does COBAS (an assemblyist left split from CCOO), in demos called by CNT and CGT over various labor struggles such as the layoffs at SEAT. These are demos that are usually not supported by the UGT/CCOO bloc. i can't really tell much about IAC from their website. IAC also participates in the comite de empresa elections, but all the unions do in Spain other than the CNT.

I thought coordinadora does not?

Mark.
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Dec 27 2007 21:25
OliverTwister wrote:
syndicalistcat wrote:
all i know is that IAC participates, as does COBAS (an assemblyist left split from CCOO), in demos called by CNT and CGT over various labor struggles such as the layoffs at SEAT. These are demos that are usually not supported by the UGT/CCOO bloc. i can't really tell much about IAC from their website. IAC also participates in the comite de empresa elections, but all the unions do in Spain other than the CNT.

I thought coordinadora does not?

According to an article from 1989 on the WSA website the Coordinadora do take part in comité de empresa elections:

Quote:
The government soon set up a system of comites de empressa (literally, "enterprise committees," but, more often translated "works committees"). They consist of delegados who are elected by a complex proportion which has the worker/delegado ratio increase as the number of employees increases. The larger unions worked out a deal whereby the government would reimburse each elected delegate for 40 hours of work per month to free him to do union tasks. Spanish port strikes erupted when the government repeatedly ignored Coordinadora's request that its delegados be reimbursed likewise.

As far as I know the Coordinadora hasn't changed its position on this. I think that apart from the CNT and the CNT-Joaquim Costa the only union that didn't take part in the comités de empresa was SOC, the Andalucía based agricultural workers union. But this was because they were mainly organising casual workers and small workplaces where the system didn't really apply. With the launch of SAT, the Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores, they are aiming to take part like everyone else.

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syndicalistcat
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Dec 27 2007 22:36

in the 2003 comite de empresa elections the FEEP (AKA coordinadora) elected 80 percent of the comite delegates in the longshore sector (divided into eight or ten geographic zones, each with its own comite). the Coordinadora's position has always been to use the base assemblies to control the elected delegates. in the early '80s some CNT unions evolved a similar view, but they were expelled and eventually became part of CGT. for example the SEAT and public transit sections of CGT in Barcelona. COBAS is a newer base union that takes a similar stance.

zaczek
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Dec 30 2007 23:20

Our comrade had an idea to contact workers in the US who have some class action lawsuit against Behr.

rata
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Dec 31 2007 01:04

Small gatherings and leafleting in front of Spanish embassy and Cervantes Institute in Belgrade on 28.12.


rata
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Dec 31 2007 01:05

Frape Behr Barcelona Workers International Solidarity Page is now online here:

http://iwa-ait.org/solidarity.html

More solidarity letters and action reports to come...

syndicalist
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Jan 1 2008 16:46

Nice page Rata.

I'm happy to report that the WSA provided strike information has been modified and appears on the US autoworkers Future of the Union, "A Rank-N-File United Auto Workers News And Information Website" http://futureoftheunion.com/?p=6350
Spain Autoworkers Sit-Down Strike!

Also pleasantly suprised to see: Autoworkers January 1st, 2008 "New Year Letters Of Support To Rank-N-File Autoworkers by Mike Harris/The Workers Solidarity Alliance" http://futureoftheunion.com/ Scroll down a few articles.

I suspect these old emails were also meant to boost support for the Frape workers. Showing that anarcho-syndicalists have supported US autoworkers, now the same solidarity should be expressed with the CNT-Frape autoworkers. Just speculation on my part.

rata
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Jan 1 2008 17:55

Hopefully the page will be updated in next few hours with solidarity from Austria, Bosnia and Italy, as well as new things from USA, Slovakia and Germany.... if you want we could update WSA letter too, just tell us how.

It's nice to see that solidarity in the USA came from WSA, SAN and IWW.

syndicalist
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Jan 1 2008 18:12

I will not dignify this page with a comment about the "SAN " fakers--- all 3 of them

rata
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Jan 2 2008 18:57

We want to inform you that the CNT-Frape solidarity web page has been updated with solidarity letters from Austria, Brazil, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Italy. Also, new letters were added to Slovak, Czech and German segment of the solidarity page!

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robot
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Jan 3 2008 23:20

Just in case someone else likes to copy the idea: The FAU issued a protest post card in support of the workers at Frape-Behr. The cover shows a picket in front of Frape-Behr, Barcelona, the flipside contains the protest and the address of the corporate headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany. We printed a few thousands and are distributing them via our locals, mailorders and other groups that are supporting the workers. The take a few cents for the cards, the money will be sent to Barcelona.


mk
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Jan 4 2008 14:43

Maybe somebody know what was result of decision 2 January? Maybe there is update ?

Mark.
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Jan 4 2008 19:39
mk wrote:
Maybe somebody know what was result of decision 2 January? Maybe there is update ?

In brief - The workers occupied the factory on 21 December but ended the occupation on 26 December after the Catalan government's department of labour agreed to hold a meeting with the company and the unions on 2 January. According to a CNT member at Frape posting on alasbarricadas a lot of the workers had put their hopes on this meeting. As it turned out Mar Serna, the Catalan minister of labour, didn't turn up for the meeting and no pressure was put on the company to change its plans. The meeting ended without agreement. The workers are still waiting for a decision from the department of labour on the company's proposals. Yesterday they held a protest on the Ronda Litoral highway outside the factory, blocking it for 45 minutes. They are now holding an assembly every morning at 8am. Everyone seems impressed with the international support.

Edit: comment on alasbarricadas on Thursday - "It seems that the Ronda Litoral in Barcelona has been blocked twice today, once in the morning by the workers from Frape (in both directions) and again in the afternoon by the workers from TMB. This, together with the bus strike, another breakdown on the suburban railways, and the rain, has left Barcelona in chaos."

Mark.
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Jan 5 2008 11:49

They blocked the Ronda Litoral again yesterday - pictures on the CNT-FRAPE blog
Christmas Eve at Frape-Behr

DJ-TC
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Jan 5 2008 13:26

Wait, so what happened? I know there were negotiations, 2nd jan. or something like that, right?