New union federation to be launched in Andalucía tomorrow

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Mark.
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Sep 22 2007 14:02
New union federation to be launched in Andalucía tomorrow

(all links in Spanish)
A new union federation the Sindicato Andaluz de Trabajadores with about 25,000 members is to be launched at an assembly in Seville tomorrow. The SAT is being formed by the Sindicato de Obreras del Campo - the land workers union - with about 20,000 members, Autonomía Obrera - a split from the CC.OO based in Cadiz that has worked closely with the CGT - and some smaller unions. There's an interview with an Autonomía Obrera member here

Pepe Martínez from Autonomía Obrera wrote:
Our statutes define us as a class based and alternative union for Andalucía. Inside it we will have workers who, from an ideological point of view, have different affiliations (communists, anarchists, nationalists etc.) but everyone is fully agreed on the need for a union model of struggle, avoiding social pacts, solidarity, and commitment to all the political and social struggles which have to do with the needs and rights of the working class in our country, including, naturally, the national rights of the people of Andalucía and the right to self-determination [ ... ] In the SAT we know that we do not have a monopoly on being right and that alongside us there are many comrades, in the CGT as much as in other union organisations (USTEA, S.U., CTA etc.) who advocate strategies and principles very similar to ours [ ... ] Our permanent attitude with respect to the CGT, and all the rest of the union organisations of the left, will always be of looking for understanding, coordination and mutual support [ ... ] The model of unionism practiced by the leadership of the CC.OO and UGT has been characterised by absolute collaboration with the necessities and requirements of the system...

There's an article and discussion about this on alasbarricadas. The contributors, who I think are all CNT members or supporters, are sympathetic but critical of proposals to take part in elections to works councils etc. The left wing nationalism that seems be involved has not been brought up.

Quote:
In effect, it will follow the same line as the SOC, it will accept the system of union elections and subventions...
There are very combative people in the SAT, unionists I'd take my hat off to because they really put themselves on the line. I know people in Autonomía Obrera and they are exemplary, as are many from the SOC.
I'd rather see this union grow than the CC.OO and UGT.
However, it made me shudder a bit to read the declaration of Cañamero [secretary general of the SOC] and the statement in general. It utilises a rhetoric of financial independence, criticism of bureaucratised unionism... but it reproduces nearly all the structures and functioning of the CC.OO and UGT. And what is even worse, they are orienting their strategy towards obtaining union delegates [on the works councils]. They have accepted in full the rules of the game on the union playing field, rules made so that everything stays the same [ ... ]
I wish them luck. I really hope I am wrong but they are going to end up being the same thing they are criticising.

Mark.
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Nov 6 2008 21:10

SOC-SAT Almería now have a website in English, presumably because they're organising immigrants who know more English than Spanish:
http://socalmeriaeng.wordpress.com/the-soc-sat/

Also 200 members of SOC-SAT occupied a branch of Banco Santander in Seville yesterday demanding help for day labourers and immigrants instead of for the banks.
Reports in Spanish:
http://www.alasbarricadas.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=38157
http://www.sindicatoandaluz.org/

akai
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Nov 6 2008 22:35

On another thread I was talking about nationalists and conservatives cooperating with left-wing union movements. It didn't seem to be a common thing. Does anybody know more about these nationalists? They are described here as left-wing nationalists: what does that exactly mean? Any relevant links?

Mark.
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Nov 7 2008 10:47

From the SOC-SAT Almería website:

Quote:
The SOC-SAT

Declaration of principles


The Union of Agricultural and Rural Workers of Andalusia is inspired by the following principles:

Rights and Class

The union defends the rights of rural workers. All workers can participate within it free from all discrimination. It’s step is turned towards the suppression of Capitalist Society in favour of a new society, more Democratic and Fairer.

Unity

We look for the creation of a Union Organisation in Andalusia. This would gather together the best of the unionist energies present and would create a union action based on the permanent struggle to improve the quality and conditions of life of Andalusian workers.

Democratic and Independent

We declare ourselves independent of all powers, whether economic, State, political groups, owners and managers, or any other institution of power.

The internal Democracy will be exercised according to the fullest meaning of democracy. The assemblies of affiliates will demonstate that it works by the freedom and participation of everyone.

Socio-political

The union cannot restrict itself to demanding workplace improvements. We are also concerned with everything Social and Political which affects people.

Therefore we practise pacifism, anti-militarism, defence of the environment, and defence of human rights, whatever people´s conditions and circumstances, sexuality, age, race, ethnic origin, religious and political convictions or anything else.

In the same way, we assert our firm support for the recognition of the Right to Self-determination of peoples as they freely and voluntarily desire.

Green and Ecologist

The present model of development, in its end of making profits in the shortest time possible, must destroy nature in order to exist. It is capable of obliterating for ever resources as essential to the life of the planet as the soil, the water or the air. The Union defends the universal values of nature.

Solidarity

Solidarity is the fundamental base for human existence. Without it, no kind of progress would be possible. What would we be if we had no-one to laugh, fight, love or share with? We know what it is to meet a friend´s warm greeting when passing in the street. What would man be if there was no-one there when he called for help? If we didn´t have soliarity, neither would we be anything we say we are.

Nationalist

The reason our name contains “of Andalusia” is that we believe that Andalusia is a nation whose economy, culture and language are being robbed. They have even gone as far as twisting its history. We need to be conscious that if we do not want to be condemned to under-development, dependence and marginalisation as a people, we have to fight for the right to self-determination.

The day of Andalusia is the 4th December, and we will take part in all acts in which we are reaffirmed as a people.

Internationalist

A more equal world will not be possible if we make borders into impassable walls. As workers organisations, we need to be like brothers and sisters to each other, we need to help each other mutually. We need to make problems which affect workers our own, no matter where they occur. Our country: Andalusia, our motherland: humanity.

We will establish ties of friendship, exchange experiences and carry out projects of communal solidarity with Unions, groups or Associations of the world which share our concerns and values.

Within and without our territorial field, we will uphold the demands of emigrants.

Laureakai wrote:
On another thread I was talking about nationalists and conservatives cooperating with left-wing union movements. It didn't seem to be a common thing. Does anybody know more about these nationalists? They are described here as left-wing nationalists: what does that exactly mean? Any relevant links?

In Spain I don't think there's much of an issue with conservatives and right-wing nationalists cooperating with left-wing unions. There's probably too much polarisation between right and left for this to happen, because of Spanish history over the last century. One of the falangist splinter groups has recently tried to relaunch a union, presumably based on national syndicalism, but this is something very marginal and will probably stay that way.

There are various unions which claim to be both left-wing and nationalist, in Catalonia, the Basque country and Galicia, as well as in Andalucía. There are also some 'anarcho-independentists' in both the CNT and CGT. I've even seen something by a group in Galicia which is councilist and 'independentist'. Maybe all this is peculiar to Spain - I haven't really seen anything written about it in English but if you can read Spanish there's a subforum on alasbarricadas about 'anarchism and the national question' which will probably tell you anything you want to know.

Mark.
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Nov 7 2008 11:32
weeler wrote:
Oh great, a nationalist syndicalist union.

Yes, to me Andalusian nationalism looks something like the Spanish equivalent of Cornish nationalism. The strange thing is that SOC-SAT are one of the better Spanish unions and seem to be putting a lot of effort into organising the African immigrants working in the plastic greenhouses around Almería.

They're nationalists and maybe syndicalists of a kind, but this isn't to be confused with 'national syndicalism' which was the ideology of the Falange.

EDIT: Actually one parallel might be Connolly's combination of syndicalism and Irish nationalism.

mk
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Joined: 12-04-07
Nov 7 2008 11:06

I am trying to understand if the national self-determination and internationalism can go together. I don't see point of national self-determination for anarchists if goal is self-management nation as category is not important.

Who is robbing people from their money? Capitalists. It's not important it is from Andalusia or no.

woundedhobo
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Nov 8 2008 02:33

they are for international solidarity, working with people who are not natives. They sound pretty awesome.

The problem with nationalism as I see it is when they deny that there is a class system within an ethnicity and that , according to them,all exploitation is from foreigners.

would it help if they talked about their demand for local political autonomy instead of self-determination?