Chat about olive harvest strike in Spain, 2005

Submitted by Steven. on November 23, 2004

Translated extracts from an... aggressive online discussion about a strike of olive harvest workers in Spain, 2005.

Right from the first day of the conflict several dozen farmers and employers from Bujalance discussed the different aspects of the strike online. They complained about the red tape of the Socialist Party, which they accused of buying votes by securing splendid dole money for the mob. They ranted on about the lack of restraint of the seasonal workers, who don’t cling on to the olive trees like themselves. They moaned about the lack of solidarity shown by other landowners, about the technological backwardness of Bujalance and about the communist/fascist terror of the union. The following is a summary of their debate. The original can be found here.

Kulak Chat-Room

* I have about 800 olive trees and there is no way that I could bring in the harvest. What does this CC.OO guy think that he is doing? Leaving the workers without a wage for a year? Who will bother to contract them after the strike?
* I often find myself amused by this village which exists for about 40 years now seperated from civilisation under the rule of the PSOE. I will bring in the harvest, even if it is side by side with the Guardia Civil, that I swear.
* This is what fucking annoys me in this web-forum, a lot of creeds, but what about the strike? No bloody clue? You buggers from Bujalance, I know that you still don’t use olive vibrators, but you must at least have computers. Just tell us what’s happening. I was told on the phone that trees which are ripe for the harvest can be picked, is that true?
* I feel shame for this village. Where are the balls that it used to have? Why do we allow such a son of a bitch to ruin the village, how long are we supposed to be trapped in the past? All the villages in the region are developing, only Bujalance isn’t. Let’s kick Manolo out of the village and his followers will go with him as well.
* Fascist!
* Red Bastard!
* Long live the strike! Hey you, who just said that you will bring in your harvest, we will cut your damned two little olives!
* Today I was trapped three quarters of an hour in the traffic jam, simply because of the fucking road block of the day labourers. They should block the fucking roads of their whore mothers.
* Manolo has a tidy wage from the CC.OO, he wants to enter politics, if he succeeds he won’t give a damn about the day labourers.
* That’s right, there are the regional CC.OO elections soon.
* How is it poossible that this fascist and his four followers are able to force a whole village to its knees? Because of the pickets and their threats. Anyone who goes to work will get his face smashed, the car demolished, the trees cut or the tractor burned. Fascism in its purest form.
* I know Mr. Ramirez [Manolo] personally, he even defends violent Basques.
* I would really like to invent an automatic harvest machine and send them all to hell.
* What about the collective contract? Did they agree yet? I don’t know what to do with my gang, they already picked in Montoro und they are supposed to go to Bujalance tomorrow.
* Most of the workers aren’t even members of the CC.OO. These are the only two month that they have to work anyway and now they use the opportunity and go on strike.
* Even the bigger companies seem to get nervous, the strike is dragging on despite their threat not to hire people for the whole rest of the year.
* They don’t get nervous. They won’t hire anyone from Bujalance for the next ten years, then you will see who will get nervous. They will eat stones with eggs.
* Today Manolo started his hunger strike, now he wants to turn himself into a victim. Also today some small peasants went to work on the fields. We have to support them.
* Manolo cannot go on hunger strike, he is diabetic.
* Bloody fascists, your whore mothers went to the fields, as well, but at night time and that’s why you came into the world. Leave Manolo alone!
* Shut up, the 40s are over.
* Who of you in this forum has got a Cirafelli? Is this machine any good? I think of getting myself one. Thanks.
* History repeats itself. In 1975 the olives from Bujalance achieved the highest prices, that was before Manolo’s friend became mayor. He brought in all gypsies from the region and everything went down the drain. In the oldern days about 24,000 people lived here, now only 8,000.
* Also Mr. Ramirez knows very well how to get the gypsies behind him and the gypsies are allowed to do what ever they want.
* The Romanians should come to Bujalance, then the day labourers in Bujalance wouldn’t be spoilt with wages like 15,000 to 20,000 Pesetas a day anymore.
* On all strike days, even during the general strike, most of the workers from Bujalance went working in other villages and we are not allowed to harvest our four olive trees which bear the income of the whole year. They should be ashamed.
* Exactly. And by the way, do you know how many of your workers have cash-in-hand jobs on construction sites while still cashing dole money?!
* And Ghandi Manolo Ramirez asks workers to renovate his house without having a planning permission. Who is talking about workers’ rights?!
* I don’t understand why you all get so wound up, here in Bujalance nothing happens at all, no one starves to death, everyone stuffs their bellies with bread and beer, with the latter in particular, most of the strikers only work two month and the rest of the year they live on the four or five unemployment benefits coming in for each family.
* That’s how they have always lived, of olives and on the dole. This year they will only have the dole money.
* The second mayor of Bujalance, Mrs. Antonia Cabanillas proposes a ‘restructuring of Bujalances agricultur’, she demands we should undertake ‘an effort like the one of the shipyard workers of Izar’, but what the hell do we know of ship-building? Phantastic ideas, qualification programs, new industries and all, but how are we supposed to make a living today and tomorrow?
* Cheers, I am 40 years old, a real Bujalancero and I still cannot understand how fucking daft one can be in this village.

Towards the end things got nastier, a lot of gypsy and communist blood was supposed to be shed, some wanted to pass the head around for a professional killer in order to shoot Manolo from the town hall’s balcony, others made appointments for duels or wanted to re-use the mass graves of the Civil War.

From prol-position news #2, 5/2005